The Master of Safety Engineering meets the existing needs and growing demands for safety experts coming from society and industry. The program will prepare you to improve and realize safety in many different areas. The program trains you in prevention policy and safety management systems, the safety of products, processes, and installations, qualitative risk analysis techniques, and fire and explosion safety.
What is the Master of Safety Engineering about?
The Master of Safety Engineering will prepare you to improve and realize safety in many different areas. The program trains you in prevention policy and safety management systems, the safety of products, processes, and installations, qualitative risk analysis techniques, and fire and explosion safety. You’ll obtain detailed knowledge of technical and managerial process safety concepts with regard to the whole life cycle of a production plant, and risk evaluations based on qualitative and quantitative methods.
The Master of Safety Engineering comprises a total of 60 credits. The program consists of a group of common compulsory courses (23 credits) that are taken up by every student. This party contains courses with themes that are of interest to every safety professional, irrespective of the specialization option. All courses in this part are taught in English. This relatively large core part ensures that every student is given the same broad basic education about the specialized field of safety.
After a general introduction to safety engineering, prevention policy and safety management systems are treated. Safety of products, processes, and installations are discussed next and qualitative risk analysis techniques, fire and explosion safety complete this section.
Furthermore, students choose between one of two available options (22 credits each): Option Process Safety or Option Prevention. In turn, each option contains a number of compulsory courses (16 credits) and elective courses (6 credits).
The Option Prevention focuses on occupational safety and health-related issues. The compulsory courses in this option also discuss non-technical aspects concerning safety. This option is mainly of interest to candidates who want to obtain the Certificaat Preventieadviseur Niveau 1.
The Option Process Safety provides students with a detailed knowledge of technical and managerial process safety concepts with regard to the whole life cycle of a production plant from concept to design, construction and operation to decommissioning. Safety concepts of representative operational units are presented in a series of case studies. Examples of required safety-oriented competences in industrial operations are also discussed. It is shown how risk evaluations and estimates based on qualitative and quantitative methods are performed.
Each student also needs to choose elective courses either from a short indicative list, or from any Master’s program within the Group of Science, Engineering, and Technology.
Finally, students have to complete a Master’s thesis of 15 credits, which represents an effort that is consistent with a program of 60 credits in total.
The program can be completed normally in one-year on a full-time basis. However, to facilitate the participation of working professionals, it can also be followed on a two-year part-time basis.
- For more than 25 years, the Faculty of Engineering Science has offered an Advanced Master’s program in Safety Engineering. This program was intended to prepare participants for the role of safety officer in large industrial plants, as required by Belgian law. The teaching was accompanied by research activities in industrial safety. In order to meet changing industry demands and to keep up with major new developments in the field of technical and occupational safety, KU Leuven and Essenscia (the Belgian umbrella organization of companies that are active in the field of chemistry and life sciences) joined forces to review and renew the contents of the existing program.
- Started in 1975, it is one of the first academic safety technology programs in Europe, and similar programs are even now not very frequently available. Inside Belgium, the program is unique in offering a technically oriented safety education. The educational program and its graduates are highly respected by the industrial partners where job opportunities for safety engineers are available.
- Safety engineering is a university-level program developed on top of strong scientific basis (only students with a Master’s degree are admitted). Similar to other engineering programs where a systems approach is followed, the students acquire a broad conceptual view and knowledge of the scientific disciplines needed for understanding the many different aspects of safety engineering.
- University professors and professionals from industry each bring their expertise to the teaching of subject matter that is not only technical or of engineering nature but also related to human factors and organizational aspects needed in the wider context of safety and prevention.
- Synergy and cooperation with industrial stakeholders. This interaction is present at several levels. The Option Process Safety was introduced as a response to a request and need from industry. The Option Prevention gives access to the legal certificate of prevention adviser in Belgium. External guest speakers from industry are invited to give seminar talks, company visits are organized for the students and several Master’s theses are undertaken together with an industrial partner. Financial support is available via sponsoring by Essenscia or the Chair Safety Engineering.
- The scheduling of lecturers and seminars is adapted in such a way that the participation of working professionals from industry or government institutes is highly facilitated. Also, the mixture of fresh graduates and professionals in the same classroom gives rise to mutually beneficial interactions.
- Graduates have no problem whatsoever in finding a suitable job. Next to the job opportunities already available to them, the Master of Safety Engineering diploma opens up extra job possibilities for our graduates.
You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty www.eng.kuleuven.be/english/education/internationalisation
Application deadline 2018-2019
- 1 March 2018 (for non-EEA citizens)
- 1 June 2018 (for EEA citizens)
KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via www.kuleuven.be/application. Students with a Flemish degree can consult www.kuleuven.be/studentenadministratie.
From the 2018-2019 academic year on, the tuition fee for participants admitted to the program on a one-year full-time basis amounts to €6000.
Participants who are not professionally active and are applying to the program no later than two years after obtaining a Master degree, pay a reduced tuition fee of €1750.
Please consult the admission requirements page for the most recent information on admission requirements and tuition fees.
This is an initial Master’s program and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
Is this the right program for me?
Considering the many different aspects related to safety, quality, reliability, efficiency, technical and regulatory constraints, correct management of industrial process operations is becoming increasingly complex.
At the same time, our modern society is being confronted with safety-related problems in many different areas, such as traffic and transport, logistics, environment and consumer products. Moreover, there are a growing number of rules and regulations at the European level with respect to health and safety issues.
The Master of Safety Engineering meets this existing need and growing demand for safety experts coming from society and industry. To this end, the program offers a university-level education that gives the participants a broad overview and a scientifically based understanding of professional expertise in the many and different domains of safety specialization. Attention is paid to the development and acquisition of competencies that are of importance to safety: from the identification, analysis, and evaluation of hazards and risks associated with products and processes, to the implementation of safety systems in an industrial context where people-related, organizational and management aspects also need to be considered. The graduates are thus well prepared to function professionally as safety officer in a work environment that is most often technical-industrial in nature.
The Master of Science in Safety Engineering program teaches participants how to apply their knowledge and skills in order to improve and realize safety in the above-mentioned areas.
In many countries, there is a permanent and growing need for scientists and engineers who are knowledgeable and trained at the academic level in the field of safety engineering and safety management. This is due to the increasing complexity of industrial production processes and the growing number of rules and regulations both in Europe and internationally.
Graduates of the Master of Science in Safety Engineering program find employment in small national and large multinational industrial companies at home and abroad or are employed in private and/or governmental organizations. Such organizations need experts with the ability to conduct research, carry out analyses, and perform inspections, monitoring, and certification in the broad field of safety.
Moreover, in some countries (including Belgium), companies beyond a certain size dealing with specific risks are required by law to hire or even employ a certified prevention advisor. This certification can be acquired through the Prevention option of the Master of Science in Safety Engineering (Certificaat Preventieadviseur Niveau 1).
It is also possible for graduates to begin a career as an independent consultant with expertise in safety and environmental areas.
After finishing this advanced Master's program, the student should:
- have a broadly based knowledge of the different scientific disciplines that are needed to study and analyze the diverse technical and non-technical issues related to safety technology, risk management, and loss prevention.
- have acquired the capabilities and competencies to perform or coordinate a scientifically sound analysis of safety-related problems and their solutions within the governing boundary conditions (legal, organizational, technical, environmental, etc.).
To carry out the program's objectives, teaching activities consist of a combination of classroom lectures, practically oriented seminars and site visits. The instructors themselves come from the academic world both inside and outside K.U.Leuven, or have been recruited from reputable industrial companies because of their long-standing expertise and willingness to contribute to teaching and training.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated January 12, 2018