Course content

The Master of Science is an ideal specialization programme for holders of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in (electro-)mechanical or civil engineering. There is a strong European tendency to move from prescriptive towards performance-based fire safety designs. This goes hand in hand with a strong need for advanced knowledge in the multidisciplinary field of Fire Safety Engineering (FSE). Master students will be well prepared for professional activities within this evolving field of FSE.


Course structure

The MFSE program consists of 4 semesters of 30 credits each. In semester 1, basic FSE topics are taught, covering basic knowledge on thermodynamics, heat transfer, structural engineering, fire dynamics and fire science in general (at master level). There is also room for broadening courses, such as entrepreneurship. The advanced FSE courses are taught in semester 2 and 3. The broad domain of FSE is covered in the built environment and industry, including risk assessment and human behaviour. Semester 4 is mainly devoted to the master’s dissertation, which can be completed in collaboration with industry.

The structure of the MFSE programme supports education within the worldwide context of evolution from prescriptive to performance-based codes and standards regarding fire safety and fire protection. Starting from the basics of fire safety science (including thermodynamics and fire dynamics) and structural engineering, and adding the important topics of risk assessment and human behaviour, the students evolve in the spirit of performance-based fire protection designs as they are taught specialist courses and advanced fire safety science and structural fire engineering. The students’ Performance-Based Design [PBD] skills are evaluated through their master’s dissertation and in the PBD devoted course.


Master's Dissertation

The master’s dissertation is a requirement for every candidate to obtain a master’s degree. The master’s dissertation is an original piece of research work. It aims to develop and strengthen the research capacity skills of the students. The student defines his/her own topic or selects one from a topic list. The master’s dissertation consists of a critical and original analysis of the topic.


Career perspectives

The masters can find a job as a fire safety engineer:

  • in fire protection consultancy companies;
  • in design bureaus for structural stability and/or technical equipment of buildings;
  • in architect bureaus;
  • in fire prevention services of larger cities;
  • as a responsible person for fire prevention in the industry;
  • in prevention departments of fire brigades;
  • in fire protection equipment industry;
  • as fire experts in insurance companies;
  • as fire experts in governmental agencies;
  • in standard testing laboratories;
  • in environmental impact assessment consultancies;
  • in health and safety organizations;
  • in research and education institutes.

Admission (for international degree students)

Bachelors or Masters in architecture, civil engineering, electrical engineering, electromechanical engineering, chemical engineering, engineering physics, materials science, urbanism and spatial planning. Other degrees on the basis of a study of individual skills (e.g. fire safety consultants, fire prevention officers, fire brigade officers, building designers, building services engineers, architectural practitioners).

Why choose UGent?


Education by world-class researchers
The education is given by professors who not only excel in teaching but also excel in research on a European and even worldwide scale. A fair number of professors have received a prestigious European Research Council Grant.


All of our master programmes, courses and curriculum were audited by CTI (Commission des Titres d'Ingénieur), as part of the EUR-ACE® quality audit carried out by ENAEE (European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education).


Strong student chapters
The students chapters make you feel welcome in our community, they organize courses, games, sports-activities and lots of parties as well. many of them have a buddy program.


Vibrant city life
Enjoy the city of Ghent, a student city with plenty of leisure possibilities, cinemas, museums, exhibitions, bars & clubs, restaurants, sports facilities, ...


Program taught in:
  • English

See 17 more programs offered by Ghent University - Faculty of Engineering and Architecture »

Last updated September 5, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
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for students who need a visa; for students who do not need a visa: 1st of June
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