Ongoing developments in safety and reliability remain a primary focus for the oil and gas industry.

Ensure you’re up to speed with Fire and Explosion Engineering best practices with this online short course designed for graduate engineers.

Receive advanced education and training in assessing the loads that result from fires and explosions – and learn how to design structures that can withstand them.

Learn from the best in the business, with a university at the forefront of teaching and professional training for ambitious engineers.

Part of our Masters in Safety and Reliability Engineering and Masters in Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas, this course allows you to study a focused section of this degree in a flexible way, anywhere in the world.

What you’ll study

Hydrocarbon fires and explosions produce extreme loading on engineering components. Structural steels lose their strength and stiffness well below the temperatures associated with hydrocarbon fires.

On this course, you’ll learn how to design safety-critical elements that can withstand both the temperatures and blast overpressures caused by fires and hydrocarbon explosions.

You’ll be shown how to use simple models to assess the loading that results from fires and explosions. Structural elements will be analysed to illustrate the design procedures that are required to prevent escalation and to design against major accident scenarios.

You’ll cover the following modules:

  • Introduction to fire and explosion science
  • Hydrocarbon fire and explosions
  • Heat transfer
  • Fire dynamics
  • Material and structural performance in fire and high-rate loading
  • Fire-resistant design of structures
  • Practical applications of fire and explosion engineering
  • An introduction to fire and explosion hazard management
  • Deflagration and detonation
  • The dynamic of deformation and failure of solids and structures
  • Estimation of explosion overpressures in air

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Discuss fire and explosion science and the classifications of fires and explosives.
  • Describe the loading that fire and explosions produces on structures.
  • Evaluate the structural and material response to extreme loading scenarios.
  • Select materials and design structures to promote safety in such events.

How you’ll study

Our Fire and Explosion Engineering course is delivered part-time online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Part of our MSc Safety and Reliability Engineering and MSc Safety and Reliability Engineering for Oil and Gas, this course is taught at Masters level.

Online learning

Your training is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • online lectures and tutorials
  • reading materials
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from highly qualified and experienced tutors in this field from our School of Engineering and industry itself.

Industry input

You’ll also benefit from the direct input of an Industry Advisory Board. It constantly reviews your course content to ensure that you’re gaining the latest industry knowledge and are up to speed with emerging trends, technologies and career opportunities.


You’ll be assessed entirely online.

This course usually combines online assessment with a written exam that you attend in person. However, due to Covid-19, in-person exams will not take place until January 2022 at the earliest.

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards further study, including our:

Both are available to study on campus or online.

See our full range of postgraduate Engineering degrees.

Build your learning

We offer a range of specialist online Engineering courses you can use to build your skills.

Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:


Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course are expected to hold a relevant degree. However, alternative/lower qualifications, combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience, may also be considered for entry.

For this course, you’ll apply through our Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents. Our admissions team will then review these and get back to you. Read How to apply through our Applicant Portal for all you need to know.

You need to apply by the course start date to ensure you are enrolled in time.

Apply for this course

Start date
27 September 2021
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