The MFSE program consists of 4 semesters of 30 credits each. In semester 1, the general courses cover basic knowledge on thermodynamics, heat transfer, structural (fire) engineering, fire dynamics and fire science in general (at master level). Several elective courses can be selected as well, on design, structures and fire safety engineering. In addition, there are also elective social courses available, such as undertaking an internship.
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 (fire) 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.
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.