Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MEng Structural and Fire Safety Engineering

UCAS code: HHF1

Duration: 5 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Engineering

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing MEng Structural and Fire Safety Engineering

Structural and fire safety is very wide-ranging, impacting on our daily lives in diverse and unexpected ways. As a student on this programme, you will gain a valuable grounding in civil and environmental engineering, while learning how to mitigate fire risk through the design, construction and protection of infrastructure.

The programme builds on many of the fundamental concepts of civil and environmental engineering, including the application of scientific knowledge and modern engineering tools to the analysis, design, construction and maintenance of all major forms of infrastructure. In particular this will allow you to determine the effects of modern construction methods and materials on the safety of buildings and infrastructure.

You will take specific courses related to Structural and Fire Safety Engineering from Year 3 onwards.

This programme draws on areas of particular expertise at Edinburgh in the traditional areas of transport, tunnels, bridge and buildings while also addressing emerging areas, such as structural fire engineering, advanced geotechnical investigation and design, use of novel and sustainable materials, and advanced numerical modelling for particulate solids and structures.

Ties to industry

We have strong industrial engagement via our Industrial Advisory Board and industrial input to teaching, including our design projects.

There are opportunities for interaction with recent graduates working in industry, and we offer a close-knit, supportive community to develop your engineering skills within.

Work experience and internships

You are encouraged to undertake relevant work experience during your degree. We work closely with the Careers Service to advertise internship opportunities and arrange company presentations.

We support your development of graduate attributes through our Edinburgh Award for Civil and Environmental Engineering Industrial Placements, which is recognised on your academic transcript.


This programme is accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Year 1

Engineers are creative problem solvers, adept at working in professional, interdisciplinary teams to tackle society’s ever-more complex challenges.

In Engineering Principles you will experience a wide range of such challenges, developing essential engineering skills and gaining an understanding of the subject’s breadth and the role your chosen discipline plays.

In Engineering Design you will work as part of a team on an interdisciplinary engineering task – getting involved in design, and using your engineering judgement to evaluate your solution to a task.

These introductory courses will help you to develop the confidence, advanced thinking, team-working and problem-solving skills that you will later rely on as a professional engineer.

You will also study mathematical topics with particular relevance to engineers. In addition, you will choose courses from across the University to complement your engineering studies, with options available in sciences, arts and humanities*.

*(Revised 3 June 2020 to update Year 1 information.)

Year 2

In Year 2 you specialise in core civil engineering topics, including:

  • structural engineering
  • geotechnical engineering
  • tools for engineering design
  • environmental engineering and sustainability

Those studying Structural Engineering with Architecture will also study architectural history.

These courses prepare you for further specialisation at honours level, covering technical concepts and where possible, giving you the opportunity to apply these in a practical situation.

You will study programming to develop your skills in computer control and simulation – essentials in the engineer’s toolkit. Engineering mathematics is also studied.

You will continue your professional development with a course on essential professional skills for engineers, and select two further electives from options within the School, including fire science and engineering*.

*(Revised 3 June 2020 to update Year 2 information.)

Year 3

You will now focus entirely on the study of core materials in structural engineering and fire safety engineering, supplemented by the choice of an option course within the discipline.

At the end of Year 3, you will have the option of completing one more year for a BEng (Hons) or a further two years for a MEng (Hons), subject to students meeting the MEng progression requirements.

Year 4

You will pursue specialist courses in fire science and fire safety engineering together with further study of structural engineering. In addition, you can choose two option courses from within the discipline or beyond.

You will also undertake substantial design projects encompassing geotechnical engineering and interdisciplinary engineering.

Year 5

You will pursue further advanced courses which are entirely related to fire safety engineering and structural engineering. You will undertake a substantial fire safety engineering design project supported by experienced industrialists.

Half of the final year credits are allocated to the honours thesis, which is an original study of a challenging engineering problem related to fire and/or structures.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2020/21)

Our facilities

Lectures take place in the George Square area during Year 1 and for all other years at the University's King's Buildings campus.

You will have access to the University's libraries and engineering and computing laboratories. Study materials are available online.

Study abroad

You will have opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through the University's international exchange programmes.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions, projects and group work.

In your final years you will dedicate more time to private study and will receive individual supervision with projects.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through coursework and examinations.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2020/21)

Studying engineering at the University of Edinburgh prepares you for a career as a professional engineer in the UK or abroad and all courses meet the requirements of the UK professional engineering bodies.

On graduation from any of our programmes you will leave with a thorough, core knowledge, together with analytical, practical, design and communication skills, enabling you to join a design, production or research team - or move rapidly into management and leadership roles.

Alternatively, many of our graduates have gone on to work in other areas, including the civil service, education, the armed forces and the financial sector.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S5 or AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 29/10/20 from AAAA - AABB by end of S5.)
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 555 at HL - 32 points with 555 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Mathematics at A and one of Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science or Engineering Science at B*. National 5s: English at C. *(Revised 19 November 2020 to expand the range of accepted subjects.)
  • A Levels: Mathematics and one of Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science/Computing, Design & Technology (excluding Food Technology) or Engineering at B*. GCSEs: English at C or 4. *(Revised 19 November 2020 to expand the range of accepted subjects.)
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) and one of Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science or Design Technology at 5*. SL: English at 5. *(Revised 19 November 2020 to expand the range of accepted subjects.)

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AA to include Mathematics and either Physics, Engineering Science, or Technological Studies, plus Highers at AB in two further subjects.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one set of exams to include Mathematics and either Physics, Engineering, or Design & Technology (excluding Food Technology), or AAA in one set of exams to include Mathematics, Further Mathematics and either Physics, Engineering, or Design & Technology (excluding Food Technology).
  • IB: 38 points with 666 at HL to include Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) and Physics or Design & Technology at 6.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MEng Structural and Fire Safety Engineering

Additional costs

There is a surveying field trip in Year 2. The cost is approximately £250, covering transport, accommodation, materials and other subsistence.

You will also require Personal Protective Equipment for practical work in Year 2. Prices start at around £50.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Engineering

College: Science and Engineering