• Application Deadline
  • 12 months


The Master of Safety Engineering 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. 


  • Inside Belgium, the programme is unique in offering a technically oriented safety education. The educational programme and its graduates are highly respected by the industrial partners where job opportunities for safety engineers are available. In order to meet changing industrial demands and to keep up with major new developments in the field of technical and occupational safety, KU Leuven and Essenscia (the Belgian umbrella organisation of companies that are active in the field of chemistry and life sciences) joined forces to review and renew the contents of the existing programme.
  • Safety engineering is a university-level programme developed on top of strong scientific basis (only students with a Master’s degree are admitted). Similar to other engineering programmes 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.
  • 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 organised 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 class room 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.

After finishing this advanced Master's programme, the student should:

  • have a broadly based knowledge of the different scientific disciplines that are needed to study and analyse the diverse technical and non-technical issues related to safety technology, risk management and loss prevention.
  • have acquired the capabilities and competences to perform or co-ordinate a scientifically sound analysis of safety related problems and their solutions within the governing boundary conditions (legal, organisational, technical, environmental, etc.).

Career perspectives

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 programme find employment in small national and large multinational industrial companies at home and abroad or are employed in private and/or governmental organisations. Such organisations 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.

The Safety Engineering programme is offered at KU Leuven.

Questions about student life in Belgium, life at KU Leuven or more information about a specific course? Chat with our students: www.kuleuven/be/chatwithourstudents.

Programme Structure

The Master of Safety Engineering comprises a total of 60 credits. The programme 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 specialisation 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 specialised field of safety.

Furthermore, students choose between one of two available options (22 credits each):

  • Option Process Safety
  • Option Prevention

Each student also needs to choose elective courses either from a short indicative list, or from any Master’s programme 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 programme of 60 credits in total.


The Master of Safety Engineering meets this existing need and growing demand for safety experts coming from society and industry. To this end, the programme 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 specialisation.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®

General Requirements

Qualification requirements

  • Master in Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry), in Engineering Science (including Architecture), in Engineering Technology, in Bioscience Engineering, or in Nautical Sciences
  • Others may be admitted based on a review of their academic curriculum and professional experience.
Language requirements (non KU Leuven-students)
  • Proof of English proficiency: TOEFL or IELTS
  • Candidates choosing the option 'Prevention' are required to have a good knowledge of oral and written Dutch.

For more information on the admission requirements, please visit the homepage of the programme.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    6000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 6000 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA

    6000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 6000 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Participants who are not active professionally and are applying no later than two years after obtaining a Master degree, pay a reduced tuition fee of €1750.

Living costs for Leuven

  • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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