Information on this page is for Australian residents

0.5 years part time
Delivery mode: 
Face to Face

Applications for this course are not being taken at this time


Take the next step in your career and improve your knowledge of building surveying and design and approval of performance-based building in light of national and international fire codes.

Gain an in-depth understanding of key concepts and alternative frameworks for performance-based building in fire codes. Further your knowledge through the assessment of performance-based building design and application of fire codes that this course provides.

Develop your professional skills and approach to performance-based codes, and an appreciation of legal, statutory and design integrity requirements, as well as the need for design compliance.

Course delivery in 2018

Units of the course will be delivered in burst mode as follows:


As a graduate of this course, you will be in high demand in the building industry. Become an expert in the approval process of performance-based building design and become familiar with fire safety systems design concept, occupant safety and environmental sustainability. You'll be job-ready thanks to our practical approach to learning by industry-based lecturers.

Job titles

  • Unconditional Building Surveyor (additional requirement may be needed)

This course is specifically listed in the Building Regulations 2006 (S.R. No. 68/ 2006) - Regulation 113 as one of the prerequisites for a Relevant Building Surveyor (RBS) to determine that an alternative solution complies with a fire performance requirement of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). 

Organisations employing performance-based building and fire codes graduates

As a fire safety professional, you could gain employment in private business or the public sector, or work in the building industry. Many assessors and fire safety experts enjoy the benefits of self-employment and contracting.

Employment rates

Employment for building surveyors to November 2017 is expected to grow strongly (Job Outlook).


Building surveyors in Australia earn an average of A$80,465 per year (PayScale).


VU’s Centre for Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering (CESARE) has an international reputation for multi-disciplinary research and graduate teaching programs.

Learn from the best

Our staff and associates include industry-expert professors from partners CSIRO, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Victorian Building Authority and consulting engineering firm Umow Lai, Noel Arnolds and Associates, SKIP consulting, Scientific Fire Services and many more.

Course structure

To attain the Graduate Certificate in Performance-Based Building and Fire Codes, students will be required to complete 48 credit points, consisting of:

  • 48 credit points (equivalent to 4 units) of Core studies.

Year 1, Semester 1

Year 1, Semester 2

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Make professional use of performance-based building codes;  
  2. Employ the concepts and alternative acceptable frameworks for performance-based codes, with particular, but not exclusive, emphasis given to fire safety engineering design;  
  3. Acquire appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for the assessment and application of performance-based building and fire codes;  
  4. Explain the basic physics and chemistry governing ignition, fire growth and spread, smoke movement and fire extinguishment and structural behaviour during fire;  
  5. Apply relevant concepts concerning occupant communication and response in relation to fire cues;  
  6. Discuss basic fire safety engineering analysis through the use of assessment tools;  
  7. Develop a professional approach to performance-based codes and a recognition of when to assess designs which are within a person's field of expertise and when to refer designs to a more appropriately qualified assessor;  
  8. Develop an appreciation of the legal, statutory and design integrity requirements and the need for compliance of the design assumptions throughout the operational life of the building.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take, and optional \'elective\' units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type: Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), Full-fee

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re a Commonwealth supported student or full-fee paying.

If you enrol in a:

To calculate the total cost of your course:

  1. Select which units you’d like to study.
  2. Look up the individual unit costs in the higher education unit of study fees list.
  3. Add up the relevant amounts.

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

  • Bachelor/Honours degree: Successful completion of a cognate (similar discipline) Bachelor/Honours Degree; OR Successful completion of a non-cognate (any discipline) Bachelor/Honours Degree and two to four years full-time work experience post-graduation.
  • Mature: Completion of a cognate (similar discipline) Australian Diploma or Advanced Diploma (or equivalent) will be granted advanced standing on a case by case basis. Applicants with at least two years relevant professional work experience, education and/or community experience will be considered for admission to the course.
    A letter of recommendation and an interview may be required.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

How to apply

Applications for this course are not being taken at this time.

Browse our other Building and Construction courses or send us an enquiry to be notified of updates relating to this course.

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At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.