Scientific Principles for Fire Professionals

Unit code: VQB5612 | Study level: Postgraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Online Real Time


This unit of study provides students with basic information on scientific principles for fire professionals such as combustion, products of combustion (heat and smoke), heat and mass transfer, response of structural elements to heat, visibility through smoke and smoke toxicity.

The unit will cover basic chemical reactions and the fire triangle, ignition of solid and liquid fuels, combustion, fire plumes and fire behaviour of building contents and lining materials. The unit will also provide an introduction to pre and post flashover enclosure fires and mathematical modelling of enclosure fires (zone and field models).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Interpret the fundamentals of the physio-chemical processes of fire
  2. Evaluate fire properties of various materials and fire behaviour of building contents and lining materials;
  3. Quantify heat transfer, fluid dynamics and fire dynamics;
  4. Critically review visibility through smoke, and smoke toxicity; and
  5. Diagnose structural vulnerabilities during fire.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 20%
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 35%
Material degradation and flammability
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 30%
Heat Transfer
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 15%
Evaluating structural properties in relation to fire

Required reading

Recommended texts and other reading and course materials will be listed in VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

Search for units, majors & minors