An innovative course has been officially launched at the University of Wolverhampton in partnership with West Midlands Fire Service. The new BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue aims to prepare students for a challenging career in the Fire Service through academic study and work placements. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed at the University by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Caroline Gipps and the Chief Fire Officer, Vijith Randeniya. The degree will include modules focused on crisis management, leadership, fire law, fire investigations and the chemistry of combustion. Students will also become community volunteers working with the fire service during their studies. Dr Martin Wright is leading the course, which is due to start in September 2010. He said: "The new BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue course will further strengthen the University of Wolverhampton's relationship with the emergency services, building on the success of the BSc (Hons) Policing degree. "This new degree is an innovative but highly challenging academic programme, coupled with practical inputs and excellent opportunities to work alongside West Midlands Fire Service staff." CFO Randeniya said: "In a modern professional fire service, it is vital that firefighters get the best possible training and qualifications available to them, in order to meet the demands of firefighting in the 21st century. "People considering a career as a firefighter have the opportunity to gain a formal degree qualification in Fire and Rescue. The course represents another significant step in the development of professional firefighting in the United Kingdom and I am delighted to support its launch." Students will be offered opportunities to undertake the basic firefighters programme with West Midlands Fire Service, subject to completing a successful application and medical and fitness assessments. The course can be studied full-time over three years, or part-time over four to six years. The degree is offered by the University's School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, in partnership with the School of Health and Wellbeing, School of Engineering and the Built Environment, the University of Wolverhampton Business School and the School of Applied Sciences. The new degree follows the successful launch of a BSc (Hons) Policing in partnership with West Midlands Police.