The PGDip will not be running from September 2022, however, the MSc is still open for applications.
The International Labour Organisation estimate there are over a million work related deaths each year with over 100 million workers affected by accidents or through ill health. Companies are increasingly recognising that the protection of employees is of financial benefit and this degree programme utilises a range of approaches including process safety, behaviour based, management systems and adaptive systems to develop appropriate safety culture. In addition, you will gain the theoretical skills in environmental assessment that many employers align with health and safety functions.
This course has an emphasis on developing professional skills and is delivered by a mix of academics with a practice background and practitioners working in industry. The University's strong links within the industry and professional bodies mean that this long standing course is well respected internationally.
For those of you with appropriate experience, the programme will help generate a greater understanding of your subject and allow you to become a competent practitioner who is able to influence health, safety, and environmental improvement in the workplace.
You will develop appropriate legal and technical knowledge to enable you to lead and contribute workplace risk management processes. Your learning is designed to be fused with your existing experience in industries and will enable you to develop an organisation's health and safety and wellbeing policies, instigate workplace interventions and improve your negotiation, advocacy, management, leadership, communication and teamwork skills.
All course tutors are practising consultants and have strong links with professional bodies, which ensures that you will be studying the latest developments and practices. Many are also active in research and you will be encouraged to undertake research that will be recognised within the industry.
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Through this course, you will understand the importance of the dynamic nature of the organisational culture, and role dynamic and adaptive role of management and leadership strategies to enhance safety performance. The critical importance of good risk communication will be demonstrated, as based on strategic risk decision making, hazard analysis, risk assessment, risk modelling, and determining risk acceptability.
You will gain a practical understanding of the workplace, work equipment, chemical, physical and biological hazards, and their potential to act synergistically to impact detrimentally on safety and health.
You will explore the core components of environmental management systems and their role in pollution prevention, together with the role of legislation and environmental regulators. Building on your existing knowledge, the risks arising from common commercial and industrial processes and the concept of Best Available Technology (BAT) in the context of industrial environmental management and control will also be covered when you create and develop your own case study.
This course will support those of you already with OH&S roles and for those new to the world of OSH prepare you for a career in occupational safety and health through the development of knowledge, understanding and the application of practical and professional skills necessary for future practice. You will develop an informed, critical and imaginative attitude towards professional practice.
You will be able to problem-solve at both an individual level and within a complex range of problems, prioritise a range of options and select appropriate communication formats to convey solutions.
You will have the knowledge to select, apply and evaluate, autonomously, a range of inspection and investigation techniques. Using this collected evidence, you will be confident to make decisions, and recommendations and articulate solutions on a proposed course of action in relation to OHSE problems in often complex situations and environments.
You will have the ability to operate successfully in a culturally diverse and globally oriented society.
Finally, you will exhibit applied competence in the use of management techniques in the assessment, evaluation, and solution given to commercial environmental aspects of environmental performance improvement.
This module seeks to provide knowledge/insight of environmental pollution prevention, focusing on skills development using common pollutants.
This module aims to provide an overview of the theory and application of risk management as it is applied at a strategic level from a multi-disciplinary, science-led perspective. You will explore the frameworks that can be used to relate the functions of risk management to better understand the process of decision making and the factors which influence it.
The module aims to enhance your skills of inspection, testing and evaluation in respect to the physical and traumatic dangers presented by the nature/use of premises, plant, equipment and commonly occurring high risk processes. You will also gain the skills to promote remedial and proactive risk management improvement strategies in high risk environments.
This module will allow you to thoroughly appraise and evaluate the legal, theoretical and practical aspects of anticipating, recognising, evaluating, controlling and managing the risks presented by a range of workplace hazardous agents. You will learn to integrate the concepts of healthy workplaces and health and wellbeing into occupational health and safety practice.
This module takes an organisational and strategic view of management, leadership, partnership and policy for occupational health and safety together with key legal principles on which safety law is based. You will explore differing approaches to safety management and the internal and external organisational drivers. You will also acquire skills in risk assessment and management as well as accident investigation and safety improvement initiative.
This module will provide an overview of the theory and application of risk management in the context of workplace, work environment and work equipment safety. This includes risks arising from physical and organisational aspects of the workplace in a range of contexts and settings.
This module will give you the organisational and research management skills required to formulate research questions, design and implement an MSc project. Where appropriate, you will undertake fieldwork to generate quantitative and/or qualitative data, whilst other projects will utilise existing datasets collected from existing studies. Research skills are supported by knowledge of experimental design, quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques and communication approaches. These skills will be applied in the design and completion of practitioner-based research including the development of original and independent investigations. These aim to integrate theoretical knowledge and technical expertise to investigate a programme-relevant issue at the required postgraduate level.
See the course specification for more information
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
We regularly review and update our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.
As a master's level award, delivered full time or part time emphasis is on student directed study; with teacher led teaching approximately 15% of the 1800 hours of study required. For those choosing the part-time programme this is an ideal programme when fused with professional practice.
You will undertake learning activities on campus where available and through virtual case studies, lectures, workshops, and seminars. The university does not provide placements or work experience for this course.
You will explore the theory in lectures – some of which are given by external specialists - and apply it in seminars through group work, discussions and problem-solving exercises based on real-life scenarios.
Case study evaluations and discussions with professionals will further consolidate your understanding. In workshops, you will learn about equipment, including occupational hygiene and noise monitoring equipment. You will understand how to develop strategies for the management of health and safety in workplaces fusing theory with your knowledge and experience of workplaces.
To succeed you must also do your own independent study and make use of online learning resources, including professional databases and Health and Safety Executive campaign sites. The Unihub also has interactive exercises, links to external sources of information and podcasts, and a message board for discussions.
This programme uses a wide variety of assessment including personal reflection, essays, management reports in line with industry expectations. The programme concludes with your independent (workplace) project that contributes and determines half of your final mark.
We have developed novel approaches to teaching and learning for the 2022/2023 academic year.
We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2023/24 entry and beyond. We have learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study.
Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We will use technology to enhance your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.
This information is likely to change slightly for 2023 entry as our plans evolve. You will receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2022/23 of student led learning (over Terms 1 and 2)
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Live online learning
Average hours per week, per level:
Tutor set learning activities
Average hours per week, per level:
Being a student led programme, outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.
Definitions of terms
You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.
Our support services are available online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.
You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
The need for health professionals has never been greater. This course will equip you for a wide range of roles in areas such as occupational health, occupational hygiene, environmental management, risk management and consultancy, both in the UK and abroad. A very high percentage of our students go into jobs directly related to the course.
You will be encouraged to seek and take up employment opportunities during your studies to view job roles from the occupational health and safety perspective. We will build on your experiences to embed a more comprehensive understanding of safety practice.
Your tutors, MDXworks and health and safety recruitment consultants will provide support to enhance your employability. The team also work closely with the professional body to link research to real-world work. When available, students have the opportunity to apply for placements and internships that are posted on our virtual learning site.
This course can open the doors to a wide range of careers. You could work in a company as a health, safety and environment advisor, or within a specialist consultancy, or as a self-employed practitioner. Many of our graduates also work overseas for international companies. Previous graduates have found work in the following sectors:
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.