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Occupational Safety and Health Management (Top-up) BSc Honours

Build on your existing qualifications or experience to gain the specialist skill set that will advance your career.
September 2023
September 2023: EU/INT induction
1 year full-time
Usually 2 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Ruth Plume

Why study occupational safety and health management with us

Building on your previous qualifications (such as a NEBOSH Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education) or experience, our occupational safety course mixes theory with practice to give you the additional knowledge, skills and practical experience to progress in your career.

You’ll graduate with the specialist skillset to competently carry out risk appraisals for safety, hygiene, health and environmental issues, and gain the confidence to implement solutions that will create positive workplace cultures.

Our course has excellent graduate employment rates (Destination of Leavers in Higher Education survey), with many of our graduates pursuing international careers in areas including health, transport, education and government agencies.

Learn to apply your new safety appraisal skills

You’ll pay regular visits to our industry partners to build your practical experience, develop your communication skills, enhance your problem-solving ability, and learn how to confidently carry out risk appraisals.

We’ve got a reputation for excellence and work closely with our network of employers to make sure our course meets the current needs of the industry.

You’ll have access to specialist resources – including top-of-the-range equipment and labs for HSE monitoring and assessment – throughout your studies.

Get the support you need to succeed

While you’re learning, you’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor directly related to your course. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area.

Our course is equivalent to the final year of a degree (see the Entry Requirements tab for more information) and is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

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What will you study on the BSc Occupational Safety and Health Management (Top-up)?

There are 4 key elements to this award:

Toxicology and Occupational Hygiene
More people die as a result of exposure to harmful substances (biological, physical and chemical) than through accidents. Thus the award provides you with the skills to determine risk and implement a hierarchy of solutions.

Work Place Safety and Management
Differing management approaches can impact on work place safety and understanding how to work in differing settings to improve safety is a key outcome. You will also learn how to investigate accidents and minimise the severity of incidents.

Organisational Psychology and Ergonomics
Where you work and who you work with and for is a huge part of well being at work. The module looks at individual risk perceptions, safety climates and safety culture

Environmental Management
Increasingly environmental appraisal is linked to the safety professionals job profile. The module focuses on developing competence in assessment and managing environmental risks.

What will you gain?

As well as a depth of knowledge and understanding surrounding the subject, you will also gain competence in risk assessment and in communicating suitable solutions. You will have industry and employability specific skills and will have developed a holistic, multi-disciplinary understanding of the scientific, legislative, policy, technical and managerial skills on which to base professional competence in relation to occupational safety, health and environment.


For full-time students, the six compulsory 15 credit modules are studied in one year. In addition, there is a 30 credit research project completed over the length of the course.

For part-time students, you will complete three compulsory modules over two years and half your research project in each year of study. You will still have the same access to University resources as full-time students

  • Core modules

    • Philosophy and Approaches to Health and Safety at Work (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to explore the interface of internal/external organisational drivers, leadership, law and organisational responses to the management of occupational health and safety. You will acquire skills in risk assessment and risk management as well as accident investigation and safety improvement initiatives and will explore differing approaches to safety management and impacts on safety culture, safety climate and safety behaviours.

    • Toxicology and Science Foundation (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module provides you with the skills and knowledge that will underpin your future studies in occupational health, safety and environmental sciences. Particular emphasis is placed on chemistry for occupational hygiene and health using examples from practice to ground academic knowledge to field based experience. In addition to underpin the skills in toxicological appraisal the module will provide an overview of the way in which biological, physical and chemical agents can affect human anatomical and physiological systems.

    • Occupational hygiene, health and ergonomics (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to thoroughly appraise and evaluate the legal, theoretical and practical aspects of identifying, controlling and managing the risk presented by a range of workplace hazardous agents and to recognise the role of human/work equipment and work place setting in health and safety.

    • Workplace and Fire Safety (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to equip you to be able to review the causes of and methods of preventing or minimising the severity of accidents, fires and explosions with workplace structures, plant, equipment and processes. It will also equip you with the skills required to inspect workplaces and work equipment.

    • Environmental Assessment and Management (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide knowledge and insight into environmental practices of pollution prevention. A particular focus on relevant environmental practitioner requirements in industry is provided. It focuses upon common commercial pollutants and the systems that govern their control and management in the workplace also considering the policy and legal basis. Practitioner management techniques and methods are provided with the objective of developing competence in assessing and managing workplace environmental aspects to improve legal compliance and environmental performance.

    • Management of health and well-being (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide knowledge and insight into the assessment and intervention in worker and workplace well-being and wider implications in societal well-being. The module will focus on the interface between work and external stressors, impacts on mental health and stress, and practitioner mechanisms to reduce absenteeism, presenteeism, and excessive costs, as well as mechanisms to promote well-being through and at work.  The module will also explore the policy and legal basis for intervention.

    • Research Methods and Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to synthesise learning from your undergraduate programme providing an opportunity for you to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. You will select a topic of personal interest you wish to study further and will manage your own learning during this module, with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study.

More information about this course

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.

How is the BSc Occupational Safety and Health Management (Top-up) taught?

A key element of the programme is the immersive teaching process using both on campus and online teaching, virtual inspections, audits and risk assessments so as to develop your competency as a safety practitioner across occupational health, hygiene, safety and environmental management. You will also engage with lectures, workshops and seminars, where you will discuss ideas and develop your understanding and work on case studies involving workplace problems, laboratory tasks and group tasks. Learning is seen as collegiate with a strong cohort feel developed so that you can learn with and from your peers, as well as your tutors.

You will further your knowledge through your own independent study, including online study and exercises, and will have the opportunity to use professional online databases such as the Barbour index and HSE sites. You will also undertake an independent piece of research to further your understanding of health and safety and to improve future safety practice.


You will be assessed through a variety of means, including your dissertation and coursework case study assessments, essays, inspections, audit reports and management reports. In addition, you will develop safety leaflets, using methods including peer appraisal and developing reflective practice.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BSc Occupational Safety and Health Management (Top-up) support your career?

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:

  • Transport for London
  • Ferrovial, St Georges,
  • NHS trusts
  • Local Authorities
  • Government agencies
  • Universities
  • Human Factors
  • Facilities management
  • Consultancies
  • Caroline De Sousa

    BSc Occupational, Health & Environment (top-up) student

    I’ve always been interested in risk assessment, so when I found this course it just instantly appealed to me. Before this, I was an Executive Assistant in Canary Wharf and I was beginning to crave something more academic.

    The course leader has been amazing; constantly encouraging, supportive, and providing constructive criticism. Receiving positive feedback on assignments, when I had no prior knowledge of the area, feels so rewarding and has given me the confidence to go onwards.

    The course content combined with the inspirational lecturers has genuinely changed my perspective on both my own life and what is possible for my career.  It has made a dream into a reality for me; I’m now really excited to get into the industry. After the course finishes, I’ll be doing a 12 week summer placement at the engineering company, Ferrovial, and eventually I would like to become a Health and Safety manager.

  • Brian Deveney

    BSc Occupational, Health & Environment (top-up) student

    I already had a fair bit of experience within the health and safety sector - I was in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for 15 years -  so this course was perfect for me as I didn’t want to enter at a very basic level. I met two lecturers at an external event and they were both so engaging and enthusiastic that I was instantly keen to visit the university. When I did, it had a great feel and came across as an innovative place full of people who are keen to develop and constantly evolve.

    Lecturing has been fantastic; the course leader is in touch with reality and understands the relevant industries so well.  He has both the practical and theoretical knowledge that you need to gain a holistic insight.

    The support services here are amazing. As someone who suffers with a long-term mental health issue, I found the support at Sunnyhill house incredible and I also received mentoring and tutoring support which I would recommend. Middlesex University is very good at providing these services, but I’m not sure how many students know of their existence, so I’d encourage everyone to make use of them.

    If you are considering this course I’d say it’s really a no brainer. It’s a great programme, and Middlesex is a great university to attend and learn from.  If you’re unsure, come and see for yourself at an open day.

    Once I’ve finished this course I’m off to Toronto for an exciting new chapter, but I will always have fond memories of my time here.

Ruth Plume
Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health

Ruth is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Her main research interest is investigating innovative practice in delivering environmental health regulatory services. Ruth’s teaching specialises in the professional development of environmental health students and leadership in environmental health.

Mo Torabi
Lecturer in Occupational Safety

Mo is a chartered member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and has been a regulator, safety consultant and head of health and safety. He continues to practice and consult offering Senior Executive training and implementation of safety improvement plans.

Hasan Erdogan

Hasan is an Environmental Health Practitioner with extensive experience working as a regulator specialising in occupational health and safety; a consultant operating his own business providing advice to a range of business sectors, settings and contexts and continues to provide advice at a senior level on the implementation of safety improvement plans.

David Thomas
Senior Lecturer

David is a both a Chartered Mining Engineer, a Chartered Health and Safety Professional, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was formerly the Academic Portfolio Lead for Health and Safety programmes at the University of Greenwich and joined Middlesex University in 2020 with specific interests in the Waste Industry, Quarries, Public Sector Infrastructure, ill health caused by work and organisational resilience encompassing business continuity. After completing his BSc, he had a variety of posts at Imerys Minerals including statutory appointments under the Mines and Quarries Legislation with 15 years of management experience. After obtaining his MSc in Safety Management from Bournemouth University, he worked for a number of local authorities. He has also been involved in the establishment of the Local Authority Waste Management Occupational Health and Safety, (LAWS) Forum from 2004 to 2016, comprising Waste Managers and H&S Practitioners from each of the English Regions and with ties to authorities throughout the UK. He has contributed to Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) guidance being actively involved in Culture and Competence – having developed and delivered training in Supervision and Monitoring to local authorities .In 2010 David embarked on a period of study with Glasgow Caledonian University, looking at issues around musculoskeletal and back problems associated with domestic waste collection, specifically within local authority contact, completing his PhD in 2015 and has subsequently published in these areas. He currently chairs the IOSH Environmental and Waste Management Committee.

  • Maeve O'Loughlin

    Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental (Top-up) BSc academic

    Our academics are also working as highly experienced practitioners so many professional practice skills are embedded in the course, including provision of new occupational monitoring equipment and application of skills to problem based case study scenarios.

    We want students to develop and gain the qualities of high calibre graduates in the health and safety profession. We have run this course for many years and have recently reviewed the content of the course to ensure skills such as organisational culture, occupational psychology, principles of risk management and toxicology are included alongside the development of practical knowledge. This ensures you are able to recognise and have the means of addressing risk in the workplace when faced with underlying factors that impact upon good safety performance.

    It is an exciting time for the profession in light of recent legal changes and the global need for sensible risk decision making. Whether working abroad under newly developed health and safety regimes or in the UK or EU, there has never been such demand for graduates with the technical and managerial skills to support health and safety in the workplace and our aim is to provide for your learning to do this successfully.

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.

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