Health, Safety and Environment Management MSc/Diploma

This programme (formally Science of Occupational Health, Safety and the Environment) recognises the increasing demand from both industry and enforcement bodies to integrate occupational health, safety and environmental management issues.

On completion of this course you will be able to identify hazards, evaluate risks, and suggest control measures in a range of situations. The course is accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

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The programme is a collaborative endeavour with the Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It recognises the increasing demand from both industry and enforcement agencies to integrate occupational health, safety and environmental issues.

Postgraduate Diploma

Subjects studied include the following:

  • Environmental Protection
  • Safety Technology
  • Risk and Safety Management
  • Occupational Health and Hygiene
  • Chemical and Biological Incident Management


(As above, plus the following):

  • Research Methods and Dissertation

The programme is accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

Mubarak Umar talks about what he finds special about this masters degree course (Health, Safety and Environmental Management MSc/Diploma from October 2o18).

Why study this course

This course aims to teach the science and practice of occupational health, safety and environmental control in the context of a team approach. On successful completion of the programme, students should be in a position to identify, evaluate and provide solutions to a wide range of health, safety and/or environmental problems, and function well in a multi-disciplinary team. The comprehensive syllabus recognises the importance of technical and practical skills as well as the need for good management skills and critical thinking.


The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the professional body which accredits the programmes. The University follows the framework syllabus set by IOSH and there is regular contact between the University and IOSH.


The MSc is offered on a full-time (one-year) and part-time (two-year) basis. The Postgraduate Diploma is only available part-time (one-year). For the full-time MSc, both of the following elements are taken concurrently.

Part-time MSc Year 1: taught elements (described below)

Part-time MSc Year 2: research element

The part-time Postgraduate Diploma follows the same syllabus as the part-time MSc Year 1. View the course timing schedule (PDF - 112KB).

All modules are compulsory.

Chemical hazards in the workplaceEnvironmental Protection and Climate Change

This module will develop students' appreciation of key concepts that link environmental science, ecology, pollution of the environment and human health and wellbeing. They will develop an understanding of the scientific, technical, socio-economic, political and legal factors which influence climate change, environmental quality and safety and the mechanisms and partnership strategies available to effect change. Students will also gain an understanding of the sources, modes of transport and effects of pollution; and how pollution may be controlled in order to protect human health and the environment. Basic applied field and laboratory techniques for assessing environmental pollution will also be covered.

Chemical and Biological Incident Management

The objectives of this module are to enable students to understand the causes of chemical and biological incidents; introduce methods of assessing the impacts of incidents; and develop a practical approach to managing and solving problems caused by chemical and biological incidents.

Occupational Health and Hygiene

This practically based module will provide students with an introduction to the role and interface of occupational health professionals. It will enable students to recognise, evaluate and control a comprehensive range of hazards found in the workplace. The opportunity to study in detail specific occupational diseases will be afforded, for example, dermatitis and occupational cancer. Practical sessions will provide the opportunity to devise, implement and evaluate monitoring programmes for biological, chemical, physical and radioactive workplace hazards. The principal methods to control and to mitigate the impact of occupational hazards on the worker will be identified. There will be an assessment of the current UK and international occupational health standards together with a study of legal controls.

Risk and Safety Management

This module will commence with a consideration of the legal requirements for safety management. There will be consideration of the legal relationship between employer and employee, which will include a review of the current case law relating to civil liability. There will be a review of occupational accident and ill health data and its relevance as a management tool will be evaluated. Theories of accident causation will be examined and management strategies to prevent accidents will be considered. In particular the role of the individual and the organisation will be explored. Quantitative and qualitative risk assessment methods will be studied. The philosophy of the management of controls to prevent accidents will be considered.

Safety Technology

This module will examine the integrity of machinery, plant and structures including the causes and consequences of failure and a consideration of preventative measures. The hazards arising from machinery, plant premises and processes will be evaluated and the technological and scientific principles which can be applied to remove or control the subsequent risk will be studied in detail. The following areas will also be considered with respect to their relevance to workplace safety; movement of people and materials, electricity and fire. Relevant legislative controls will be studied.

Research Methods and Dissertation

This module will provide students with the underpinning skills necessary for them to successfully undertake an MSc research dissertation. Students will gain an understanding of processes needed to plan, implement and evaluate a research-based study. In particular there will be sessions looking at hypothesis and research question generation, survey design, sampling strategies, qualitative approaches, literature searching and evaluation, and an introduction to some basic statistical techniques. Students will be expected to formulate their project ideas and to write their research protocols.

An in-depth project will be submitted in the form of a dissertation or research paper. Research can use a variety of methods, including mixed approaches.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019

  • MSc Home/EU students £9,250 FT (£4,625 PT)
  • MSc International students £21,690 FT only
  • PGDip Home/EU students £3,083 PT

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships

Our database contains details of postgraduate taught and research scholarship and funding opportunities available to support your studies at the University of Birmingham. Find out more

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support via the Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan for the duration of their course. For more information visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

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Entry requirements

Entry on to the courses requires a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant discipline.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any band)

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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Formal lectures; group work; case studies; practical simulations; industrial/commercial visits; and student centred learning.

Assessment methods

Assessments are in the form of formal written examinations, written assessment, presentations, reports, group work and research dissertations.

Related research

On completion of this course you will be in a position to identify hazards, evaluate risks, and suggest control measures in a range of situations. These skills are valued internationally by a range of employers including consultancies, commercial companies, government bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations. The course is accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. 



“I look forward to being a successful occupational health and safety consultant, contributing to bringing about positive change towards employee health and safety.”

Mariam Musa Bubakari - Graduate of the Science of Occupational Health, Safety and the Environment MSc

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