Health, Safety and Environment Management MSc/Diploma

Start date
MSc: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time; Diploma: 1 year full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught

£9,810 (UK students)
£25,740 (International Students)
More detail


Our Health, Safety and Environment Management MSc is  accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and students (IOSH) and students will be eligible to apply for graduate-level membership on completion of the programme.

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 IOSH.

The programme 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 and Climate Change
  • Safety Technology
  • Risk and Safety Management
  • Occupational Health and Hygiene
  • Chemical and Biological Incident Management

(As above, plus the following):

  • Research Methods and Dissertation

From the organisation of the taught modules to thought-provoking field trips, learning was enhanced both practically and theoretically. The University of Birmingham should be your first, second and third choice if you wish to study in the UK, not only because of its commitment to excellence, but also its commitment to your wellbeing.

Welma Kladé Neufville, Chevening scholar, MSc Health, Safety and Environment Management alumna

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.

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The MSc is offered on a full-time (one-year) and part-time (two-year) basis. The Postgraduate Diploma is only available full-time (one-year). 

All modules are compulsory.

Environmental 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.


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 for 2022/23

  • MSc UK students £9,810 FT
  • MSc International students £25,740 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

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.

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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Our Standard Requirements

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

Learn more about entry requirements

International Requirements

International Students

English language requirements

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

IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 64 with no less than 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 169, with no less than 162 in any component

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

Assessment Methods

Assessments are in the form of multiple choice tests, written assessments, presentations, reports, group work and research dissertations.

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 IOSH.

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