Mode of StudyPart-time
Duration3 years part-time
Start dateJanuary 2023, September 2023, January 2024
Do you want to boost your career prospects by studying for an occupational health and safety management Master's degree alongside your current job?
On this MSc Occupational Health and Safety Learning at Work Master's course, you can specialise and enhance your current knowledge, and develop a more strategic view of organisational management and behaviour.
Whether you want to progress your career as an Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner or specialise in managing safety in fields such as construction, nuclear, or oil and gas, this MSc Occupational Health and Safety Management Learning at Work Masters course gives you the skills, knowledge and confidence to fulfil your ambitions.
Because the course is work-based, you need to already be in a full-time, part-time or voluntary role. If you don't have an undergraduate degree, you could still do this postgraduate course if you have several years experience in a responsible position or you have high-level skills through experience that isn't reflected in your qualifications.
You can tailor the course to match your professional and personal aspirations and your employer's objectives. The way you learn is flexible, so you can study wherever is most convenient for you and schedule your studies around your existing commitments.
You'll get to put the skills you learn to work instantly in your job, contributing to the success of your company. When you complete the course, you'll improve your career prospects and have the skills and knowledge to perform more effectively in your job.
This course is a fixed 3-year course, which means the course will last for 3 years with no flexibility in extending or shortening the course. This course allows you to apply for a postgraduate loan if you are based in England. Should you wish greater flexibility and the opportunity to apply for Recognised Prior Learning, please take a look at our flexible MSc.
Qualifications or experience
- A degree or equivalent. Other qualifications such as HNDs and Foundation degrees, supported by several years of relevant post-qualification experience in responsible posts, may also be acceptable.
- Applicants are usually working at a professional level.
- Appropriate experience and proven aptitude in health and safety, a certificated professional/vocational qualification or an undergraduate degree or equivalent. If you do not hold a level 6 qualification you may be required to present evidence of your ability to study at level 6.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Study modules and topics that match your personal and professional goals, as well as your employer's objectives
- Develop your ability to analyse problems, research and propose solutions, and make sound professional judgements when faced with the organisational, financial and management aspects of a business
- Take part in work-based learning (WBL) projects that form part of your daily workload, which ensure that the knowledge you develop is relevant to your employer's business
- Get an optional 1-day induction in Portsmouth at the start of the course and have the opportunity to study on campus, if it suits you
- Develop your learning plan with the University and your employer, so you can make an effective contribution to your workplace as you learn
- Have full access to our student support services and community including study support, sports and recreation facilities, and the Students' Union
- Tap in to our Library's electronic resources, which you can access from anywhere with a Web connection
- Choose a Workplace Mentor to support your learning – someone at work who can offer advice, guidance, and moral support
- Have support from an academic tutor specialising in your area of study and a University learning manager who oversees your programme
- Use online tutorials and lectures to help you with study skills, including your analytical and writing skills
Careers and opportunities
When you finish the course, you'll have the skills and knowledge to advance your career with your current employer and boost your long-term career prospects.
After the course, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
What you'll study
You'll make up the academic requirement for their award through a combination of core taught modules and work-based learning projects which is detailed in a learning contract.
To get a Master's degree, you need to accumulate a total of 180 credits. If you leave the course before you accumulate 180 credits, you can get a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if you've accumulated 60 credits or a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if you've accumulated 120 credits. You can get these credits in 3 ways:
1. Work-based learning (WBL) projects
Some of your learning will come from work-based learning (WBL) projects. These are projects that are valuable to your employer, which you complete at work.
Past projects titles include Process Safety Management in Oil and Gas, the Design of an LEV System, Managing Confined Space Entry, Control of Asbestos at Work.
These projects won't involve activities you do in your day-to-day job as they need to involve new learning for you. You'll do most of the work for these projects in your normal working hours.
2. Taught modules
You'll study 3 core modules which cover the essential learning required by today’s health, safety and environmental professionals, and selected optional modules:
- Management Essentials for Health and Safety: This core module aims to provide you with an appreciation of health and safety management and its integration into organisational management systems. You will develop knowledge and interpretation of the requirements and responsibilities imposed by laws in respect of occupational health and safety. You will also advance your understanding of risk management and reflect upon the relationship between human behaviour, culture and risk.
- Risk Management in Practice: This core module concerns the operational practice of health and safety by considering the potential risks, from both a health and safety perspective, and their subsequent assessment and control. The aim of the module is to explore the potential hazards in a variety of industries both UK based and international, and to develop strategies for the assessment and control of hazards associated with the workplace and working practices.
- Environmental Management: This core module considers the global, national and local environmental issues prominent in our society. It aims to provide the student with an appreciation of pollution, its sources and control and considers the management of environmental factors within organisations.
- Other optional taught modules include: Construction Safety and Professional Development.
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
This course is a 3-year fixed course. You'll study the full 180 credits. You'll study the modules and work based project(s) alongside your day job.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
To help you juggle this course alongside your work and home life, you'll get extra support from:
- a Workplace Mentor chosen by you – someone at work who can offer advice, guidance, and moral support
- an Academic Tutor specialising in your area of study
- a Learning Manager who oversees your programme
How you're taught will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.
Most of the course is delivered via our interactive virtual learning environment. With access to all the study material you’ll need, discussion forums and the chance to connect with peers and lecturers via chat sessions, you’ll have plenty of academic support and heaps of resources.
How you're assessed
The way you're assessed will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (January 2023 start)
All fees subject to annual increase.
- UK/EU/Channel Islands/Isle of Man/International students: £10,900 a year
Funding your studies
If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government postgraduate loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.
Recognition of work-based and distance learning courses
Our Learning at Work degrees at levels 6 and 7 are approved by the University under its powers to award degrees. They comply with the Office for Students (OFS) and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) standards in the United Kingdom.
These qualifications are generally recognised internationally but as with distance learning type courses, each country will have its own regulations and rules on work based and distance learning education. You should check with the qualification recognition authority in the country you reside in or intend to use the degrees to secure employment, that the Learning at Work degrees are recognised by them before you commit to studying with us.
We also strongly recommend you check that your employer recognises the value of our work based/distance learning courses. Some countries, including Singapore, state the 'value of the qualification is subject to the employer'.
Applications from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar
We are currently unable to offer our courses to applicants who are nationals of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.
If you're not a national citizen but are working or living in these countries, you can enrol onto our Learning at Work courses. You'll need to sign an Applicant Declaration Letter to confirm you understand that the University of Portsmouth won't accept any liability issues you may have with the recognition of your distance learning course, with your government or employer.
Applications from India and China
If you’re a national or foreign national in India or China, you can enrol onto our Learning at Work courses. You'll need to sign an Applicant Declaration Letter to confirm you understand that the University of Portsmouth won't accept any liability issues you may have with the recognition of your distance learning course, with your government or employer.
Applications from Oman
We're unable to accept enrolment from nationals or foreign nationals from Oman.