Mode of StudyPart-time work-based
Start dateJanuary 2024, September 2024, January 2025
Do you want to boost your career prospects by studying for an occupational health, safety and environmental management Master's degree alongside your current job?
Whether you want to progress your career as an Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Practitioner or specialise in managing HSE in fields such as construction, nuclear or oil and gas, this MSc Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management through the 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.
Our courses are designed for busy people. You can tailor the course to match your aspirations and your employer's objectives, and to negotiate the pace of your studies around your existing commitments. Your work-based projects have flexibility in their submission deadlines, and with no residential requirements you can study wherever is most convenient for you.
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.
Students who successfully complete these courses automatically qualify for GradIEMA (Graduate) professional status, which is recognised in the marketplace. Students can also fast track to PIEMA (Practitioner Status) once they have completed a work based competence assessment.
- Choose 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 let you learn in the context of your role, which ensures that the knowledge you develop applies to your employer's business
- Get an optional 1-day induction in Portsmouth at the start of the course
- Develop your learning plan with the University and your employer, so you can contribute effectively 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
MSc Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management (Learning at Work) requirements
- 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.
- Applicants should have 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.
Please get in touch (email@example.com) if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.
Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
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.
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.
This course has been accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). On successful completion of the course students will meet the academic requirements for Certified membership. Certified membership is the gateway to Chartered status.
You'll qualify for GradIEMA (Graduate) professional status when you complete this course, which is recognised in the marketplace. You can also fast-track to PIEMA (Practitioner Status) once you complete a work-based competence assessment.
What you'll study on this MSc Occupational Health and Safety Management (Learning at Work) degree course
How to gain your credits
You can get credit for the qualifications and experience you already have, such as a PgCert or PgDip, in a relevant subject. This can also include in-service training courses and qualifications, as well as learning from on-the-job experience.
This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can use RPL for up to 120 (two-thirds) of the 180 credits you need to get your degree.
Contact us to find out if you can receive RPL credit for your current qualifications or work experience.
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.
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 study 3 core online modules which cover the essential learning required by today’s health, safety and environmental professionals, and selected optional modules
Core online 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 with respect to 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.
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.
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.
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.
Depending on the modules you study and your location, you may also be able to study on campus, experiencing face-to-face teaching methods.
How you're assessed
The way you're assessed will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.
How you'll spend your time
The course duration is based on the number of credits you study and so can vary per student. Most students study between 1 and 3 years. Although our courses have some flexibility, we still work to a typical academic year with some set deadlines for your work.
You can complete the course more quickly if you have relevant work experience, training or qualifications that you can put towards your degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can use RPL for up to 120 of the 180 credits you need to accumulate to get your Master's degree.
Typically, a student who enters with the maximum RPL of 120 credits and has only 60 credits to study would take 8 -15 months to complete the course.
Supporting your learning
At the start of the course, you'll put together a Learning Contract with the University and your employer that outlines what you'll study.
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 three ways.
Types of support
As well as support from faculty 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
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
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
Course costs and funding
Your tuition fee depends on if you have been awarded any Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and how many credits you need to study. To achieve a postgraduate Master's degree, you need to accumulate a total of 180 credits. Tuition fees may be subject to annual increase.
January 2024 start
- 60 credits: £3,800
- 90 credits: £5,700
- 120 credits: £7,600
- 150 credits: £9,500
- 180 credits: £11,400
September 2024 / January 2025 start
- 60 credits: £4,000
- 90 credits: £6,000
- 120 credits: £8,000
- 150 credits: £10,000
- 180 credits: £12,000
We'll apply an even yearly split to your course fee as listed in the schedule above. If you want us to consider an alternative schedule of payments, please contact us before the course start date.
Until RPL has been confirmed, you'll need to pay the full course fee.
If you're an armed forces student in receipt of funding, e.g. ELCAS, any documentation must show the correct start date and tuition fee. If not, we can't accept it and you'll have to pay the course fee yourself.
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.
If you choose to study online modules you may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module. Most texts are available online through the library.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
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.
There's a fee before you start the course if we need to assess a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) portfolio. If you're starting in September 2023 or January 2024, the fee is £1,070. If you're starting in September 2024 or January 2025, the fee is £1,125.
Ready to apply?
When you're ready to start your application, choose your start date.
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.
Information for international students
At Portsmouth, we welcome students from more than 150 countries across the globe. However, please note that this learning at work course is not eligible for a student visa.
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'.
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.
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.
We're unable to accept enrolment from nationals or foreign nationals from Oman.