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Occupational Health and Safety Management (Distance Learning) (Learning at Work) PgCert

If you want a recognised qualification which will enhance your confidence to make sound judgements on Occupational Health and Safety matters in the workplace, then this one-year postgraduate level course is for you.

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If you're looking to advance your career in health and safety management within the workplace, our distance learning PgCert Occupational Health and Safety course is the perfect next step. You'll study for an accredited university qualification, without needing to leave your current job.

This course will enhance your ability to analyse problems, research and propose solutions, all while developing your confidence in delivering sound professional judgements in the workplace.

You'll graduate with the knowledge and skill necessary to fulfil your potential as a health and safety professional; you'll have the creativity, independence and enterprise to advance further professionally. On completion of this course, you'll also be sufficiently qualified to apply for Graduate Membership to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).


The course is accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) – so once you've successfully completed it, you can apply to IOSH for Certified membership.

On this course, you'll:

  • have the opportunity to analyse and evaluate the management, regulation and promotion of occupational health and safety in UK and international workplaces
  • study at a university that has offered courses in Health and Safety to serve industrial and professional needs since 1976
  • be supported through our online virtual learning environment called Moodle. The Moodle environment is a rich source of information – both formal and informal
  • be directed towards independent study through a range of activities, including online tutorials, podcasts and tutor-led discussion sessions, which will provide you with the opportunity to interact with staff and fellow students
  • have access to our Library's vast selection of electronic resources, including e-books and journals, available anywhere, 24/7, with staff always on hand to help out

Contact information

The learning at work team

+44 (0)23 9284 6260

Entry requirements

PgCert Occupational Health and Safety Management entry requirements

Qualifications or experience

  • 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.
  • Applicants may be asked to attend an online interview.

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.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

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.

Tuition fees (September 2024 / January 2025 start)

  • Part-time – £4,000 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

  • Part-time – £4,000 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

  • Part-time – £4,000 per year (subject to annual increase)

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. 

Additional costs

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.

How you'll study

On this Occupational Health and Safety Management Master’s degree, you’ll work with our Learning at Work team and your employer to arrange a programme of study that reflects your existing experience, your personal and professional goals, and your current employment situation. This makes up your Learning Contract. 

Through a sequence of work-based learning projects, you’ll develop your ability to analyse a problem and deliver a professional solution, with support from a workplace mentor, academic tutors, online lectures and a suite of virtual learning tools hosted by the university. 

This is a distance learning programme and, therefore, it is essential that you have access to the web, as this will be the main source of your learning material. Assessment is solely based on the submission of your written assignments.

Campus attendance is not required on this course, although you will be invited to a campus-based induction session at the start of the course and your graduation ceremony. The online induction course is available online for those unable to attend the campus-based session, and attendance of graduation is also not mandatory.

Your modules

Both modules on this course are worth 30 credits each, for a total of 60 credits. You'll study one module is each Teaching Block. 

Management Essentials for Health and Safety

This module will provide you with an appreciation of health and safety management and its integration into organisational management systems.

You'll study the nature of organisations and how management functions can be directed towards the recognition and control of risk. You'll study and interpret the requirements and responsibilities imposed by laws in respect to occupational health and safety. You'll also advance your understanding of risk management and reflect upon the relationship between human behaviour, culture and risk.

Risk Management in Practice

This module concerns the operational practice of health and safety, you'll consider 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.

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.


Teaching on this course includes:

  • tutorials and lectures

  • course materials
  • workshops
  • discussion forums
  • academic skills help
  • journals
  • podcasts
  • PDP (Personal Development Planning)
  • quizzes and assessments

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • written assignments

Learning support

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
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Extra support

To help you juggle this course alongside your work and home life, you'll get extra support from:

  • an Academic Tutor
  • a Personal Tutor who can offer advice, guidance and moral support


Before you apply for this course, please contact to discuss the content of your programme of study. Read our information about the application process to find out more.

Ready to apply?

You can study this course starting in either September or January each year. To apply for the upcoming course, please follow the link below:

September 2024

Start in September 2024

If you’re interested in applying for a later entry point to this Master’s, please email us on and we'll contact you when your application period opens - that is, at the end of October for a January start course, or at the end of February for a course that begins in September. 

If you'd like to discuss this course with us, you can join one of our weekly online sessions with a Learning at Work admissions officer. Contact for details on joining. 

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. 

Learn more about our student visas

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.