This course is only available by attendance-free distance learning. At present most of the course is not available on-campus and we do not plan to run it as an on-campus course in the near future. Distance learning students receive comprehensive module study packs by post. A PC with e-mail and Internet access is essential.
The minimum recommended duration is two years for distance learning, although the structure is flexible and the course can be taken over up to seven years. There are three possible start dates per year in October, January and May. Exams for all modules are run in late April with the chance to take exams for most modules (all but one at present) in September too. Remote exams can be set up at a small extra fee in most parts of the world.
The course comprises 8 taught modules of approximately 120 study hours in total. All modules have written examinations and some have compulsory coursework elements. This is followed by a 5 month individual project (MSc) or a 2 month project (Diploma). For distance learners unable to commit to a full time project, the duration will be extended as appropriate.
For the project component of the courses distance learners are likely to develop something based in their country of residence with advice from staff in the School. This may well include work with a local company or may involve independent study. Students usually receive some form of financial support from the company involved when on an industrial placement and may get travel grants when studying abroad under an exchange agreement at a European university. Students receive academic supervision throughout the project period from Heriot-Watt staff. Individual arrangements will be set up with each student. Presentation arrangements will also be set up individually.
Three of the modules are available on-campus as they are run for other courses. It may be possible for some distance learning students to attend parts of the on-campus teaching sessions if it is convenient. To do so they would need to make sure that the member of staff teaching the course and course leader are willing to accommodate them and that there is space available in the class. There is no guarantee that this will be possible. If a student wished to take whole modules on-campus then we might be able to offer a mixed mode of delivery in the future. In this case it is likely that fees would be calculated on an individual module basis.
There is an increasing demand for personnel to be able to cross the divide between the technical expertise of safety engineering and the management of an organisation and its employees. To be effective in this role requires a good understanding of many complex safety issues whilst appreciating the wider picture. In addition the contribution of safety related losses in a business strategy is often overlooked. For example, minor slips, trips and manual handling operations account for the largest proportion of staff time lost to work-related ill-health and injury. It is thus important that a safety and risk manager should have a good understanding of the major safety issues likely to affect the function of the organisation.
Graduates from our sister MSc in Safety, Risk and Reliability Engineering have been in high demand for many years. Many of them have ended up working in consultancies or major hazard industries in a wide range of safety related roles. We often cannot provide enough graduates to fulfil demand from employers. The new MSc should also appeal to many of the same employers but may attract interest from some of the less hazardous industries where safety is beginning to be seen as an investment. This course should direct students towards careers in the more managerial or human factors aspects of safety and risk. We hope there will be a similar high demand for our new graduates with equivalently high starting salaries at perhaps 10-20% higher than other graduates.
The content of the modules is designed to give a sound understanding of the principles, techniques, and philosophy on which safety and risk management is based.
The 8 modules are as follows:
* Risk Assessment and Safety Management (also available on-campus)
* Managing Risk
* Human Factors (also available on-campus)
* Ergonomics and Safety in Design
* Fire Safety, Explosions and Process Safety (also available on-campus)
* Environmental Impact Assessment (optional tutorials)
* Project Management Theory and Practice
* Learning from Disasters
Students choose a topic for their dissertation/project report that aligns with the research interests of staff in the School and/or relates to aspects of their employer; or interests that they wish to develop further.