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Course content

The MSc in Occupational Health is a part-time distance e-learning programme that offers knowledge and expertise in the science underpinning occupational health and safety.

It offers a convenient means for nurses, doctors, health and safety advisors or managers with busy work schedules and other responsibilities, to gain a postgraduate degree in Occupational Health.

The emphasis is on common occupational health and safety issues encountered in the workplace.

The course encourages self-directed learning, critical thinking and comparative analysis of occupational health systems and practice. This is done within a structured and dynamic on-line learning environment that provides interactive multidisciplinary learning and the opportunity for mutual support and collaboration. 


All students register initially for the MSc.

The MSc consists of three stages:

• Stage T1 (first taught stage)
This stage lasts for one academic year, and consists of three 20-credit modules, totalling 60 credits, at Level 7.

• Stage T2 (second taught stage)
This stage lasts for one further academic year, to a total of 2 academic years for stages T1 and T2, and consists of a further three 20-credit modules at least to the value of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a total of at least 120 credits at Level 7.

• Stage R: MSc research dissertation stage
This stage lasts for one further academic year, to a total of three academic years for the full MSc programme (stages T1, T2 and R), and includes a dissertation of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a total of at least 180 credits at Level 7 to complete the MSc programme.

The total normal duration to complete the full MSc programme (stages T1, T2 and R) is three academic years on a part-time basis, from the date of initial registration on the MSc programme.

You may exit after stage T1 with a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert), if you have gained at least 60 credits, only where this includes the award of credit for three particular modules.

You may exit after stage T2 with a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip), or progress to the MSc dissertation, if you have gained at least 120 credits, only where this includes the award of credit for four particular modules.

Your dissertation, which will normally be no longer than 20,000 words and supported by such other material as may be considered appropriate to the subject, will embody the results of your period of project work. The subject of each student’s dissertation will be approved by the Chair of the Board of Studies concerned or his/her nominee.

Core modules:

Occupational Risk Assessment & Control
Occupational Health Law & Ethics
Occupational Health Statistics, Epidemiology & Evidence Based Practice
Occupational Health Processes & Management
Dissertation: Occupational Health (Policy and Practice)


During the taught stages, formative assessment will include online discussions examining specific occupational health issues. Summative assessment will consist of written assignments examining aspects of occupational health theory and practice, enabling the student to critically appraise the context and scientific literature, demonstrate a detailed understanding of the topic and reflect on how their new knowledge will affect their practice.

The MSc dissertation stage will be wholly assessed based on the final dissertation. Expectations for the format, submission and marking of the dissertation will follow the current Senate Assessment Regulations, supplemented where appropriate with additional requirements of the Programme/School/College and any specific requirements arising from the nature of the project undertaken.

During the Master’s stage you will be expected to keep in regular contact with your supervisor. You will also complete a progress report every two months in conjunction with your supervisor.

Career Prospects

At present there is a shortage of occupational health clinicians/practitioners of all levels in the UK. Although this course will not give you formal professional accreditation, it provides the opportunity to gain a sound basis of knowledge for practice, and demonstrates a commitment to your own further professional development in occupational health.

For qualified doctors wanting to enter specialist training in occupational medicine, the Postgraduate Diploma stage of the course will provide knowledge of the bulk of the topics needed for part 1 of the Membership Exam of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (MFOM). Further information on specialist training can be found on the Faculty of Occupational Medicine Web-site.

N.B. the course does not contribute to specialist accreditation for nurses.

Visit the Occupational Health (Policy and Practice) MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!





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