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Public awareness of hazards and risks has enhanced the importance of safety assessment and management in today’s increasingly litigious society. Risk and safety issues need to be evaluated in a structured and calculated manner but in the light of an overall organisational strategy.

This course aims to provide students with advanced knowledge of risk assessment techniques, the public and individual perception of risk, and how decisions are made in competitive business markets. The course focuses on practical applications of safety methodologies, ergonomics and human factors, and safety and risk management techniques. It will develop students’ skills to undertake safety studies and manage safety and risk to the best national and international standards.

If you are interested in our courses you can join our Linked In group Safety Courses at Heriot-Watt where you can link up with other applicants, current and previous students and potential employers. Applying to join needs approval from the group owner which may take a week or two.

Online learning

Delivered only by Online Learning this course is ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. Students will have a maximum of two years from registering for each taught course until they have to complete the assessment (students can choose to sit their exam in one of over 400 exam centres around the world).

Students receive comprehensive materials for each course through an online Virtual Learning Environment.

Graduate profiles

Visit our Graduate Profiles page to learn what some of our graduates said about their experiences studying Safety and Risk Management at Heriot-Watt University.

Programme duration

An Online Learning course - whether at PgDip or MSc level - can be completed in a minimum of 2 years. On average, our PgDip courses studied via online learning are completed in 2-3 years, while MSc courses are completed in 2.5-7 years. Most students intend to complete their studies via online learning within 2-3 years.

Professional recognition

This MSc degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See http://www.jbm.org.uk for further information.

The MSc and PgDip degrees have also been accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). Graduates are eligible to join IOSH as Graduate members and then undertake an initial professional development process that leads to Chartered membership.

This course and the associate course Safety, Risk and Reliability Engineering, have been developed with the assistance of staff and ex-graduates working in relevant companies. We are also developing links with a wide range of companies in the risk management fields.

In addition, this course is also supported by the Civil Engineering Industry Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from major multi-national employers AECOM, ARUP, Balfour Beatty, Halcrow, Jacobs and WSP Group. This committee convenes regularly and advises on the course content and structure, ensuring quality, up-to-date content and relevance to industry needs.


Visit the Safety, Risk & Reliability Engineering (Distance Learning) - MSc/PGDip page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

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