The MSc in Safety and Human Factors in Aviation is designed to provide industry with successful and well equipped graduates who can make a real and lasting improvement to performance and safety through the application of skills and knowledge learned on the course. Our course attracts a wide variety of students from aviation professionals in civil and military domains to high-quality graduates in engineering and social science disciplines. The wide range of skills and knowledge represented by students on the course provides a learning environment unique to Cranfield University.
Demand for human factors and safety expertise continues to grow. Safety critical systems require high human performance in addition to engineering excellence to meet the safety and business requirements of the aviation industry. To meet these demands, the design of systems must match, support and augment the capabilities of the user.
Technology and organisations designed without regard for the human component can cause errors leading to costly incidents or accidents. There is an escalating need for trained human factors and safety professionals to advise on, and implement safe methods and systems of operation that address the increasing complexity and demands made on the user by modern aviation systems.
Poorly designed technology and organisations designed without regard for the human component can cause errors leading to costly incidents or accidents. There is an escalating need for trained human factors and safety professionals to advise on, and implement safe methods and systems of operation that address the increasing complexity and demands made on the user by modern aviation systems.
Duration: Full-time MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three years, Full-time PgCert - one year, Part-time PgCert - two years
English Language Requirements
If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:
IELTS - 6.5
TOEFL - 92
Pearson PTE Academic - 65
Cambridge English Scale - 180
Cambridge English: Advanced - C
Cambridge English: Proficiency - C
In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.
We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).
The MSc in Safety and Human Factors in Aviation comprises 12 modules; eight compulsory and two optional taught modules; and two group project modules. Students will also complete an individual research project.
In addition to management, communication, team work and research skills, a diligent student will attain the following learning outcomes from this degree course:
- Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the elements that contribute to aviation safety including software, hardware, liveware and environment and the interfaces between them.
- Identify, evaluate and apply appropriate contemporary techniques for the evaluation of human-machine interfaces, human performance, safety performance and risk.
- Design interventions to manage threats and errors in aviation within the constraints of international standards and recommended practices.
- Apply the techniques developed above into areas of specialism including; aviation maintenance, flight deck design, training and simulation, accident investigation, occupational health and safety management.
The MSc comprises 12 modules; eight compulsory and two of the optional taught modules; and two group project modules.
- Cognitive Ergonomics
- Human Performance and Error
- Human-Computer Interaction in Aviation
- Aviation Medicine
- Research Methods
- Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems
- Aviation Safety Management
- Aircraft Accident Investigation and Response
- Flight Data Monitoring
- Air Transport Engineering
- Training and Simulation
- Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance
Each MSc student is required to undertake an individual research project. The output of this project is a written report presented in the format of a scientific paper. The project aims to provide students with an opportunity to apply the technical and analytical skills taught during the course, in a practical way. The individual research project is a chance to study a specific subject or problem area in much greater depth and use some of the techniques learned during the course. You will be assigned a supervisor who will help to guide you in your research.
Recent Individual Research Projects include:
- The analysis of behaviour associated with high workload in military air-traffic control.
- Checklist design in General Aviation.
- Safety in ground handling with Menzies Aviation.
- Pilot-autopilot conflict with Airbus.
Two group projects are completed by students:
The Capstone Group Project will provide a simulated industrial environment where knowledge and skills gained from the taught components of the course can be consolidated and applied to solving a human factors and safety problem.
The Applied Safety Assessment module will provide students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems module, in a practical scenario. In addition, the module aims to equip students with the ability to conduct a comprehensive safety assessment on an airframe whist working in a team, and to present the group work both orally and in a written report.
The taught modules (40%) are assessed by an examination or assignment.
The Group Projects (20%) are assessed by written technical reports and oral presentations.
The Individual Research Project (40%) is assessed by a written dissertation and a poster presentation.
There are strong employment prospects for graduates in safety-related management and operational positions. Course graduates generally find suitable employment in a range of safety and human factors related roles. Previous graduates of the course have been successful in gaining employment at:
- BAE Systems
- British Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
- Royal Navy.
For further information
On this course, please visit our course webpage - https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/Courses/Masters/Safety-and-Human-Factors-in-Aviation
A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent in engineering, aeronautical engineering, mathematics, ergonomics, psychology or other science. Other qualifications (e.g. HND or alternative) may be acceptable, provided that there is evidence of sufficient relevant work experience.