MSc in Occupational Health: Policy and Practice

n/a (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / Varies (Distance / E-Learning)

Course Aims:

The MSc/ Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health is a distance e-learning course that offers knowledge and expertise in the science underpinning Occupational Health and Safety, problem-solving skills, current and developing practice in the area. It's aim is to develop a research focus to enhance occupational health practice from a multi-professional perspective. The distance learning MSc / Diploma course offers a convenient means of acquiring the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc in Occupational Health for nurses, doctor, health and safety advisors or managers with busy work schedules and other responsibilities.

Course Description:

Apart from the three day introductory course in Cardiff, the distance learning MSc / Diploma in Occupational Health is delivered entirely on-line and face-to-face contact is not required. Participants are expected to collaborate through Blackboard, the University’s virtual learning environment.
The emphasis in the MSc/Diploma course is on common occupational health and safety issues encountered in the workplace environment. Areas and concepts covered include:

  • The prediction, recognition, evaluation and control of biological, physical, mechanical, chemical and psychosocial hazards in the workplace;
  • The application of epidemiology and statistics to occupational health problems;
  • Problem-solving in occupational health and critical appraisal of published evidence;
  • Clinical, toxicological, psychological, ethical and legal perspectives;
  • Placement and fitness for work;
  • Occupational rehabilitation and employment of the disabled;
  • Regulatory aspects of occupational health.

This course covers the majority of the competencies for specialist training as set out by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. Many of these areas and concepts will have special relevance to a number of participants on the course. However, other professionals will learn the major issues so that their understanding can be enhanced along with their role as part of the team protecting the health resource of their business.

The Course materials are delivered on-line and participants, divided into groups, will work through tasks and case studies through on-line discussion and collaboration. Students assume responsibility for participating actively in the on-line learning process as a member of their team. Course materials will summarise information and therefore, in some respects, replace lectures. Participants are expected to contribute to the learning process according to their own backgrounds and experience in occupational health. They discuss their findings and conclusions as a group and present them to their tutors and peers.

The modular design of the course will allow focus on problem solving skills and development of an evidence based approach to occupational health issues. Course materials will identify essential reading and include self-assessment tasks. Written assignments will be completed from a large choice and will form part of the module assessment. This will be supplemented by participation in an e-conference, which will be problem-based.

Module Information:

There are two stages in the course, the “taught” modules and the Masters’ dissertation.  These are composed of several phases as set out below:

Taught Stage

Phase I: Introductory familiarisation course (three days)
Phase II: Delivery of course modules (online)
We currently offer the following modules:

  • Clinical Occupational Health Practice;
  • Management of Occupational Hazards;
  • Placement, Fitness and Rehabilitation;
  • Epidemiology, Statistics and Evidence-Based Medicine;
  • Law and Ethics in Occupational Health Practice;
  • Health Promotion and Occupational Health Service Management;
  • Environmental Management;
  • Occupational Mental Health.

Masters' Stage

Phase III: Choice of dissertation
Phase IV: Completion of dissertation
Phase V: Award of MSc Degree


Assessment occurs at several levels. Throughout the teaching materials, on-line tests are available, which although not compulsory, assist participants in assessing their progress. There is also a summative assessment at the end of each module. This comprises participation in a problem-based e-conference, involving the on-line discussion of case scenarios or other similar focus. In addition, students submit a 3000-4,000 word written assignment, which may involve critical appraisal of the literature.
Those who successfully complete all course modules participate in all e-conferences and submit all written assignments to the required standard will be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health. Those wishing to proceed to an MSc are required to successfully submit a dissertation on an approved subject.

Special Features

  • The course is delivered online with minimum attendance only for the introductory course. .
  • The programme contains an emphasis is on practical solutions.
  • The course can be tailored to your own schedule, study style, etc.

Entry Requirements

Suitable for all those who are involved in the general area of occupational health, those concerned with policy and management issues, those involved in the development and delivery of services to employees and organisations, as well as those with academic and research interests in occupational health.

Applications are welcome from graduates in a relevant subject, e.g. medicine, nursing or other health care professions, with an interest in and experience of occupational health services. Applicants without a degree, but with appropriate vocational qualifications and experience in occupational health, will also be considered.

As the course will be delivered in a multiprofessional environment, applicants working in fields with only limited direct involvement with employee health issues will also be considered, e.g. trade union officers, human resource managers, scientists etc, subject to the same prior educational standards.

Tuition Fees: (2011 - 2012)

  • UK & EU Part Time:
  • TBC
  • International Part Time:
  • TBC

    Next intake: September 2011

    Course Administrator:

    Telephone: +44 (0)29 2074 6698 
    Therapeutics and Toxicology
    School of Medicine
    Cardiff University
    Heath Park
    CF14 4XN

    Useful links:

    Funding and Scholarship:

    University’s Virtual Learning Environment:

    Therapeutics & Toxicology Centre:

    This course on the Coursefinder website:

    Faculty of Occupational Medicine:

    of Medicine: