Skip to main content

What influences human performance and safety in the workplace?

Join our human factors course, which spans disciplines including anatomy, physiology, psychology and biomechanics, to understand how people perform in different circumstances. Learn how to use human factors to reduce human error, increase productivity, and enhance workplace safety and comfort.

  • Access the latest research and expertise from academia and industry.
  • Gain unique insight into human behaviour at work.
  • Discover the latest interventions designed to increase safety and performance.

Whatever your industry, you’ll gain the tools and knowledge you need to evaluate and improve safety in your own place of work.

Introduction to Human Factors

Watch part one of Dr Amy Irwin’s workshop for an illustrated introduction to Human Factors.

What will I study?

You’ll learn about the factors that can enhance and limit human performance and safety at work.

You’ll gain insight into human behaviour:

  • How we work together
  • How we make decisions
  • The impact workplace environment has on our ability to work safely and effectively

You’ll cover the latest research in this area.

Looking to the future, you’ll also explore the development of interventions designed to increase safety and performance in the workplace.

Case studies

An integral aspect of the course is the evaluation of real-life events, including Deepwater Horizon, Apollo 13 and the Tenerife aircraft disaster. You’ll use these case studies to learn what can go wrong, and how workers on the frontline can mitigate or reduce the likelihood of accident or injury.

Topics covered

  • Large-scale disasters from a human factors perspective
  • How the human element can be a positive influence
  • Human factors methods: qualitative and quantitative, from interviews to questionnaires
  • Non-technical skills: teamwork, leadership, decision-making, situation awareness
  • How non-technical skills can enhance safety performance
  • Four key aspects of the workplace environment: heat, light, noise and vibration
  • Workplace design from a psychological perspective
  • Assessing the impact of stress and fatigue on safety and performance
  • Risk assessment and management strategies

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Identify and manage factors that influence human performance and safety.
  • Consider workplace design from a psychological perspective.
  • Assess the impact of stress, fatigue and environmental factors.
  • Enhance safety performance with non-technical skills.

How will I study?

Our Human Factors in Industrial Practice course is delivered part-time, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • case studies
  • problem-solving exercises
  • group activities
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Your tutors

The course is taught at Masters level by human factors experts from academia and industry, including psychologist Amy Irwin. Amy has conducted extensive human factors research within engineering, offshore drilling, agriculture, aviation and healthcare.

You’ll also learn from your fellow students. Studying online alongside professionals who may be based all over the world, you’ll be in a unique position to learn about best practices across industry sectors globally.

Your course coordinator

Where will this take me?

Further learning

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards further study. The course is an ideal taster to continue your professional development with:

Find out more about credits.

Careers

Whatever your industry, you’ll gain career-enhancing skills and expertise on this course.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Stephanie Hopps

Human factors is a broad topic, but this course broke it down and linked it directly to industry. It’s really helped me understand how human factors can be applied to my own industry in particular. I’m involved with educating the workforce at Wood, both on site and in the office, and I frequently find myself referring to the presentations and the research papers used and referenced in the course.

Stephanie Hopps, Group HSE Advisor, Wood

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Am I ready?

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Cost
£795