September 2023 application deadline passed
Our application deadline for September 2023 for this course has passed. New dates will be added as soon as they are available.
Master the basic concepts and tools of safety and risk management within the chemical, petroleum, oil and gas, and energy industries.
- Study the technical aspects of safety and loss prevention, risk identification, quantification and management techniques.
- Expand your knowledge of process safety, safety and reliability, and applied engineering.
- Learn from the best in the business, with a university at the forefront of professional training for ambitious engineers.
You’ll attain vital skills and a career advantage as a graduate or practising engineer.
What you’ll study
You’ll explore risk-assessment tools and the fundamentals of safety and risk management.
You’ll gain an introduction to:
- risk assessment and classical reliability theory
- ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) as a principle
- safety regulatory frameworks
- hazard identification, including brainstorming, checklists, safety performance indicators, incident and inspection reports, structured what-if technique (SWIFT), and safety audits.
You’ll also cover the following:
- Risk assessment techniques, including reliability block diagrams, event trees, fault trees, failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
- Major accident prevention policies (MAPP)
- Safety procedures and inherently safe design
- Reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM)
- Failure analysis and maintenance
- Bowtie diagrams, to analyse and demonstrate causal relationships in high-risk scenarios
- Layers of protection analysis (LOPA)
- Overview of safety standards and functional safety
- Case histories
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Describe the concept and rationale of ALARP and how to achieve it.
Explain risk identification techniques and how to apply selected techniques for industrial processes and operations.
Use selected qualitative, quantitative and semi-quantitative techniques for risk identification and management.
Develop quantitative methods of risk management for new processes and existing operations.
Develop quantitative frameworks for reliability, availability and maintenance for selected industrial processes.
Communicate the legal framework for risk and reliability assessment.
Why study Engineering online with the University of Aberdeen?
Flexible hours and 24/7 access, so you can study when it suits you.
Led by industry
Your course content is developed and reviewed by an Industry Advisory Board, so your training is always cutting edge and industry-relevant.
20% alumni discount
University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.
How you’ll study
This distance-learning Safety and Risk Management course is delivered flexibly online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
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:
- online lectures and tutorials
- reading materials
- discussion boards with your colleagues and tutors
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
You’ll learn from highly qualified and experienced tutors, engineers and experts from the University and industry itself.
You’ll also benefit from the direct input of an Industry Advisory Board. It constantly reviews your course content to ensure you’re gaining the latest industry knowledge and are up to speed with emerging trends, technologies and career opportunities.
Based in Aberdeen, we’re able to attract industry leaders from a range of sectors to deliver lectures for you. As well as imparting their knowledge and experience, they’ll help you explore your career options.
You’ll be assessed online. Assessment will take place throughout the teaching term.
Types of assessment for this course may include:
- online quizzes
- timed online open-book assessments.
Your assessments will have submission deadlines, either during or at the end of the course. Your course coordinator will let you know when your assessment deadlines are, so you can plan your study time accordingly.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your course coordinator
Dr Henry Tan
Dr Tan is a Senior Lecturer in Safety and Reliability Engineering and Subsea Engineering at the University. His research seeks to address challenges in the energy and safety industries.View Henry’s profile
Where this will take you
Towards a Masters
You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:
Masters in Oil and Gas Engineering
Join an accredited online Masters degree delivered from the Energy Capital of Europe. Master the skills and technologies you need to pursue a career in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry.View MSc Oil and Gas Engineering
Masters in Process Safety
Become a qualified process safety engineer, ready to work in any chemical processing sector. Join an IChemE-accredited online degree you can fit around full-time work.View MSc Process Safety
Masters in Safety and Reliability Engineering
Become a world-class safety engineer, wherever you’re based, with our accredited online MSc. Train online with internationally experienced safety engineers and learn direct from industry.View MSc Safety and Reliability Engineering
Build your learning
We offer a range of specialist online Engineering and technology courses you can use to build your skills.
Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:
This course is designed to help you develop your career in safety and reliability engineering and risk management. There’s a continuing high demand for people with specialist knowledge in these areas as a result of:
- new legal requirements to assess and control industrial risks to people and the environment
- the need to create high-integrity engineering systems in many industries.
The concepts you’ll learn on this course are applicable to any industry, not just oil and gas.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
We welcome students from all over the world.
See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.
English language tests and scores
If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept for this course or degree.
These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
- 6.0 for writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 18 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.
For this course, you’ll apply through our Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents. Our admissions team will then review these and contact you.
Documents you’ll need to apply for this course
- Degree transcript
- Personal statement
Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use the Applicant Portal.
Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.
September 2023 intake
For our September 2023 intake, the application deadline is 3 September 2023.
You will need to accept your offer and provide any outstanding documents to meet the conditions of your offer by 10 September 2023.
Teaching starts on 18 September 2023.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
This course includes many of the same learning outcomes as our online short course in Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis. We do not recommend that you study this course alongside Engineering Risk and Reliability Analysis.
For entry to this course, we’d expect you to hold a relevant degree.
However, your application will also be considered if you have alternative qualifications combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience.