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.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards any of these MSc qualifications.

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?

How you’ll study

Online learning

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.

Your teaching

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.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from highly qualified and experienced tutors, engineers and experts from the University and industry itself.

Industry input

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.

Your course coordinator

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:

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.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 September 2023
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