Occupational Health

University College Cork

Occupational Health

Course Outline
UCC's MSc Occupational Health is a part-time programme delivered on Monday and Thursday evening from 6.15pm to 9.30pm. The programme integrates occupational health and safety into a multidisciplinary perspective. It offers students the opportunity to study modern, cutting-edge scientific concepts and research evidence on causation, prevention and management of work-related accidents, injury and disease and the promotion of physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The programme incorporates the following subject areas:
• Public Health & Health Promotion
• Psychology
• Risk Assessment and Management
• Ergonomics & Safety Science
• Occupational Medicine and Hygiene
• Law
• Training and Development
• Epidemiology & Environmental Health

This programme may be suitable for you if you are already working in occupational safety and health, or if you have a strong interest in occupational health and a primary degree in a related area. The course consists of three elements — formal course work, self-directed learning using case studies and project work leading to a thesis.

The course will cover topics including:
• Health and safety management
• Disease prevention & health protection
• Adult and organisational learning
• Health and safety culture development
• Development of interpersonal skills for occupational settings
• Risk assessment
• Health promotion
• Legal aspects of health and safety
• Research methods

On completion of this course, you will be able to:
• demonstrate an awareness of occupational health from a multidisciplinary perspective including epidemiology, psychology, public health, safety science, law and training and development, occupational medicine
• practice measures to prevent disease and injury, and to protect and promote health and safety in occupational settings
• perform risk assessments in the workplace including psychosocial risk factors
• identify the role of psychology in improving the quality of work life
• develop skills to protect and promote the safety, health and well-being of workers
• employ skills to critically appraise publications and statistics and stay up-to-date with the newest research evidence
• apply research evidence to occupational health and safety interventions and health promotion strategies by taking relevant legislation into account
• design occupational health training and development programmes in line with organisational policy
• demonstrate an understanding of a specialised area and develop critical personal reflection of experience to shape future professional practice and development;
• carry out a focused piece of scholarly research and health and safety programme evaluation.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Fitness to Practise
Commencing with the 2013/2014 intake, this programme will be subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy.

Why Choose This Course
This course offers you the opportunity to study 'classical' occupational health and safety issues, together with contemporary approaches that integrate and strategically combine workplace health and safety prevention with health and wellbeing promotion.

A particular focus of this course is on the management of psychosocial risks and work stress which constitute a growing concern for health, safety and wellbeing in industry and the private sector. The interactive format of the teaching sessions helps student networking, sharing of knowledge and practical experience. In several modules, you will work with practical case studies, engage in project work and reflective inquiry.

Throughout the course, you will be invited to masterclasses held by experts in the field. The experience and expertise of our previous graduates are also deployed through lecturing, mentoring new students and student tutoring. We support our MSc students to professionally engage in health and safety practice and research and to provide leadership to others. The course offers the opportunity to professionally network face-to-face with local academic and industry health and safety experts.

There is an opportunity to specialize in one area of occupational health by choosing a 5-credit elective module.

Approximately 70% of the course will be delivered on campus, 30% of the course will be delivered online without campus attendance. This scheduling flexibility facilitates an easier combination of course engagement with a busy professional or personal schedule. The course features a mix of traditional classroom instructions together with modern digital learning. While the traditional face-to-face teaching methods facilitate a social classroom experience, classroom discussion, hands-on skills practice and face-to-face collaboration; the digital teaching delivery provides additional online resources for guided self-directed learning, digital group work and flipped classroom.

Subjects taught

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Year 1
EH6008 Information Retrieval and Interpretation in Occupational Health and Safety (5 credits)
EH6015 Occupational Health and Safety Management in the Workplace (10 credits)
EH6059 Principles of Psychosocial Epidemiology (5 credits)
EH6060 Risk Assessment and Management of Psychosocial Work Risks (5 credits)
EH6061 Applied Research for Occupational Health (5 credits)
LW6107 Legal Aspects of Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare (5 credits)
AD6800 Training and Development Issues in Occupational Health (5 credits)
Year 2

Year 2
EH6017 Principles, Theory and Practical Application of Risk Assessment and Management Programmes in the Workplace (10 credits)
EH6041 Psychology Applied to Occupational Health and Safety (5 credits)
EH6062 Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing Dissertation (30 credits)

Elective Modules Students select one elective module from the following, subject to availability:
EH6000 Implementation Science in Health (5 credits)
EH6130 Critical Appraisal of Publications for Research and Practice (5 credits)
EH6140 Environmental Health: Principal Aspects and Burden of Disease (5 credits)
EH6159 Health Promotion II (5 credits)

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Candidates for the MSc programme in Occupational Health must meet one of the following criteria:

1. A Level 8 honours primary degree (minimum Second Class Honours, Grade 2) in a relevant area, e.g. health-related (Public Health, Nursing, Medicine, Environmental Health, Psychology/Behavioural Science, Physiotherapy); Engineering and Human Resource Management and relevant professional experience¹ or work placement in an associated Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare area;


2. A minimum of a Diploma/Higher Diploma in Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare (minimum Second Class Honours, Grade 1), from UCC, or an equivalent qualification² from another Institution (Level 8 Diploma, minimum second class honours, grade 1) and a minimum of two years relevant professional work experience¹ in an area associated with Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare;


3. Applicants with a minimum of three years' professional work experience in an associated area¹ of Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare may be invited for an interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme, under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

¹Relevant professional work experience, job title examples: Health and Safety Officers/Advisors/Managers/Coordinators; Environmental Safety Officers/Managers; Safety Engineers, Health Promotion Officers; HR Officers/Managers; Occupational Health Nurses, Health Scientists, Professional Trainers, Health and Safety Consultants.

²Level 8 examples: Diploma/Higher Diploma/International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety; Diploma in Environment Management, Diploma in Health Promotion, Diploma in Learning, Development and Work-based Training.

Technical Requirements
To access and interact with the online course content and assignments, students will require access to at least a PC/Laptop running Windows 7 or later and Mac OSX 10.7.4. Common plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight, Java and Flash will also be required. Students must have access to MS Office or an equivalent suite of applications such as Libre Office. They must also have access to a modern standards-compliant web browser. UCC recommends either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

To engage productively and successfully with the content, basic technical computer skills such as familiarity with word processing, web browsing and email is recommended

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland:
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC

- Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note that you will be asked to fill in a supplementary information form as part of the application process for this programme. This form is viewable here - Supplementary Questions - MSc Occupational Health (Campus Based) CKX06.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Not currently open to Non-EU applicants.

Assessment Info

There are four written exams in year 1 of the course. In addition to exams, there will be continuous assessments through oral presentations, group work and written essays.

During year 2, you will be required to undertake a group project and a reflective case study. An important aspect in this year is the formulation of a research project. The thesis assessment will involve submitting a dissertation and journalistic article based on your dissertation.


24 months Part-time.

Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time programme will be taught on most Monday and Thursday evenings from 6.15 pm to 9.15 pm for 18 months followed by a self-directed and supervised research activity over 2 years and also includes online teaching and learning components, such as pre-recorded and live online delivery of lectures, interactive seminars, online discussion boards and online activities including quizzes and interactive case studies.

Approximately 70% of the teaching is delivered on campus, 30% is delivered online.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: Next intake September 2021

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
There is a continuous demand for experts trained in the area of occupational health, safety and wellbeing across all sectors of work with many career opportunities. The course encourages a proactive approach in assessing and controlling both physical and psychosocial work hazards in an effort to prevent disease, injuries and accidents at work; to promote health and wellbeing, and to create safe and healthy work cultures and conditions.

After completion of this MSc in Occupational Health, some of the many career options open to you include:
• managerial responsibilities in industry or public sector
• occupational health care specialist responsibilities
• consulting
• lecturing
• research
• human resources, welfare
• human factors ergonomics, safety engineering
• Health Service Executive
• Health and Safety Authority

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Evening

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    Course provider