Occupational Health - Online

Course Outline
UCC's MSc Occupational Health is a part-time programme delivered wholly online offering students a structured programme with a flexible mode of learning. 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.

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

Students can then apply this knowledge to practice.

The interactive format of the teaching sessions is conducive to student networking and the sharing of knowledge and practical experience. In several modules students will work with practical case studies, engage in project work, reflective inquiry and discussion.

This 90-credit MSc in Occupational Health online programme meets the needs of the busy professional, offering a flexible, yet structured, approach to learning. The programme is designed to allow people to undertake their studies while working simultaneously with the intention to meet work, personal and academic requirements. . This programme consists of 90-credits modules, 70-credit of taught modules and a 20-credit research dissertation module.

Why Study this Course?
Our programme integrates 'classical' occupational health and safety with 'modern' approaches applicable to a wide range of industries, the health care sector and public administration. We address risk assessment and management of both psychosocial and physical hazards in the workplace and include approaches to prevent accidents and injuries combined with the promotion of health and wellbeing in the workplace. The course has a special focus on psychosocial aspects of work, which are becoming more and more relevant in modern occupational health and safety management. For example, we address work organisation and stress factors relevant to health and safety such as work demands, control, social support, working hours, workplace bullying and violence and work-related injuries and illnesses with a psychosocial component such as musculoskeletal injuries and mental health problems. The presentation of the content is informed by the most up-to-date research evidence and applied to practice. The breath of content and research methods is taught through a trans-disciplinary approach. Our programme teaches health and safety in practice with real-life scenarios for students to learn from. Students will learn how to conduct appropriate risk assessments to optimise health, safety and wellbeing, how to design health promotion and wellbeing programmes and how to prevent accidents and injury for employees in their workplace.

Graduates are also equipped with up to date skills to research and evaluate factors that contribute to a safe and healthy physical & psychosocial work environment and will be supported to publish their dissertation in scientific peer-reviewed journals. For those who would like to continue their study in Occupational Health, we offer participation in ongoing research projects and PhD options in Occupational Health. Our excellent academic staff graduated from renowned academic institutions such as UC Berkeley, Harvard and University College London. Our lecturers originate from around the world including Ireland, Germany, South Africa, India, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and are well experienced in accommodating an international community of students and to address international and global perspectives to occupational health issues.

Course Practicalities
The programme is a completed value of 90 credits. Each 10-credit module will be delivered over 8 weeks and 5-credit modules delivered over 4 weeks with one module being delivered at a time according to the pre-determined programme calendar. Each 10-credit module consists of an estimated Student Workload of 200 hours and it is 100 hours for a 5-credit module.

This consists of online:
• Self-directed learning, required readings and subject investigation
• E-tivities (e.g. student quizzes and regular participation in discussion boards)
• Preparation of written and/or oral assignments.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives
• Demonstrate an awareness of occupational health from a multidisciplinary perspective including occupational medicine, epidemiology, psychology, public health, safety science, law and training and development;
• Practise measures to prevent disease and injury, and to protect and promote physical and mental health, safety and wellbeing in occupational settings with application of the newest research evidence;
• Perform risk assessments and management in the workplace for both physical and psychosocial risk factors;
• Employ skills to critically appraise publications and statistics and stay up-to date with the newest research evidence;
• Design occupational health and safety training and development programmes in line with organisational policy;
• Design and carry out an ethical piece of scholarly research and health and safety programme evaluation;
• Systematically search and select credible and accurate sources of information for Occupational Health and Safety practice and research;
• Demonstrate an understanding of a specialised area and develop critical personal reflection of experience to shape future professional practice and development;
• Demonstrate an understanding of the major legal principles relevant to occupational health and safety, employment and the environment.

Entry requirements

Candidates for the MSc programme in Occupational Health Online must meet one of the following criteria:
• An NFQ Level 8 honours bachelor degree (minimum Second Class Honours, Grade 2) in a relevant area, for example a health-related field (such as: Public Health, Nursing, Medicine, Environmental Health, Psychology/Behavioural Science, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy); a business-related field (such as: Human Resource Management, Management and Law), engineering-related (such as: Ergonomics, Systems Engineering) or science-related (such as: Industrial Hygiene, Environmental Science). Relevant professional experience or work placement is desirable in an area relevant to occupational health, safety, welfare and wellbeing practice and/or research;

• A minimum of an NFQ Level 8 Diploma/Higher Diploma in Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare (minimum Second Class Honours, Grade 1), from UCC or an equivalent qualification** from another Institution (NFQ Level 8 Diploma, minimum second class honours, grade 1) AND a minimum of one year's professional work experience* in an area relevant to Occupational Health, Safety, Welfare and Wellbeing practice and/or research;

• Applicants with a minimum of three years' professional work experience and / or evidence of continuous professional development/ training in an associated area* of Occupational Health, Safety, Welfare and Wellbeing may be invited for interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme.

*Areas of relevant professional work experience include, but are not limited to fields such as: Health and Safety; Environmental Safety; Safety Engineering; Health Promotion; Work Psychology; Ergonomics; Human Resources; Training and Development; Occupational Health Nursing; Health Science.

**Level 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 course content, assignments and assessments etc., 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 available at https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/

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.

Assessment Info

A range of continuous assessments are used across the modules. These may include essays, case studies, online presentations, quiz, accumulative report writing, reflective journal and E-tivities.

Subjects taught

Students take modules to the value of 90 credits as follows:
Part I - Year 1
• EH6107 Principles and Practices of Occupational Health and Safety (10 credits)
• EH6109 Occupational Health and Safety Management in the Workplace (10 credits)
• EH6153 Quantitative Research and Epidemiology (10 credits)
• LW6109 Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Law (10 credits)
• AD6073 Training and Development Issues in Occupational Health (online) (5 credits)

Part I - Year 2
Core Modules
• EH6110 Risk Assessment and Implementation of Health and Safety Management Programmes (Online) (10 credits)
• EH6141 Psychosocial Epidemiology (5 credits)
• EH6142 Risk Assessment and Management of Psychosocial Risks (5 credits)

Elective Modules
Students choose one module from:
• 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)

Part II
• EH6114 Dissertation in Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing (20 credits)

See College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on the modules.


20 months Part-Time online
Course Delivery Method: Online

Additional Teaching Mode Information
This programme will be taught online over 22 months. As this is a structured Masters programme, students have to engage with their coursework consistently for the duration of each module.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 26th August 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
• Graduates already working in OSH or Occupational Health can progress in their career and move to higher-level managerial positions (e.g. Health and Safety Manager, Health Promotion Manager, Occupational Health and Wellbeing Manager),
• Graduates who changed their career can move into employed positions in different industries, common job titles: occupational health officer, safety officer, health & safety officer, health and safety coordinator, quality officer, occupational health promotion officer, occupational health and wellbeing officer, environmental health officer, health and safety adviser, environmental health officer and ergonomist. Some of these posts may require further qualifications,
• Graduates can also apply for jobs in regulatory agencies, e.g. as safety inspector,
• Graduates can set up their own Health and Safety or Health Promotion Consultancy Business,
• Others may stay in their current position (e.g. as HR manager, safety engineer, occupational health nurse) and apply their broadened knowledge). The MSc in Occupational Health also offers the opportunity to furhter engage in research in this area and to pursue a PhD.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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