Safety Health & Welfare at Work

University College Cork

Safety Health & Welfare at Work

The course is offered by ACE at UCC in association with the departments of Applied Psychology, Biochemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Law, Applied Social Studies, Statistics, the College of Medicine and Health, and the Industrial Liaison Unit. It is delivered on a part-time modular basis in order to meet the needs of working professionals, who in the past have come from a variety of disciplines including HR, construction, medicine, production and engineering.

The Higher Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work is designed to help you ensure the safety, health and welfare of the Irish workforce. Though the training is directed at Irish working conditions with the emphasis on chemical, pharmaceutical, agri-industry, electronics, health care and services, the course content is sufficiently broad to allow for new situations in different industries.

Effective worker protection and prevention of work-related ill health and accidents requires a widely based knowledge of toxicology, psychology, legislation, human body responses, ergonomics and engineering. Only with knowledge of all these related areas can effective solutions be recommended.
You will learn the prevention of ill health and accidents, as well as getting specific training in prevention and protection in the workplace. On completion of the course you will be competent in dealing effectively with the majority of health and safety problems in the workplace.

This course allows you the unique opportunity to blend academic learning with your own workplace experience. This approach is at the core of adult experiential learning. You will actively participate and question during the classes, and are encouraged to bring examples of your experience to illustrate aspects of the learning experience. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds from a range of different sectors.

This course enables significant career development and opportunities. Our graduates are now located in the middle-senior levels of safety management in a variety of sectors. In addition, many of our students have returned to contribute to the Health and Safety Programmes at UCC.

Subjects taught

Year 1 Modules

AD5809: Human Factors in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (5 credits)
Behaviour based safety strategies based on observation and reinforcement principles that aim to increase levels of performance and motivation for safer working practices at individual, group and organisational levels.

The role of Cognition in the occurrence of human error in the workplace.

Identification and development of the Safety Culture within organisations, with particular focus on management Commitment , safety System, Risk, Work Pressure and Compliance.

The management of work related stress.

AD5853: Risk Management (5 credits)
Concepts of hazard and risk
Risk perception, risk awareness, risk tolerability and risk acceptance
Society and risk
Organisations and risk
Hazard and risk identification and inspection techniques
Risk management process and strategies
Risk assessment methodology
Selection and application of appropriate risk assessment techniques
Risk control techniques
Principles of prevention.

AD5854: Technical Safety and Working Safely (5 credits)
This module will cover the main elements of technical safety such as machinery safety, safe construction practice, safe workplace transport and safe maintenance/electrical procedures including the causes and consequences of failure. It will also examine how organisations can provide safe places to work including through the use of permit to work systems and adherence to codes of practice standards.

AD5857: Accident Prevention and Emergency Planning (5 credits)
Key accident causation theories, models and patterns.
Types of accidents including those related to fire (including fire prevention, management, fighting, and escape, as well as the perception and behaviour of people in a fire); explosions (ATEX); transportation of hazardous goods; and toxic waste disposal.
How to carry out accident investigation, analysis and follow-up.
Principles and goals of first aid.
How to design, develop, review and implement a range of generic, site specific and subject related emergency plans.
How to design, plan and manage a range of suitable exercises to test emergency plans.

EH5802: Occupational Health and Health Promotion (5 credits)
A broad definition of occupational health is introduced covering the most common occupational diseases and their prevention. Health promotion in the workplace is explored. The organisation of occupational health services, first aid, medical ethics, disability and rehabilitation are other issues which are addressed.

LW5801: Health and Safety Legislation (5 credits)
The evolution of health and safety legislation over the last 150 years with special reference to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. The Irish legal system; organisation of the court system; Common Law; Statute Law; European Union Law; Health and Safety Legislation.; Planning and encironmental laws; the incorporation of relevant health and safety law into organisations' health and safety policies and management systems.

Year 2 Modules

AD5810: Occupational Hygiene (5 credits)
Identification and evaluation of hazards.
Maintaining strategies, understanding and familiarisation with basic monitoring equipment.
Basic occupational hygiene; the measurement of noise and vibration; the effects of ionising radiation/non-ionising radiationl control of air-borne contaminants; thermal environment; lighting.
Controls for workplace health hazards including use of PPE.
Workplace exposure standards.
Regulatory and legal obligations.
Environmental impact of workplace hazards.
Industry case studies.

AD5856: Health and Safety Management (5 credits)
· Health and safety structures and systems: Health and safety in organisation structures; safety management systems – European standards, ISO standards, etc.; Creation of a safety culture in organisations; Safety audits, their purpose, design, techniques and review systems and associated national and international standards
· Management techniques (influencing, negotiation, communication, change management, business continuity planning, continuous improvement, etc.) to initiate, develop, promote, monitor and improve health and safety strategies, policies and organisational arrangements and overcome potential barriers
· Financial elements of health and safety: Assessment of cost to industry and the economy as a result of damage or injury; Insurance in the context of occupational health and safety; training needs analysis for health and safety.

AD5858: Researching Safety, Health and Welfare in Key Public Service Workplaces (5 credits)
Overview of Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations that are of most relevance to the public sector.
Hazard identification.
Specific health and safety issues related to key public services.
Risk assessment in public service workplaces.
How to conduct research.
How to produce a safety statement for the public service workplaces.

AD5859: Researching Safety, Health and Welfare in the Construction Sector (5 credits)
Overview of Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations (2013).
Project management under the guidelines of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations (2013).
Designation of duties in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations (2013).
Specific health and safety issues related to the construction sector.
Risk assessment in construction.
How to conduct research relating to the construction industry - the key sources of information including the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
How to produce Method Statements, Risk Assessments and Safety and Health Plans for the construction sector.

AD5860: Researching Safety, Health and Welfare in the Pharma and Manufacturing Sectors (5 credits)
Specific health and safety issues related to the pharma and manufacturing sector.
Risk assessment in pharma and manufacturing.
How to conduct research.
How to produce a safety statement for the pharma or manufacturing sector.

AD5861: Environmental Issues within Health and Safety Practice (5 credits)
EHS management systems (ISO 14001, OHSAS 8001, cGMP), Statutory licensing and reporting, water waste-water treatment systems and operation, waste management facility design and operation, risk monitoring, auditing and inspection, compliance under environmental legislation.

BC5802: Chemical Safety and Toxicology (5 credits)
The nature and properties of toxicants and hazardous chemicals 1 and 2; Chemistry: source and fundamental concepts; Routes of exposure and entry; Understand the importance of dose; Types of toxic response; Basic metabolism of compounds; Hazard Versus Risk; Risk assessment approach; Sources of information in toxicology; Carcinogens; Solvents; Metals, Hazardous liquids and gasses; Pesticide toxicology, Assessment of toxicity; Bodily reactions; Chemical hazard assessment, control and prevention; Toxicity information; Reproductive toxicology; Hepatic toxicology; Nervous system toxicology; Thresholds and occupational exposure limits.

EH5801: Epidemiology and Data Collection (5 credits)
Introduction to Occupational Epidemiology and the epidemiological approach to study design and practice. Covering major epidemiological (observational and experimental study) design types, criteria for establishing a causal relationship, the role of bias, confounding and chance in epidemiological studies. Identifying, locating and evaluating current sources of heatlh and safety information. Validity and reliability of data. Data protection. Data management. Using data - How to calculate and use descriptive and infererntial statistics, including: basic descriptive measures; means, meridians and modes; standard deviation and percentiles; histograms and bar charts, the normal distribution; the estimation of normal ranges.

Entry requirements

Applicants for entry to the Higher Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work will be at least 23 by 1 January of the year of application


i) Hold a level 8 primary degree in any discipline and have a minimum of one year relevant

work experience in a related field such as health, engineering, HR, training,

manufacturing and construction.

ii) Or candidates must hold a level 7 qualification with at least a second-class honours grade 1 in

a relevant discipline (health, engineering, manufacturing, construction, HR, training)

and have a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience in a related field such

as health, engineering, HR, training, manufacturing, and construction.

iii) Or non-graduates with at least five years’ professional experience in a relevant senior

management role in a related field such as health, engineering, HR, training,

manufacturing and construction may also be considered for admission.

Application dates

Closing Date: TBC 2023

How Do I Apply
Applicants need to be aware of the IT student checklist below before applying:

You will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) link to an external site and also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that you may wish to use as part of your studies. However, we recommend using your desktop web browser for submission of assessments.

You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. In general, we recommend the Chrome Web browser (Important Note: Internet Explorer will not work with Canvas).
We recommend a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps or more.

You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and a PDF reader. You should always use the latest version of this software. All UCC students will have access to Office 365 which includes software such as Word/Excel/Powerpoint etc. once registered.

To Apply for this course please follow the steps below:

When you log into the Application Portal:

Click Apply Online

Select Start a new Adult & Continuing Education Application

On the 2nd tab Academic Level

Select the following options:

Academic Level: Adult Continuing Education (ACE at UCC)
Course Type: ACE Part-time Courses
Academic Programme: The course title you are applying for.

During your online application you will be required to upload the following documents:

Application Statement
Birth Cert or Passport
Passport Photograph
Curriculum Vitae
English Language Test Report [if applicable]
Transcripts [if applicable]
50% of the fees are also required to complete your application.


2 years part-time

Blended - Online Lectures and In Person Workshops in UCC.

This programme will be delivered in a blended format with live online classes two evenings per week Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm-9.30pm (some classes will be shorter).

For some modules pre-recorded materials will be released in advance of the live class to facilitate discussion. Approximately once a month there will be in-person class/workshop in UCC held on Saturdays.

We hope that this blended format will provide the best of online learning techniques with the best of in-person interaction and networking in the in-person classes.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2024

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Daytime,Evening,Part time,Weekend

  • Apply to

    Course provider