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Safety Health & Welfare at Work

The Higher Diploma programme is designed to be completed over two full years (6 semesters), September to July each year

Lectures will normally be held on Fridays (9 am – 5 pm) in Stage 1 and on Tuesdays (9 am – 5 pm) in Stage 2

Attendance on occasional Saturdays will also be required; workplace site-visits will also take place outside of scheduled programme time

Programme assessment strategies are normally work-related and include continuous assessment, assignments, projects and examinations. Assignments, project work and self-directed learning may be required during the summer semester between the two academic years of study and in the final summer semester at the end of the programme

You must pass Stage 1 before you can progress to Stage 2.
This programme is suitable for persons with a professional interest in Safety and Health in the workplace, including safety advisors, managers, engineers, occupational hygienists, physicians and nurses. The Higher Diploma is recognised by the UK Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) as an academic qualification for granting Chartered Membership of the Institution.

The purpose of the part-time UCD Higher Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Programme is to provide the best educational experience for OSH practitioners in Ireland through a programme that aims to fulfil the academic competencies of Irish OSH legislation. The ultimate aim is to produce high calibre, inquisitive and dynamic OSH professionals for the Irish and international workforce. Learning takes place in a class-room environment in UCD, with some online-learning interaction, through live face-to-face engagement with peers and leading experts, including academics, regulatory authorities and multidisciplinary industry experts. For working students, experiential learning and application of learning also takes place at work. Teaching methods include face-to-face lectures, student class participation exercises, small-group classes and group work. Continuous assessment (formative and summative) is solution-focused and evidence-based, and end-of-module examinations are also held. This high-quality programme is based on the values of student-support, adult-friendliness, work-relatedness, accessibility and professional relevance.

Programme Outcomes

Have an advanced understanding of evidence based Occupational Safety and Health practices.

Be able to apply a comprehensive knowledge base to practical workplace situations.

Be able to self-evaluate their limitations and know when to call in specialist expertise

Be able to identify and critically assess occupational health and safety hazards, carry out risk assessments to a high standard, and develop and implement up to date evidence based risk control measures

Be able to advise management on, develop, direct and implement complex safety management systems and policies

Exhibit the advanced skills necessary to devise, implement and advise on safety, health and welfare procedures to benefit all workers.

Be capable in the identification, retrieval, interpretation, management, communication and utilization of relevant information to sustain arguments for the benefit of all workers.

Be capable of coping with prevailing workplace hazards and providing effective solutions to protect workers' health and safety.

Exhibit a range of adaptable transferable skills, which permit them to become lifelong learners.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have educational qualifications of at least matriculation standard (Leaving Certificate with two honours, or equivalent) including demonstrable knowledge of Physics, Chemistry or Biology.

Applicants should normally be working adults.

Priority is given to those active in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).

Applicants must be at least 23 years of age and have at least 3 years work experience at the time of application.

Some applicants will be recommended to first undertake a foundation programme to ensure their success on the Higher Diploma programme (e.g. safety and health, study skills, return to learning, science or other access course). This will be decided on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the applicant's previous academic and professional qualifications and work experience.

In exceptional cases, applicants who do not meet the matriculation requirements, but who have relevant work experience, may be considered on mature grounds. Such candidates must include a mature applicant portfolio to support their application. A portfolio would normally include evidence of successful completion of a course, which may approximate matriculation, and/or experience and training in OSH, and evidence of a good understanding of the basic sciences. Mature applicants must be working in the area of Occupational Safety and Health. If you are considering submitting a portfolio, contact the programme coordinator at 01-716 3420.


2 years part-time

The Higher Diploma programme is designed to be completed over two full years (6 semesters), September to July each year

Lectures will normally be held on Fridays (9 am – 5 pm) in Stage 1 and on Tuesdays (9 am – 5 pm) in Stage 2

Attendance on occasional Saturdays will also be required; workplace site-visits will also take place outside of scheduled programme time

Careers or further progression

On completion of this programme, successful candidates will have met the academic competency requirements to manage occupational safety and health in a variety of workplace settings. Work experience and additional professional qualifications will determine the level of competency for any individual professional. Successful completion of the programme qualifies candidates to apply for graduate membership of IOSH (UK) and, subject to experience and other entry requirements, diplomates may become a chartered member of the Institute (CMIOSH) and use the title Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner. Further information is available at

Further enquiries

Contact Name:David O'Dwyer
Contact Number:+ 353 (0) 1 716 34 23

Subjects taught

Modules Include

OSH20030 OSH Professional Skills 1
OSH30010 Safety and Health Legislation
OSH30020 Health and Safety Management
OSH30120 Occupational Health
OSH30130 Occupational Hygiene
OSH30100 OSH Literature Review
OSH30150 Statistics in Health and Safety
OSH30040 Human and Organisational Behaviour at Work
OSH20020 OSH Professional Skills 2
OSH30140 Chemical Safety and Toxicology
OSH30030 Safety Technology
OSH30220 Safety Statement

Detailed information on individual modules is available on the UCD Course Search page.

Application date

Please note, your application will be reviewed when all the necessary documents are submitted, as long as they are received before the closing date. You will need to submit:

CV (maximum 2 pages).

Copies of leaving certificate (or equivalent) or post-leaving certificate diploma or degree parchments, as well as transcripts of associated results.

If you are applying on mature grounds, you must submit your mature student portfolio.

If your first language is not English, you must submit the original certificate of completion of an English test.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake:2018/2019 September

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