Online course details
Part-time: 3 years
£9,495 (2023/24) ‡
Online course description
Ergonomics and Human Factors is a dynamic and evolving profession gaining greater attention as we see more and more emphasis being placed on a holistic human-centred approach to design.
Organisations are increasingly seeing the value of human factors in product and service design to optimise usability and user experience. It is not unusual now for Human Factors specialists or Ergonomists to be a key stakeholder in design processes as they bring an understanding of the human-technology-systems interactions and lead a systems approach to design.
This new and contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors Masters course is suited to practitioners from around the world and from a wide range of disciplines such as design, health and safety, healthcare, computing, engineering, architecture and more.
The course has been developed by subject matter experts and qualified Ergonomists and Human Factors specialists, in close alignment with the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) curriculum, to prepare you for the demands of the human factors profession today and tomorrow.
The University of Derby has been delivering postgraduate courses in the area of Ergonomics for a number of years, introducing the first accredited online programme of its kind back in 2004. The academic team continue to practice in industry as Chartered Practitioners; they are passionate about the Human Factors profession and advocates of the quality and productivity benefits that the approach brings.
CIEHF Qualifying Course, a gateway to Graduate Membership
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF), this Masters degree is a CIEHF Qualifying Course for graduate membership. Graduates of the MSc Ergonomics and Human Factors award will be eligible to apply for Graduate Membership of the CIEHF, a significant step towards becoming a Registered Member with Chartered status, where you will be able to use the post-nominal CErgHF.
Whilst studying this programme, you will be able to register with the CIEHF as a Student Member* giving you access to their membership events and resources, as well as valuable networking opportunities, which will add real value to your studies as well as to your professional development.
*Please see CIEHF website for membership fees and details.
Specialist pathway awards
This Masters in Ergonomics and Human Factors is designed to give you flexibility to tailor your programme of study to suit your personal preferences and professional goals.
The optional module selected during the MSc will lead to one of the following named awards:
- MSc Ergonomics and Human Factors
- MSc Ergonomics and Human Factors (Healthcare)
- MSc Ergonomics and Human Factors (Behaviour Change)
Modules can be studied individually for your CPD
If you decide that a full Masters is not what you’re looking for just yet, we’ve designed our online Ergonomics and Human Factors modules, all at level 7, so that they can be completed as a short standalone course. Delivered over a 10-week term, you’ll study with the full course cohort and achieve a Certificate of Credit on successful completion of the module. So, if you are looking to build your CPD or expand your knowledge of ergonomics and human factors, then a 20 credit module is an ideal alternative.
The online Ergonomics & Human Factors programme comprises three progressive stages; Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert), Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) and Master of Science (MSc). If you are not ready to apply for the full Masters straightaway, you can apply to study for the PG Cert or PG Dip and then continue on to the next stage at that point should you wish to do so.
The Masters (MSc) in Ergonomics and Human Factors is achieved by completing six 20 credit modules (five core and one optional module). In addition there is the final research project which is a triple module, worth 60 credits, during which you will undertake an in-depth independent study.
There are 3 optional modules to choose from. The table below explains which optional module determines the named pathway award:
|Optional module||Module code||Named Pathway award|
|Contemporary Issues in Ergonomics and Human Factors
||MSc Ergonomics and Human Factors
|Ergonomics and Human Factors (Healthcare)
||MSc Ergonomics and Human Factors (Healthcare)
|Ergonomics and Human Factors (Behaviour Change)
||MSc Ergonomics and Human Factors (Behaviour Change)
We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.
We would encourage you to complete the full MSc, but if you prefer, you can apply for either the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
This course introduces key Ergonomics and Human Factors theory and debates and it is designed to transition you between the theoretical knowledge, research evidence and application in practice. With a mix of group work and independent study, the course entails a wide range of study materials, interactive activities, reading, reflection and assessments.
During your studies, you will be encouraged to consider the knowledge gained throughout the modules in the context of your own workplace and demonstrate your understanding back through the online discussion boards as well as your assessments.
Pace of study
The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend around 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester for the standard study plan.
This course is assessed entirely through coursework. You will undertake formative and summative assessments to demonstrate that you have met the module and programme learning outcomes.
Typically, assessments require you to integrate and critically evaluate the knowledge and skills covered in the modules with your own research and wide reading. Assessments will take the form of academic reports and case studies, online oral presentations and poster presentations through to developing or critiquing research proposals and conducting your own independent study.
Student support and guidance
Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:
All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.
Get a taste of the course content
Our Ergonomics and Human Factors MSc course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.
You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.
Try our course taster
You should possess one of the following:
- A UK undergraduate degree or equivalent International qualification
- Equivalent professional qualification in a relevant discipline
We will also consider applications which demonstrate evidence of relevant key practical experience and work-based training.
English language qualifications
If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:
- IELTS 6.5 (minimum of 6.5 in each module)
- TOEFL 550 (paper based) 213 (computer based) or 80 (internet based)
- Cambridge Advanced Certificate: Pass
- London Tests of English: we accept level 5 for postgraduate courses
- International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C
- International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C
- ASE Proficiency: Pass
Find out more about our English language requirements
‡2023/24 for new entrants
Starting between September 2023 and August 2024.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
||7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module)
About your fees
This figure would be the total cost of this course based on the fee in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.
If you are required to undertake any associate study or additional study as a condition of your offer for the programme, please be aware that the cost for this will be in addition to the programme cost stated above.
Flexible payment plans available
Choose from three payment plan options:
Pay monthly and only for the modules you are studying
Pay your full course fees upfront, receive 5% discount and avoid annual increases*
Pay for all modules studied in the year and receive a 5% discount (September enrolment only)*
*Please note: the discount for paying your fees up front, either for the full programme or the academic year, will only be available to students enrolling for eligible online studies between August 2023 and July 2024 and will not be available for the September 2024 intake onwards.
Masters funding options
Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.
If you are considering applying for a student loan, please also see our additional guidance on Loans for Online Students.
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out more about the Alumni discount
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.
Students should apply directly to the University.
For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.
Documents to support your application
In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:
- Official photo identification such as a passport or driving licence
- Current CV
- Where you do not have an undergraduate qualification (but do have substantial experience in the field), a reference is required to verify your ability to work to a masters level. The written reference should be supplied on headed paper from either a manager, supervisor, tutor or teacher who has worked to a masters level or above
- Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*
*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:
- Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The date of the translation
- The full name and signature of the translator, or an authorised official of the company
- The translator’s contact details
A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.
Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.
All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.
The Ergonomics and Human Factors Masters programme is designed to support your career development within the profession, however you may wish to progress onto further qualifications such as a PhD.
As a qualifying course for graduate membership with the CIEHF, you will be eligible to apply for Graduate membership of the CIEHF upon completing this Masters award. This will provide a strong platform for you to continue and pursue your aspirations of becoming a Registered Member with Chartered Status.
The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors is an excellent resource for employment opportunities and for information about gaining experience in ergonomics.
The programme also provides a suitable qualification for those working in allied professions to broaden your skills and enhance their service offering, to build on your professional development or to create new career openings.
Utilise our Careers and Employment Service
Whilst you are a student at the University of Derby, and for 3 years after you graduate, our Careers and Employment Service can assist you with job search advice, CV creation, workshops and events, as well as one-to-one appointments with employment advisers to help with career planning and interview preparation.
Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:Contact usFrequently asked questions
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