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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK fee

£3,030 (2020/21)

International fee

£3,030 (2020/21)

Course level



PG Cert

Start date




Online course description

If applying for September 2020 intake:
Application deadline is 6 September and term starts 21 September, so apply now.

Ergonomics and Human Factors is a dynamic and evolving profession gaining greater attention as we see an increasing emphasis on a holistic human-centred approach to product and service design for optimal usability and user-experience.

This Postgraduate Certificate in Ergonomics and Human Factors is the first stage of our Masters in Ergonomics and Human Factors. Made up of three core modules, it introduces ergonomics and human factors, before going on to look in further detail at the psychological aspects of ergonomics and then physical ergonomics.

This is a contemporary course suited to practicing or aspiring Human Factors/Ergonomics practitioners as well as those who are keen to learn more about the systems approach to design adopted by the Human Factors/Ergonomics profession.

The course has been developed by subject matter experts and qualified Human Factors Professionals/Ergonomists, 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 academic team continue to practice in industry as Chartered Human Factors Practitioners. They are passionate about the Human Factors profession and advocates of the quality and productivity benefits that the approach brings.

This Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) can be completed in one year making it an ideal course if you are seeking a postgraduate qualification for your personal and professional development but are not ready to commit to a full Masters award.

26thout of 121 UK institutions**Guardian University Guide 2020
Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

Accredited by Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF)

The Masters in Ergonomics and Human Factors programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).

Whilst studying the Postgraduate Certificate, 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.

A stepping-stone to a Masters qualification

This Postgraduate Certificate is the first stage of the Masters (MSc) in Ergonomics and Human Factors course. Upon completing the PG Cert, you may wish to progress onto the next stage which is the Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) before going on to complete the full MSc.

At either the Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) or Masters (MSc) stage, you can opt for one of the following pathways depending in your choice of optional module:

What you will study

The Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Ergonomics and Human Factors comprise three core 20-credit modules, totalling 60 credits at level 7.

Each of the below modules can also be studied as an individual 10-week course to achieve a Certificate of Credit.

We will advise you of your study plan when you are invited to enrol.

Postgraduate CertificatePostgraduate Certificate

Code: 7PS567

Cognitive Ergonomics and Psychology

This module will begin with a holistic view of ergonomics/human factors, to show how the module fits with the course, and subject as a whole.

The module will cover what is sometimes referred to as ‘Cognitive Ergonomics’ but goes beyond this to consider how an understanding of psychology impacts upon ergonomics/human factors in its broadest sense. Human performance is informed by psychology, as it is necessary to understand the psychological processes that allow people to perform tasks and understand how people behave in certain situations. This module presents a framework of key cognitive factors, psychosocial factors, and individual differences, and goes on to consider how psychological influences can affect human performance, health and wellbeing.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7PS568

Fundamentals of Ergonomics and Human Factors

This module will begin with a holistic view of ergonomics and human factors, where you will consider the fundamental areas of ergonomics and human factors such as safety, comfort, performance, health, and wellbeing.

The module will introduce design and the design process, user needs, usability and UX (user experience), to encourage you to consider the needs and desires of different user groups.

In ergonomics, when first being introduced to a system or problem we need to evaluate, its current status using both objective and subjective means. Therefore, this module covers a range of methods used as part of the design process to gather data about how people interact with products, their work, workplace, leisure, and daily activities. This module will help you understand what makes a good method, and to choose the most appropriate method.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7PS569

Physical Ergonomics

This module will begin with a holistic view of ergonomics/human factors, to show how the module fits with the course, and subject as a whole.

This module will help you to understand the physical domain in ergonomics/human factors including anatomy, physiology, anthropometry, and biomechanics.

The module will cover the impact of the physical environment (noise, vibration, vision, and thermal environments), work-related musculoskeletal disorders, workplace layout, safety and health. You will also explore emerging issues in physical and mental health: the ageing population, obesity, sedentary lifestyles. This module critically analyses these issues and the evidence-base for their impact in typical workplace performance, comfort and health problems. A central tenet of the module is the idea of optimisation of the work situation and with this the strengths and weaknesses of ‘physical ergonomics’ as an approach are discussed.

More information
20 Credits

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.

How you will learn

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 self-supported 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 trimesters. We recommend around 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

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.

Who will teach you

Victoria Filingeri with laptop

Dr Victoria Filingeri
Programme leader

Academic Lead in Ergonomics, Dr Victoria Filingeri, completed her BSc Psychology with Ergonomics, MSc Health Psychology, PhD and postdoctoral research at Loughborough University, looking into crowd behaviour, rail safety (funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board), teenagers trespassing (funded by Network Rail), and the ageing population.

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Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Study Ergonomics and Human Factors Online Webinar

Monday, 24 August 2020 16.00 - 17.00

Join this webinar to discover more about studying Ergonomics online at Derby. The webinar includes a 30 minute presentation from Dr Melinda Lyons, Academic Lead and Senior Lecturer in Ergonomics.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You should possess one of the following:

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:

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £1,010 3 £3,030

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course 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.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Application deadlines

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 Postgraduate Certificate is designed to support your career development within the profession, however you may wish to progress onto the full Masters award before considering further qualifications such as a PhD.

As the first stage of qualifying course for graduate membership with the CIEHF, this Postgraduate Certificate will support your logbook record of development and experience which can be used towards becoming a registered member of the CIEHF.

The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors is an excellent resource for employment opportunities and for information about gaining experience in ergonomics. You will be able to access their resources, events and membership community through your student membership for the duration of your studies.

The Postgraduate Certificate qualification will be of value to Chartered Ergonomists/ Human Factors professionals seeking postgraduate level CPD. It will also benefit those working in allied professions to broaden your skill set and enhance your service offering, to build on your professional development or to create new career openings.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

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