Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK/EU fee

£2,940 (2019/20)

International fee

£2,940 (2019/20)

Course level



PG Cert

Start dates

September, May



Online course description

This online Ergonomics postgraduate certificate course is the first stage of our popular and well-established Ergonomics Masters programme which was the first online MSc Ergonomics to be launched in Europe.

As a current or aspiring ergonomist, or a human factors professional, the postgraduate certificate level is an ideal way of learning more about this specialist subject or obtaining continuing professional development (CPD) credits to further your career. You may wish to consider continuing your study to the postgraduate diploma or the full masters at a later date.

New, from 2020

From 2020, our MSc Ergonomics is being redeveloped. If you joined the current online Ergonomics programme in September 2019, you will be able to transfer your credits from the current programme on to the new Ergonomics and Human Factors MSc or one of the diploma pathways in 2020, subject to the new Ergonomics and Human Factors MSc being successfully validated.

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

Postgraduate certificatePostgraduate certificate

Code: 7PS511

Approaches in Ergonomics

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 to gather data about people, their work and workplace. Students will get an overview of the tools available in a range of domains, begin to understand their strengths and weaknesses and have the chance to practice with a range of them. This module will help students understand what makes a good method; support them in choosing amongst the myriad of methods available; support students in deciding what level of confidence they can and should have in various methods and when that is and is not sufficient. Students will also consider the scope of ergonomics, its aims and the ergonomics approach.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of the scope and aims of ergonomics
  • Demonstrate deep knowledge and understanding of the range and characteristics of ergonomics methods and techniques available
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct and critically evaluate studies employing ergonomics methods and measurement techniques

Module content

  • The ‘Ergonomics Approach’
  • The goals of ergonomics
  • Fundamentals of methods selection
  • Analysing the individual
  • Evaluation of mental workload
  • Evaluation of physical work activities
  • Task analysis
  • Environmental assessment
  • Systems level analysis
  • Design and selection of work equipment
  • The business case for ergonomics interventions
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7PS515

Human Physical Characteristics and Ergonomics

The International Ergonomics Association defines the physical domain of ergonomics as: “Physical ergonomics is concerned with human anatomical, anthropometric, physiological and biomechanical characteristics as they relate to physical activity. The relevant topics include working postures, materials handling, repetitive movements, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, workplace layout, safety and health.” This module critically analyses these issues and the evidence-base for their impact in typical workplace performance, comfort and health problems. A central tent 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.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate deep understanding of the underlying anatomical, physiological and biomechanical issues necessary to operate in the field of ‘physical ergonomics’
  2. Critically analyse the evidence base for the impact of physical factors on work system performance
  3. Appreciate the interaction between physical issues and other factors within the workplace

Module content

  • Understanding anatomy and physiology as it relates to human performance
  • Human responses to the physical environment
  • Biomechanics and the efficiency of human movement
  • Posture and its impact upon health and performance
  • Anthropometry: the impact of body shape and size
  • Vision & lighting
  • Contribution of physical factors to common workplace problems
  • Limitations of the ‘man as machine’ analogy and it’s impact on the practice of ergonomics
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7PS526

Psychology and Human Performance

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 and psychosocial factors and goes on to consider how psychological constraints can affect human performance in its broadest sense.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically discuss and integrate knowledge across several areas of cognitive psychology
  2. Demonstrate deep knowledge and understanding of empirical research in relation to human performance
  3. Position the performance of a task in a psychological context and critically evaluate the main psychological factors and their possible inter-relations

Module content

Indicative Content: 

  • Attention
  • Visual information processing
  • Memory
  • Thinking, reasoning and decision making
  • Skilled performance
  • Human error
  • History, development and applications of cognitive psychology
  • Psychosocial factors of performance eg otivation & lifestyle
  • Individual differences and performance eg personality, stress, arousal and mood
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

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

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

Discovering Online Learning Webinar, March

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 14.00 - 15.00

During this hour long webinar, we'll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner. The webinar includes a 20 minute presentation and an opportunity to take in a Q&A.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You'll need a UK undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification in a relevant discipline. If you have key practical experience and work based training, you may also apply.

International students require equivalent qualifications and may be asked to supply references to support your application.

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language you will need an English language qualification.  For this course you will need at least one of the following:

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2019 and August 2020.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £980 3 £2,940

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.


During this course, you will develop excellent skills to help you evaluate and design tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems that are compatible with the needs and limitations of people.

Employment prospects for ergonomists can be diverse as demand for these specialist skills can be found in a range of fields from healthcare to aviation, nuclear safety to product design. Further career information is available on the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) website.

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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