Applied Ergonomics and Human Factors (Distance Learning) MSc


Fact file

MSc Applied Ergonomics and Human Factors (Distance Learning)
Part-time only
Entry requirements
2:2 (Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
Other requirements
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This part time course is designed to give you human factors and ergonomics experience required in a range of industries.
Read full overview

The terms ergonomics and human factors are used interchangeably to describe the theory and practice of learning about human characteristics and capabilities and then using that understanding to improve people's interaction with the things they use and with the environments in which they do so. Ergonomics involves applying scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and environments for human use.  It aims to design objects, systems and tasks in such a way as to improve human safety, health, comfort and performance. This course has been designed by leading researchers in the field of ergonomics and will give you the skills and experience to apply ergonomics in real world settings. Students receive high levels of support from tutors throughout the course and distance learning means that students have the flexibility to study when and where it suits them.

The programme is designed to give graduates the human factors/ergonomics experience required in a wide range of manufacturing, service and process industries, enforcement agencies such as Local Authorities and the health service, as well as a grounding for a career in research.

Hear from Dr Paul Bowie, a graduate of this course who is now Programme Director (Safety and Improvement) for NHS Education Scotland.

Key facts

  • You will be taught by a team who are part of the internationally recognised Human Factors Research group and work as researchers and consultants in ergonomics and can share their experiences of applying ergonomics in the real world.
  • You can work at times that suit you and your employer and can carry out projects that are closely linked to the needs of your employer.
  • There are no geographical limits to this course, it can be studied from any country, all elements are through distance learning
  • On completion of the course you will have received the formal education needed to work as an ergonomist and will be eligible to join The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors as a graduate member. 
  • After completing the MSc Applied Ergonomics and Human Factors (Distance Learning), you will find that there are opportunities to continue your research within the school through an extensive PhD programme.
  • The Faculty of Engineering conducts research that has been recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (2014) as being world-leading or internationally excellent, placing it in the UK’s top ten universities for engineering Teaching Quality Assessment.

Presessional English for Academic Purposes

The Centre for English Language Education (CELE) runs a 5-week Engineering English language and study skills course. This course isdesigned in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering to prepare students going onto engineering programmes.

If you are close to the English language level you need to go on to your MSc course and you meet the entry requirements for the relevant CELE course, you may be eligible for a joint offer. This means that:

  • you only need one TIER 4 visa and CAS
  • you take a 10 or 5-week English Language and Academic Skills preparation course, and then go onto your MSc course
  • you have a guaranteed place on the MSc course
  • your progression to the MSc is automatic, provided you attend and complete all the coursework

For more details, please visit the CELE website or contact


Course details

The modules on this course are designed to lead from the theoretical basis of each topic to the practical application of that knowledge.

The final module involves you undertaking an individual project, which is intended to help you integrate your knowledge, methodology, and practical skills in an area that reflects your interests. You are actively encouraged to carry out this project within your own working environment wherever possible.

If your project is successful in advancing knowledge in your chosen area, you will be encouraged to present your findings as conference papers or journal articles.

This is a distance learning course which means you study on your own, at home or whenever suits you. You read, listen to and watch course materials, work on activities and write assignments.

This course requires an IELTS level of 6.0 (5.5 in each element) and a 2.1 (or international equivalent) in any relevant subject.

Distance learning allows you to:

  • proceed at your own pace, studying at any time of the day, 24/7 that suits you
  • benefit from online tutor support if you need help, advice or encouragement
  • take part in online self-managed learning groups and work in collaboration with fellow course participants
  • access to online information system at The University of Nottingham


The course is taught through modules on Moodle and uses virtual discussion groups and tutorials, self directed study, self managed learning groups tasks and coursework.

Moodle is a virtual  learning environment - an online electronic course management system that supports and extends communication between students and staff. It is accessed through the University website.

There are six modules in the course, two of which are research based. Each module has a value of 30 credits and represents 300 hours of study, including formal teaching, independent study, and the preparation of assessments.

The modules are:

For more details on our modules, please see the Module Catalogue.

Each module is offered over a 26-week span, normally once a year, with module start times in September and March.

Usually you will study three modules in one 12 month period. The average student will therefore gain their MSc qualification in three years. In special circumstances it may be possible to study either one module at a given time or three modules concurrently.

UK students will need to attend the University during your first year of study for one exam. Overseas students can make arrangements to take the exam in their home country.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



The fees for this course can be found on our tuition fees webpages.

UK/EU Students

Funding information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Further funding may be available through the Faculty of Engineering, details can be found on the Faculty website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.




Students in the department have gone on to a variety of different careers, including civil engineers, engineering technicians, quality assurance and regulation officers and engineering professionals.

As well as offering you the chance to pursue a fulfilling career within industry and related areas, the postgraduate programmes offered by the department provide an excellent foundation for further research and a significant number of our students continue their studies to PhD level and beyond.

Following graduation about 20% of students apply for and are
accepted onto PhD study at Nottingham in the department or at other
universities. The MSc course is not an automatic path to PhD study,
applications should be made once registered on the MSc course.

The course can enable you to:

  • prove to an employer that you are a forward thinking individual, who cares about your own professional development
  • achieve a qualification equivalent to a face-to-face degree programme
  • advance your career prospects

The course will enable you to develop:

  • your knowledge and understanding of human factors relevant to organisations and society
  • the skills that can be used in the design and management of organisational systems to improve performance, productivity and quality while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the workforce
  • ability to communicate effectively to people at all levels within an organisation
  • ability to work independently and to design and conduct independent research within an organisational context

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 91% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Engineering who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £27,592 with the highest being £40,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research 

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