Course overview

Our flexible Workplace Health and Wellbeing MSc (Distance Learning) will help you develop the knowledge to become an effective research-practitioner. You’ll gain a critical insight into scientific theory and evidence that informs the management of health and wellbeing in the contemporary work setting and develop a skillset for evidence-based practice.

Our curriculum is constantly evolving to reflect the changing world of work. You'll be taught by academics with an international research reputation and nationally-recognised leaders from the private and public sectors.

You'll study part-time and online. However, you'll have the opportunity to visit the campus for a two-day residential twice a year. International students may study the entire course online.

You'll learn with a cohort from a variety of occupations and backgrounds. The course is suitable for those who currently work in the field, those who have a health and wellbeing remit within a broader (often unrelated) role, and those who aspire to move into this area.

This advanced degree from Nottingham will see you graduate with the knowledge to foster a culture where employee health and wellbeing is recognised as a critical foundation for organisational effectiveness.

Why choose this course?

Flexible learning

Our distance learning approach means you can study when and where you want

No exams

The course is purely assessed by coursework, meaning you won't have worry about exams

Leading experts

Learn from research-active internationally recognised experts in the field

Course content

The course is composed of core modules that are designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills required to protect and promote workplace health and wellbeing. The taught elements of the modules are typically delivered between September and June.

Depending on the route you choose the length of your course and the modules you take will differ. Your first year of study involves three taught modules, which totals 60 credits, this makes up the PGCert.

MSc and PGDip students will then take a further three taught modules in their second year, this totals 120 credits and makes up the PGDip.

MSc students will then take the research project module to achieve a total of 180 credits. This can be taken in your second year alongside the taught modules or separately in a third year. Many research projects generate important findings that are subsequently published in academic journals and practitioner outlets.


Management of Workplace Health 20 credits

To effectively manage workplace health and wellbeing we need a shared understanding of these concepts. This module explores the definition and measurement of workplace, health, and wellbeing. Approaches to the identification of new and emerging risks and opportunities are considered alongside strategies for the prioritisation and targeting of workplace health and wellbeing activities.

Work-related Stress, Organisations and Culture 20 credits

Work-related stress is a leading cause of ill-health and impaired organisational effectiveness. This module establishes the scale of the problem and the imperative for its management, considers leading theoretical models that provide an explanatory framework for the causes and consequences of work-related stress, and examines the application of these models in the workplace.

Absence, Rehabilitation and Retention 20 credits

Attendance is fundamental to organisational effectiveness. But what is meant by attendance in the contemporary workplace and do our traditional conceptualisations suffice? This module considers sickness absence, presenteeism, and leaveism within the attendance ‘jigsaw’, and explores evidence-based approaches to employee rehabilitation following absence.

Applied Research Project: Theory and Practice 60 credits

To gain the MSc in Workplace Health and Wellbeing, you'll need to conduct this applied research project that spans the entirety of the second year of study. Quantitative and mixed methods projects are supervised by Jonathan Houdmont, while Amanda Griffiths supervises qualitative (interview and focus group) project.

This module provides the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge acquired during the course to the task of designing, conducting, and writing-up a piece of research that has the potential to make a positive impact on workplace health and wellbeing. Most students undertake a study in their own place of work or that of a customer or colleague. 

Students without access to an organisation typically use their social media contacts to obtain a participant sample. It is not uncommon for students to issue an invitation to participate in an online survey to members of specific groups via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. For instance, a student recently posted an invitation to participate in a survey concerning strategies to promote job satisfaction in UK midwives and received almost 500 completed surveys within a week!

Projects cover an enormous range of topics, reflecting students’ interests and professional focus. Projects typically involve either an online or paper-based quantitative and/or qualitative survey. Some projects involve in-person or video-conference qualitative interviews or focus groups.


The best projects are jointly prepared by the student and their supervisor for publication in academic journals. Examples include

Contemporary Issues in Workplace Health 20 credits

The world of work is constantly evolving, as are the risks and opportunities to workforce health and wellbeing. This module considers a range of contemporary issues facing workplace health and wellbeing practitioners and explores the role of theory and scientific evidence in understanding and managing these. The module assessment allows students to focus on a workplace health and wellbeing issue related to their own interests or professional activities.

Workplace Health and Wellbeing Research and Evaluation Methods 20 credits

The development of knowledge and skills relating to research methods and data analysis is central to the Workplace Health and Wellbeing course. This module seeks to foster a community of research practitioners who are able to collect, analyse, interpret, and draw informed conclusions on qualitative and quantitative data in order to make recommendations on actions to protect and promote workers’ health and wellbeing. Teaching on this module recognises that these concepts are, for many, new and no prior knowledge is assumed.

Promotion of Workplace Health and Wellbeing 20 credits

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and the workplace provides an ideal context to promote health. This module considers the business case for workplace health promotion, introduces contemporary psychological theories of behaviour change, and explores how these theories provide an understanding of workers’ behaviours and inform the design of interventions to encourage healthy choices.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 22 August 2023.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • eLearning
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Webinars

On this distance learning course, most of your study will take place online via pre-recorded lectures and reading materials. These will be supplemented by live webinars at regular (approximately fortnightly) intervals. Webinars take place on weekday evenings between 7pm to 8pm (UK time).

Additionally, you'll attend a two-day residential twice per year, usually in September and March. International students may study the entire course online.

You'll have the opportunity for frequent online group discussions.

For those taking the MSc, your research project will be supervised through video conferencing with your supervisor. In addition, you'll have a personal tutor who will provide support and guidance throughout your studies.

How you will be assessed

  • Essay
  • Online workbook
  • Journal paper report
  • Research process review

Your work will be assessed at the end of each module through a variety of means.

To complete a module and gain its credits you'll need to make sure you get over the 50% pass mark. You'll need:

  • 180 credits to achieve the MSc
  • 120 credits to achieve the PGDip
  • 60 credits to achieve the PGCert

Contact time and study hours

Each credit equates to roughly 10 hours of work. Typically, you'll spend around 15 hours per week learning and studying. Between September and June students usually dedicate one full day each weekend and one or two evenings each week to their studies.

For the 'Applied Research Project' (MSc only), you'll be allocated an experienced academic supervisor, with regular supervision sessions held via video conference at mutually convenient times.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 in any subject
Additional information

As this course is online, you must also have access to a personal computer with broadband internet access and a webcam.

You do not need to provide a reference when applying.


If you have any course-specific questions you can email the Course Director, Dr Jonathan Houdmont.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


Qualification MSc PGDip PGCert
Home / UK £11,850 £7,900 £3,950
International £11,850 £7,900 £3,950

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses such as travel and accommodation.

UK students are expected to attend up to four two-day campus-based workshops. International students may also wish to attend these but are not expected to. 

You'll be able to access most of your learning materials online. However, you may wish to purchase your own copies of specific books.


There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates go on to a wide range of careers. Some are self-employed workplace health and wellbeing consultants. Many work for organisations in health and wellbeing management roles. Others have gone on to have responsibility for their organisation’s health and wellbeing remit as part of a wider role.         

Career progression

78.4% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £28,505.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time, postgraduate, home graduates within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" We introduced the Masters in Workplace Health and Wellbeing in 2007 to help practitioners develop the theoretical and evidence-based knowledge required to foster an organisational culture which recognises that employee health and wellbeing underpins organisational effectiveness. I am immensely proud of our graduates for the ways in which they use that knowledge to contribute daily to creating happy, healthy, and productive workplaces. "
Dr Jonathan Houdmont, Course Director

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This content was last updated on Tuesday 22 August 2023. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.