Workplace Health and Wellbeing MSc (Distance eLearning)


Fact file

MSc Workplace Health and Wellbeing (Distance E-Learning)
2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) in an undergraduate degree in any subject or the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health Level 6 Diploma.
Other requirements
Professional experience in a relevant field. This may include, among others, occupational health, wellbeing, safety, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, human resources, etc.
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

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


This course will help you develop the knowledge to advise organisations on cost-effective ways to improve employee health and wellbeing. 
Read full overview

This course is for those who:

  • Want to enhance their theory- and evidence-based knowledge on the management of health and wellbeing at work
  • Recognise that worker health and wellbeing are key to sustainable organisational effectiveness

Key facts

  • Non-clinical
  • Focused on the integration of workplace health and wellbeing at the strategic level
  • Designed to be studied while working
  • Delivered by leading experts via e-learning supplemented by occasional campus-based workshops that are optional for international students
  • Students are drawn from numerous professional groups and include occupational health specialists and nurses, occupational physicians, safety practitioners, occupational therapists, human resource professionals, occupational hygienists, senior managers etc.
Why study Workplace Health and Wellbeing

What our students say

"The experience and knowledge of the staff you will find to be exceptional. My project supervisor was supportive with open lines of communication providing guidance and support in addition to having leading knowledge in the disciplines that will be studied." - Andrew Pritchard (2017 graduate)

"...over the past two years the course helped me develop professionally and surpassed my expectations in many ways. I have learnt many valuable skills which are useful in occupational health. All six taught modules are relevant in my role as an occupational health practitioner and they all contribute to a much greater understanding of the relationship between work and health. They would do well to be included in any academic development of occupational health professionals in my view." - Dorothy Dlamini (2015 graduate)


See more student testimonials for a description of some of the ways that graduates have applied the knowledge and skills acquired on the course in their careers. 




Course details

Course director

Dr Jonathan Houdmont, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine

Course duration

The course is available as a:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (3 modules; 1 year)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (6 modules, 1.75 years)
  • Masters degree (6 taught modules plus an applied research project; 2 years)

Students who achieve a Distinction grade in the MSc may progress to the Professional Doctorate in Workplace Health and Wellbeing.


Teaching and Learning

Three modules are delivered by elearning. The elearning materials include video lectures, podcasts, and written materials, all of which is located within a virtual learning environment that can be accessed anywhere in the world via an internet-connected computer or tablet. The elearning modules are supported by seminars during term time that are hosted in an online web-conference facility. Seminars take place at 7-8pm (UK time) on a Wednesday and are recorded to ensure that those who cannot attend are not disadvantaged. The course director provides academic support via Skype, email or phone, according to a student’s preference. 

Three modules are delivered as three-day intensive workshops in Nottingham (September, Year one; February, Year one; February, Year two). Workshops are recorded, and the recordings uploaded to the virtual learning environment, for the benefit of those who cannot attend. International students often choose to view the recordings rather than attend in person.   

Modules are assessed by essay. There are no exams! Many students have been out of education for a number of years; as such, extensive guidance and support is provided on essay preparation.


Course team

Dr Jonathan Houdmont directs the MSc Workplace Health and Wellbeing and convenes the three modules that are delivered by elearning. Jonathan is an occupational health psychologist whose research is centred on psychosocial issues in high-stress occupational groups including the police and prison services. He also researches the application of psychological models of behavior change to encouraging healthy behaviours in the workplace.

Professor Amanda Griffiths convenes the three modules that are delivered as three-day intensive campus-based workshops. Amanda is also an occupational health psychologist. Her current research interests involve working with medical practitioners and occupational health and safety experts, towards the prevention and management of occupational ill-health, particularly mental-ill health.


Workload: Balancing work, life and study

Most students continue with full time work alongside study. There are just two assessment deadlines each year, enabling students to schedule their studies around busy professional and domestic lives.

The MSc involves two nine-month intensive periods of study separated by a three-month summer holiday. The amount of study time required for success varies considerably; as a general rule, during the academic year most students dedicate alternate weekends (or one day each weekend) plus one (or sometimes two) weekday evening(s) to their studies.

Should a student be unable to manage the study workload due to unforeseen domestic or professional challenges, studies may be interrupted for a year without incurring further fees. 


Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma

We accept applications directly onto the Masters, Postgraduate Diploma, and Postgraduate Certificate. Many students apply for the MSc at the outset though some prefer to initially register on the PGCert or PGDip with the option to progress to the MSc; there are no cost-related or study-duration implications to this staged approach.  

Course structure

WHW Year Planner PDF format

  • Postgraduate certificate (60 credits)
    3 modules
  • Postgraduate diploma (120 credits)
    6 modules
  • MSc (180 credits)
    6 taught modules plus an applied research project
  • DocWHW
    50,000-word thesis 
Accreditation for Prior Learning

All students are required to take each module; no accreditation for prior learning can be offered. The reason for this is twofold:

  1. The modules (and accompanying optional web conference tutorials) follow a sequence and build on one another, and
  2. All learning uses the very latest scientific research so even if a student has studied a similar topic at a previous point in time the chances are that knowledge in the area will have moved on.
Learning Resources

The course is delivered within a dynamic online learning environment that is supported by regular online video-conference tutorials and seminars. The University of Nottingham boasts an extensive elibrary facility through which many thousands of journals and ebooks can be accessed online.





Certificate, Diploma, MSc Modules 

The Management of Workplace Health (3-day workshop)

Module Convenor: Professor Amanda Griffiths

This introductory module presents the case for evidence-based workplace health and wellbeing management and considers the role of horizon scanning for new and emerging risks.

The workshop-based module includes inspirational presentations from key influencers in the workplace health and wellbeing debate including Shaun Davis (Group Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability at Royal Mail Group), Dr Richard Heron (Chief Medical Officer and Vice-President Health at BP), Dr Sayeed Khan (Chief Medical Officer at EEF – the manufacturers’ organisation), and Michael O’Donnell (Medical Director at Health Management Limited).   

Work-related stress (eLearning)

Module Convenor: Dr Jonathan Houdmont

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 seek to provide an explanatory framework for the causes and consequences of work-related stress, and examines the application of these models to the management of work-related stress.  

Workplace Health Promotion (elearning)

Module Convenor: Dr Jonathan Houdmont

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce and the workplace provides an ideal location in which to promote healthy behaviours. This module considers the business case for workplace health promotion, introduces psychological theories of behaviour change, and examines the application of these theories to informing the design of effective workplace health promotion interventions.



Diploma, MSc modules

Contemporary Issues in Workplace Health (3-day workshop)

Module Convenor: Professor Amanda Griffiths

This workshop-based module considers a range of contemporary issues facing workplace health and wellbeing practitioners. Through presentations from the module convenor and a series of high-level guest speakers the module examines the role of theory and scientific evidence in understanding and managing these problems. The module provides an opportunity for students to focus on a workplace health and wellbeing challenge specifically related to their own interests or professional activities. 


Absence, Rehabilitation and Retention (3-day workshop)

Module Convenor: Professor Amanda Griffiths

This workshop-based module is delivered by Professor Griffiths with additional expert input from Dr Sayeed Khan (Chief Medical Officer at EEF – the manufacturers’ organisation) and Dr Barbara Kneale (Independent Occupational Physician). The module considers absence monitoring, analysis, and prevention. The module further explores the management of rehabilitation and barriers and facilitators to a sustained return to work.   


Workplace Health Research and Evaluation Methods (elearning)

Module Convenor: Dr Jonathan Houdmont

This module is about approaches to the design of workplace health studies, the collection of data, and the evaluation of that data with a view towards the construction of an evidence-based argument for the introduction of policies, procedures, and interventions that are designed to generate occupational health benefits. The emphasis throughout is on pragmatism in design, methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The underlying guiding principle to the module content is that there is no point in workplace health practitioners learning about such issues if, upon completion of the module, they are unlikely to have developed the knowledge, confidence, and vocabulary required to explain, justify and implement studies in the organisational setting.

By the end of this module you should: (a) understand the nature of the research process, (b) be able to develop a research question, (c) understand the ingredients of good research design, (d) be familiar with a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection and aware of their strengths and limitations, and (e) be able to apply a host of qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques.



MSc-only modules

Applied Research Project: Theory and Practice (e-learning)

Module Convenor: Dr Jonathan Houdmont

Module Aims: Upon completion of the six taught modules that comprise the Postgraduate Diploma, students wishing to obtain the Masters degree undertake an applied research 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. 

Publications: The best projects are jointly prepared by the student and their supervisor for publication in academic or practitioner journals; recent examples include UK postal workers’ sun safety knowledge and practices (Occupational Medicine), Acceptance of repeat worksite HIV voluntary counselling and testing in a rural South African factory (AIDS Care), and Overtime and psychological wellbeing among Chinese officer workers (Occupational Medicine). 

IOSH Student Prize: Each year the best two student projects are put forward for the IOSH Health and Safety Student Research Competition. This award recognises the important role that student research plays in improving occupational safety and health policy and practice. To date our students have reached the final each year.

Recent finalists include Occupation-specific psychosocial hazards and burnout among older firefighters (Tracey Mitchell), Weight and activity levels in firefighters with different work contracts (Jane Beale), and Psychosocial work conditions in a manufacturing setting: relations with individual and organizational health (Mel Whitmore).



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.




BP Workplace Health and Wellbeing Scholarship

The BP Workplace Health and Wellbeing Scholarship is a competitive scholarship that involves an award of the full MSc course fee. The scholarship recognises academic excellence with a strong commitment to the translation of theory and scientific evidence into workplace practice. To be eligible a student must achieve an overall distinction grade in the first year of the course.  

Previous recipients

2016 - Jamie Green

Jamie is the Senior Occupational Health Nurse for education sector occupational health company APL Health. Jamie observes the importance of effective evidence-based workplace health and wellbeing interventions on a daily basis in her work with teachers and support staff. She has a passionate and innovative approach to workplace health and wellbeing, influenced by personal and professional experiences. “I feel extremely blessed and grateful to have been awarded the BP Workplace Health and Wellbeing Scholarship. This scholarship will allow me to complete my MSc and continue to positively impact my sector through the valuable knowledge and skills obtained from this course.”

2015 - Carolyne Crowe

Carolyne runs Carolyne Crowe Coaching, providing coaching, health and wellbeing training and support to veterinary professionals. Carolyne is a qualified and respected veterinary surgeon. She is an experienced personal performance, leadership coach and international speaker, working with both business owners and team members within the veterinary and medical sector.

Carolyne is passionate about minmising workplace stress, improving wellbeing and helping others have healthier, happier and more productive lives: “I am delighted to have been awarded the BP Workplace Health and Wellbeing Scholarship. I’m very excited as this scholarship will enable me to produce evidence based research, that when disseminated, will make a real difference to the professional workplace.”

2012 - Helen Rowe

Helen is a registered nurse who, after qualifying, specialized in emergency care. In 2007 after working overseas for a number of years she commenced work with a remote site medical provider, working with a large seismic research company as a lone remote site medic on board seismic vessels. During her time offshore she was responsible for all medical issues as well as giving occupational health and safety advice. In March 2012 she graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons with a PGDip Remote and Offshore Medicine. In Sept 2012 Helen commenced the MSc Workplace Health and Wellbeing with the aim of furthering her knowledge in this area. Her passion and long-term aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of those involved in the offshore and seismic industries.



Royal Mail Group Workplace Health and Wellbeing Scholarship

The Royal Mail Group Workplace Health and Wellbeing Scholarship is a competitive scholarship that involves an award of the full MSc course fee. The scholarship recognises academic excellence with a strong commitment to the translation of theory and scientific evidence into workplace practice. To be eligible a student must achieve an overall distinction grade in the first year of the course.  

Previous recipients

2016 - Alex Alderslade

Alex is an engineering graduate who has for several years run a small safety and compliance organisation from Bristol focusing on safety matters and education. In order to continue his pursuit of further education and enjoyment of studying Alex began the University of Nottingham's MSc in Workplace Health and Wellbeing in 2015 which he is thoroughly enjoying. Alex has really enjoyed the range of topics covered and feels as though every unit is linked to real world applications with real, tangible benefits to be seen by applying the knowledge learnt from each one. He is also looking forward to conducting his upcoming research project, hoping that it will contribute, if even in just a very small way, to improving the health and wellbeing of workers in the real world.  

2015 - James Rind

James Rind is an Occupational Health Physiotherapist at WorkStrong, which specialises in the provision of musculoskeletal services to UK organisations. Professionally James has seen the importance that maintaining physical activity plays in the improvement of both physical and mental health of employees.

James said: “I am very excited to have been awarded the RMG scholarship, it will allow me to complete my studies within the area of workplace Health & Wellbeing for which I have a great passion. I offer huge thanks to RMG for their generous support to me during this excellent course.”

Shaun Davis, Group Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability at Royal Mail Group, commented: “The safety, health and wellbeing of employees in Royal Mail Group is paramount and so we are delighted to be able to work with The University of Nottingham and support their MSc in Workplace Health & Wellbeing. Working together not only demonstrates our organisational commitment to the incredibly important area of workplace health and wellbeing but it also gives us the potential to network with, and sponsor, the health and wellbeing leaders of the future, as we work together to ensure that organisations' activities are underpinned by a strong corporate focus on employee health and wellbeing.”



Student loans

Postgraduate student loans

In November 2015 the UK government announced the introduction of postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 for students o a Masters course. Loans can be used to pay tuition fees or living costs and repayment begins upon completion of your course. Eligibility criteria are shown in Annex 2.

Professional and career development loans
UK students may be able to secure a Professional and Career Development Loan that is offered at a reduced interest rate paid by the government while you are studying. 


Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

Additional Funding Opportunities

Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding

Applicants who will be employed by the NHS in the East Midlands while they are undertaking their studies may be eligible to apply for Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding through the East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery. Funding will be available for both full programmes and individual modules.



The MSc in Workplace Health & Wellbeing is aimed at those who are currently, and those who aspire to be, involved in the management of contemporary issues in employee health and wellbeing. This may, for example, relate to careers in occupational health and/or safety, nursing, human resource management, occupational hygiene, occupational therapy, and others. 

What our students say

See our student testimonials for a description of some of the ways that graduates have applied the knowledge and skills acquired on the course of their careers. 



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.

Students who achieve a Distinction grade in the MSc may also progress to the Professional Doctorate in Workplace Health and Wellbeing.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research

Average starting salary and career progression 

In 2015, 93% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Medicine & Health Services who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,925 with the highest being £70,000.*

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

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Jonathan Houdmont
Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
School of Medicine
YANG Fujia Building
The University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
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