Learning at Work

Occupational Health and Safety Management


The University of Portsmouth has been offering courses in Health and Safety to serve industrial and professional needs in the UK and abroad since 1976. In 1996, we successfully launched our distance learning programme.

Our PgCert Occupational Health and Safety Management allows you to study for a recognised accredited university qualification without leaving your job. This course aims to develop your abilities to analyse problems, research and propose solutions and to develop your confidence in delivering sound professional judgements in the workplace. The PgCert programme consists of two distance learning 30 credit units and requires approximately 600 hours of study, over one year.

The course is accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). As the chartered body for health and safety professionals, IOSH is the largest professional health and safety organisation in the world. Once you have successfully completed this course, you can make an application to IOSH for Graduate Membership. Students also have the opportunity to work towards Chartered status with IOSH through our unique professional development process.

No matter what your situation or qualifications, this course is designed to ensure that your career in health and safety management is on a very sure footing. Our aim is to give you an excellent student experience focused on knowledge and skills essential for roles in the global workforce. The fact that many of our graduates now hold senior positions in industry attests to this. Previous graduates have pursued successful health and safety careers, for example in the oil and gas industry, construction, local and national governments, the manufacturing sector and film and television.

We also offer MSc Occupational Health and Safety Management and MSc Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management via part-time distance learning study.


Before you apply

Before making an application, please contact the Learning at Work office on +44 (0)23 9284 6261/6260 or email learningatwork@port.ac.uk. We will send you a full application pack which gives a description of the structure and content of these courses and includes a full list of course fees. We can also assess whether your qualifications meet our entry requirements before you complete the application form.

When you apply

To apply, you will need to complete the Application Form and either return this directly to the Learning at Work office or scan and send to the email below, along with any RPL being claimed and a copy of some photographic ID.

By post

Learning at Work
University of Portsmouth
Anglesea Building (A0.04)
Anglesea Road

By email


More Information

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at learningatwork@port.ac.uk. If you are unable to download any documents we will endeavour to post or email the application to you.

Teaching and assessment

You will study two units and will be provided with online course materials which will guide you through the required learning for the course:

Management Essentials for Health and Safety

This unit aims to provide you with an appreciation of health and safety management and its integration into organisational management systems. You will study the nature of organisations and how management functions can be directed towards the recognition and control of risk. You will develop knowledge and interpretation of the requirements and responsibilities imposed by laws in respect of occupational health and safety. You will also advance your understanding of risk management and reflect upon the relationship between human behaviour, culture and risk.

Risk Management in Practice

This unit concerns the operational practice of health and safety by considering the potential risks, from both a health and safety perspective, and their subsequent assessment and control. The aim of the unit is to explore the potential hazards in a variety of industries both UK based and international, and to develop strategies for the assessment and control of hazards associated with the workplace and working practices.

Assessment is solely based on the submission of your written assignments.

Due to the distance-learning nature of this course and the potential pressure of juggling your course alongside work life, we aim to provide you with as much support as possible. You’ll have two channels of support. Firstly, a Personal Tutor who can offer advice, guidance and moral support as well as an Academic tutor to support you through your taught unit.

Flexible learning

It is essential that you have access to the web as this will be the main source of your learning material. You will be supported through our online virtual learning environment called Moodle. The Moodle environment will be a rich source of information - both formal and informal. You are directed towards independent study through selected activities including virtual tutor-led discussion sessions, providing you with the opportunity to interact with staff and fellow students, podcasts and webinars. Online tutorials and lectures will assist students with a variety of study skills and research methods. The Academic Skills Department are also on hand to support students with the requirements of academic writing.

Although you are not required to study on campus throughout the course, you are invited to attend an induction session at the start of the programme and, of course, your graduation ceremony. For those unable to attend induction in person, we provide an online induction course to get you off to the best start in your studies.

University library

Tap into our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources including e-books and journals, which are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help. We have created a series of videos aimed to help you use the University library resources and how you can effectively search for the information you require for your research and assessments.