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Are you interested in managing the vital issues of safety, health and environmental sustainability? 

There’s an increasing need for professionals who can help organisations comply with regulations, undertake environmental impact assessments, identify risks and demonstrate due diligence.

Throughout this Masters course you’ll study key concepts such as risk and sustainability. You’ll also gain the knowledge and skills to be able to make independent professional judgements and contribute effectively to organisational strategies.

The course culminates in either a Masters dissertation or, if you prefer, a work-based project where you’ll tackle an issue faced by a real employer. You will focus on self-development and employability throughout.

The course is accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which means that after completing the course you will meet the academic requirements for Graduate (Grad IOSH) membership.

People join from this Masters course from many different backgrounds. You might, for example, have been an undergraduate student in geography, science, engineering, business, law or environmental health.

It is possible to add an Advanced Practice element to this course, making it a two-year Masters qualification.

Accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) for the purpose of eligibility to apply for associate membership.

Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
1 year full-time
1 other options available

Geography and Environmental Sciences

City Campus, Northumbria University


September 2019

Fee Information

Module Information

Discover More / Geography and Environmental Sciences

Watch former student Tabitha tell us about her experience of studying MSc Safety, Health and Environmental Management, and then take a look at our Department video to get a feel for where you could be studying.

Book an Open Day / Experience Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Safety, Health and Environmental Management at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Our teaching methods include lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, laboratory-based activities, workshops, case studies and field visits. As this is a Masters course there is a significant element of independent learning and self-motivated reflection.

Assessments are designed to give feedback as well as to monitor your level of achievement. The assessed projects will enable you to test your skills in ways that relate to current industrial practice. Specific assessment methods include management plans, presentations, risk assessments, reports, practicals and case studies.

Programme Information

Book an Open Day / Experience Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Safety, Health and Environmental Management at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

You’ll be taught by tutors who have many years of experience in the various aspects of safety, health and environmental management. Their experience, combined with their on-going active research, will provide an excellent foundation for your learning.

The quality of their research has put Northumbria University among the UK’s top 30 universities for the percentage of research outputs in geography that are ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Our reputation for quality is reflected by the range and depth of our collaborations with industry partners. Our industrial links help inform our curriculums and ensure a variety of site visits and input from practitioners via guest lectures.

Staff Profiles / Meet the Team

Book an Open Day / Experience Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Safety, Health and Environmental Management at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Northumbria University provides outstanding facilities including laboratory resources and a variety of field equipment. We have an environmental laboratory for measurement and analysis, as well as specialist ecological statistical packages. All our equipment is supported by highly skilled technical staff who will help you make the best use of it.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research. Our use of lecture capture software will help you revise challenging material.

To facilitate group projects there is a working space called The Hub that’s well equipped for meetings and working with IT. The Zone is another area that’s popular with students undertaking group work or individual study.

Facilities / Discover our Labs and Learning Areas

Book an Open Day / Experience Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Safety, Health and Environmental Management at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Northumbria’s strong research ethos is an essential aspect of how you will develop as a critical, reflective and independent thinker.

With our problem-solving approach you’ll acquire a wide range of research and analytical skills as you progress through the course. These skills will come together in the dissertation that you’ll undertake, which will require independent research and appropriate techniques of inquiry, critical evaluation and synthesis.

Throughout the course your learning will be directly impacted by the teaching team’s active research. Our specialist interests encompass environmental health and management, health & safety, air quality, contaminated land, ecology and disaster management.

Research / Department Research Themes

Book an Open Day / Experience Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Safety, Health and Environmental Management at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to work in safety, health and environmental management. At the same time you’ll develop transferable key skills and personal attributes that promote employability and lifelong learning.

The whole programme has been designed to meet the accreditation requirements of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and we hope to have the accreditations in place with these two professional bodies before the course starts in September.

Your dissertation can either have a traditional research focus or it can be related to work-based practice. If you choose the latter you’ll be able to link your study to an area that is important for your current or desired employment.

Our Careers and Employment Service offers resources and support that will help you find roles matching your interests and skills. You will be able to access a range of workshops, one-to-one advice, and networking opportunities.

Book an Open Day / Experience Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Safety, Health and Environmental Management at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

By the end of this course you’ll be in an excellent position to start or continue a career in safety, health and environmental management.

Roles could include ensuring compliance with relevant legislation, minimising risks of injuries and ill health in the workplace, and developing, implementing and monitoring environmental strategies that promote sustainable development.

You could also undertake a postgraduate research degree such as an MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorate.

Whatever you decide to do, you will have the transferable skills that employers expect from a master’s graduate from Northumbria University. These include the ability to tackle complex issues through conceptualisation and undertaking research, the ability to contribute to new processes and knowledge, and the ability to solve real world problems contributing to the success of organisations.

Book an Open Day / Experience Safety, Health and Environmental Management

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Safety, Health and Environmental Management at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant discipline such as environment, geography, environmental health, science, engineering, business or law.
Or substantial work experience and/or a professional qualification.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit

English Language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £6,990

Full EU Fee: £6,990

Full International Fee: £15,000


There are no Additional Costs

Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.



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How to Apply

How to Apply

Application for most courses is direct to the University via our online application form. Simply click on the 'Apply Online' button you will see on each of our course entries.

However, there are some courses where the application method is not directly to the University. These are:


Postgraduate Research
If you wish to apply for postgraduate research then please submit a research enquiry.

Application Deadlines 

Whilst most of our courses do not set an exact deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship or funding. Overseas students should submit applications to us by no later than 31 July for courses starting in early September or 1 December for courses that commence in January. This allows sufficient time to process our decision, for you to obtain visas and to organise your accommodation and travel arrangements.

Graduate Teacher Training Courses
Equal consideration is given to all applications received by UCAS Teacher Training by the main application deadline, details of all deadlines can be found on the UTT website.

Law professional courses
For details about the selection and allocation process for the full-time Law Professional courses please see the relevant website. For the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Common Professional Examination and the Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses, and for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC and BPTC LLM)

 Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Art (MFA) We encourage all applications to the MFA programme for entry in September 2017 to apply prior to our guaranteed application review date of 1st June 2017. After this date, we will review applications subject to there being remaining spaces on the programme.


Decision Making Process

Most courses require at least one reference, but some may need two. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure Northumbria receives a satisfactory academic reference. If you have not been in education for a number of years, then a reference from your employer may be acceptable.

We try to reply to applicants as soon as possible but you should receive a response within 10 working days, and this will be one of the following.

  • Conditional offer which will normally be upon the completion of your undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and achieving a particular classification or grade. You will be required to send us a confirmation that you have passed your current degree course as soon as you receive notification to enable us to confirm your offer. 
  • Unconditional offer is made if you have already met the entry requirements of your chosen course 
  • Reject your application 

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing of any offer made.

Fairness and Transparency
The University is committed to a system of admissions that ensures fairness, transparency and equal opportunities within the legal framework of the UK and best practice. All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is unreasonably treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

Tuition Fee Assessment
Tuition fees are set at different levels for Home/EU and International Students. Before you begin your course the University must establish your tuition fee status. In many cases, the University will be able to make this assessment without requiring any additional information.

Guidance can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to help you understand how Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) make an assessment on your fee status.

Selection Process 

Applicants who may not have the standard entry qualifications are welcome to apply and may be interviewed. Some courses will interview as part of the selection process. This applies particularly to courses in art and design, teaching and health.

Health Screening
Applicants for Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Primary (Early Years) and Social Work will be required to complete a health questionnaire. They may be required to attend for doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning their programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from their own GP. In addition, Midwifery applicants must provide evidence before they commence training that they are immune to Hepatitis B or have Hepatitis B non-carried status.

Applicants to these courses who have had contact with MRSA in the previous 6 months may be asked to provide evidence that they are not colonised by submitting negative swabs results prior to commencement of training. Alternatively, they may be screened on commencement of the programme.

All applicants will receive vaccination screening at the University Health Centre on commencement of their programme.

Disclosure of Criminal Background
To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to any member of its community caused by the criminal behaviour of other students, it must know about any relevant criminal convictions an applicant has.

Relevant criminal convictions are only those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking. Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and you should not reveal them.

If you are applying for courses in teaching, health, social work and courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, you must complete the section of your UCAS application form entitled 'Criminal Convictions'. You must disclose any criminal convictions, including spent sentences and cautions (including verbal cautions) and bindover orders. Further information on how to complete this section is available from the UCAS booklet 'How to Apply'. For these courses, applicants are required to undergo police clearance for entry and will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure form. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Access to the DBS checking service is only available to registered employers who are entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions - also known as asking 'an exempted question'. The University is such a 'registered employer' and will send you the appropriate documents to fill in if you are offered a place in the course.

If you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence after you have applied, you must inform the university immediately. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks
Please note that the University follows anti-fraud procedures to detect and prevent fraudulent applications. If it is found that an applicant supplies a fraudulent application then it will be withdrawn.

The University reserves the right to cancel an application or withdraw any offer made if it is found that an application contains false, plagiarised or misleading information.


Disabled Students

Northumbria welcomes enquiries and applications from disabled students whether disability is due to mobility or sensory impairment, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues or a medical condition. Applications from disabled students are processed in the usual way, but applicants should declare their disability at the application stage so that the University can contact them to assess how to meet any support needs they may have. Disabled applicants may be invited to visit the University so that this can be done in person.

To find out more contact:
Disability Support Team
Tel +44 (0)191 227 3849 or
Minicom +44 (0)191 222 1051


International Students

The University has a thriving overseas community and applications from International students are welcome. Advice on the suitability of overseas qualifications is available from:

International Office
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel +44 (0)191 227 4274
Fax +44 (0)191 261 1264

(However, if you have already applied to Northumbria and have a query, please contact or telephone 00 44 191 243 7906)

Provision of Information
The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

Modules Overview 2019/20


Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KE7009 -

Environmental Protection and Health (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about the key environmental stressors that impact upon human health and ecological systems, and the legislative and technological approaches that can be implemented to ameliorate these impacts. You will learn how to design appropriate monitoring strategies for a range of environmental media, including air (ambient, workplace and industrial emissions), water (natural aquatic systems and drinking water) and land (e.g. contaminated land and waste), as well as for the assessment of environmental noise and radioactivity. Synergies between environmental and workplace exposure assessment techniques will be explored wherever appropriate, for example, noise, radon and atmospheric contaminants. You will gain experience of evaluating environmental monitoring data in the context of current research and national and international guidelines on health and ecological effects. You will develop your skills in a range of practical environmental techniques; including field sampling and analysis, laboratory instrumental analytical techniques and environmental modelling software.

More information

KE7011 -

Managing for Health and Safety (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn how to critically evaluate health and safety management approaches, systems and regimes. Both compliance with health and safety and its regulation will be considered. The module will cover the regulation of health and safety, evaluation of health and safety compliance, the efficacy of safety policies and safety management systems, analysis of workplace co-operation on safety matters, evaluation of health and safety risk management, analysis of intervention strategies to address a wide range of workplace safety and health risks and the evaluation of health and safety enforcement strategies.

More information

KE7015 -

Research or Work Related Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

You will learn to identify research questions and project ideas by critically evaluating current research and /or practice in a discipline and identifying an appropriate topic for your own exploration through reviews and analyses of appropriate literature and the planning, development and management of a research / work related study. The module enables you to design your research using appropriate project methodologies including through analysis and evaluation of qualitative or quantitative data and within the context of existing literature. You will learn to apply concepts, models or theories to consolidate an extended knowledge in your chosen field of study whilst being aware of your own influence on the research and project process. The module enables you to apply combinations of theoretical, empirical or practice based analysis in proceeding to further applied research or practice and to present findings effectively using academic or project based conventions. You will learn to comprehend the importance and application of research and project ethics, good practice and health and safety aspects of field research and projects including regards its potential commercial status, confidentiality and data protection. You will be able to write up the research in the form of a 15,000 to 20,000 word dissertation. The dissertation module equips you to cope with and extended piece of work that significantly increases your employability in the sectors represented by the MSc programme. This may include through an internship / placement within the industry itself that you use to produce the dissertation.

More information

KE7019 -

Risk Management (Core,20 Credits)

Risk is a key concept in the modern world and operates at a series of levels that include global risks such as climate change and security, and at an organisational level in terms of external and internal factors which affect whether an organisation will meet its objectives. Risk also relates to individuals and the environmental hazards that affect us in our daily lives. In this module you will explore the concept of risks and tools for risk management and how they relate to safety at work and occupational health and risk as it applies to environmental exposure and protection You will develop an understanding of safety, hazards and risks, explore the methodologies for predicting risks. You will also develop an understanding of risk perception and be able to review and apply models for risk management and safety management systems e.g. HS(G)65), PDCA and Demings/Shewarts Quality Cycle.

You will begin by exploring the concepts of safety, risk, hazards and risk management in wider modern society, within organisations and within an occupational health context. You will go on to critically evaluate the nature and management of safety, health and environmental risks in an organisational and occupational health context. You will explore how risk perception and attitudes to risk can cause safety, health and environmental problems and influence the effectiveness of risk management and its wider business context e.g. setting or contributing to business strategy, aligning safety objectives to business objectives, and contributing to organisational learning and development.

You consider the role of planning in health and safety and designing for safety (HSE) and will gain practical experience in retrospective and predictive risk assessments applied these to case study situations (e.g. industrial fire hazards and incidents). You will evaluate risk management standards and methods as applied in the context of safety, occupational health and environmental risk. Concepts of chemical toxicology and testing (LD50, EC50, LOAEL and NOAEL), Material and Product Data Safety Sheets (MSDS & PSDS) and the Source – Pathway – Receptor model will be topics you explore. You will go on to evaluate possible solutions and individual mitigation strategies and the role of key actors in risk management and occupational health including workers, site engineers, and Safety Committees.

More information

KE7020 -

Law and Compliance (Core,20 Credits)

It is critical that practitioners working in the fields of safety, health, and environmental management have a sound working knowledge of the key instruments in place to implement safety health and environmental policy. It is also important that practitioners are able to apply such instruments to the workplace and to ensure organisational compliance. This module is designed to enable you to gain a practical understanding of the laws that relate to safety, health and the environment in an English and EU context along with the alternative policy instruments used.

Specifically you will learn about:
• Origins and structure of English and EU law relating to the environment, health and safety.
• The English legal system.
• Key principles and application of criminal law for safety, health and environmental protection.
• Key principles and application or civil law for safety, health and environmental protection.
• Role of key institutions.
• Alternatives to regulation – market based instruments, voluntary instruments, education.
• Management approaches and compliance.

More information

KE7021 -

Environmental Management in Practice (Core,20 Credits)

Recent reviews of the environmental management sector identified the need for practical experience of applying environmental management tools in the workplace. In this module you will learn about the range of tools that can be used to measure the environmental impacts and sustainability of an organisation. You will find out about the standard methods that can be used to improve the environmental management of an organisation, the advantages and disadvantages of each method and their application in practice. You will undertake environmental surveys, assessment the success of organisations in meeting environmental targets and make recommendations for improving environmental performance.

This is a practical module, you will learn how to apply environmental management tools and develop the competency to enable you to implement them in an organisation. You will explore the application of environmental management tools in two areas:
1. Improving sustainability in existing organisations and
2. Minimising and mitigating environmental impacts in relation to new developments.

In the module you will look at five broad elements of environmental management in practice:
1. Why consider environmental management, what are the main methods and approaches, tools and targets.
2. The main environmental management systems, EMS, environmental auditing, corporate social responsibility.
3. Systems for managing resources – waste, energy, life cycle analysis.
4. Management of policies, programmes and for managing new developments – Strategic environmental assessment, sustainability appraisals, environmental impact assessment.
5. Change management and environmental reporting.

This module is of direct relevance to safety and health practitioners as in medium sized and small organisations the roles of managing health and safety are often combined with that of managing environmental and sustainability issues.

More information

KE7022 -

Postgraduate Research Methods (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about the foundations (research theories), benefits / advantages and limits /drawbacks of a range of advanced standard social science research methodologies. You will thus be in a better position to design a research strategy and operationalise this, particularly for your Masters Dissertation or Project, but also for future graduate employment in knowledge societies and research-rich or informed careers and professions. You will also be better prepared to scrutinise other people’s / organisations’ research, and to what extent it is appropriate, robust and meaningful – particularly the connection between research objectives / questions and methods and interpretation of findings.
Research methods covered will include both qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques to explore issues in disaster and development studies, and health, safety and environment from a human / societal / social processes / organisations / communities perspective. Particular attention will be devoted to evidence-based policy making and “wicked issues”. Natural” environmental processes will be within the scope of the module as far as a social science-based exploration of “produced nature” is fruitful and necessary.

Key topics/themes/issues covered include: Approaching Research Methods, Designing Your Research Process, Ethics and Risk Assessment, Fieldwork Research Issues, Consultancy / Stakeholder issues and Ethics in research, Case study research, Qualitative / Institutional Research Methods and Analysis, Quantitative Research Methods and (spatial and thematic) Data Analysis, Development Fieldwork through Interviewing, Participatory methods, Survey research, qualitative versus quantitative research and its applications, mixed methods research, research analysis and communication (writing-up and for of presentation).

More information

KE7028 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home institution can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject area in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’.
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Discussing ethical issues in research, and analysing results.
• Describing bias and limitations of research.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

No module Data

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

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