MSc Occupational Hygiene / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

MSc Occupational Hygiene - Helen Pearson

"Manchester has a good reputation for this MSc and many of my peers have attended the course. It has a good structure and staff have been very supportive throughout.

"It is a great course for those who haven't done occupational hygiene before, as it starts with the basics. It is also great for those who have some experience, as it builds on the skills and knowledge you already have and covers new topics."

Helen Pearson / Consultant Occupational Hygienist

Our online blended learning MSc in Occupational Hygiene course will equip you with a wide range of interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to work in areas related to occupational hygiene, culminating in an academic qualification accredited by the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS).

In the taught component of the course, the emphasis is on acquiring a thorough understanding of the theoretical principles and research methodologies underpinning the topic covered by each unit.

The course gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and develop experience in research methods applied to a problem of particular interest to you. In the component the emphasis is on developing your critical appraisal skills and your capacity to demonstrate leadership and management of occupational health issues. Every student is allocated an experienced dissertation supervisor.

As a graduate of this course, you will have knowledge necessary to recognise, evaluate and control hazards in the workplace, including chemical, physical and biological agents.

Certain aspects of the course also link closely to the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (London) curriculum giving you a unique opportunity to interact with students studying to be occupational physicians and develop professional links as an occupational hygienist.


The course delivers academic knowledge and practical training in occupational and industrial hygiene and health, aiming to develop a practitioner with: 

  • core skills and knowledge necessary to recognise, evaluate and control hazardous substances in the workplace, encompassing hazards such as chemical, physical (eg noise, radiation), biological and ergonomic agents;
  • knowledge of the wide variety of subjects covered within occupational hygiene such as legislation, toxicological basis for standard setting, methods commonly used to evaluate hazardous agents, and related and overlapping health profession roles in worker health protection;
  • an academic qualification that is accredited by the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS);
  • critical evaluation skills in occupational hygiene practice to prevent or minimise ill health in the workplace.

We will teach you the rudiments of research methods, critical appraisal and critical objectivity so that on a life-long basis you will apply your knowledge to assess for, and make, evidence based decisions.

Special features

Expert teaching

You will be taught by academics and professionals working in the field of occupational health and hygiene using case examples from local, national and international occupational hygiene.  There is an emphasis on applying your learning to real occupational health and hygiene issues.

Flexible online blended learning

Most of the course content is delivered online, enabling you to fit study around other commitments. On campus activities are offered during your study and are held in Manchester, but attendance is not compulsory. For certain units there are face-to-face sessions, including practical workshops. You will be notified of these dates at the start of the course. 

Networking opportunities

You will have the opportunity to network and study with trainee occupational physicians on our sister course, MSc Occupational Medicine.

Teaching and learning

The online blended learning course comprises specially commissioned online materials, together with interactive teaching and learning methods, delivered on the University's virtual learning environment, Blackboard.

You will learn from experienced occupational hygienists, statisticians, environmental exposure experts and occupational physicians.

Course units include online live and recorded lectures or seminars and online tutorial time, providing an opportunity to re-address concepts and approaches to problem solving in discussion with both the tutor and your peers.

A learning structure with a recommended pace is in place for each unit. All units are assessed through assignment/examination.

All our lectures, seminars and tutorials are currently online, and it is hoped that from 2022 onwards we can return to some on-campus activities, including our Practical Occupational Hygiene Training Course.

Once you are enrolled with us we will provide you with a timetable of our online welcome and seminar days, workshops, tutorials and assessment dates.

Discover more about The University of Manchester's online and blended learning here.

Coursework and assessment

Taught course units have a variety of assignments and examinations at intervals throughout the course.

Course unit details

Our content is over 90% focused on occupational and industrial hygiene and health (the rest being safety) covering exposure assessment and control for a wide range of hazards to prevent a multitude of ill health effects.

You will study in-depth the occupationally-related disease impacts and the practical occupational hygiene assessment, management and leadership factors important in occupational hygiene control and occupational health management.

Students are required to complete the following for the award of:

  • MSc - you must complete 8 compulsory units and the Dissertation (180 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma - you must complete 8 compulsory units (120 credits)
  • Postgraduate Certificate - you must complete 4 compulsory units (60 credits)

You can choose from a range of dissertation models to suit your work situation and interest. You will submit a proposal for review and discussion. When approved you are assigned an experienced dissertation supervisor.

PGDip and PGCert qualifications are available as exit awards only.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Occupational Exposure Control POPH60161 15 Mandatory
Occupational Exposure Assessment POPH63182 15 Mandatory
Research Methods and Data Analysis POPH68802 15 Mandatory
Understanding Physical Agents POPH68821 15 Mandatory
Health and Workability POPH68842 15 Mandatory
Fitness for Work (September) POPH68861 15 Mandatory
Foundation for Postgraduate Practice (September) POPH68881 15 Mandatory
Occupational Health Management POPH68892 15 Mandatory
Dissertation for Occupational Medicine and Occupational Hygiene POPH69000 60 Mandatory

Scholarships and bursaries

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.


You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .