MSc Occupational Hygiene / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Occupational Exposure Assessment

Unit code POPH63182
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit develops functional and practical knowledge in occupational exposure assessment, where students learn the processes involved in air sampling, exposure modelling and sample analysis. Students will develop scientific communication skills through presentation of findings in various formats relevant to occupational health and hygiene.


This unit aims to develop practical and functional knowledge in occupational exposure assessment. Students will learn about how to undertake exposure assessments for hazardous substances in the workplace using measurement and modelling approaches. With the use of case studies and tutorials they will synthesise and interpret data obtained from measurement surveys and exposure modelling. The unit assessment will develop their skills in presentation of findings in formats appropriate for a range of stakeholders.

Students will synthesise knowledge to interpret data obtained from measurement surveys and exposure modelling and to enable students to apply this knowledge to health protection strategies.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to:

      Develop knowledge and understanding of the workplace influences of process and task on exposure, dose and response;

•      Synthesise and apply knowledge of the principles and mechanisms for  measuring airborne concentrations of dust, gases and vapours to identify and implement appropriate measurement strategies;

•      Examine deterministic models used for inhalation exposure.

•      Synthesise and critically analyse the findings from measurement surveys and modelling


      Factors in Dust Exposure

      Exposure in Manufacturing Processes

      Air Sampling

      Exposure Evaluation/Exposure Modelling

      Sample Analysis

      Occupational Exposure for Airborne Substances

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching will take the form of online materials supported by online synchronous lectures, webinars, group discussion, tutorials, synchronous workshops and practical experience days where relevant or possible.

Blackboard will be used for course materials including group discussions, announcements and updating of content, relevant lecture slides and additional reading, written example sheets and for online formative assessments

Knowledge and understanding

On completion, students should be able to:

      Identify and analyse the workplace influences of process and task on exposure, dose and response;

Demonstrate a critical understanding of

•      human exposure to hazardous substances in the work environment;

•      the principles of measuring airborne concentrations of airborne contaminants in the workplace;

•      modelling approaches to assess worker exposure;

•      Understand basic statistical concepts required to interpret research/evidence synthesis

Intellectual skills

On completion, students should be able to:

      Appraise and synthesise information from a variety of sources including current research, policy, and practice in order to develop a coherent critical analysis of issues relating to occupational health policy, practice and research.

•      Interpret outcomes of exposure assessment in the context of occupational hygiene and health  and propose changes (or not) as a result of research findings for occupational hygiene and health practice

•      Think critically about whether research studies are using the most appropriate study design and reflect on the credibility of findings

Practical skills

On completion, students should be able to:

      Identify significant sources of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace

•      Develop practical workplace exposure assessment strategies

•      Select appropriate measurement methods

•      Use workplace exposure models and interpret their outputs

•      Apply principles of evidence-based practice to calculate, interpret and report data;

•      Present the findings from exposure assessments in formats appropriate for a range of stakeholders

Transferable skills and personal qualities

      Independently gather, organise and evaluate data from a variety of sources and demonstrate an evidence-based approach to occupational hygiene practice;

•      Promote independent learning through critical evaluation and synthesis of evidence that enhances and challenges current practice.

•      Systematically evaluate a range of evidence to inform clinical decision-making and professional practice.

•      Communicate complex ideas in concise written formats for a range of stakeholders

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will be able to analyse and evaluate the relevant medical and scientific literature relating to occupational health practice
Project management
Students will be able to independently gather, organise and evaluate data from a variety of sources and develop an evidence-based approach to occupational hygiene practice.
Oral communication
Students will be able to understand the influence of a wide range of factors when negotiating with others within the field of occupational health.
Problem solving
Students will be able to able to integrate knowledge of health, legislation, and business in the management of work-related issues affecting both individuals and groups.

Assessment methods

Description Weighting Length

Written Assignment:

Application of Exposure Assessment Methods
100% 3,500 words or equivalent


Feedback methods

  • Assignment feedback is available to all students. 
  • Feedback on summative assessments is provided following ratification of results by the Examination Board.
  • Two web-conference tutorials involving small group teaching provides formative feedback to students.

Recommended reading

  • American Industrial Hygiene Association.  The occupational Environment: its evaluation, control and management 3rd ed.  AIHA Press 2010. ISBN 9781935082156.  
  • Cherrie J, Howie R, Semple S. Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work 4th ed. Wiley-Blackwell 2010. ISBN-10: 1405159626, ISBN-13: 978-1405159623.
  • Gardiner K, Harrington JM. Occupational hygiene.  Blackwell Publishing 2005. ISBN 1405106212.
  • BOHS Technical Guide Series No. 15 on Direct-Reading Devices for Airborne and Surface Chemical Contaminants 3rd ed. November 2012.
  • BOHS Guide to Report Writing: Clear and concise report writing: guidance for occupational hygienists. 2011.
  • HSE. MDHS 14/3: General methods for sampling and gravimetric analysis of respirable and inhalable dust.  MDHS 14/3, HSE Books 2000. ISBN 0717617491.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 144

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anne Clayson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

If you have any questions regarding the content of this unit, please contact the Course Unit Leader, Anne Clayson, via

If you have any other queries, please contac the Programme Admin team via

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