MSc Occupational Medicine / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our online blended learning MSc Occupational Medicine course will equip you with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to work in occupational health, culminating in an academic qualification. 

The course is aimed at GPs who want to gain an academic qualification in occupational medicine and doctors already working in the field, including those in specialist training posts and those undertaking the CESR route, who want to prepare for professional exams with the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM).

The course is also suitable for clinically trained doctors in other disciplines who have an interest in occupational medicine.

Students studying our MSc programme can choose to complete 8 taught units (15 credits each) and a dissertation (60 credits) or 10 taught units (15 credits each) and a critical literature review (30 credits).

Students wishing to complete a PGCert or a PGDip should enrol on the MSc and exit after 4 taught units (PGCert) or after 8 taught units (PGDip) with an option to return within five years to complete the MSc if desired.

In the taught unit 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 dissertation or critical literature review component gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and develop experience in research methods applied to a problem of particular interest to you, supported by an individual, experienced supervisor. This component has an emphasis on developing your critical appraisal and analysis skills, and enabling you to demonstrate leadership and management of occupational health issues.

Certain aspects of the course also link closely to the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) curriculum giving you a unique opportunity to interact with students studying to be occupational hygienists and develop professional links as an occupational physician. This includes the opportunity to attend our on campus practical occupational hygiene and health assessment course.

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.


This course aims to provide you with the core knowledge required by medical practitioners working in the field of occupational medicine, and to allow you to pursue an academic qualification in this subject.

We will teach you the rudiments of research methods, critical appraisal and critical objectivity to foster life-long skills that will enable you to assess and make evidence based decisions.

Special features

Expert teaching

You will be taught by occupational health academics, occupational physicians, occupational health professionals, chartered occupational hygienists and various chartered and medically qualified and clinically trained professionals working in the field of occupational health. Our teaching encompasses current and real world occupational health and hygiene issues, worker health management and protection, leadership and management.

Flexible online blended learning

Most of the course content, including the semester welcome events and tutorials/seminars, is delivered online, enabling you to fit study around other commitments. An on-campus occupational hygiene practical course is offered during your study and is held in Manchester but attendance is not compulsory. You will be notified of key dates at the start of the course.

Society of Occupational Medicine

As a student of occupational medicine you can join the Society of Occupational Medicine which is open to health professionals working in occupational health. The teaching team are also members of this Society.

The teaching and research academics on MSc Occupational Medicine and Occupational Hygiene also work closely with the British Occupational Hygiene Society and most are members of the Society.

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 health professionals, occupational hygienists, epidemiologists and environmental exposure experts.

Course units include online live and recorded lectures and seminars, and online tutorial time, providing an opportunity to explore 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 delivered online. Our Practical Occupational Hygiene course is delivered on campus in Manchester each Spring. This is optional but we strongly recommend attendance. Students find the course highly beneficial. It is included in your course fee. Travel costs associated with visiting campus are not included.

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.

Coursework and assessment

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

Support is available from the course tutors alongside a comprehensive reading list online resource. You will have full student access to The University of Manchester Library, one of only five national research libraries with more than 4 million printed books, manuscripts and 50,000 unique electronic journals and 800,000 electronic books. With access to several hundred databases, this is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK.

Course unit details

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

  • MSc - you must complete 8 taught units (120 credits) and the Dissertation (60 credits = total of 180 credits) or 10 taught units (150 credits) and the Critical Literature Review (30 credits = total of 180 credits).
  • Postgraduate Diploma - you must complete 8 taught units (120 credits).
  • Postgraduate Certificate - you must complete 4 taught units (60 credits)
If you opt to undertake a dissertation, you can choose from a range of dissertation models to suit your work situation and interest. You will submit a proposal (outlining your chosen topic for the dissertation or the critical literature review) for review and discussion.

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
Research Methods and Data Analysis POPH68802 15 Mandatory
Management of Occupationally Related Disease POPH68811 15 Mandatory
Understanding Physical Agents POPH68821 15 Mandatory
Stress, Work and Organisational Factors POPH68832 15 Mandatory
Health and Work POPH68842 15 Mandatory
Introduction to work-related ill health (September) POPH68861 15 Mandatory
Fundamentals of Occupational Health POPH68881 15 Mandatory
Occupational Health Management POPH68892 15 Mandatory
Dissertation for Occupational Medicine and Occupational Hygiene POPH69000 60 Mandatory
Introduction to Public Health POPH60001 15 Optional
Health Promotion Theory & Methods POPH60021 15 Optional
Working with Communities POPH60072 15 Optional
Economic Evaluation in Healthcare POPH60092 15 Optional
Occupational Exposure Control POPH60161 15 Optional
Practical Statistics for Population Health POPH60982 15 Optional
Communicable Disease Control POPH62051 15 Optional
Health Systems Challenges in Low and Middle Income Countries POPH62212 15 Optional
Global Health into the 21st Century POPH62311 15 Optional
Global Women's Public Health POPH62411 15 Optional
Primary Health Care POPH63111 15 Optional
Qualitative Research Methods POPH63121 15 Optional
Critical Review - Master of Public Health POPH63150 30 Optional
Occupational Exposure Assessment POPH63182 15 Optional
Emergency Planning, Response & Resilience POPH64132 15 Optional
Implementation Sciences POPH64551 15 Optional
Health Services Management POPH64662 15 Optional
Digital Public Health POPH65022 15 Optional
Public Health Benefits of Green and Blue Space POPH65031 15 Optional
Climate Change and Health POPH65042 15 Optional
Introduction to Health Policy POPH65052 15 Optional
Behaviour Change and Public Health POPH65062 15 Optional
Public Health and the Antibiotic Crisis POPH65072 15 Optional
Business, Media & Health POPH65092 15 Optional
Evidence Synthesis: Systematic Reviews POPH68001 15 Optional
Dissertation for Occupational Medicine and Occupational Hygiene POPH69000 60 Optional
Displaying 10 of 35 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

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

What our students say

'The course really helped me to prepare for the Faculty of Occupational Medicine exams.'

Kirsty Wilson, AFOM, NHS trainee in occupational medicine.

Comments from our on-campus Occupational Hygiene course

'I wouldn’t normally get to see these topics in action in my current role. It is useful for AFOM learning as well.'

“It was an excellent opportunity to connect with other health professionals. I felt welcome from the offset. As a practical learner I found it a very enjoyable experience.”

'All the sessions were very well organised. The topics were really useful, with a good amount of hands on learning.'

“I found the practical session of the noise exposure measurement, thermal comfort and air sampling very real and useful. I also found the incorporation of statistics teaching at the workshop very helpful for my research. I was able to meet other students in the profession of occupational health.”


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 .

CPD opportunities

A credit bearing CPD study option is available if you want to prepare for professional examinations with the FOM. Should you wish to continue onto our MSc you will be required to pass the summative assessments for POPH68881(2) and POPH68861(2) or provide evidence of successful completion of the FOM's DOccMed so that you can APL the 30 credits for these units.

This MSc has the option of interrupting your studies or exiting early (with an option to return within five years).