MSc Occupational Medicine / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Our part-time blended learning MSc Occupational Medicine course provides an overview of the whole spectrum of medicine and hygiene within the workplace.

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

This MSc is also suitable for doctors in other disciplines who have an interest in occupational medicine.

You will benefit from access to a range of specialist knowledge and resources within occupational health and examine the evidence on which occupational health practice is based.

The course takes place in a research-enriched environment and, for those progressing to the third year of the MSc, you will have the opportunity to undertake research-based activities relevant to occupational health, including formulating a research question, designing and executing an appropriate study and drawing valid conclusions through writing a dissertation. 

Our course follows the syllabus requirements of the FOM (London and Ireland).


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

We also aim to provide you with the benefit of blended learning methodology, which allows you to apply the knowledge gained during your day-to-day work.

Special features

Compliant course content

This course adheres to the syllabus requirements of the FOM, RCP (London) and RCP (Ireland).

Teaching and learning

The course comprises a blend of specially commissioned written materials in electronic format (PDF), together with interactive teaching material, all delivered via the University's virtual learning environment, Blackboard.

In Year 1, you are required to attend in Manchester for a one-day seminar associated with Module 1 in month 3, and the same for Module 2 in month 5 for September starters, in month 6 for April starters and for one exam day in month 10.

You are allocated to tutorial groups for Modules 4 to 8, each supported by a specialist in occupational medicine. Tutorials are delivered via telephone or web conference.

In Year 2, you are required to attend in Manchester for a four-day practical course in month 5 and for one exam day in month 10.

In Year 3, you are required to attend a three-day MSc dissertation course held at the University in month 1.

Some components of the course are held jointly with students on the MSc Occupational Hygiene course.

You can view  sample study materials  and  MSc abstracts and papers .

Coursework and assessment

All taught course units will be assessed via examinations held at the University at intervals throughout the course, and the third year will be assessed via submission of a dissertation.

Assessment is by eight examination papers, one per course module. The first will be sat at Seminar 1 (Year 1, month 3) and the second at Seminar 2 (Year 1, month 5 for September starters and month 6 for April starters). The remaining Year 1 assessments will be sat in month 10. For Year 2, assessments will be held in month 5 and 10.

If you wish to proceed to the MSc, you are also required to complete a third year, during which you will attend a mandatory three-day residential course (in month 1) and prepare a dissertation. For doctors in approved training posts, the dissertation may also be eligible for submission for the MFOM.

Course unit details

Year 1

Module 1: Foundation for Postgraduate Practice

  • Occupational Health in Perspective
  • Introduction to Occupational Health Law
  • Introduction to Communication
  • Ethical Considerations in Practice
  • Introduction to Toxicology
  • Introduction to Occupational Hygiene
  • Introduction to Lighting
  • Introduction to Temperature and Work
  • Introduction to Noise and Vibration
  • Introduction to Hazardous Substances

Module 2: Fitness for Work

  • Recognising Occupational Disease
  • Introduction to Occupational Dermatology
  • Introduction to Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Introduction to the Respiratory System
  • Introduction to Occupational Infections
  • Mental Ill Health and Stress at Work
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Health Assessment, Surveillance and Screening
  • Sickness Absence
  • Disability Assessment

Module 3: Health and Workability

  • Workplace and Clinical Assessment Skills: the Portfolio
  • Advanced Occupational Health Law
  • Health Promotion
  • Ageing and Employment
  • Ergonomics
  • Shift Work and Daily Rhythms
  • Rehabilitation and Return to Work
  • Choosing a Research Topic and Literature Review
  • Developing the Research Question
  • Common Mental Health Problems and the Workplace
  • Introduction to Audit

Module 4: Aspects of Good Professional Behaviour

  • Management
  • Professional Behaviour/Leadership and Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Clinical Governance
  • Practical Applications in Quality and Audit
  • Standard Setting
  • Business Needs in the Provision of an Occupational Health Service

Year 2

Module 5: Understanding Physical Agents

  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Radiation
  • Compressed Air Work and Commercial Diving
  • Temperature and Work
  • Light and Vision

Module 6: Management of Occupationally Related Disease

  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Occupational Dermatoses
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Occupational Cancers
  • Aviation Medicine
  • Occupational Infections
  • Medically Unexplained Symptoms

Module 7: Research Methods and Data Analysis

  • Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Life Long Learning
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Critical Appraisal
  • Social Research Methods
  • Information Technology

Module 8: Management of Workplace Hazards

  • Industry and Environment
  • Occupational Hygiene Practice
  • Food Safety and Hygiene
  • Prevention of Accidents
  • Principles of Toxicology
  • Occupational Health in a Global Market

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
Module 7: Research Methods and Data Analysis (Occupational Medicine) POPH68800 15 Mandatory
Module 6: Management of Occupationally Related Disease POPH68810 15 Mandatory
Module 5: Understanding Physical Agents (Occupational Medicine) POPH68820 15 Mandatory
Module 4: Aspects of Good Professional Behaviour POPH68830 15 Mandatory
Module 3: Health and Workability (Occupational Medicine) POPH68840 15 Mandatory
Module 2: Fitness for Work POPH68860 15 Mandatory
Module 1: Foundation for Postgraduate Practice POPH68880 15 Mandatory
Module 8: Management of Workplace Hazards (Occupational Medicine) POPH68890 15 Mandatory


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 CPD diploma study option is available if you want to prepare for professional examinations with the FOM. You can also use this credit towards a PGCert/AdvDip/MSc from Manchester if you wish.

If you do intend to complete the MSc at some point during your career, we would advise that you apply for this from the start, as you do have the option of interrupting your studies or exiting early (with an option to return within five years).

We offer a subscription scheme that provides online access to current materials for alumni who have completed any of the course, allowing you to stay up to date with developments in the field after graduation. Our teaching material is regularly updated.