Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

MM4PSW Physical Ergonomics
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  15/16

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  MSc in Human Factors, BEng and MEng Product Design and Manufacture, MSc Human-Computer Interaction, any 3rd or 4th year student in School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering. NOTE: Erasmus/Socrates/Visiting students MUST take any relevant examinations for this module in Nottingham at the appropriate time with all other students in the cohort.   Available to JYA/Erasmus students.

Taught Semesters:

Autumn Assessed by end of Autumn Semester 

Prerequisites: Undergraduate students from M3 taking this module should have a basic knowledge of professional skills from modules such as MM1PRO or equivalent

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  A thorough understanding of Human Factors/Ergonomics is critical to the successful design and implementation of products, workplaces, jobs and systems. This module focuses on the physical characteristics of people (e.g. body size, strength, flexibility, vision and hearing abilities) and considers how to account for an individual’s fundamental needs, capabilities and limitations. Ultimately, such an understanding will lead to products, workplaces, jobs and systems which promote productivity, health, safety, comfort, etc. The syllabus covers: Structure and functioning of the human body; anthropometry (human body dimensions) and product/workplace design; biomechanics (loadings on the human body); work-related upper-limb disorders; manual materials handling; risk assessment for work-related musculoskeletal disorders; designing and assessing environments to account for visual, acoustic, thermal and vibration factors. Module Web Links:
  • Moodle
  • Method and Frequency of Class:

    ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
    Lecture 11 weeks1 per week2 hours

    Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

    Method of Assessment: 

    Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
    Exam 1 75 2 hour exam 
    Coursework 1 25 Report (approx. 2000 words) on product/workplace evaluation 

    Professor G Burnett

    Education Aims:  This module aims to equip students with fundamental knowledge and skills regarding the physical characteristics of people (body size, strength, flexibility, etc.) and environments (lighting, thermal, sound, etc.) as they relate to the design of products, workplaces and tasks/jobs.

    Learning Outcomes:  On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • LO1 – Analyse products and workplaces to suit the physical needs, capabilities and limitations of people in working environments.

  • LO2 – Compare and contrast approaches when considering physical ergonomics problems.

  • LO3 – Critically appreciate and synthesise information concerning physical ergonomics from a wide range of sources.

  • LO4 – Demonstrate the application of physical ergonomics methods in practical contexts.

    Offering School:  Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

    Use the Back facility of your browser to return to the previous page.

    Module Catalogue Search for another module

    [UoN Welcome Page] Return to The University of Nottingham Welcome Page