Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

MM3RSS Risk & Safety Science for Engineers
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  13/14

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 3

Target Students:  3rd & 4th Yr BEng, MEng, BSc students in School of Mechanical, Materials, Manufacturing Engineering; other MEng & BSc Engineering Faculty students; MSc Human Factors, Interactive Systems Design and Human Computer Interaction students. NOTE: Erasmus, Socrates/Visiting students MUST take relevant examinations for this module in Nottingham at the appropriate time with other students in the cohort.  Available to JYA/Erasmus students.

Taught Semesters:

Spring Assessed by end of Spring Semester 

Prerequisites: None.

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  The module aims to give an understanding of risk, primarily in the context of safe systems but also in relation to major projects, investments and public and social systems. The potential causes of accidents and of human error are explained, and an introduction given to methods of reporting and investigating accidents and techniques for analysing accidents and systems reliability which will lead to the design of safer organisations and work systems. Topics covered include: risk and risk perception; risk assessment and management; accident models and accident causation; causes of human error; epidemiology, accident reporting and analysis; accident prevention; human reliability assessment; safety climate and culture; safety systems management.

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 80 2 hour examination. 
Coursework 1 20 Accident analysis 

Dr R Houghton

Education Aims:  

  • 1. Give an understanding of the potential causes of accidents and of human error
  • 2. Introduce methods of investigation of accidents and techniques for analysing accidents and systems reliability
  • 3. Show how accident models and understanding, and insight into human reliability/error will lead to the design of safer organisations and work systems.
  • 4. Explain the nature of risk, risk taking/perception, risk assessment and risk management, and how managing risk involved trade-offs.
  • Learning Outcomes:  On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • LO1 Select and apply appropriate techniques to model and/or quantify human-related safety issues in systems, artefacts and processes.
  • LO2 Evaluate, contribute to and manage organisational policies for safety management.
  • LO3 Demonstrate a rounded, critical appreciation of the need for safety science and hold informed views on related social issues such as risk aversion and blame culture.
  • LO4 Apply core ergonomics/human factors science theories and perspectives to the understanding of real-world problems and safety issues.

    Offering School:  Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

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