UCC Postgraduate courses

Occupational Health (Online)

Course Fact File
Duration22 Months Part-time
Teaching ModePart-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing Date31 July 2024
Non-EU Closing Date30 June 2024
Course Delivery MethodOnline
Start Date21 August 2024

Course Outline

UCC’s MSc Occupational Health is a part-time programme delivered wholly online offering students a structured programme with a flexible mode of learning. The programme integrates occupational health and safety into a multidisciplinary perspective. It offers students the opportunity to study modern cutting-edge scientific concepts and research evidence on causation, prevention, and management of work-related accidents, injury, and disease. The programme incorporates the following subject areas which can be then applied to practice.

  • Public Health & Health Promotion
  • Psychology
  • Risk Assessment and Management
  • Ergonomics & Safety Science
  • Occupational Medicine and Hygiene
  • Law
  • Training and Development
  • Epidemiology & Environmental Health

The format of the teaching is conducive to student networking and the sharing of knowledge and practical experience. In several modules, students will work with practical case studies and engage in project work, reflective inquiry, and discussion.

This 90-credit MSc in Occupational Health online programme meets the needs of the busy professional, offering a flexible, yet structured, approach to learning. The programme is designed to allow people to undertake their studies while working simultaneously with the intention to meet work, personal and academic requirements. This programme consists of 90-credit modules, 70-credit of taught modules, and a 20-credit research dissertation module. 

Students take modules to the value of 90 credits as follows:

Part I - Year 1

  • EH6107 Principles and Practices of Occupational Health and Safety (Online) (10 credits)
  • EH6109 Occupational Health and Safety Management in the Workplace (Online) (10 credits)
  • EH6153 Quantitative Research and Epidemiology (10 credits)
  • LW6109 Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Law (online) (10 credits)

Part I - Year 2

Core Modules

  • EH6110 Risk Assessment and Implementation of Health and Safety Management Programmes (10 credits)
  • EH6141 Psychosocial Epidemiology (online) (5 credits)
  • EH6142 Risk Assessment and Management of Psychosocial Risks (online) (5 credits)
  • AD6073 Training and Development Issues in Occupational Health (online) (5 credits)

Elective Modules (choose one module)

  • EH6000 Introduction to Implementation Research and Practice in Public Health (5 credits)
  • EH6130 Critical Appraisal of Publications for Research and Practice (5 credits)
  • EH6140 Environmental Health: Principal Aspects and Burden of Disease (5 credits)
  • EH6159 Health Promotion II (5 credits)

Part II

  • EH6114 Dissertation in Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellbeing (20 credits)

Learning Outcomes/Objectives

  • Demonstrate an awareness of occupational health from a multidisciplinary perspective including occupational medicine, epidemiology, psychology, public health, safety science, law, training, and development;
  • Practice measures to prevent disease and injury, and to protect and promote physical and mental health, safety, and well-being in occupational settings with the application of the newest research evidence;
  • Perform risk assessments and management in the workplace for both physical and psychosocial risk factors;
  • Employ skills to critically appraise publications and statistics and stay up-to-date with the newest research evidence;
  • Design occupational health and safety training and development programmes in line with organisational policy;
  • Design and carry out an ethical piece of scholarly research and health and safety programme evaluation;
  • Systematically search and select credible and accurate sources of information for Occupational Health and Safety practice and research;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a specialised area and develop critical personal reflection of experience to shape future professional practice and development;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the major legal principles relevant to occupational health and safety, employment and the environment.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This programme will be taught online over 22 months. As this is a structured Masters programme, students have to engage with their coursework consistently for the duration of each module.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

The programme is a completed value of 90 credits. Each 10-credit module will be delivered over 8 weeks and 5-credit modules delivered over 4 weeks with one module being delivered at a time according to the pre-determined programme calendar. Each 10-credit module consists of an estimated student workload of 200 hours, and it is 100 hours for a 5-credit module. This consists of online: 

  • Self-directed learning, required readings and subject investigation
  • E-tivities (e.g. student quizzes and regular participation in discussion boards)
  • Preparation of written and/or oral assignments 


A range of continuous assessments is used across the modules. These may include essays, case studies, online presentations, quizzes, accumulative report writing, reflective journal, and e-tivities.

Who teaches this course.

The course is delivered by the School of Public Health staff in conjunction with the School of Law and the Centre for Adult Continuing Education at University College Cork.

Why Choose This Course

Why Study this Course?

Purple text for the IOSH logo, against white background accented with a blue circle, for the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

This programme has been accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) which allows you to access IOSH Student Membership for the duration of your studies subject to meeting the eligibility criteria. On successful completion of this qualification, you will meet the academic requirements to progress your membership with IOSH. The level that you progress to will differ depending on your work experience in OSH. Progressing through IOSH’s member grades is a gateway to Chartered status. As IOSH is the only organisation in the world that offers Chartered membership to health and safety professionals, this can help you achieve the highest professional standards and gain international recognition. 

Our programme integrates ‘classical’ occupational health and safety with ‘modern’ approaches applicable to a wide range of industries, the healthcare sector, and public administration. We address risk assessment and management of both psychosocial and physical hazards in the workplace. We include approaches to prevent accidents and injuries combined with the promotion of health and well-being in the workplace.  The course has a special focus on psychosocial aspects of work, which are becoming more and more relevant in modern occupational health and safety management.  For example, we address work organisation and stress factors relevant to health and safety such as work demands, control, social support, working hours, workplace bullying and violence, and work-related injuries and illnesses with psychosocial components such as musculoskeletal injuries and mental health problems.  The presentation of the content is informed by the most up-to-date research evidence and applied to practice. The breadth of content and research methods is taught through a trans-disciplinary approach. Our programme teaches health and safety in practice with real-life scenarios for students to learn from. Students will learn how to conduct appropriate risk assessments to optimise health, safety, and well-being, how to design health promotion and wellbeing programmes, and how to prevent accidents and injury for employees in their workplace.

Graduates are also equipped with up-to-date skills to research and evaluate factors that contribute to a safe and healthy physical & psychosocial work environment and will be supported to publish their dissertation in scientific peer-reviewed journals. For those of you who would like to continue their study in Occupational Health, we offer participation in ongoing research projects and Ph.D options in Occupational Health.
Our excellent academic staff graduated from renowned academic institutions such as UC Berkeley, Harvard, and University College London. Our lecturers originate from around the world, including Ireland, Canada, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. They are well experienced in accommodating an international community of students and addressing international and global perspectives on occupational health issues.

Skills and Careers Information

  • Graduates already working in OSH or Occupational Health can progress in their career and move to higher-level managerial positions (e.g. Health and Safety Manager, Health Promotion Manager, Occupational Health and Wellbeing Manager),
  • Graduates who changed their career can move into employed positions in different industries, common job titles: occupational health officer, safety officer, health & safety officer, health and safety coordinator, quality officer, occupational health promotion officer, occupational health and wellbeing officer, environmental health officer, health and safety adviser, environmental health officer and ergonomist. Some of these posts may require further qualifications,
  • Graduates can also apply for jobs in regulatory agencies, e.g. as a safety inspector,
  • Graduates can set up their own Health and Safety or Health Promotion Consultancy Business,
  • Others may stay in their current position (e.g. as an HR manager, safety engineer, occupational health nurse) and apply their broadened knowledge). The MSc in Occupational Health also offers the opportunity to further engage in research in this area and to pursue a PhD.


Candidates for the MSc programme in Occupational Health Online must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in a relevant area, for example, a health-related field (such as Public Health, Nursing, Medicine, Environmental Health, Psychology/Behavioural Science, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy); a business-related field (such as Human Resource Management, Management and Law), engineering-related (such as Ergonomics, Systems Engineering) or science-related (such as Industrial Hygiene, Environmental Science). Relevant professional experience or work placement is desirable in an area relevant to occupational health, safety, welfare and well-being practice and/or research;


  • A minimum of an NFQ Level 8 Diploma/Higher Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare (minimum Second Class Honours, Grade 1), from UCC or an equivalent qualification² from another Institution (NFQ Level 8 Diploma, minimum Second Class Honours Grade I) AND a minimum of one year's professional work experience¹ in an area relevant to Occupational Health, Safety, Welfare and Wellbeing practice and/or research;


  • Applicants with a minimum of three years of professional work experience and/or evidence of continuous professional development/ training in an associated area¹ of Occupational Health, Safety, Welfare and well-being may be invited for an interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme, under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

¹Areas of relevant professional work experience include, but are not limited to fields such as Health and Safety; Environmental Safety; Safety Engineering; Health Promotion; Work Psychology; Ergonomics; Human Resources; Training and Development; Occupational Health Nursing; Health Science.

²Level 8 examples: Diploma/Higher Diploma/International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety; Diploma in Environment Management, Diploma in Health Promotion, Diploma in Learning, Development and Work-based Training.

Technical Requirements

To access and interact with the course content, assignments and assessments etc., students will require access to at least a PC/Laptop running current Windows or Mac operating systems. Students will need to have admin rights on their PC/laptop to download UCC-approved software. Common plug-ins will also be required. Students must have access to MS Office or an equivalent suite of applications. They must also have access to a modern standards-compliant web browser. UCC recommends either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

  • To engage productively and successfully with the content, basic technical computer skills such as familiarity with word processing, web browsing and email are recommended.


For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please upload your CV here.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2024

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact