Skip to Content


Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

The world is full of uncertainties and there is a level of risk in every human activity, including engineering.  Many industries require an engineer to manage significant risks and design for high reliability, such as oil and gas, subsea, nuclear, aviation and large civil projects (e.g. bridges and dams).  To  meet these engineering challenges and make rational decisions in the presence of uncertainty, this course will introduce students to methods and tools used by engineers to analysis risk and reliability.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Online Sustained Study No
  • Dr Peter Dunning

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Engineering (EG) (Studied)
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course introduces students to the engineering definitions of risk and reliability and the principles of risk based decision making.  A review of relevant probability and statistics theory required for the course follows, then it focuses on widely used methods and tools for engineering risk and reliability analysis:

• Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis
• Reliability Block Diagrams
• Fault Tree Analysis
• Event Tree Analysis
• Classic Reliability Theory
• Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) Analysis
• Structural Reliability Analysis, including:
• Monte Carlo Methods
• First Order Reliability Method (FORM)

And finally an introduction to human reliability and safety management, including safety management systems.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment (20%) and one 3 hour written examination (80%). Continuous assessment will be an individual report on a fault tree analysis of  a real accident.

The re-sit will comprise of re-doing the failed element/s (exam and/or coursework assessment/s) from the 1st attempt with a maximum CGS mark of D3. The marks for other elements (successfully passed) will be carried over. Resit mark of either RP or RF will be recorded.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Students can receive feedback on their progress on request using email, discussion boards and at weekly tutorial sessions.

Students will get individual feedback on their continuous assessment via MyAberdeen.

Exam feedback will be in the form of the solutions (posted on MyAberdeen) and a summary of the common mistakes made on each question.

Course Learning Outcomes


Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.