Skip to Content


Last modified: 24 Jun 2020 14:31

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 Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Peter Dunning

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

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

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 25 - 30, 32 - 34, 38 - 39
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 26 - 30, 32 - 34, 38 - 39

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Coursework report (20%)

Open Book exam (80%)



Re-sit of only the failed assessment component(s)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome

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.