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An online short course introducing engineers to concepts and tools of safety and risk management, applicable in all areas of industry.

Learn from the best in the business, with a university at the forefront of teaching and professional training for ambitious engineers and a Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) Centre for Safety and Reliability Engineering.

Gain vital professional knowledge, and skills and career advantage – with the advantages of online learning wherever you work in the world.  


An online opportunity to gain a broad and thorough introduction to the field of safety and reliability engineering, including the basic concepts and tools of safety and risk management, and the legal frames related to engineering safety.

We’ve designed this course for you as a graduate or practising engineer looking to develop your career in safety and reliability engineering and risk management. There is a continuing high demand for people with specialist knowledge in these areas, partly a result of new legal requirements to assess and control industrial risks to people and the environment, and partly because of the need to create high integrity engineering systems in many industries.

You’ll cover the fundamentals of safety engineering, natural and man-made hazards, safety measures, accident and failure statistics, risk assessment tools and fundamentals of risk management, classical reliability theory, modelling of engineering systems as series and parallel systems, and UK safety legislation and its historical, offshore and other regulations.

Aberdeen is the obvious choice for this course, as a globally-recognised centre of excellence in Safety engineering and a Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) Centre for Safety and Reliability Engineering.

You’ll be taught by highly-experienced tutors with strong research and industrial backgrounds.  Your programme benefits from an Industry Advisory Board which constantly reviews your course content to ensure that you gain state-of-the-art knowledge and are up to date with emerging trends, technologies and career opportunities.

You can study this credit-bearing online short course standalone, or use it as a taster to progress to one of three online MSc programmes depending on your professional interests and career aspirations: Safety and Reliability Engineering, Safety and Reliability in Oil and Gas Engineering, or Renewable Energy Engineering.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of reputation, long experience, breadth of expertise, teaching and research strength, location and international outlook, makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of first-class education in all areas of engineering. We have been teaching safety and reliability engineering for over 20 years.

We are a Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) Centre for Safety and Reliability Engineering, now building on existing expertise and track record within our School of Engineering to form a world-class unit for research and teaching in safety and reliability engineering.

To ensure that the degree programmes remain current and connected to industry, the programme is developed and reviewed by an Industry Advisory Board, made up of experienced professionals from a range of backgrounds.

Our close links with industry ensure that you experience lectures taught by industry professionals and world-class academics who have worked in the industry and today collaborate with industry colleagues on cutting-edge research.

Aberdeen engineering graduates are today working at senior level, including CEO and MD, in the offshore industry worldwide. Wherever you are working in the world you are likely to have a fellow Aberdeen graduate engineer working with you.

You can study this credit-bearing online short course standalone, or use your credits to progress to Masters programmes Safety and Reliability Engineering, Safety and Reliability in Oil and Gas Engineering, or Renewable Energy Engineering. All these programmes are available fully online, for you to study at your own pace, at any location, and fitting around your work and personal commitments.

What you'll study

You’ll be introduced to the basic concepts and tools of safety and risk management. You’ll also examine the legal frames related to engineering safety.

You’ll cover the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of risk management
  • Classical reliability theory
  • Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
  • Reliability Block Diagram
  • Fault Tree Analysis
  • Event Tree Analysis
  • Bayesian Network modelling
  • UK safety legislations including historic development, Health and Safety at Work Act, offshore and other regulations.

How you'll study

This 12-week online learning short course offers all the flexibility and convenience to study when, where and how you choose, and to fit your learning around your location, work and personal commitments.

Our online courses are delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), as self-contained units of learning taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes, and developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.

We aim to create an international online classroom experience and student community which enables you to enjoy the same learning experience as students on our full degree programmes, including access to a suite of learning resources and support.

We expect you to work 10-15 hours per week on your course work and associated reading. Material will be provided weekly via the VLE in the form of two hours of video lectures and tutorial. You will have plenty of opportunity to interact with your tutors, and with your online classmates on discussion boards.

Wherever you are in the world, as you enjoy the advantage of online study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen family and learning community.


You will have two assessments during your course, and they will account for 20% of your final mark.

At the end of the course you’ll have a written examination worth 80% of your marks. Through our network of partners throughout the world we will arrange a convenient location for you to sit your exam. Alternatively, if you are based in Aberdeen, you can take your exam on our Aberdeen campus.

Entry Requirements

In general, applicants are expected to hold a relevant degree; however alternative/lower qualifications, combined with an appropriate level of relevant experience, may also be considered as a means for entry.

All students entering the University, including online courses, must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study our programmes effectively. Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. For details of our pre-sessional English courses see our Language Centre website.