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An online short course introducing you to applied probability and statistics in safety and risk, 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 all the advantages of online learning wherever you work in the world.  


This short course equips you with important mathematical tools you will need as an engineer working in safety, risk and reliability. You’ll gain vital understanding of applied probability and statistics to use in your own field as you undertake the calculations necessary to quantify risk and assess reliability. You’ll also grow your financial skills in understanding the investment side of risk calculation.

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 may also be a researcher working in risk quantification.

Aberdeen is the obvious choice for this course, as a globally-recognised centre of excellence with over 20 years’ experience in teaching this topic, 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 a full MSc in Safety and Reliability Engineering or Safety and Reliability in Oil and Gas Engineering. Both 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.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of reputation, 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 projects.

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 a full Safety and Reliability Engineering or Safety and Reliability in Oil and Gas Engineering, These programmes are also 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 gain the mathematical foundation of the probabilistic analysis of random variables, and

cover the following modules:

  • Revision of elementary concepts in statistics and probability
  • Important uni-variate distributions
  • The bi-variate and multi-variate normal distribution
  • Parameter estimation and goodness-of-fit
  • Analysis of statistical data
  • Treatment of outliers
  • Analysis of variance
  • Introduction to continuous and discrete stochastic processes

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 advantages 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.

You will also have a final three-hour written examination which will be worth 80% of your mark.  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.