Ergonomics (Human Factors) Diploma, MSc, PG certificate

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
1 year
3 years
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Study area:



in the UK for Design

Guardian University Guide 2018


in the UK for Design

The Complete University Guide 2018


If you're looking to develop a general understanding of ergonomics across a range of sectors, our Ergonomics and Human Factors MSc programme is ideal.

Our Ergonomics and Human Factors MSc programme examines how best to ensure a good fit between people, the things they do, the objects they use, and the environments in which they work, travel and play in. You will apply theoretical principles, data and methods to ensure that design is optimised for human wellbeing and overall system performance.

Ergonomics and Human Factors MSc is professionally recognised by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF). As the CIEHF is affiliated with the International Ergonomics Association, our graduates are exposed to a range of valuable employment opportunities worldwide.

You will benefit from teaching provided by world leading academics (for example, Professor George HavenithProfessor Sue Hignett and Professor Andrew Morris), industry experts and specialists in each area, to ensure that you are trained to the highest professional standard.

Previous guest speakers for this programme include industry experts from Humanscale, EDF Energy, Rolls Royce, AMEC, as well as specialists in health and safety, aviation safety, environmental health, health practitioners and experienced lecturers from other Universities.

As well as a full-time MSc qualification, Ergonomics and Human Factors is also offered as a Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate.

The Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre facilities (e.g. environmental test suite, light and vision labs) enable you to the study of the interaction of people with their physical environment. This is located in a specially built facility close to the main School building. 

What makes this programme different?

  • Taught by world-leading academics
  • Specially built ergonomics facilities
  • Learn from guest industry speakers
  • Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors

Who should study this programme?

A unique aspect of all our ergonomics (human factors) programmes is that the modules are block taught, which means you will learn over a one week intensive period of teaching in Loughborough. This flexible approach is suitable for those who wish to work full time or part time alongside their studies.

Past students have joined us from a wide range of academic disciplines and backgrounds, including industrial design, health sciences, human physiology, kinesiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and branches of engineering. 

Entry requirements

For the MSc, an offer will be made to applicants who hold a first or second class upper honours degree in a relevant discipline or closely related subject.

For the Diploma or Certificate, applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

English Language requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not.

IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in all elements.

What you'll study

Our Ergonomics and Human Factors MSc is designed to help you develop ergonomics competencies in critical and practical skills and scientific methods necessary for professional practice and for entry to further research training through teaching by research active staff.


Ergonomics and Human Factors covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Ergonomics

Covered on the qualifications: MSc / Diploma / Certificate

Delivery date: 8 – 12 October 2018 inclusive

This module gives an overview of the different areas of ergonomics, providing orientation and context for future modules. In doing so, it introduces many of the academic and research staff who teach on the programmes, along with their areas of expertise and research. The module also gives a first consideration to a range of issues involved in the use and evaluation of products, equipment and other ergonomics interactions.

Module content: the history, philosophy, definition and scope of ergonomics; the human-machine-environment system; examples of research and practice in a wide range of ergonomics specialities

Human Factors and Systems

Covered on the qualifications: MSc / Diploma / Certificate

Delivery date: 18 – 22 February 2019 inclusive

The aim of this module is to enable you to understand the role of people in systems, and to examine methods for analysing complex systems and designing systems with effective roles for people. Human error is considered by looking at the causation of near misses, incidents, accidents and disasters, in the context of sociotechnical systems thinking.

Module content: the system approach with ergonomics and the role played by humans; methods for carrying out systems ergonomics; task analysis and allocation; accidents and errors; applications in information systems; patient safety; interactive design; job design and teams; human reliability.

Human Function

Covered on the qualifications: MSc / Diploma / Certificate

Delivery date: 19 – 23 November 2018 inclusive

This module provides a foundation in human function relevant to ergonomics: anatomy, biomechanics, physiology and anthropometry. This includes an understanding of physical performance in work and leisure activities.

Module content: human movement and how the musculoskeletal system supports postural stability; static and dynamic physical work affects; body structures and how work influences physiological systems; fundamentals of anthropometry related to work/activity and its application to design.

Environmental Ergonomics

Covered on the qualifications: MSc / Diploma

Delivery date: 29 April – 3 May 2019 inclusive

The aim of the module is to enable you to measure and understand the effects of the physical environment on humans, and to provide the basic principles and practice of environmental ergonomics including general philosophy and the effects of noise, vibration, heat, cold, thermal comfort, vision and lighting.

Module content: auditory perception; vibration related comfort; thermal comfort; vision; lighting; indices; regulation and standards; measurement techniques.

Physical Health at Work

Covered on the qualifications: MSc / Diploma / Certificate

Delivery date: 28 January – 1 February 2019 inclusive

This module looks at aspects of modern work that can affect physical health. It includes consideration of physical agents such as dust, noise and vibration, and physical risk factors such as manual handling. It approaches these issues by understanding the problems, reviewing guidance and regulation, and discussing approaches to minimising and managing physical health risks at work.

Module content: hearing loss; vibration related disorders; eye strain; heat and cold stress; air quality; regulations and standards; management of risk; minimisation of adverse health effects on the physical environment; occupational stress; display screen equipment.

Data Collection and Analysis

Covered on the qualifications: MSc / Diploma

Delivery date: 10 – 14 December 2018 inclusive

The aim of this module is to give you an appreciation of issues involved in the collection and analysis of data involving human participants. The module will include both quantitative and qualitative methodology. By the end of the module you will be able to understand the role of experimental design and analysis, the meaning of a number of standard statistical terms, the application of a number of standard statistical tests and the interpretation of the main elements of associated software output. This includes survey methods and techniques; interviewing (individual and group); sampling; analysis of protocols; observational methods; and checklists.

Module content: theory of qualitative data methodology; survey methods and questionnaire design; interviewing in individual and group (focus) settings; task analysis; observational methods; how to use NVivo and SPSS Software; overview of the role of statistics; presentation of data.

Human Computer Interaction

Covered on the qualifications: MSc / Diploma

Delivery date: 29 October – 2 November 2018 inclusive

This module will give a working knowledge and practical experience of the design and evaluation of human computer interfaces for interactive products and systems in order to create a good user experience. It also aims to give students knowledge of HCI and user interface issues in different application areas.

Module content: description of human-computer interface design principles; a process for user interface design; interface design for particular applications: the car and mobile phones; prototyping, heuristic evaluation and user testing; design of interfaces including a wide range of user abilities.

Project Module (Dissertation)

Covered on the qualification: MSc

Delivery date: 4 – 8 February 2019 inclusive

The aim of the project module is to write a dissertation to: recognise the main ergonomic factors in a given problem/ scenario; to understand the possible inter-relations between these; and to be able to discuss these and find more information on the issues and relationships in order to prepare possible courses of action.

Module content: you will learn how to systematically search and critically evaluate the literature. This includes ethics, methods, hypotheses, approach to the study, framework, models, results, analyses, interpretation etc. The project is conducted on an individual basis, usually in an industrial setting in your chosen area of specialism, under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

Our extensive industrial network often contact us with possible projects for this module. This provides you with the opportunity to work on a real industry project which will be company based and may be within the UK or outside it. If you are currently in employment you may also undertake a project related to your place of work.

Examples of past projects include: an investigation of slips, trips and falls at a UK water supplier; evaluation of the effectiveness of a patient warning mattress; musculoskeletal disorders in medial gas filling operatives; cyclists use of lights and visibility promoting equipment.

Optional modules

Students on our MSc and Diploma qualifications will choose one module from the following list:

Disability, Ageing and Inclusive Design

Delivery date: 7 – 11 January 2019 inclusive

The aims of this module are to develop an awareness of ageing and disability and explore how ergonomists can play a part in the design of products, services and the built environment for older people and people with disabilities; to explore the concepts of ‘universal’ and ‘inclusive’ design, as applied to particular applications (low and high technology examples); and to examine the role of ergonomics in the development and evaluation of adaptations, generic or individual solutions.

Module content: definitions and demographics; media and social models of ageing and disability; contemporary issues in the philosophy, sociology and psychology of ageing and disability; legislation; information sources and relevant human factors techniques including user requirements capture and evaluation; practical experience and case studies of inclusive design principles and of solving accessibility and usability problems; reviews of current research – for example assistive/rehabilitation technology, inclusive design of products and services and the built environment

Transport Safety

Delivery date: 25 – 29 March 2019 inclusive

The aim of the module is to provide students with a detailed understanding of the human factors issues in the design of vehicles with respect to human capabilities and characteristics. This includes critical issues in packaging design for the driver: seating position, access to controls and driver vision. Students will complete a vehicle appraisal and develop their understanding of appropriate research methods.

Module content: the road vehicle usage from a systems perspective; driver anthropometry and packaging; driver interaction with vehicle systems; driver vision and vehicle visibility; inclusive design for enhanced mobility; assessment methods and the impact of intelligent information systems on driver performance. 

Healthcare Ergonomics and Patient Safety

Delivery date: 20 – 24 May 2019 inclusive

This module will include a range of topics from organisational culture to equipment user trials. It contextualises a range of ergonomic approaches within the health and community care sectors and considers how care delivery is affected by environmental design and safety culture.

Module content: safety culture and behaviour; the evaluation and development of spatial requirements for care; the design, purchasing and management of equipment solutions; patient and person handling in theatres, bariatrics, paediatrics and the range of community services; evaluating patient handling strategies and outcomes; patient safety systems and methods; financial analysis and the context of ergonomics within care organisations.

How you'll be assessed

Assessment may include: individual report, group evaluation, group presentation, open book test, class test, critique, coursework, dissertation, and a viva voce.

How you'll study

Each module is block taught, which means you will learn over a one week intensive period in Loughborough. Outside of this time, you will be expected to complete prepared programme materials and assignments using email and the internet. We will provide you with access to an interactive online system to provide you with additional materials and information. This system also enables you to participate in tutorial-type discussion remotely.

Independent study
Group work
Practical sessions

Your personal and professional development

Loughborough Design School is committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.

Future career prospects

Our programmes have strong links with industry. As part of the Ergonomics and Human Factors programme you will be encouraged to undertake your main project in industry, providing realistic experiences and learning. The programme content has a strong practitioner bias where what you are learning provides vocational training towards a career as an ergonomist or human factors expert.

94% of our 2013 – 2015 graduates from this programme are now in employment or further study.

Successful completion of these programmes will enable you to become a professional ergonomics or a human factors practitioner. The nature of the programmes also opens up possibilities in other scientific and research careers. 

Graduate destinations

Example jobs held by our recent graduates include:

  • Chief Trials Officer
  • Ergonomist and Automotive Engineer
  • Graduate Human Factors Engineer
  • Human Factors Consultant
  • Scientist
  • Usability Engineer

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Arup
  • Atkins
  • Canadian Army Trials and Evaluation Unit – Canada
  • Faceui/Facetop Consulting Company – China
  • Medstar Health
  • Semcon AB
  • Jaguar Land Rover

Your personal development

On successful completion of the MSc/PGDip, you should be able to achieve the following:

  • Information Technology: use instructional material (eg, experimental demonstrations) and research tools (eg,. statistical packages) on computers, and search for relevant material on the internet
  • numeracy: collect data in numerical form, present it in tables and graphs, and analyse it with a range of statistical tools
  • problem solving: clarify questions, consider alternative solutions and evaluate outcomes
  • teamwork: share responsibility for a task with others; agree common goals and methods to achieve them; co-ordinate the use of common resources
  • management skills: manage a project, including its interfaces with its context; control meetings, write reports, demonstrate key skills, understand training and skills issues

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.