MSc (Occupational Health and Safety)—full-time and part-time
HDipAppSc (Occupational Health and Safety)—full-time and part-time

College of Science

Course overview

Course Highlights

NUI Galway has been at the forefront of providing postgraduate education in the area of Occupational Health and Safety since the early 1990’s. The graduate employment record for our programme is excellent, over 90% of the students from the class of 2013 – 2014 are now employed in Occupational Health and Safety related roles.

In 2013 our Occupational Health and Safety programme celebrated 21 years, and is the longest running Occupational Health and Safety programme in Ireland. Over the years we have continued to revised and update the content our programme to meet the evolving needs of the workplace. Occupational Health and safety has become a prominent component of the work environment and society and continues to be a growth area for employment. 

Graduate Employment

Our graduates are qualified to apply for a range of roles. For example some are employed as Environmental Health and Safety Professionals, Safety Professionals, Safety Engineers, Occupational Hygienists, Ergonomists, Occupational Health Nurses, and Safety Advisors in a wide range of sectors, including PharmaChem, Healthcare, Medical Device, Consulting Firms, Local Authorities, and Statutory Bodies in Ireland and abroad. Some of our graduates choose to continue in education and study for a PhD. We have graduates employed in following organisations;

Alkermes Pharma Ire. Ltd

Sypol Ltd

Creganna Tectx Medical


Xodus Group UAE

SBM Offshore

Boston Scientific

Ingersoll Rand

Offaly County Council


GreenCap NAA, Melbourne


HSE Australia

Health and Safety Authority

Cambus Medical

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Intel Corporation

Laya Healthcare

International Accreditations

Our programme is recognised by the Irish Health and Safety Authority and satisfies the academic requirements for membership of the UK Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS). The MSc/HDip programme is also a Bord Altranais Category 11 approved course approved course which requires that nurses applying to undertake the programme.

What will you study?

You will study subjects such as, safety and risk management, occupational health, industrial/occupational hygiene, environmental monitoring, ergonomics, environmental epidemiology, legal studies, research methods.

Our programmes are multidisciplinary in nature, teaching is delivered by academics from the College of Science, the College of Business and Public Policy and Law, the College of Engineering and Informatics, and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Industrial experts and practitioners also deliver guest lectures. 

Key facts

Entry requirements

MSc: open to students who have obtained an Honours BSc degree or its equivalent as determined by the College of Science, in an appropriate discipline. Students without an adequate academic background but with relevant work experience may be required to attend for interview. As both programmes including the HDip are approved as Bord Altranais Category 11 courses, nurses applying to undertake either programme must have active registration in a division maintained by An Bord Altranais.

Applications from graduates of the HDip (Occupational Health and Safety, wishing to complete the the MSc (Occupational Health and Safety), will be considered from graduates who obtained minimum H2.2, and who have relevant work experience.

HDip: The minimum entry requirement is a BSc (General) degree or the possession of a primary degree or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the College of Science for the purposes of this Diploma (e.g. RGN). Final selection may be made on the basis of an interview.

Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 90 MSc, 60 HDip

Average intake: 15 full-time; 5 part-time

Closing date: Please refer to the review/closing date website.

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

Students will study specific Health and Safety topics such as occupational health, occupational hygiene, ergonomics, safety and risk management, research methods, and legal studies. Students will also be exposed to relevant domain experts through seminars and through work place site visits.

Students are also required to undertake advanced studies in one of the subject areas, to prepare them for their minor research thesis. The programme content is delivered using various teaching methods such as lectures, laboratory work, work place visits and a minor research thesis.

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). 

Places are allocated based on the outcome of an assessment of the online applications submitted. Consideration is given to academic performance, relevant past experience, and knowledge of the subject matter of Occupational Health & Safety. Applicants, at the discretion of the selection committee, may be invited to attend for personal interview and/or selection test.

Who teaches this course?

Dr Marie Coggins BSc, MSc, PhD, LFOH (Academic Director 2014-15)
Dr Martina Kelly BA, HDipEd, MSc
Dr Victoria Hogan BA, MSc, CMIOSH
Mr Enda Fallon BE, MEngSc, MIEI, M.Erg.S, FIES
Ms Deirdre Callanan
Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn BA, MA, PhD, C.Psychol, AFBPs, C. Sci.
Dr Jane Sixsmith RGN, HV, BSc, MA, PhD
Dr Michal Molcho BA, MA, PhD
Dr Margaret Hodgins MA, PhD 

Requirements and assessment

Laboratory practicals, continuous assessment, written examinations, project in occupational health and safety.

Find out more

Dr Marie Coggins
T: +353 91 495 056

PAC code

GYS12 (full-time), GYS25 (part-time) MSc
GYS17 (full-time), GYS24 (part-time) HDip

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,815 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €6,591 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,750 p.a. 2015/16

EU fee for M.Sc. €6,815; EU fee for H.Dip. €5,965.

Celebrating over 21 years


Graduate profile

Mohammad Occ Health testimonial 

Mohammad Husan

"Working as an infection control nurse and health and safety representative  in a Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) hospital; gave me a great sense of HSE awareness. One of the objective of KOC is to develop an organizational culture that is mindful, Informed & fair with respect to Health & Safety. We continue to create a health program for thousands of employees working in rural and remote project areas. We need to anticipate, evaluate and set control measures of workplace environmental health hazards which may cause sickness, impaired health & well-being. Finding this program in NUI Galway, after BSc Nursing; would set me for my future goals and a better outcome for our employee training & control plan. A vivid programme which could help you in developing a better future for your workplace, no matter is your background." 

Aoife Mulvihill
Aoife Mulvihill

"Since qualifying as a General Nurse I had worked in a variety of healthcare environments. My area of specialisation was Emergency Nursing where I cared for patients in the critical or emergency phase of an illness or trauma. During my time working in the acute hospital environment I felt that health promotion at an occupational level was particularly important to the prevention and early detection of serious illness. In 2007 I completed my MSc in Occupational Health & Safety and Ergonomics at NUIG in order to train as an Occupational Health Nurse. I found the course extremely enjoyable and interesting, it was challenging at times but with the support and assistance from the lecturers it was made easier. I currently work as an Occupational Health Nurse in a major pharmaceutical company in Cork, where I am responsible for the day to day management of the occupational health centre. I see the workplace as an ideal setting where health promotion can be most effective in the prevention of both work and non-work related employee illness. The knowledge and experience that I gained during my year studying at NUIG was invaluable and has provided me with the necessary foundation to develop my career to date. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who wants to enhance their skills set and further their job opportunities."



Current students

David Occ Health testimonial  

Dr. David I. Osime—MSc Occupational Health and Safety, 2015–16

"I am currently in the Master of Science programme, Occupational Health and Safety (ful-ltime). I took time off General Practice in the hospital to study this course as its practice is suddenly gaining a lot of recognition in Nigeria, where healthcare professionals with knowledge of core health and safety issues are few. Thus far, I have been exposed to this course at a pace I can handle. Facilities(especially the library) are state-of-the-art and the lecturers are not only just approachable, they go the extra mile to engage students with practical workshops, seminars, tutorials as well as lectures from renowned tutors in the health and safety sector. This has built my depth in this course and overall, I find this course deeply satisfying." 

Olivia Carty—MSc Occupational Health and Safety, 2013–14 

"I am currently studying the MSc in Occupational Health and Safety (part-time). After completing my primary degree in  Environmental Science,  I worked for a number of years as an Environmental and Safety Engineer in Henkel Loctite, Tallaght from 2003–2005. I found myself gravitating towards health and safety projects, in the companies where I worked. 

After a number of years out of the field while I took care of my young family. I was looking for the opportunity to up skill in the Health and Safety area, while  keeping my current job. This course is perfect for working people, the course runs two days a week and I find the content relevant and interesting. All areas of this broad and dynamic field are dealt with, allowing graduates to feel confident in whichever sector they find Health and Safety work."

Mary Duggan—HDipAppSc Occupational Health and Safety, 2013–14

 "I am currently studying the Higher Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (full-time). I have an interest in the psychological factors that play a role in health and safety practices at work. I have a BA Honours Degree in Political Science & Sociology and Psychology from NUI Galway, together with several years experience working as an Executive Assistant for a number of blue chip companies in the UK where I had some input into their health and safety policies.

This course is very interesting and I am confident that I am gaining expert knowledge and skills which will enable me to carry out a future role effectively in this area.  The lecturers are most helpful and it’s obvious that they are experts in their fields. I would have no hesitation in recommending this course to other prospective students."