Human Factors in Aviation MSc

 

Course Code

EECT066

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Part-time

Duration

2 years part-time (distance)

Start date

September 2022


Course overview

Study level: Postgraduate

This specialist MSc in Human Factors in Aviation is informed by the academic and professional disciplines of Ergonomics, Human Factors and Psychology. The course aims to provide a thorough introduction to the field of human factors, and its application in an aviation context.

  • The human element is vital to the safe and efficient operation of all aspects of the aviation industry. As our understanding of the impact of human behaviour on system and individual performance has increased, the importance of the field of human factors within the aviation industry has grown significantly.
  • With distance learning, part time delivery, the course is aimed at industry professionals within the aviation and aerospace industry that hold operational front-line positions. The course has traditionally attracted a wide range of professionals – from aviation engineers to flight and cabin crew, safety personnel to air traffic controllers, and those working in civil or military organisations.
  • The course is delivered by academic staff with relevant teaching, research and industry experience in aviation human factors (as well as other safety critical industries).
  • As the course is distance learning, students can complete the course part-time from the UK or overseas.
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Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • The human element is vital to the safe and efficient operation of all aspects of the aviation industry. As our understanding of the impact of human behaviour on system and individual performance has increased, the importance of the field of human factors within the aviation industry has grown significantly.
  • As the aviation industry continues to evolve and develop, human factors professionals apply the latest knowledge on human performance, in order to help improve safety and efficiency in aviation operations.
  • With distance learning, part time delivery, the course is aimed at industry professionals within the aviation and aerospace industry that hold operational front-line positions. The course has traditionally attracted a wide range of professionals – from aviation engineers to flight and cabin crew, safety personnel to air traffic controllers, and those working in civil or military organisations. As the course is distance learning, students can complete the course part-time from the UK or overseas.
  • The course is currently delivered by academic staff with relevant teaching, research and industry experience in aviation human factors (as well as other safety critical industries).
  • Course materials have been specifically designed to complement and enhance the existing knowledge of professionals already engaged in this most demanding of industries. The study materials have also been designed to be portable, allowing the opportunity to study at a time and place that fits in around a busy work schedule. Studying by distance learning allows those on the course the opportunity to progress their career in industry, while simultaneously giving them the chance of applying the knowledge and principles gained on the course.

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course has been accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

European Association for Aviation Psychology logo

European Association for Aviation Psychology

Accredited by the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP), this MSc course has been approved as an accredited course leading to certification as a European Human Factors Specialist in Aviation/Aviation Psychologist for appropriately qualified members of EAAP. NB: Accreditation does not apply to Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma awards.

This course is accredited by EAAP for the 2022-23 intake. If the accreditation of this course changes, we would seek to notify applicants and students as soon as possible.



What you'll study

In the first year you will study six mandatory modules covering the main areas of human factors in aviation (human information processing, decision making and error, flight deck design, selection, stress and stressors, training and simulation), plus you will be asked to undertake a critical review of contemporary literature on a topic within the field.

Human Factors Research Methods and Data Analysis are included within each taught module, which is designed to allow a more focused approach and demonstration of their application in a range of different contexts.

Modules

  • Introduces the basic concepts of human information processing, and its application in the applied aeronautical context. You then have the opportunity to become familiar with the concepts of workload and situation awareness, associated measurement techniques and their importance in all aspects of system design and evaluation.

    Compulsory

  • Examines the major schools of thought in the study of decision-making and the processes for improving aviation decision making. You will then have the opportunity to consider the nature of error, its root causes and methods by which it may be mitigated. These concepts will be illustrated within an aviation context where applicable.

    Compulsory

  • Introduces you to the issues relating to human factors in flight deck design, including displays and controls, the use of automation, and human-computer interactions on the commercial flight deck.

    Compulsory

  • Introduces the psychology of individual differences, focusing on personality and cognitive ability, as well as the measurement of these concepts. We then examine the areas of psychological stress and environmental stressors within an aviation environment, alongside the effects of such stressors on human performance.

    Compulsory

  • Introduces the training lifecycle, with particular emphasis on the analysis, design and evaluation of training, and explores the role of simulation in an aviation training context.

    Compulsory

  • Provides an opportunity to explore the scientific literature associated with an area of human factors relevant to the course. In addition, it gives an opportunity to develop key skills in literature searching, critical analysis and synthesis, and academic reporting of literature.

    Literature reviews undertaken by past graduates have included just culture, decision making in complex naturalistic environments, psychological stress in aviation, motion platforms in flight simulation, enhancing crew resource management training, non-compliance with procedure, fatigue in aviation, barriers to incident reporting and perceptions towards unmanned aerial systems.

    Compulsory

In the second year, you will study two mandatory modules covering applied areas of human factors in aviation (crew resource management and human factors and safety management). You will then undertake an industry-related human factors research thesis, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you should have gained during the course and allowing you the chance to develop your ability to design, plan, execute and communicate an applied research project in the field.

Human Factors Research Methods and Data Analysis are included within each taught module, which is designed to allow a more focused approach and demonstration of their application in a range of different contexts.

Modules

  • Introduces the principles of crew/team resource management and looks at the literature behind non-technical skills, such as decision-making, communication, leadership/team working, situation awareness and fatigue management. You will also be introduced to the process of identifying, training and assessing non-technical skills in the applied aeronautical context.

    Compulsory

  • Provides an overview of the organisation-wide safety management function, where the emphasis is on risk management and avoiding (or managing) error across operations. You will also have the opportunity to consider approaches used to investigate the human factors aspects of aviation accidents and incidents.

    Compulsory

  • This module provides the background in study skills and research methods to enable students to carry out taught masters projects.

    Compulsory

  • Gives an opportunity to undertake an empirical research-based project related to human factors in aviation. The project is likely to investigate in depth (to Master’s level) an applied real world problem which is of interest to the individual student.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

The MSc Human Factors in Aviation is offered part-time over a minimum of two years on a distance learning, modular basis. It is expected that most students will complete the course in two years.

Learning is delivered in a distance learning format facilitated by the university’s digital learning environment. Aula4 is used as the virtual learning environment on all modules. Course materials have been specifically designed to complement and enhance the existing knowledge of professionals already engaged in this most demanding of industries. Students are also directed to recommended reading and are given access to a range of online academic and industry resources via the digital library resources to support them in their self-directed inquiry and research.

Whilst access to the internet will be required, the study materials have also been developed to be portable as possible, allowing the opportunity to study them at a time and place that fits in around their busy work schedule. Studying by distance learning allows students to progress their career in industry, while simultaneously giving them the chance of applying the knowledge and principles gained on the course.

A range of teaching and learning methods are used across the course and include online distributed course materials, online asynchronous bulletin-board based discussion groups, structured activities, guided reading, some synchronous module support sessions, videos, remote access to journal articles, book chapters and e-books, one-to-one guidance and supervision. As the programme is distance learning, these methods form the guided and directed study content of the modules.

The course is delivered by a diverse team of academics4 with relevant teaching, applied research and industry experience in aviation human factors (and other safety-critical industries). This experience is then incorporated into the course via application, examples, case studies and projects.

Please note, staff and the current online Learning Platform provider may be subject to change.


Assessment

The course is assessed 100% via coursework and takes several forms including structured case study questions, essays, presentations, coursework and assignments, journal and individual projects.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


International experience opportunities

Aviation is a global industry, with the field of human factors recognised internationally. Due to the distance learning nature, this course has previously attracted UK, European and International students, many of which bring with them experience from working in a range of countries and organisations.


Entry requirements

Applicants should ideally hold an honour's degree 2:2 or an equivalent international qualification or above in a cognate, psychology, medical or engineering discipline, and have experience in the operational aspects of the aviation industry.

However, applications from candidates with relevant experience and professional qualifications, or those with an undergraduate degree in another discipline will also be considered on an individual basis.

Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision will be made by the course director.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Applicants should ideally hold an honour's degree 2:2 or above or an equivalent international qualification in a cognate, psychology, medical or engineering discipline, and be involved in the operational aspects of the aviation industry.

However, applications from candidates with relevant experience and professional qualifications, or those with an undergraduate degree in another discipline will also be considered on an individual basis.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Some international students may require an ATAS certificate to study this course. For further information see our ATAS Certificates web page.

English language requirements

  • This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £10,600 per year Not available
International £16,950 per year Not available

As this course is part-time, you will be expected to take 90 credits each year, so pay 50% of the full-time fee each year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationary, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Careers and opportunities

The Human Factors in Aviation MSc course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of human factors within aviation and to develop knowledge, skills and expertise that can be applied in the human factors field. The course also aims to develop students’ intellectual and transferable skills and attributes.

Specifically, the educational aims of the course are to:

  • Provide the opportunity to undertake advanced study in human factors and the application of this domain to the aviation industry.
  • Create an educational environment that gives access to academic, research and applied experience within the field.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate and apply their knowledge to address complex issues and challenges within the field.
  • Develop knowledge and skills to make significant contributions to the human factors profession and the society in which they operate in.
  • Develop and enhance general transferable skills and attributes relevant to a role in human factors.

As the aviation industry continues to evolve and develop, human factors professionals apply the latest knowledge on human performance, in order to help improve safety and efficiency in aviation operations. The Chartered Institute of Human Factors and Ergonomics states ‘the need for ergonomists has never been greater’ (CIEHF, 2020). NB: human factors and ergonomics are terms used interchangeably depending on the prevalence in the specific industry.

Studying by distance learning allows those on the course the opportunity to progress their career in industry, while simultaneously giving them the chance of applying the knowledge and principles gained on the course.

Potential destinations for human factors professionals include airlines and aircraft operators, air traffic control services, engineering organisations, aerospace manufacturers, safety consultancies and research organisations.

In addition to the knowledge and application of the areas of human factors addressed, you will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable professional skills during your studies, including the ability to produce written reports, engage in self-directed study, design, plan and execute a piece of applied human factors research and demonstrate a critical awareness of professional, legal, social and ethical issues.

Following the course, if you wish to look at a potential change of employment, the university's Talent Team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career. 

Where our graduates work

Past graduates of this course are typically already in employment, normally within the aviation industry and successful completion of this master’s course can support them in their potential future career options.


How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2022/23 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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