Masters | Postgraduate Course - Systems Safety Engineering PG Cert Course Details within University of York

University of York
Tel:+ 44 (0) 1904 325404
Fax:+ 44 (0) 1904 325599
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Contact Name
Alex King
+44 (0)1904 325402
+44 (0)1904 325599
Systems Safety Engineering PG Cert

Study Details

PG Cert 2 years PT

This modular advanced Certificate course is designed to prepare students for work in the demanding field of Safety Systems Engineering (SSE) by exposing them to the latest science and technology within this field. The discipline of SSE has developed over the last half of the twentieth century. It can be viewed as a process of systematically analysing systems to evaluate risks, with the aim of influencing design in order to reduce risks, i.e. to produce safer products. In mature industries, such as aerospace and nuclear power, the discipline has been remarkably successful, although there have been notable exceptions to the generally good safety record, e.g. the Chernobyl and Ariane 5 accidents.

Various trends pose challenges for traditional approaches to SSE. For example, classical hazard and safety analysis techniques deal poorly with computers and software where the dominant failure causes are errors and oversights in requirements or design. Thus these techniques need extending and revising in order to deal effectively with modern systems. Also, in our experience, investigation of issues to do with safety of computer systems have given some useful insights into traditional system safety engineering, e.g. into the meaning of important concepts such as the term hazard. 

The courses may be used as part of a Continuing Professional Development programme for The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) or British Computer Society (BCS) members.

Module details

Students must take six taught modules, five of which are mandatory and one is optional, chosen from the available optional specialist subject modules. The course is taken over 2 years.

Each module is taught full time in York for one week. Its associated assessed exercise, which may be completed on or off site, takes approximately 35 hours in addition. All assessed exercises are open, comprising a report, case study, or documented piece of software. There are no closed examinations. 

Each student is allocated a personal supervisor from within the Department who meets the student regularly to discuss progress during both the teaching and project phases. In addition, industrial supervisors will be responsible for the day to day supervision of projects that are undertaken in industry. 

More information can be found at

Entry Requirements

Typically applicants for the Certificate in Safety Critical Systems Engineering will have achieved at least a second class degree in Computer Science or a related discipline with an appropriate mathematical basis. Industrial experience is also useful. This part-time course is specifically directed at those with several years of industrial experience. An appropriate degree is desirable, but many applicants will have reached degree-level knowledge through their work experience.

Closing Date for Applications

Applications are accepted all year round.

RAE Score and League Table Rankings

The Department of Computer Science is ranked as a top ten department in all the league tables, including the Guardian, the Times and the Complete University Guide. The last Research Assessment Exercise rated the majority of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent.