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Start date

1 year(s) full-time

Program Code

2020: AUD$ 37,800 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Gain advanced knowledge in the development of expert safety management systems.
  • Focus on the interaction between humans and the socio-technical systems in which they work.
  • Draw on international research expertise and a series of applied projects.
  • Program delivered completely online by highly experienced academics and industry personnel.



Human factors is an emerging professional area. It focuses on the improvement of organisational safety and performance. Human factors is relevant whenever improvements to human well being and performance mesh with technological and system performance.

Through this qualification you will develop the ability to:

  • incorporate human factors into organisations to lead to competitive advantages in the marketplace 
  • recognise and systematically address common problems that contribute to human error
  • recognise and address the potential for human error in novel or unusual circumstances and situations
  • improve product quality and performance
  • improve human-machine-system interaction

Please note that this qualification is offered online only. It is not available to international students studying in Australia under a student visa. International students may study online from their home country.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Human factors is a multi-disciplinary applied science that integrates psychology, engineering, ergonomics, management and industrial design. It explores socio-technical systems in the workplace – the relationship between technology, individuals and organisations in work place design.

The advanced knowledge and strong research skills you will develop in this qualification can be applied to a wide range of industries including aviation, transportation, healthcare, mining and defence. You will play a critical role in enhancing workplace safety and productivity. 

If you are studying part-time, we recommend you complete the four courses offered in the Graduate Certificate in Human Factors and Organisational Safety first.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Note(s): 1
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Work Health & Safety Law and Corporate Social Responsibility BUSS 5203 4.5
Safety Management Systems BEHL 5051 4.5 Note(s): 2
Human Factors Design and Usability BEHL 5057 4.5
Shiftwork and Sleep BEHL 5049 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Foundations and Applications of Human Factors BEHL 5050 4.5 Note(s): 2
General Risk and Workplace Management BUSS 5212 4.5
Humans and Complex Socio-Technical Systems BEHL 5061 4.5
Contemporary and Future Issues in Human Factors BEHL 5055 4.5

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies at UniSA will incorporate both practical, professionally-focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • written essays and assignments
  • online group participation and discussions

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Diploma in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems

Why this Degree

As it is delivered entirely online, this graduate diploma is ideal for full-time and part-time students, or for full-time workers.

Real-world connections

UniSA collaborates with over 2,500 companies worldwide. These extensive industry connections give us a truly competitive edge – our students get real-world skills and contacts.

We emphasise hands-on training and knowledge. As part of this graduate diploma you will draw on international research expertise and a series of applied projects to make your studies applicable to the real world.

Career outcomes

Your career

Employment opportunities for Occupational and Environmental Health Professionals are expected to grow over 9 per cent in Australia between now and 20231. The skills you will learn in this qualification are broad and they can be applied to almost any industry, including:

  • aviation
  • transportation
  • healthcare
  • mining
  • defence
  • security 

Careers to consider:

  • occupational health, welfare and safety manager: managing workplace health and safety including monitoring compliance, training, policies and procedures, and auditing
  • WHS risk manager: working right across an organisation providing high level advice, security and risk management planning, incident response, and organisational operating procedures
  • human factors consultant: analysing work methods and identifying opportunities to improve safety and performance through the integration of human factors techniques
  • incident and accident investigation officer: attending incidents and investigation activities; delivering briefs and reports; managing emergency responses

1Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business Projections 2018

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia.

When you are ready, apply through our International Application System.

If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

Alternative Pathways

The Graduate Certificate in Organisational Safety and Human Factors provides a pathway into this qualification.    


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a student at the University of South Australia you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

  • careers advice
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • services offered through our student association, USASA
  • accommodation services 

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

My research in human factors includes the implications of driver-only rail operations, the effects of an in-cab advisory system, zone controller errors, and investigating causes of tram-on-tram collisions. My particular interests are in the cognitive effects of technology in the workplace, situation awareness, and user resistance to technology.

Dr Doug Drury

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Doug Drury
Portrait image for Dr Doug Drury

Dr Doug Drury

Program Director


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What others are saying

I have been involved in three practical experience opportunities. In one of these I was offered part-time work at an electronics company in Japan, which really opened my eyes and enhanced my confidence.

Jaimie Dolling

Graduate Diploma in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems

Jaimie Dolling

Jaimie Dolling

Graduate Diploma in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems

What I like most about my degree is the high standard of the course material and the quality of the teaching. The skills that I have gained are in demand and applicable to what industry needs right now in the safety arena.

Carl Kershaw

Graduate Diploma in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems

Carl Kershaw

Carl Kershaw

Graduate Diploma in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems