Foundations of System Safety Engineering - COM00006M

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Richard Hawkins
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2016-17

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2016-17

Module aims

This module is an introduction to the principles of system safety, including risk, basic terminology, and the main types of hazard and safety assessment techniques. It also provides a brief overview of material which will be covered in greater depth in later modules, such as legal issues, management of safety critical projects, and human factors.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will:

  • Understand risk, and the factors influencing perception and acceptability of risk;
  • Be able to give definitions of safety-related terminology, and discuss how the use of terminology varies between countries and industrial sectors;
  • Have an understanding of typical safety-critical systems lifecycles, and the roles of the major groups of techniques within the lifecycle.


Task Length % of module mark
Open Assessment
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Open Assessment
N/A 100

Module feedback

Individual feedback is provided via the online feedback system. There will be structured feedback showing how your answers achieved the specific points we were looking for in the marking scheme, and additional comments may be provided where required.

Indicative reading

* Perrow, C., Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies, Princeton University Press, 1999

* Roland, H.E. and Moriarty, B., System Safety Engineering and Management (2nd ed), Wiley, 1990

* Perrow, C., The Next Catastrophe, Princeton University Press, 2007

* Leveson, N.G., Engineering a Safer World, MIT Press, 2011

+++ Leveson, N.G., Safeware: System Safety and Computers, Addison Wesley, 1995

+++ Lancaster, J., Engineering Catastrophes (2nd Ed), CRC / Abington, 2000

+++ Kritzinger, D., Aircraft System Safety, CRC / Woodhead, 2006

++ Vaughan, D., The Challenger Launch Decision, University of Chicago Press, 1996

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.