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Foundations of System Safety Engineering - COM00006M

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Mrs. Sarah Carrington
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

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

  • Identify safety risks and challenges from a wide range of sources associated with complex systems and services

  • Communicate consistently and clearly about safety engineering and management issues in a manner appropriate for different industrial domains.

  • Demonstrate how legal and ethical issues applicable to real-world safety engineering problems can be addressed.

  • Describe how to design, execute and monitor an organisations safety management processes to address relevant regulations, legislation and operational context

  • Explain the scope and nature of systems engineering in the context of high safety risk industries

Indicative assessment

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

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

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 constantly explores 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. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.