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MSc System Safety Engineering with Automotive Applications

This course is only available to Jaguar Land Rover employees undertaking the Jaguar Land Rover Technical Accreditation Scheme.


4 years part-time

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This course will provide you with the educational background required to become a leader in the field of system safety engineering with automotive applications.

The course provides a thorough grounding in techniques used to develop, operate and assure the safety characteristics of automotive systems and services, but also explores the principles behind these techniques; principles upon which sound safety judgements need to be made. You will explore the contribution technology, processes, human factors and organisations make to the safety of systems and have the chance to apply the latest research to areas of advanced practice.

This course will be useful if you are undertaking continuous professional development modules via the Jaguar Land Rover Technical Accreditation Scheme (JLR TAS). This is the only MSc in System Safety available through JLR TAS.

The Department of Computer Science at York is a leader in Safety Critical Systems Engineering in the UK and a leader in the assurance of autonomous systems through the Assurance of Autonomy International Programme.


The MSc in Safety-Critical Systems Engineering with Automotive Applications automatically meets some of the conditions for professional chartered engineering status in the UK set by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) or The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).


Our staff are at the cutting edge of their fields and we maintain strong links with industry.

Research excellence

In the Times Higher Education's assessment of the 2014 REF, our research ranked 7th overall in the UK, 5th for impact and 6th for environment.

Course content

The course is available on a part time basis only, typically taking four years to complete. You will take 12 modules, five of these are core and worth 10 credits each. The core modules will be undertaken at York.

You will also take 70 credits worth of option modules. For the option modules, 10-30 credits of these can be taken from York and 40-60 credits will need to be completed with other TAS providers. For a full list of other TAS modules available as part of this course please refer to 'Success Factors' within Jaguar Land Rover’s internal web pages. Due to the way in which the option modules have different credit values, especially if provided at other organisations, you may have to take more credits than you need to achieve the award.

In your final year you will also undertake a project on a system safety engineering topic within the automotive field.


Core modules undertaken at York

Option modules available at York

You will typically take 10-30 credits of these option modules, with the other 40-60 credits coming from the other TAS modules listed in 'Success Factors' within Jaguar Land Rover’s internal web pages.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Research project

You will undertake a written, final project on a system safety engineering topic within the automotive domain in the final year. This is worth 60 credits and will be around 55 pages in length.

The project can take the form of either a literature survey on a subject to determine the state of the art in that area or you will be able to identify a gap in the state-of-the-art and make a proposal to address this gap with evidence provided to support your proposal.

You will complete the project in September of your fourth year.

You will be expected to attend York for three weeks during the project, for progress assessment and access to library facilities. These weeks will be in October, near the start of the project, and in the following January and July.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Employ system safety thinking throughout the lifecycle of a system or service using a broad, systematic imaginative anticipation of safety risks, causes and consequences, with focus on automotive applications.
  • Contribute to the development and assessment of safe systems and services particularly in the automotive industry by ensuring that proper consideration is given to core safety issues as part of the systems engineering process.
  • Assess and assure the safety of systems and services by employing core assurance and analysis techniques respecting techniques' strengths and limitations, particularly given their applicability the automotive industry.
  • Effectively communicate with technical and non-technical stakeholders about system safety problems and their solutions in a clear and organised manner, with focus on automotive contexts.
  • Operate as a safety-critical systems safety professional, by developing awareness of key legal and ethical issues relating to system safety, appreciating how safety critical systems can affect society, and by continuing to expand and deepen knowledge through critical engagement with the discipline.
  • Understand and contribute to the development, evaluation and maintenance of automotive systems.
  • Critically evaluate the applications of safety engineering principles and techniques to novel automotive problems.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Part-time (4 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

Text books and other resources are available through University of York library so you shouldn't need to buy any. Course materials are also provided during the course at no extra cost. Lunch will be provided to you free of charge Monday to Thursday of each teaching week and refreshments throughout the teaching week. You will be responsible for arranging and paying for your own accommodation and travel to York for teaching. The costs of this will vary depending on your location and the standard of accommodation you decide to use.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): changes to courses

We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.

Teaching format

The course is taught through a variety of lectures, seminars and case study exercises undertaken in small groups of around six.


Built to the highest specifications, the Department of Computer Science is packed with cutting-edge facilities housed in a modern, self-contained building.

Teaching location

The Department of Computer Science is based on Campus East. Teaching takes place in a range of locations on Campus East including the specialist CPD suite.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Each module has an open assessment associated. This means that you undertake the assessment in your own time away from the University. This open assessment, and any associated work packages, is designed to consolidate and further deepen your knowledge, skills and approaches to the subject matter covered in the module. Of course, it is also designed to assess your progress.

Careers and skills

This course will help further your skills within the automotive industry and will prepare you to be an adept and safe practitioner.

Career opportunities

  • Jaguar Land Rover

Transferable skills

  • Information-retrieval
  • Numeracy
  • Time management

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:2 or equivalent in a numerate, technical discipline. This course is specifically directed at those with several years of industrial experience.
Other qualifications and experience If you do not have a first degree but instead have relevant industrial experience, your application will be considered on a case by case basis.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 169 in each component
Duolingo 110, minimum 100 in all other components
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Katrina Attwood (Course Leader)

Learn more

Department of Computer Science

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