Last Updated S012019

MSR 507

Unit Code MSR 507
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Safety, Risk and Reliability)

Duration: 1 year

Master of Engineering (Safety, Risk and Reliability)

Duration: 2 years  

Year Level One
Unit Creator / Reviewer Keerthy Masore
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites Nil
Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24

(3 credits x 8 (units))

Masters total course credit points = 48

(12 credits (Thesis) + 3 credits x 12 (units))

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. Combination of modes: Online synchronous lectures; asynchronous discussion groups, videos, remote and cloud-based labs (simulations); web and video conferencing tutorials. High emphasis on personal and group self-study. 
Unit Workload

Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week:

Lecture – 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hour

Practical / Lab - 1 hour (if applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

In line with current performance based standards, this unit starts with the Safety Lifecycle and introduces concepts such as equipment risk, tolerable risk, necessary and actual risk reductions. The unit highlights how the actual risk reduction can be carried out by multiple technologies and external risk reduction facilities.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Appreciate the essence of the Safety Lifecycle
  2. Facilitate and participate in Lifecycle studies
  3. Lead risk assessments – qualitative and quantitative
  4. Arrive at necessary risk reductions
  5. Understanding Safety Requirements Allocation, Layers of Protection and using multiple technology safety-related systems
  6. Facilitate setting up Safety Management regimes

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic) Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed

(eg Week 5)

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Quiz

Word length: n/a

Topic: Fundamental concepts of The Safety Lifecycle

Week 4 20% 1, 2

Assessment 2 - mid-semester test

Type: Report (Midterm Project)

[This will include a progress report; literature review, hypothesis, and methodology / conclusions]

Word length: 1000

Topic: Presenting a sample Qualitative Risk Assessment and a Quantitative Risk Assessment with individual scenarios – followed by a summary on the merits and demerits of the two techniques.

Week 7 25% 3,4

Assessment 3

Type: Report (Final Project)

[If a continuation of the midterm, this should complete the report by adding sections on: methodology, implementation / evaluation, verification / validation, conclusion / challenges and recommendations / future work. If this is a new report, all headings from the midterm and the final reports must be included.]

Word length: 2000

Topic: Report on a practical scenario from the work place starting from Risk Assessment through to safety requirements allocation and using multiple technology safety-related systems to achieve necessary reduction.

Week 12 35% 3, 4, 5, 6

Practical Participation

Present practical checklist of Targets of Evaluation towards setting up Safety Management regime at the work place

Continuous 15% 6

Class Participation

Continuous 5% 1 - 6


Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required textbook(s)

D.J. Smith and K.G.L. Simpson, Safety critical systems handbook: a straightforward guide to functional safety: IEC 61508 (2010 edition) and related standards, 2010


Reference Materials

  • Reducing risks, protecting people – HSE’s decision-making process
  • IDC / EIT notes and Reference texts as advised.
  • Other material advised during the lectures.

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1 and 2 

The Safety Lifecycle

  1. The Safety Lifecycle
  2. Briefing on lifecycle phases
  3. “Concept”
  4. “Overall Scope Definition” phase

Topic 3, 4, 5 and 6


  1. “Hazard and Risk Analysis” phase
  2. ALARP and Tolerable Risk
  3. Necessary and actual Risk Reductions
  4. Quantitative and Qualitative methods of Risk Reduction
  5. Layers of Protection


Topic 7 and 8

Protection and Safety Systems

  1. Layers of Protection
  2. Multiple technology safety-related systems

Topic 9 and 10

Safety Management and Evaluation

  1. Safety Management
  2. Targets of Evaluation
  3. Special cases where “traditional” risk management methods and practices will not work at all, and the resultant impact on the safety life cycle.
    1. Example: fire in a submarine (cannot evacuate)
    2. Example: fire in an art museum (cannot use sprinklers)


Topic 11 and 12

Project and Unit Review

In the final weeks students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Project – due at end of term