Introduction to Occupational Health

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Aim: The students should acquire basic knowledge in occupational health and understand how this work will prevent development of diseases and injuries caused by conditions at work in developing countries.

Contents of this study:

  • Occupational health - basic definitions and concepts
  • Chemical, biological and physical factors at work and development of diseases and injuries
  • Psychosocial factors and health at work
  • Structures and functions of Occupational Health Services and how to care for the worker`s health
  • Methods for measurements of work environment factors and health in occupational health settings
  • Prevention of occupational diseases and injuries

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


At the end of the course, the students are able to:

  • describe the basic concepts in occupational health
  • outline the tasks and structure of occupational health services
  • recognize the most important risk factors for illness and injuries at work places, both nationally and globally
  • describe the major occupational diseases nationally and globally
  • explain the different steps in risk assessment at the workplace
  • describe the association between workplace exposure and health effects
  • describe the main steps in risk prevention on exposure to health hazards in the work environment


At the end of the course, the students are able to:

  • conduct a primary risk evaluation of a work place
  • advice on how to prevent work-related diseases in line with laws and regulations

General competence

At the end of the course, the students can:

  • understand the interaction between the actors within occupational health; employers, employees, health and safety personnel, occupational health services, occupational health clinics and the Labour Inspection
  • reflect on occupational health in a global perspective

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Runs two times a year for 6 weeks. The first course run starts in March and the second in November.

In 2018, the first course starts 19th March

Place of Instruction

This course includes completion of a MOOC, this teaching is online, produced at University of Bergen.

The exam is also online, the course participants must complete a multiple choice set of questions and write a short essay.

Required Previous Knowledge
Students admitted to a Master`s degree Programme may join this course. A good Bachelor`s degree in Medicine, Dentistry, Health Sciences or Natural Sciences and good knowledge of English is required.
Access to the Course
The MOOC part of this course is open to anyone who will attend. The students must register at the Futurelearn platform. However, ECTS can only be acquired by completion of the MOOC and by passing an online exam The exam is held online the week after the course has ended.
Teaching and learning methods

This course is an online course with 6 weeks, each week consisting of 4 lectures, as a MOOC. Each lecture shows texts illustrated by videos and photos from developing countries. The lectures have topics for discussion in a joint discussion group of the attending students online. Each lecture has a quiz, which can be repeated. At the end, the MOOC has a multiple-choice exam combined with essay writing.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
For a confirmation of the course with credits from University of Bergen, the student must pass an exam at the end of the MOOC.
Forms of Assessment

Self-assessment by participation in discussion groups and quizzes during the course.

Exam will consist of a multiple choice quiz and by performing a risk assessment; solving a written case situation from a work place

Grading Scale
ECTS credits A-F (F = fail)
Assessment Semester
Spring (May) and autumn (December)
Reading List
The texts in the MOOC.
Course Evaluation
The students will be asked to give comments on the MOOC experience and the assignment work by an email questionnaire sent immediately after the exam