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Online Postgraduate in Diploma Managing Risk and System Change

This online course is relevant to safety critical industries across the globe and focuses on people already in work, who have responsibility for managing: risk; change; safety; quality; planning; system design.

Proceed to Application

  • Course Director:
    • Prof. Siobhán Corrigan
  • Course Queries:
  • Course Duration
    • Postgraduate Diploma (1 or 2 years part time**)
  • Closing date for Applications:
    • 31st July 2024
  • Next Intake:
    • September 2024
  • ECTS Credits:
    • P.Grad. Dip (60)
  • Course Code:

Overview of the Course

This one year course includes seven modules from our established M.Sc. in Managing Risk and System Change. Spread over one academic year it allows students to supplement their further education and career development without the need to commit to an M.Sc. On successful completion graduates of this course may progress to M.Sc. level.

It is relevant to safety critical industries across the globe and focuses on people already in work, who have responsibility for managing: risk; change; safety; quality; planning; system design. It brings the next generation of safety, risk and change management to you, in your work, embedded in your everyday practice with a systemic, proactive and performance focus.

The overall objective of this online Postgraduate Diploma programme is to provide a rigorous but practical focus on managing risk, change and strategic HR in operations, manufacturing and services, with an innovative integrated approach to the role of people in such systems. Additional subjects will focus on stability and change, socio-technical system design and statistics and action research methods.

Students can apply directly to the Postgraduate Diploma consisting of seven modules or, on successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate, complete the remaining three modules to top up their qualification to a Postgraduate Diploma.

Download our Course Brochure

Course Delivery

This course provides students with a stimulating online learning experience by creating a structured yet flexible learning approach. The place of study is flexible as online delivery allows students to engage in learning activities at home or in the workplace and there is no requirement to attend the Trinity campus in Dublin. Students will have access to weekly materials using a virtual learning environment and the opportunity to engage with other students and lecturers using a variety of online discussion boards.

The course consists of seven core modules and runs from September until May in year one. The academic year is split across two semesters and three terms, Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity term. In year 1 of the course lectures usually take place on Tuesday (some scheduled Thursdays) evenings from 17.30 to 19.30 (GMT).

Note: While we do encourage students to join the scheduled sessions, in the event you are unable to attend a particular session, you will be able to catch up at a time that suits you, as all sessions are available afterwards as a recording.

Download a Sample Year 1 Timetable

**Students who have successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificiate in Managing Risk and System Change (four modules), may undertake an additional year of study (three further modules) to pursue the Postgraduate Diploma award.

Semester 1 - Michaelmas Term Semester 2 - Hilary Term Semester 2 - Trinity Term
The Role of People & Processes in Organisations Managing Performance Leading Change
Stability & Change Socio-Technical System Design Strategic Human Resource Development
Statistics & Action Research Methods* Statistics & Action Research Methods* Statistics & Action Research Methods*

*This module runs across all three semesters in year 1 of the course.

Course Progression Routes

The below chart lays out the progression routes open to students.

Who is the Course For?

Current students on the course are working in a diverse range of industries which include; Finance, Healthcare, IT, Defence Forces, Emergency Services, Aviation, Casino and Gambling, Law Enforcement, Process and Software Development and Pharmaceuticals. The course will be an excellent qualification to supplement the further education and career development of personnel who have responsibility for managing: risk, change; operations; quality; safety; human resources; planning; and system design.  Generic knowledge and skills in managing risk and change enhances key organisational competence and increases resilience of industrial and service systems.

I typically work evenings and weekends, so I need to be able to log on to Blackboard when it suits me. This course affords me the required flexibility to attain this qualification.
Online Managing Risk and Systems Change Student


The course consists of seven core taught modules. Students who pass all seven taught modules may be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma.

A range of continuous assessment methods (no examinations) are used including case reports (4,000 words), mini projects (4,000 words), reflective essays (2,000-3,000 words), along with online blogs and dossiers.

Modules Overview

PS7501 - The Role of People & Processes in Organisation (10ECTS)

The overall aim of the module is to provide a framework for understanding how organisations and their operational processes work. The key focus of this module is on the productive role of people in processes and involves examining the main relationships which influence the way in which the process works and its consequent effectiveness in producing value of different kinds. It addresses the role of social relations in productive systems and the role of information and knowledge in the functioning of such systems. The module also focuses on the systematic analysis and modelling of organisational systems that is practical, methodologically sound and theoretically rigorous. This module fills a gap in the current literature about socio-technical systems. It integrates a systemic approach to human factors, a functional, operational focus on organisations and their cultures, a people-centred view on process analysis, and a technical/functional understanding of the content of the knowledge that enables the process to happen. This module defines what are the system and cultural parameters that need to be managed, resourced, designed and changed.

PS7502 – Stability & Change (10ECTS)

The overall aim of the module is to understand the difficulties organisations encounter in their attempts to successfully implement and sustain effective strategic change management programmes and how to overcome these. The module addresses the key reasons why change initiatives are difficult, why they so often fail and what are the key factors that make for stability in organisations. Building on this understanding the module develops a synthesis of the key change enabling factors that organisations need to pay attention to when addressing organisational or system change, with a particular emphasis on the role of information and knowledge management. It addresses how to develop a strategic business case for change taking account of the competitive environment, the internal capacity of the organisation and the changing role of leadership in managing change.

PS7503 – Managing Performance & Risk (10ECTS)

Increasingly organisational strategy is being driven by the appraisal and analysis of the risks faced by the organisation and its operations. This creates a focus on what the organisation needs to do to meet the challenges in its current environment and anticipate future threats. Core to this is the analysis of operational performance, both performance outcomes (using suitable performance indicators) as well as the inputs or antecedents of process performance. This module will focus primarily on the risks that relate to the operational system itself. While one central focus will be on the risk of safety failure, this will be in the context of a wider range of managing the risk of managing the overall change itself. The module will locate risk management within the evolution of quality and safety management systems and introduce concepts of probabilistic risk assessments. It will look at the strengths and weaknesses of such systems, particularly in relation to their capacity to stimulate change. It will examine the specifically human aspects of risk and reliability. The requirements for a performance-based management system will be examined, particularly in the context of complex ultra-safe systems like aviation.

PS7504 – Socio-Technical System Design (10ECTS)

The overall aim of the module is to address the role of the user and the operator in design; and ensure that the design process meets operational and social needs. Sociotechnical systems are complex systems that bring together human and non-human elements (technology, resources, environment, etc) in an integrated manner to achieve the goals of people, organisations and society. This module will equip students with the knowledge and skills required to understand the complex design space embodied by sociotechnical systems design as well as the knowledge and skills required to work towards solutions to the complex design problems associated these systems. The module will centre around the theme of real-world analysis and design processes associated with real-world complex sociotechnical systems. This module will be guided by the principles of human-centredness in terms of analysis and design, iterative process and an orientation towards the achievement of measurable operational outcomes for organisations.

PS7505 – Leading Change (5ECTS)

This module will draw together the leadership demands from all the other modules in the programme into a single framework that comprises an agenda for leading and managing the risk in implementing change initiatives. It will develop a framework through which the students can see their professional role and how it might be developed. It will allow them to assess their own leadership style and skills and evaluate the situational aspects of leadership practice. It will address professional and ethical aspects of managing risk and change and how dilemmas and contradictions can be resolved. It will support the development of an effective business case to support a strategic intervention.

PS7506 – Strategic HR Management (5ECTS)

The aim of this module is to demonstrate the importance of developing key Human Resource functions that can more fully support change and innovation in an integrated manner. A strategic and integrated approach to Human Resource development is perceived as enabling the provision of a committed, flexible, suitably skilled and qualified workforce to meet business needs, which is fundamental to supporting operational needs and ultimately organisational success. This module is designed to give the students a strong theoretical and practical knowledge of Human Resource Management in order to develop their ability to make an effective contribution at a strategic level in today’s rapidly changing organisational contexts.

PS7507 – Statistics & Action Research Methods (10ECTS)

This module will run throughout the programme and will take an action-research-oriented approach. The overall aim of this module is to provide the students with the fundamental principles and tools to conduct action-based research, understanding the principles of this type of research and how qualitative and quantitative methods can support this overall research orientation. This module not only provides the necessary support to conduct all aspects of an academically rigorous dissertation but it provides a platform to build upon their experiences to more effectively combine their action research role with their regular organisational role. The module will cover the principles, methodologies, opportunities and challenges of action-based research, both qualitative and quantitative research methods and the key essential principles of psychometric theory, survey design, development and validation

Student Handbooks

Each year registered students are given a copy of an official student course handbook. The handbook will provide information relating to the course regulations, services provided, key dates and assessments. The student handbooks for year one and year two students are subject to review each year in line with college policy.

Admissions Requirements

  • Applicants will normally be required to hold an Honours degree (II.1)** or equivalent and have at least 3 to 4 years appropriate professional experience.
  • Applicants will also have to be in (or have access) to an employment setting that facilitates the applicant to be able to satisfy the applied research aspect of the course.
  • **Note: In exceptional circumstances, the course director shall make appropriate recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies for candidates who do not fully meet the above criteria but make a reasonable case for admissions otherwise i.e. based on their work experience. An applicant may be asked to provide written samples in support of academic writing ability or be set a piece of academic writing to complete.
  • Students whose first language is not English will need a recognised English language qualification in line with the requirements as laid down in Postgraduate Calendar Part 3 Section 1.5 Language of Instruction.
  • Applicants may also be asked to take part in a short interview (in person or via phone/skype) as part of the assessment process.
  • References: students are requested to submit the names of two referees on their application form. In the first instance our preference is for one academic and one professional reference. We do however have discretion to accept either two academic or two professional references. Note: the referees listed on the application are automatically emailed a secure link to complete and upload the reference. Any difficulties in relation to references should be brought to the attention of the course administrator.

How to Apply

Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis. We encourage early application as offers will be made to suitably qualified applicants as they are assessed. Please note that all documents must be supplied and conditions of offer met by July 31st or any offer made will expire.

To apply for course please click on the link below.

Applications are completed electronically. Required Documentation:

  • Online Application Form (€55)
  • 2 Reference Letters (see admissions requirements section for details)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copies of transcripts (results breakdown) where applicable.
  • Deadline for applications: 31st July 2024 (**please note that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and the course may be filled prior to the closing date**)

Postgraduate Certificate Graduates:

Students who have already successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate should contact the course administrator for details on how to pursue the additional year of study for the Postgraduate Diploma award.

  • Apply For The Course Now
  • Course Fees (2023/2024)*

    A list of current course fees is available in the Fees and Payments section of the Academic Registry website.

    *All fees are subject to review each year.

    Postgraduate Certificate Graduates:

    Students who have already successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate can return to complete a further three modules and upgrade their qualificaiton to a Postgraduate Diploma. Please contact the course administrator for details on the application procedure and the tuition fees.

    Please consult information about eligibility for admission as an EU/Non-EU student and note that EU applicants must satisfy specific requirements to be deemed eligible for EU fee status.

    Information Evenings 2024

    All information evenings for the September 2024 intake have now taken place. Please contact Rory on the email address below for any information required.

    Download a copy of the information evening slides.

    Typical Open Evening Structure

    • Course Structure
    • Student Learning Software Demonstration (Backboard)
    • Is This Course For You
    • Timetable
    • Assessments
    • Entry Requirements
    • Tuition Costs
    • Hear from current students about their experience.

    Further Information

    For further information on the course please contact:

    Mr. Rory Carrick
    Course Administrator

    Professor. Siobhán Corrigan
    Course Director

    Professor Nick Mc Donald
    Academic Programme Development