interested in ergonomics and would like to continue studying this
fascinating and diverse subject, there are several options open to you.
Avoiding the temptation to be very
silly here, someone who has qualified and works
in ergonomics (er·go·nom·ics) is called an ergonomist (er·gon·o·mist).
can study a degree in ergonomics or one that combines ergonomics with
another related subject, like information technology.
are, at present, two undergraduate degree courses in ergonomics
offered by Loughborough University.
two B.Sc. Degrees in Ergonomics at Loughborough University are
the only full undergraduate programmes available in the United
Kingdom, and are offered from the Department of Human Sciences.
The first of these is the 3-year degree, and the second is a
4-year degree with a sandwich year in industry. The aim of
all of these degrees is to enable you to become a professional
Ergonomist, practising as such in the United Kingdom (in other
words, the degree is not just about theory, but about practice
programmes fulfil the requirements for full membership of the
Ergonomics Society (the professional body for ergonomists), and
meet the technical requirements for accreditation as a European
Ergonomist, enabling you to practise anywhere in the European
Union (you will need some years of professional practice after
you have left to gain this qualification).
programmes have as their core, the disciplines of psychology,
anatomy and physiology, and ergonomics in design, running
through all three academic years. In Year 1 these are
treated as separate disciplines, as in most Universities;
however, from then on there is more and more mixing of these
pure disciplines to produce the unique blend that is ergonomics,
including the introduction of other important professional
subjects such as the environment, cultural influences, and so
on. In the final year there is a range of modules
available for you to specialise in your particular interests -
for example, in health and safety; in consumer products and
their design; in organisational design; and in the ergonomics of
scope of Ergonomics is enormous; if you think you might be
interested, please see the course details on the Loughborough
University web site (go
(and find out about an oil tanker
Several other first
degree courses have options in ergonomics or human factors.
However, most ergonomists start their careers by taking a first
degree centred in another subject and then going on to follow a
Masters Degree in ergonomics. A wide range of Masters are
available, both in the UK and overseas and it is also possible
to study at home via 'distance learning'.
choice of relevant undergraduate courses is very wide. You might
wish to select a subject that forms part of the foundations of ergonomics (e.g.
biology, physiology, psychology, etc.) or one which focuses on an
application area (computing, design, physiotherapy, etc.). The
ergonomics community is diverse; throughout the world you will find people who have
come to ergonomics via a very wide variety of routes - what is important
is that you choose the one that is best for you. Of course, in
addition to these specific undergraduate/postgraduate courses, there are
a number of others which contain considerable amounts of ergonomics,
although it is not their main focus.
the courses that the IEHF recognises for
membership applications are listed on the IEHF's main web
or you might like to ask us about your
proposals. The IEHF's main site also outlines the various
grades of membership appropriate for the different stages in
your career (go
can train further and take a Masters degree. Students studying
for Masters degrees in ergonomics usually have other
qualifications in psychology, biology, design, engineering,
physiotherapy or other related subjects before undertaking a
Masters degree. There are a
number of BSc degree
courses that train people to become professional ergonomists.
There is one undergraduate degree course in ergonomics at Loughborough
lots of companies and all over the world! Many ergonomics professionals work in commercial companies,
government departments and research institutions
– including areas such as product design, health and
safety, management, and research and development (R&D).
There is also an increasing number of specialist
consultancy companies, who offer advice and services to a wide
range of clients, in all areas of ergonomics.
Many ergonomists work in research organisations, including
Universities and other institutions – some specialising in
particular areas of the subject, and others contributing to