Human Factors and Ergonomics (H7099)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module provides a foundation of principles for human-centred design that will be relevant throughout your degree programme. Initially there is a focus on physical considerations, including a study of human limits for inclusive design. Later on people's behaviour is considered and how design can help to address significant issues for society. We also consider contemporary adaptations that embrace social factors, including consumer behaviour and a services approach to design. Finally we adopt a global perspective and understand more about society in developing countries and how design can help to address concerns.

Topics will include:

  • introduction to human factors
  • ergonomics
  • anthropometrics
  • the senses
  • mock ups to evaluate ergonomic principles
  • designing a handheld object: anthropometrics, anatomy and physiology of the hand
  • consumer behaviour
  • inclusive design
  • design for a sustainable society
  • cradle to cradle approaches
  • taking a systems approach to design
  • research methods for understanding lifestyle and context of use
  • global issues and design concerns.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: