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MMO5002 Safety and Human Factors

Course description for academic year 2020/2021

Contents and structure

Human Factors aims to understand people's limitations and capabilities and how they influence a person's actions and behaviours. Human factors also concerns technical and organizational factors how they influence human performance and safety. 

The course therefore presents:

In depth knowledge of human, technological and organizational factors, and the complex relationships between such factors, and how these interactions affect operative outcomes.

Introduction to general theories about human cognition and behaviour, human factor principles for the design of technology and the social and cultural dynamics of organizations, including intercultural communicative challenges and how organizations work.

The course also presents knowledge about international regulations that govern maritime operations.

Learning Outcome

Knowledge about various human-technological-organizational factors related to management of complex maritime operations that can help minimizing human errors and enhance operational safety.


The student has in depth knowledge about:

  • Relevant theories and concepts related to human performance in maritime operations
  • Human factors principles for the design of technology in the maritime industry
  • Theories that highlights organisational factors that influence safety   
  • Critical interfaces between human, organizational, and technological aspects in maritime operations, how humans create this interface and how they manage it.


The student is able to:

  • Analyze the complexities of interaction between technology, humans and organizations from a safety perspective 
  • Employ their knowledge of complex human and organizational aspects in the design and operation of maritime operations
  • Critically assess the limitations and possibilities for maritime safety set by standards and regulations.

General qualifications: 

The student:

  • Knows how to apply their knowledge and to manage the complex and dynamic nature of technology, humans and organizational processes in relation to risk and safety in maritime operations.
  • Knows how to critically examine causal arguments involving accident causation and prevention theories.
  • Is aware of risk associated with the negligence of critical human-technology-organization interfaces. 
  • Knows how to critically review safety aspects of maritime operations.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

Basic knowledge about safety and human factors theories. 

Some experience from maritime industries.  

Teaching methods

Lectures, Interactive discussions and group work consisting of case studies and presentations.

Compulsory learning activities



Semester paper, 100%.

Grading A-F.

Examination support material


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