Course Title: Human Factors for Investigators

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Human Factors for Investigators

Credit Points: 12.00

Flexible Terms

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


PGRDFx2019 (All)


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


PGRDFlex21 (All)


City Campus


172H School of Engineering

Face-to-Face or Internet

PGRDFx2020 (GC20)

Course Coordinator: Dr Richard Yeun

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4276

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B057-03-026

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Enforced Pre-requisites: Nil
Enforced Co-requisites: Nil
Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities: It is expected students enrolled in this course have completed or are enrolled in the Investigation Readiness course.

Course Description

In this course you will study principles and application of Human Factors – the multi-disciplinary science that applies knowledge about the capabilities and limitations of human performance to all aspects of the design, operation, and maintenance of products and systems. A consideration of Human Factors, at both the individual and organisational level, is an essential part of any safety investigation.

Humans are an integral part of the safety of all modes of transport, including aviation, maritime and rail. The human element is a contributing factor in almost all accidents and incidents. Human Factors can contribute positively and negatively to an organisation’s success in the industry. It is therefore crucial to gain an understanding of the impact of Human Factors in ensuring safe operations.

The course covers a range of Human Factors topics, including human error, perception, memory, attention, fatigue, workload, stress, ergonomics, decision making, communication, and safety culture, with particular reference to the transportation industry.

This course will enable you to identify, assess, and develop strategies to manage the impact of Human Factors on the safety of operations. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for Graduate Certificate in Transport Safety Investigation

1. Needs, Context and Systems
• Describe, investigate and analyse complex systems and associated issues (using systems thinking and modelling techniques).
• Exposit legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental interests, values, requirements and expectations of key stakeholders.
• Identify and assess risks (including OH&S) as well as the economic, social and environmental impacts of industry activities.

2. Problem Solving and Design
• Anticipate the consequences of intended action or inaction and understand how the consequences are managed collectively by your organisation, project or team.
• Develop and operate within a hazard and risk framework appropriate to industry activities.

3. Analysis
• Apply underpinning natural, physical and applied sciences, mathematics, statistics, computer and information sciences.

4. Professional Practice
• Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary industry practice in the specific discipline.
• Demonstrate effective team membership and team leadership.
• Communicate in a variety of different ways to collaborate with other people, including accurate listening, reading and comprehension, based on dialogue when appropriate, taking into account the knowledge, expectations, requirements, interests, terminology and language of the intended audience.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

1. Identify and critically analyse key terms and concepts used in Human Factors, and how human-related issues contribute to safety performance.
2. Describe and distinguish human performance capabilities and limitations.
3. Identify and critically analyse Human Factors within accidents and incidents.
4. Evaluate and apply strategies to manage Human Factors within the workplace environment with a view to improving safety and performance

Overview of Learning Activities

The primary learning mode will be face-to-face lectures, supported by inclass activities, assignments, and progressive assessment (e.g., quizzes/tests). As a complementary form of acquisition of knowledge in the different topics, students will be exposed to practical activities replicating real industry scenarios by resorting to selected case-studies and/or techniques/procedures identical to those used in a real working context.

Some topics will require students to review the course material prior to the lecture, then allowing more time for group discussions, presentations and analysis of selected cases.

Course notes and other supporting material will be provided on the course Learning Management System, which is accessed through myRMIT. This can include lecture material, tutorials and references.

Overview of Learning Resources

All course-related resources will be provided on the RMIT Learning Management Systems (LMS), which is accessed through myRMIT. These will include course notes, and other learning materials generated by the lecturer(s), references, and approved links to useful material on external web-sites. The intent is to support flexible and student-directed learning as much as possible.

Whilst the primary teaching method is through face-to-face lectures, where possible, all course materials (inclusive of weekly lecture slides, lecture recordings (when available), case studies, tutorials, assignments, related readings and some assessment items) will be made available to students via the RMIT LMS. There are no prescribed texts for this subject due to its broad and multi-disciplinary nature. Links to online articles, e-Reserve or eBooks will be provided via the RMIT LMS.

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.
☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Leaning & Teaching).

Assessment tasks Early Assessment Task: Quiz
Weighting 20% (20 marks)
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3

Assessment Task 2: Individual Assignment
Weighting 20% (20 marks)
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4

Assessment Task 3: Individual Assignment Presentation
Weighting 20% (20 marks)
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment Task 4: Final Test
Weighting 40% (40 marks)
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4