Fragility of Tertiary Ergonomics/Human Factors Programmes

Stephen J. Legg, Alex W. Stedmon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


For many years Massey University in New Zealand ran a postgraduate diploma and masters degree in Ergonomics/Human Factors (EHF) that were small, successful, comprehensive, internationally recognized, linked directly to professional certification and innovative. However in 2016 these qualifications were closed. This occurred soon after some other recent prominent university EHF course closures, worldwide. The demise of the Massey EHF programme was largely due to governmental restriction in tertiary academic budgets and poor understanding of the holistic nature of EHF amongst senior tertiary decision makers. This paper describes the history and composition of the Massey EHF programme. It outlines the reasons for its fragility and closure and indicates that it could easily be revived. The paper concludes with consideration of a way forward and the potential for evolution of EHF at Massey, by being more widely integrated into a broader range of academic undergraduate courses. A logical and co-operative way forward for a small country would be to integrate undergraduate teaching of EHF into wider teaching programmes across all of its universities, not just one, and to complement this with a single cross-university national masters degree.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018) - Volume IV
Subtitle of host publicationOrganizational Design and Management ODAM, Professional Affairs, Forensic
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783319960791
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2018 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 26 Aug 201830 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357


Conference20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2018


  • Education
  • Future
  • Integration
  • Masters
  • Postgraduate
  • Undergraduate
  • University

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science(all)

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