Balvinder Bharj


Postgraduate Safety and Risk Management Student


Why did you choose to study at Strathclyde?

One of the reasons I chose Strathclyde University to study for the PgD in Safety & Risk Management is because the course is formally recognised and accepted by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) as satisfying the academic requirements for Graduate Membership (Grad IOSH). Although I am already a Graduate Membership (Grad IOSH), this was an opportunity to progress towards a Chartered Membership (CMIOSH) qualification.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

The 4 mandatory modules studied which were Methods of professional enquiry, Psychology of workplace activities, Ergonomic factors in work activities and corporate risk management were directly related to my role as Divisional Head Quality, Safety, Health & Environment (QSHE). The distance learning mechanism through the on-line virtual learning environment (VLE) allowed me to continue my studies whilst working full time in a senior executive position, which is both extremely demanding and challenging.

What advice would you give to a prospective student coming to study your course?

This course is academically very challenging and will give students an excellent insight into the fundamental principles of safety & risk management, whilst allowing them to apply learnt principles to their wokplace. At 53 it’s never too late to study, and part-time distance learning allows you to manage work and study at the same time. 

What specialist knowledge / professional skills have you developed studying your course?

As part of my continuous professional development (CPD) I have enhanced my competency consisting of knowledge, skills, experience and ability, making me a more attractive and marketable professional.  I have also gained significant respect and recognition from my organisation, work colleagues, friends and family.

How is your course helping to enhance your current career and prepare you for your future career?

This course has unquestionably made me significantly more marketable, coupled with my 32 year work experience allowing me to pursue senior executive roles such as Head of functions, General Manager, Director and perhaps own my own consultancy business.  

What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you achieve your goals?

After completion of the PgD in Safety & Risk Management, I plan to progress to study for my MSc which entails me to plan, implement and evaluate a major piece of research and development work related to my organisation. 

I would also want to progress from Grad IOSH to CMIOSH membership one I have successfully completed the MSc.