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AVN8102 Applied Human Factors in Aviation

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: App Human Factors in Aviation
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Commerce
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090799 - Behavioural Science not elsewh
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Tarryn Kille


Research has shown that human performance is often to blame for aircraft accidents. Whether it be errors made by pilots, by engineers, by air traffic controllers, or by others in the aviation system, the emphasis on improving human performance has been a focus of aviation for several decades. There are many safety critical elements within the aviation system, and each one is susceptible to breakdowns, simply because there are humans involved. Even with highly automated systems, such as in modern flight decks or in air traffic control centres, there are breakdowns caused by misinterpretation, incorrect data entry, or simple errors in automation management. Regardless of the discipline, there are now widespread regulatory requirements for safety-critical personnel to have human factors training, whether it be called crew resource management, non-technical skills, or some similar term.


This course will teach students entering the aviation industry in a managerial or supervisory capacity an in-depth knowledge of the human performance limitations which sometimes affect individual behaviour, and the ensuing risks to safety caused by such breakdowns. They will learn about possible vulnerabilities throughout the system, and not just in their specialty area and that there are systemic processes in place to mitigate for human performance failures across the aviation system. Having an in-depth understanding of human factors concepts across a broad range of disciplines will allow them to understand human factors implications and how they integrate factors across different elements of the aviation system.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. clearly articulate an in-depth knowledge of the early developments in aviation human factors, the conceptual differences in stages of crew resource management, and the integration of human factors training into safety management systems
  2. describe the regulatory framework for human factors training within airlines, including the use of safety management systems as overarching mechanisms for facilitating training, the principal concepts of risk, and strategies for managing risk in aviation
  3. apply in-depth knowledge of the principal human factors areas, including information processing, situational awareness, communication, decision making, workload management, stress, fatigue, and threat and error management
  4. evaluate human behaviour assessment, including the use of LOSA, LOE and Behavioural Marker systems for assessing non-technical skills
  5. demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the effects of human performance breakdowns across various safety critical components of the aviation industry
  6. clearly communicate in writing human factors concepts within air accident investigation and human factors training initiatives.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The history of human factors in aviation 10.00
2. Safety management systems and the management of risk 15.00
3. Human factors in aviation 40.00
4. LOSA, LOE and human factors assessment 15.00
5. Human factors in engineering and maintenance 10.00
6. Human factors in air traffic control and accident investigation. 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Kanki, BG, Helmreich, RL & Anca, J 2010, Crew resource management, 2nd edn, Academic Press, San Diego, California.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 60.00
Directed Study 75.00
Private Study 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 30 30 16 Jul 2019 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 30 30 16 Jul 2019
EXAMINATION 100 40 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. Submission dates for assignments to be advised.
  2. Examination type to be advised. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a closed examination. Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    APA is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at