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AVN3101 Advanced Human Factors in Aviation

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Advd Human Factors in Aviation
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090799 - Behavioural Science not elsewh
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Paul Lee


Pre-requisite: AVN1104


Human factors is a domain where human performance is studied with respect to its environs, including the relationship with other agents in the system, procedures they use, and the human-machine interface that predominates socio-technical systems. Within the aviation industry, human error and ineffective human performance are acknowledged as causal in the vast majority of aircraft accidents. Given the complexity of the aviation system, and the inherent risk involved, a study of the complex interactions that occur is warranted at an advanced level. This course investigates further subject matter that was introduced in AVN1104 (Introduction to Human Performance in Aviation).


The course will examine the basic facets of human-machine interaction within the complex and dynamic environment of aviation operations. It will also study the interaction between humans within the system, both intra-aircraft, inter-aircraft, and between aircraft and other agencies within the aviation system. Additionally, the regulations, policies and procedures which govern the norms of the industry will be examined from a human-centric perspective. The course will further examine individual facets of human performance and will focus on the effects of fatigue, with mitigating interventions used in the aviation industry. The course will also examine the effects of breakdowns in human factors, specific initiatives used in aviation for human performance improvement, and the application of ergonomics and human factors within aircraft design. Outside of the aviation environment, comparisons will be made with other industries in order to gauge the level and success of intervention in human performance, across a diverse range of applications. Finally, future initiatives will be explored with regard to improvements in human performance.


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

  1. outline the history of human factors with an emphasis on human factors initiatives in the aviation industry over the last 40 years;
  2. evaluate the applied interaction between humans across the aviation system using Edward's (1972) SHELL model as a basis;
  3. examine the relationship between human factors, non-technical skill-sets, and crew resource management strategies in aviation and other high-risk industries;
  4. make use of the principal concepts associated with major human factors areas, including information processing, situational awareness, communication, decision making, workload management, stress, fatigue and cultural awareness;
  5. outline the systems in use for managing fatigue in aviation including FRMS and prescriptive hours of work;
  6. explain the principal concepts of the human-machine interface and the effects of human factors and ergonomics on aircraft technology and automation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The history of human factors in aviation and other industries 10.00
2. The effects of breakdowns in human performance in aviation, by case study 10.00
3. The SHELL model and its applicability to aviation 5.00
4. The human factors regulatory environment in aviation 10.00
5. The relationship between CRM, non-technical skills and human factors 10.00
6. The effects of fatigue and fatigue mitigating strategies within aviation 10.00
7. Human factors and ergonomics in workplace design 10.00
8. Automation human factors and flight deck design 10.00
9. Human-centric approaches to policy, procedures and regulations 10.00
10. Human factors concepts in air traffic control and other high risk industries 10.00
11. Human factors initiatives for improving human performance in the future 5.00

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. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 25 25 01 Apr 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 25 25 13 May 2021
OPEN EXAM - ONLINE 50 50 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule 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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S1, 2021:
    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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1, 2021:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S1, 2021:
    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:
    Normally Deferred and Supplementary Examinations are held in the next Examination period. In S1 2021 selected courses will pilot an early Deferred and Supplementary Examination period held within 30 business days of results release. The list of courses involved can be found at

  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

Date printed 18 June 2021