NEBOSH Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

NEBOSH Diploma Syllabus Update 2016

NEBOSH qualifications are recognized as the mark of a health and safety practitioner the world over.Here at Astutis, our team of Learning Developers has been busy updating our NEBOSH Diploma course materials to reflect the latest syllabus update (November 2015).

NEBOSH reviews and updates its Diploma syllabus every 5 years. Following extensive research, the changes to the course content reflects the knowledge and understanding required by health and safety practitioners in the modern workplace. Taken from the latest guidance released by NEBOSH, we’re going to break down exactly what these changes mean for you as a current or future student.

What has changed?

The new syllabus reflects the views of past and present students, employers and accredited course providers. Content that was deemed less useful to practitioners has been removed, and new content covering the latest legislative updates and trends has been added.

The format of the qualification is largely the same, with the exception of Unit D which has been replaced with a new combined unit called Unit DNI (Unit D for the National and International Diplomas). The Unit will still assess content from throughout the whole syllabus, however content from element A11 will now only be assessed in Unit DNI. Although the actual content from A11 sits within Unit A, it may not be taught alongside the rest of the unit.

Study time

The NEBOSH Diploma is split into 4 units; you can choose to either sit all 4 modules together or at different times.

As of September 2016, Astutis’ NEBOSH Diploma course will still be taught over 6 weeks however, the number of self-study hours required has increased by 32 hours. The table below outlines the number of study time for each module of the course:


Written Exams

Assessment of NEBOSH Diploma courses still include 3 written exams, one each for Unit A, B and C. The exams are 3 hours long and consist of 11 questions split into Section A and Section B.

  • Section A consists of 6 ‘short-answer’ questions (10 marks each) – you must answer all questions
  • Section B consists of 5 ‘long-answer’ questions (20 marks each) – you must answer 3 out of the 5 questions

There is a total of 120 marks available for each paper; the total mark for the paper is then converted to a percentage. The pass percentage for each unit may vary, but is typically set at 45% for written exams.

Unit DNI: Application of Health and Safety Management in the Workplace

Unit DNI consists of an 8000-word assignment set by NEBOSH. The completed assignment must be submitted electronically to be marked by external examiners appointed by NEBOSH; the typical pass percentage of Unit D(NI) is 50%.

The marks of each of your assessments will be added together to produce a final grade for the qualification, these are set as follows:

  • Distinction 280 +
  • Credit 240 – 279
  • Pass 185 – 239

How will the new syllabus update affect current students?

If you are a current student, you will still have up until July 2017 to sit the examinations for the units you are currently studying and up until November 2017 to submit your Unit D assessment under the current specification.

If you are enrolled on the current specification and have units that you have not yet started, you will automatically be transferred to the updated specification from October 2016. Any marks achieved up to that point will also be transferred over. Below is a list of key dates you need to know for the transition to the new syllabus:

Key Dates

  • September 2016 –Teaching of the new syllabus will begin.
  • October 2016 – Students enrolled on the current specification and who have units outstanding, will be transferred to the updated specification.
  • January and July 2017 examinations – Only content common to both the current and new syllabus will be examined.
  • February 2017 – First submission of the new Unit DNI assessment.
  • November 2017 – Last submission date for the existing Unit D assessment.
  • January 2018 examinations onward – Only content that features in the new syllabus will be examined.
  • August 2018 – Last re-submission date for existing Unit D assessment.

Interested in the NEBOSH Diploma?

Increase opportunities for your career in a learning method to suit. Learn more about the NEBOSH Diploma and International Diploma


More information about the update to the NEBOSH Diploma syllabus can be found on NEBOSH’s website:

11 thoughts on “NEBOSH Diploma Syllabus Update 2016

  1. GOOD DAY!

    I need to ask one question regarding for Unit D.

    If one person has done the first time registration with NEBOSH for International Diploma on April 2017 this year itself, and he want to submit report of Unit D ( first time ) on November 2017. Which one he will submit.?

    Because I believe, he enroll in the new specification 2015 on April, he will submit UNIT DNI on November 2017 or still if he wants he can submit Unit D regardless of the registration date.

    Waiting for your valuable reply..

    1. The person will definitely need to submit NEBOSH Diploma Unit DNI and NOT Unit D in November 2017. I hope that is clear. Please ask any more questions if you need further clarification. Good luck with your studies!

  2. How can i apply from Qatar as distance learning for NEBOSH diploma??
    do you think if i apply in December 2016 i can do the exam in June2016??

    1. Hi. You can register for study on the NEBOSH International Diploma distance learning course at any time of the year. It is an involved course with a lot of material to get through however, so depending on the time you have to allocate to study, you might want to consider sitting just some units in June and the remainder in December. You can find more information here: Alternatively, if you would like information directly from one of our NEBOSH trained course advisors, please email

    1. Hi. Mohammed. The NEBOSH International Diploma course can be taken alongside existing commitments. The qualification has been designed to provide students with the expertise needed for undertaking a career as a safety and health practitioner. The Diploma/International Diploma courses also allow for progression to an MSc or more specialist study. More information can be found on our website: I hope this answers your question.

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