Crisis Management (SAM515)

The course Crisis management (SAM515) is mandatory for all students pursuing a master's degree in societal safety and serves as the introductory course for the specialization in crisis management. The course covers fundamental characteristics of preparedness and crises and key theories and challenges in crisis management.

Additionally, the course will be particularly beneficial for students studying risk management, healthcare, economics, change management, human rights, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable development.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


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Crises can be triggered by human-made or natural events. Crises can develop due to environmental issues, society's dependence on complex technological systems, outbreaks of infectious diseases (epidemics and pandemics), food insecurity, eroding trust in key institutions in society, poor societal planning, inadequate climate meassures, depletion of nature leading to the loss of biodiversity, and complex causes that, each in their own way, activate vulnerabilities in society.

The course Crisis Management (SAM515) places special emphasis on the following:

  • Key characteristics of preparedness and different types of crises and crisis management.
  • The expanded concept of crises (the connection between activities in various phases of a crisis).
  • The relationship between risk, prevention, residual risk, and preparedness work.
  • The connection between preparatory preparedness work in a pre-crisis phase and crisis management in an acute phase.
  • Organizational challenges encountered in different types of crises.
  • Rescue services and crisis management.
  • Human reactions during and after crises.

In addition, there will be a focus on communication, information flow, and digitization. The unique aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction and international humanitarian crises will also be covered, especially complex humanitarian emergencies.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - The candidate

  • has advanced knowledge of key aspects of preparedness work, training, and exercises, as well as the correlation in an emergency preparedness process from analysis to planning, exercises, and evaluation;
  • has advanced knowledge of coordination, decision-making in crises, and crisis management;
  • has in-depth knowledge of human reactions in acute crisis situations, as well as various types of debriefings after traumatic events;
  • has the ability to apply knowledge of various types of undesirable events - accidents, crises, and disasters (natural and human-made, intentional and unintentional) to understand relevant preparedness measures and crisis responses.

Skills - The candidate has the ability to

  • analyze the preparedness process, with a focus on the connections between preparedness work in the pre-crisis phase and the ability to handle an acute crisis;
  • apply theories in preparedness, crisis, and crisis management to practical and theoretical problem-solving;
  • analyze and critically relate to various sources of information in the development of situational awareness in crises;
  • critically assess relevant crisis management in relation to different types of crises.

General competence - the candidate has the ability to

  • analyze relevant and current professional, practical, and ethical issues related to preparedness, crisis, and crisis management;
  • contribute to innovative thinking and innovation processes to develop and strengthen preparedness and crisis management capacity in organizations and society;
  • communicate in relevant forums within the field of preparedness, crisis, and crisis management.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Written exam

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 1/1 5 Hours Letter grades None permitted

Individual digital school exam (Inspera) 5 hours. No aids allowed.

Coursework requirements

Submission of two individual written essays

The students are required to submit two written pieces in the form of opinion articles (approximately 4,500 characters including spaces per article), where the theoretical content of the course is connected to current events in society.

Opinion articles must mainly be written together with a fellow student (two students write together). If desired, students can apply to the course supervisor to write alone.

Mandatory activities must be approved for students to be eligible to take the exam."

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Bjørn Ivar Kruke

Course teacher:

Bjørn Ivar Kruke

Method of work

Lectures, guest lectures, written assignments, student presentations, and discussions in the lecture hall.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Crisis management (MSA125_1) 10

Open for

Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology
Change Management - Master's Degree Programme Societal Safety - Master's Degree Programme Social Studies - Master's Degree Programme


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