Foundational issues in societal safety and emergency management (SAM910)

The course discusses foundational issues in risk management, societal safety and emergency management from various scientific disciplines and perspectives

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


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start

Spring, Autumn

Number of semesters


Exam semester

Spring, Autumn

Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


The course discusses foundational issues in risk management, societal safety and emergency management from various scientific disciplines and perspectives. Recent research literature will be combined with classic text books, but the combinations might be changed in accordance with the topics emphasized. Foundational concepts applied in various societal contexts will be discussed, such as emergency response performance, causal explanations, resilience, risk, systems engineering, learning, multi discipline assessments, and safety management. The course will also discuss foundational challenges in various vocational and professional fields, such as decision making under uncertainty, crisis management, human reactions in crises, experience transfer, and models in emergency preparedness planning.

A project work, in which the topic and major issue shall be developed together with the candidate and supervisors, shall be conducted and presented. The work might be documented as a scientific article.

Learning outcome

The candidate shall become familiar with the foundational issues in the studied topics, he or she must be able to lead discussions about risk management, societal safety and emergency management. The candidate shall be able to relate foundational topics to his or her own major issues in the research project.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Article/manuscript and oral consultation/seminar 1/1 Passed / Not Passed

Individual assignments must be passed in order to sit for the oral exam.Oral exam, which includes presentation of own project work and defense in light of the syllabus in the subject.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Ove Njå

Head of Department:

Tore Markeset

Method of work

The candidates shall select and define parts of the curriculum themselves under supervision. The course uses seminars as pedagogic platform, in which the candidates present selected parts of the curriculum to an audience which can vary from internal colleagues to external professional staff and academics involved in the specific areas. The candidates will develop a manuscript/paper with a major issue and analysis of the literature.

Open for

Technology and Natural Science - PhD programme

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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