Crisis and Societal Safety (BYS220)

The goal of this course is to offer students an overarching understanding of what societal safety/security is in the Norwegian context, what crises are, how crises occur and how crisis management works.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


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The course concerns theories on societal safety/security, crises, and the concept of crisis, as well as the organizations responsible to cope with crises. Concrete examples and cases will be used to illustrate the linkages between crises and societal safety/security. Topics explain during the course (among others) include the understanding of the concept of societal safety/security in the Norwegian context, characteristics of different types of crises, dilemmas in societal safety/security and crisis management, as well as the organization of crisis preparedness and crisis management, also at an international level. The interaction between media and crisis management will be also highlighted.

Key concepts: societal safety/security, crises, emergency preparedness, crisis management, dilemmas in societal safety/security and crisis management.

Learning outcome


After having completed the course, the student should acquire knowledge on:

  • Societal security (concept, criteria for understanding stresses and threats in relation to societal security, as well as choices based on values and dilemmas in relation to societal security).
  • Different types of crises.
  • What characterises different types of crises in society, how crises can arise, how they are discussed in the media, and how they can be handled.
  • How responsibilities are shared in society through planning, coordination and handling of crises.
  • Connections between preparedness and ability to cope with crisis.


After having completed the course, the student should increase his/her skills in:

  • Evaluating challenges in relation to societal security.
  • Evaluating relevant crisis management in relation to different types of crises.
  • Explaining connections between different types of crises and how a society is organised to cope with crises.
  • Identify and analyse various types of dilemmas in crisis management.

General competence

After having completed the course, the student should acquire general competence within the following areas:

  • What societal security is.
  • Different types of crises affecting society.
  • Central theories about crisis management, especially at societal and organizational level.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

BYS100 Risk Society, BYS200 Politics, Decisions and Risk


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

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Claudia Morsut

Head of Department:

Tore Markeset

Method of work

The teaching will be organized as lectures and discussions.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Crisis and societal safety (BSA250_1) 10

Open for

Bachelor's studies in sociology, political science, economic subjects, media, as well as students at the Faculty of Science and Technology at UiS who have been admitted to security-related bachelor's programmes.

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student 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 course 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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