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Risk Analysis, Master of Science Degree Programme


Study programme description for study year 2022-2023

Facts
Credits (ECTS)

120

Studyprogram code

M-RISGOV

Level

Master's degree (2 years)

Leads to degree

Master of Science

Duration

4 Semesters

Undergraduate

No

Language of instruction

English

Society is in a rapid development where urbanisation, climate change and increasing energy needs put pressure on the world’s resources - and create new risk and safety challenges. Change and sustainable development of society is necessary. Working life needs good candidates who can contribute with high competence in risk.

The study program in risk analysis gives you unique competence in understanding and relating to risk, including risk assessment, risk perception, risk communication, risk management and risk governance, policy related to risk, and risk science. Key topics related to safety (safety and security) and resilience are also covered, as well as topics related to emergency preparedness and crisis management. The study programme is based on concepts and ideas developed through the Society for Risk Analysis over the past 40 years.

The programme is suitable for you who are interested in achieving an advanced understanding of risk – of what creates risk and how to achieve safety.

Do you want to make a difference? As a risk expert, you can work with specific challenges, such as achieving the UN’s sustainability goals. These goals are the world’s joint work plan to eradicate poverty, fight inequality and halt climate change by 2030. As a risk expert, you can help achieve more of the sustainability goals. For example, sustainability goal number 11 is about making cities and communities inclusive, safe, robust and sustainable; and sustainability goal number 13 is about strengthening the ability to resist and adapt to climate-related dangers and natural disasters in all countries. You will also be able to contribute to the discussion on how best to design such goals and follow them up. Risk analysis and risk science help you ask the important and critical questions to ensure a good understanding of risk and focus on the best approaches and measures in this context.

The study program has two specialisations:

  • The specialisation in risk analysis and governance is relevant for students with all types of backgrounds. This specialisation provides a broad risk competence, emphasising risk governance.
  • The specialisation in engineering risk analysis and management is for students with an engineering background. This specialisation provides a broad risk competence, emphasising risk assessment and risk management. The specialisation has an engineering profile and covers topics such as probability calculation and statistics, reliability analysis and technical safety.

During the study, there is an opportunity for an internship in a professional environment outside the university, such as a company, public agency, research institute or major project work at the university.

Learning outcomes

After having completed the master’s programme in Risk Analysis, the student:

Knowledge

K1: has advanced knowledge within the academic field of risk science, related to concepts, theories, principles, approaches, methods and models for understanding, assessing, characterising, communicating, managing and governing risk, safety and security.
K2: has specialised insight into risk assessment and risk management with an engineering theory and method profile, or in risk governance with a social science theory and method profile, depending on the chosen specialisation
K3: has in-depth knowledge of theories and methods that form the basis for and that characterise risk science.
K4: can apply this knowledge to new types of problems and issues, in particular practical cases and problems in society, industry, business, etc. 
K5: can analyse scientific issues based on the scientific area’s history, traditions, uniqueness and place in society.

Skills

F1: can evaluate theories, principles, interpretations, methods and models within risk analysis.
F2: can develop and apply methods and models in risk analysis; depending on specialisation, methods for risk assessment, reliability analysis, cost-benefit analysis and risk perception analysis.
F3: can plan and conduct analyses (interpreted in a wide sense) in an independent manner of risk, safety and security, using the above knowledge. 
F4: can use relevant methods for research and scientific/scholarly work in an independent manner. 
F5: can analyse and deal critically with various sources of information and use them to structure and formulate scientific/scholarly arguments. 
F6: can carry out an independent, limited research or development project under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics.

General Competence

G1: can analyse relevant professional, occupational and research ethics issues.
G2: can apply their knowledge and skills to deal with questions related to risk analysis, and in new areas to carry out advanced work tasks and projects.
G3: is able to evaluate the applicability of different tools and approaches that are relevant to risk analysis, and examine the short- and long-term effects of different practices and solutions.
G4: can disseminate extensive independent work.
G5: is familiar with and can use the current terminology within the field.
G6: can communicate about scientific issues, analyses and conclusions within the field, with both specialists and the general public.
G7: can guide decision-makers and other stakeholders on how to understand, assess, manage and govern risk, safety and security. 
G8: can contribute to innovation and in innovation processes. 

Syllabus

The study programme is organised at the Department of Safety, Economics and Planning. The programme comprises in total 120 credits (ECTS points), out of which 60 ECTS points are mandatory courses, 30 ECTS points elective courses, and 30 ECTS points the master’s thesis. 

The course work consists of lectures, seminars, project assignments, as well as mandatory and voluntary exercises. 

The department offers a list of recommended and other elective courses. Elective courses beyond these must be approved by the department. 

The master’s thesis may be prepared either with a faculty advisor only, or in cooperation with an external partner (industry, public agencies, etc.). In order to be write a master thesis, satisfactory study progression must be demonstrated as cited in the Regulations for the master’s thesis. 

UiS wishes to offer all its programmes and courses as planned; however, courses still have to be subject to availability of resources and a minimum student enrolment.

Career prospects

The study program in risk analysis gives advanced knowledge in fundamental topics within risk science. This is an attractive competence both in working life and in research. The study program qualifies for several different types of positions in both the private and public sector, for example:

Risk analyst, advisor or consultant: Risk analysis is today in extensive use in both the private sector, for example, in the petroleum and energy industries, banking and finance, and the ICT industry; and in the public sector, for example, in health care, in urban and regional planning, and the planning and operation of public infrastructure. Risk analysis is also being used in an ever-increasing number of industries and sectors. This creates a need for candidates with strong risk analysis competence who can ensure proper assessment, characterisation, communication, management, and governance of risk. The study program provides the necessary broad and general competence to work as a risk analyst, advisor or consultant.

Manager: An important management task is to make decisions under uncertainty about future consequences, i.e. when faced with risk. Risk assessments constitute an important basis for decision-making in such situations. A high level of competence is then required in understanding and interpreting the results of risk assessments and in conducting risk evaluations. Furthermore, a high level of competence is needed in communicating risk and in understanding how risk is often perceived differently by lay people compared with in professional risk assessments. Finally, there is a need for high competence in risk management and governance, and in the formulation of risk policies to ensure acceptable risk.

Researcher: As a risk researcher, there are many opportunities to contribute to the development and expansion of various parts of the research front. Key fundamental questions studied in risk science are: How to understand risk and uncertainty? How to express risk and uncertainty? How to determine what is acceptable risk? A completed master’s degree in the risk analysis programme with a grade point average of at least B and a minimum grade of B on the master’s thesis can qualify for admission to the PhD programme in science and technology with specialisation in risk management and societal safety at the University of Stavanger.

Course assessment

Schemes for quality assurance and evaluation of studies are stipulated in Quality system for education.

Study plan and courses
  • Compulsory courses

    • Master`s Thesis Risk Analysis and Governance

      Year 2, semester 3

      Master`s Thesis Risk Analysis and Governance

      Study points: 30

  • Specialization choice

    • Risk Analysis and Governance

      • Courses at UiS or exchange 3rd semester

        • Courses at UiS 3rd semester

          • Recommended electives 3rd semester

          • Other electives 3rd semester

            • Practical training in City and Regional Planning

              Year 2, semester 3

              Practical training in City and Regional Planning

              Study points: 10

            • International humanitarian emergencies

              Year 2, semester 3

              International humanitarian emergencies

              Study points: 10

            • Enterprise risk and information security

              Year 2, semester 3

              Enterprise risk and information security

              Study points: 10

        • Exchange 3rd semester

    • Engineering Risk Analysis and Management

  • Compulsory courses

    • Foundations of risk analysis and risk science

      Year 1, semester 1

      Foundations of risk analysis and risk science

      Study points: 10

    • Risk, Society and Governance

      Year 1, semester 1

      Risk, Society and Governance

      Study points: 10

    • Risk assessment, economic evaluation and decisions

      Year 1, semester 2

      Risk assessment, economic evaluation and decisions

      Study points: 10

    • Risk Management, Communication and Policy

      Year 1, semester 2

      Risk Management, Communication and Policy

      Study points: 10

    • Master`s thesis Risk Analysis

      Year 2, semester 3

      Master`s thesis Risk Analysis

      Study points: 30

  • Specialization choice

    • Risk Analysis and Governance

      • Risk Analysis and Governance - Compulsory courses

        • Philosophy of Science and Research Methods

          Year 1, semester 1

          Philosophy of Science and Research Methods

          Study points: 10

        • Selected topics in risk management

          Year 1, semester 2

          Selected topics in risk management

          Study points: 10

      • Courses at UiS or exchange 3rd semester

        • Courses at UiS 3rd semester

          • Recommended electives 3rd semester

          • Other electives 3rd semester

            • Enterprise risk and information security

              Year 2, semester 3

              Enterprise risk and information security

              Study points: 10

            • Decisionmaking in emergencies

              Year 2, semester 3

              Decisionmaking in emergencies

              Study points: 10

            • Energy, Societal Safety and Sustainable Development

              Year 2, semester 3

              Energy, Societal Safety and Sustainable Development

              Study points: 10

        • Exchange 3rd semester

    • Engineering Risk Analysis and Management

Student exchange

Applicants admitted to the programme are recommended to go on an exchange semester abroad as a part of their studies. UiS regards this exchange as a highly positive component of the programme, which will increase your employability. Students should select from their study programme’s recommended universities. 

The recommended semester for exchange is the 3rd semester. This semester has 30 ECTS elective courses.  Courses taken abroad should not overlap with the courses you have already completed. We recommend that you also take into account your field of interest. 

In addition to the recommended universities listed below, UiS has a number of agreements with universities outside Europe that are applicable to all students at UiS, provided that they find a relevant subject offering.

Within the Nordic region, all students can use the Nordlys and Nord Tek networks.

Contact your student adviser at the Faculty if you have questions about guidance and pre-approval of topics.

Sabrina Ebenhoch: https://www.uis.no/nb/profile/2707

General questions about exchange:

Go to the exchange guide in the Digital student service desk

Recommended institutions:

Specialisation: Risk analysis and governance

  • Lund University, Sweden
  • University of Trentino, Italy

Specialisation: Engineering risk analysis and management

  • Lund University, Sweden
  • Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • University of Bologna, Italy 
  • Delft University, The Netherlands
  • INSA Toulouse, France 
Student exchange
  • All countries

    Catholic University of Portugal

    Delft University of Technology

    Delft University of Technology, også kjent som TU Delft, er regnet for å være blant verdens mest prestisjetunge universitet innen ingeniørfag og teknologi. Dette er en unik mulighet for deg som studerer ingeniørfag!

    Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse (INSA)

    Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse, also called INSA Toulouse, is located in beautiful Southern France. If you wish to combine cutting-edge science within engineering programs in a lively and multicultural city, apply!

    Politecnico di Milano University

    Politecnico di Milano er Italias største tekniske universitet med om lag 40.000 studenter og er høyt rangert på en rekke internasjonale rankinglister.

    Teknisk högskola Lund

    Lunds Universitets historie går tilbake til 1666, og det rangeres jevnlig blant verdens 100 beste universiteter.

    University of Bologna

    The origins of the University of Bologna go way back, and it is considered to be the oldest university in the Western world. Its history is intertwined with that of the great names of science and literature; it is a keystone and a point of reference for European culture. Apply and enjoy Italy's fascinating and rich culture for one semester!

    University of Trento

    Bli Erasmus+-student i Italia – Reis på utveksling til Trento!

  • France

    Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse (INSA)

    Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse, also called INSA Toulouse, is located in beautiful Southern France. If you wish to combine cutting-edge science within engineering programs in a lively and multicultural city, apply!

  • Italy

    Politecnico di Milano University

    Politecnico di Milano er Italias største tekniske universitet med om lag 40.000 studenter og er høyt rangert på en rekke internasjonale rankinglister.

    University of Bologna

    The origins of the University of Bologna go way back, and it is considered to be the oldest university in the Western world. Its history is intertwined with that of the great names of science and literature; it is a keystone and a point of reference for European culture. Apply and enjoy Italy's fascinating and rich culture for one semester!

    University of Trento

    Bli Erasmus+-student i Italia – Reis på utveksling til Trento!

  • Netherlands

    Delft University of Technology

    Delft University of Technology, også kjent som TU Delft, er regnet for å være blant verdens mest prestisjetunge universitet innen ingeniørfag og teknologi. Dette er en unik mulighet for deg som studerer ingeniørfag!

  • Portugal

    Catholic University of Portugal

  • Sweden

    Teknisk högskola Lund

    Lunds Universitets historie går tilbake til 1666, og det rangeres jevnlig blant verdens 100 beste universiteter.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements for the specialisation in Risk Analysis and Governance:

A bachelor's degree or a similar type of degree of at least 3 years duration (180 ECTS credits). Degrees that qualify for admission include degrees in Urban Planning and Societal Safety, Customs and Border Management, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, or Statistics. Applicants with other types of educational background will be considered by the admission committee. Other study programmes that may meet the requirements for admission include: social studies, health and social sciences, business and administration, hotel and tourism, police education, teacher education, journalism, history and philosophy of science.

Admission requirements for the specialisation in Engineering Risk Analysis and Management:

A bachelor's degree in engineering or equivalent is required. Applicants must have at least 30 ECTS credits in mathematics/statistics/calculus.

All applicants:

Admission to this master's programme requires a minimum grade average comparable to a Norwegian C (according to ECTS Standards) in the bachelor's degree.