Risk Management and Societal Safety - PhD

Risk Management and Societal Safety is a subfield within the doctoral programme in Science and Technology at UiS. The subfield has specialisations in risk management, societal safety, industrial economics, and city and regional planning. The doctoral programme is linked to the research within each of these specialisations.

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Our research fields

Within the area of risk analysis and management, the focus has traditionally been on a technical approach to risk and vulnerability analysis and risk management, but in recent years risk and vulnerability together with the development of risk analysis and societal safety have been viewed in a broader perspective within this academic environment. The petroleum industry has been and continues to be important in applicable research issues. The amount of research directed at other applications is also significant and increasing and includes themes such as traffic safety, patient safety, operational risk in finance and air safety.
In the field of societal safety, research themes are largely directed at risk and vulnerability analysis and management particularly in relation to public bodies and regulatory issues within areas such as transport, communication, health and emergency preparedness.
Within the area of industrial economics there is research on financial risk management and the financial approach to the effects of risk, uncertainty and risk management and the significance of regulations. The petroleum industry is also important here for applicable research issues, but studies are also ongoing into a large number of other industries, sectors and markets including fishing and fish farming, energy, finance, agriculture, medicine and various levels in the value chain such as suppliers, retailers and exporters.
City and regional planning focuses on place making, site-specific understanding, spatial analysis, conceptual development and design, as well as planning processes, shaping robust urban infrastructure and communities, along with renewable energy solutions.


The training component should contain the professional and methodological training required for working on and completing the thesis. The programme is structured with a training component (coursework) of 30 credits and a research component of 150 credits. The learning outcomes are partly covered by courses which in turn are divided into three types: programme courses, study courses and project courses, all worth 10 credits each.

These are mandatory for all PhD candidates at the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Students select one of these topics depending on their chosen specialisation. Study courses from other universities can also be selected as long as the course covers the learning outcomes for the programme.

Project courses are supervisor-led and tailored according to the needs of the PhD project. The following project courses are offered:

Learning outcomes will also be covered through completion of research documented by the doctoral thesis, disputation, participation in conferences with presentations, research / study abroad and preparation of scientific papers.

Learning outcomes

The candidate

  • is at the forefront of knowledge within risk management and societal safety and has mastered the scientific theory, research questions and methods relating to the subject area
  • is at the forefront of knowledge within at least one of the following subject areas: risk management, societal safety, industrial economics or urban development and design,
  • can evaluate the suitability and application of different methods and processes in research and development projects in the field
  • can contribute to the development of new knowledge and theories, methods, interpretations and forms of documentation in the field

The candidate

  • can formulate problems, plan and carry out research and development work in the field
  • can carry out research and scholarly development work of high international standard
  • can handle complex academic issues and challenge established knowledge and practice in the field of risk management and societal safety

The candidate

  • can identify new relevant ethical issues and practice their research with scholarly integrity
  • can manage complex interdisciplinary assignments and projects
  • can communicate research and development work through recognized Norwegian and international channels
  • can participate in debates in the field in international forums
  • can assess the need for, initiate and practice innovation

Admissions requirements

To be admitted to the doctoral programme in Science and Technology – Risk Management and Societal Safety the applicant must normally have minimum a five-year master's degree in science, engineering, economics or social sciences (the degree specifics are stated in the individual vacancy ads in JobbNorge). The applicant must have a strong academic background with both the master’s thesis grade and the weighted grade average of the master’s degree courses being individually equivalent to or better than a grade B.
As the language of instruction is English, applicants must document that they fulfil the listed English language requirements specified in the ad.

All available PhD vacancies are published here.

Academic contact:

Faculty of Science and Technology
Department of Safety, Economics and Planning