Risk management and Societal Safety – PhD in Technology and Natural Science

The programme is structured with coursework of 30 credits and a research component of 150 credits. The learning outcomes are partly covered by programmes which are further divided into three types: 1) programme courses (10 credits), 2) study courses (10 credits) and 3) project courses (10 credits).

Programme courses:

There are two programme courses:

  • TN900 Philosophy of science and ethics (5 credits) 
  • TN910 Innovation and project comprehension (5 credits)

Both courses are compulsory.

Study courses:

One study course is offered:

  • RIS900 Foundational issues in risk management

Study courses from other universities, etc., can be selected in addition or instead, as long as the course covers the learning outcomes for the programme.

Project courses:

The following project courses are offered:

  • RIS905 Advanced topics in risk management
  • SAM900 Advanced topics in societal safety
  • IND900 Advanced topics in industrial economics
  • BYG900 Advanced topics in urban planning and design


The content of project courses is customized according to the needs of the PhD project and carries a total of 10 credits. Learning outcomes will also be covered through completion of research documented by the doctoral thesis, disputation, participation at conferences with presentations, research/study abroad and preparation of scientific papers.


The PhD programme in risk management and societal safety is made up of the following areas:

  • Risk management
  • Societal safety
  • Industrial economics
  • City and regional planning


The PhD programme in Risk Management and Societal Safety is an interdisciplinary co-operation between the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Social Sciences. This co-operation makes it possible to approach the subject from different vantage points, and technical, financial and social scientific approaches are incorporated in the programme.

The part of the programme that is administered by the Faculty of Science and Technology is divided into the following specialist areas: risk analysis and risk management, financial risk management and societal safety. At the Faculty of Social Sciences, the PhD programme is structured around the following four thematic areas: risk, regulation and social planning, vulnerability, technology and organization, accident and crisis management and risk analysis and decision making.

This subject area deals with principles, theories and methods of analysis, assessment, communication and management of risk and safety. Risk is viewed in a broad perspective with a focus on risk management in projects and companies as well as overall structures and societal safety. A technical, economic and social scientific approach is taken. To ensure a holistic approach to risk in complex systems and good utilization of resources, a multidisciplinary approach is emphasized.

Central thematic areas are risk and vulnerability analysis, risk acceptance issues, risk management, emergency preparedness planning and crisis management, social planning, regulation and safety, contracts and sales, vulnerability, technology and organization, risk perception, management of uncertainty and decision analysis.

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.

Within the area of financial risk management, there is 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.

Within the area 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.

The PhD programme in Risk Management and Societal Safety is connected with research in each of these specialist areas in addition to issues involving multidisciplinary approaches. In the area of societal safety, the programme is also closely linked with an equivalent programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Kilde: CP Published 03.10.2017