Security Risk Management

Course content

Security Risk Management is an increasingly used term in the practice of organisations and companies: a concept that attempts to unite security and risk management practices. For example, a mining company’s decision to invest in Greenland or the Danish Ministry of Health’s decision on how to use vaccines against a threatening pandemic both involve security risk management decisions and assessments of the broader political consequences.

Organised around a number of cases, this course will introduce students to the practice of security risk management and enable students to reflect upon current developments in the corporate and political management of security risks.

First, the course will introduce students to a number of approaches to conceptual analysis, asking what a concept is and how we can study concepts and ideas. We will engage with conceptual and terminological analysis, as well as with different approaches to conceptual history. The goal is to equip students with the best possible analytical tools for reviewing the security risk models invoked by practitioners, and to understand how concepts of security and risk inflect and define the choices and management practices of companies and governmental agencies. Lastly, the course will give students the theoretical background for understanding of their own conceptual choices.

In the second and main part of the course, students will be presented with a number cases associated with security risk management. These cases will centre on a security risk management decision and contain a description of an actual situation involving a decision or challenge to an organisation or company. They will focus on situations where the factual circumstances are difficult to understand, and where the various decisions and management options are complicated and require critical consideration. The students will study each case independently and provide well-founded proposals for the decision-makers by assisting with the knowledge acquired in the courses “Security Studies and Strategy” and “Political Risk Analysis”. Moreover, the students will have to compare more cases to find patters of similarities and differences in the management of security risks. Together the cases will provide the students with insights into the practice of security risk management and provide material for conceptual and theoretical reflection.

Altogether, the course consists of 2 main components:

  1. Social science approaches to conceptual analysis; what are the main positions in the debate on how to study concepts? What is a concept? How can we define, analyse and evaluate the use of concepts?
  2. Case presentations: The students will be introduced to 5 to 10 cases illustrating the current practice on security risk management among governmental agencies, organisations and private companies. 

Security Risk Management
Only open for students from MSc in Security Risk Management

Learning outcome


Students will obtain concrete knowledge on specific security risk management cases and an in-depth understanding of the most important social science approaches to the study of political concepts in order to place these cases in a wider framework. On the basis of this, students will be able to reflect on the usefulness and applicability of the different approaches.


Students will be able to analyse specific cases and evaluate the empirical, concrete and complex challenges within the field of security risk management. Furthermore, they will understand the different political and managerial challenges that arise from different security risk management methods and techniques.


Students will be able to assess and understand the political and social context of the strategy adopted to manage security risk and to evaluate the political impact of different strategies.

The course is a combination of classroom lectures, guest lectures by practitioners, cases, group work and discussions among and with students.

The syllabus consists of 900 pages. 400 pages are defined by the lecturer and approved by the Board of Studies, and 500 pages are selected by the student and approved by the lecturer.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
The subject is passed by submitting an essay based on at least three of the cases presented during the course. The essay must amount to a maximum of 5,250 words (15 pages). A further requirement for passing the exam is attendance and participation by means of a minimum of 75% attendance and active participation. Students who do not fulfil the attendance requirement will have their exam registration cancelled.

The essay is an individual essay based on, at least, three of the cases presented during the course. The essay should evaluate the different uses of concepts; the occurring dilemmas and the common themes. The essay must refer to the required reading and include at least three of the cases presented in the cours
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

The essay is assessed by a member of  the academic staff.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 168
  • Exam
  • 79
  • English
  • 275


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester


Read morer here -> Uddannelser -> Åbent Universitet

Study Board for Security Risk Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Political Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Ben Rosamond   (2-6474426b6875306d7730666d)

Hedvig Örden

Saved on the 18-05-2021

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