Knowledge and Methods

Course content

The course introduces students to state-of-the-art methods used to assess and manage risks, as well as the broader methodological questions they raise. The course provides students with the tools needed to produce and evaluate knowledge used in security risk management processes critically and reflexively. It trains the ability to estimate the validity and reliability of knowledge-based interventions and evaluate the performance of actors and agencies dealing with complex and compound risk and security challenges. On the level of methods, this includes the use of general scientific approaches to the collection and interpretation of data (quantitative and qualitative), as well as methods developed more specifically for purposes of risk assessment and management. A particular focus point is the use of new technology and software enabling collection and analysis of larger sets of data. On the methodological level, the course covers the analytical, practical and political implications of different research strategies and social science traditions, with a special focus on complex controversies concerning risk and security issues. The course combines general introduction to these issues with hands-on exercises. Students will be required to apply various methods to specific threats and knowledge pools, and to communicate their approach and findings.


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

Learning outcome


  • account for general and specific methods relevant to the production and evaluation of knowledge about risk and security.
  • critically discuss the broader research strategies and traditions relevant to security risk management.



  • select relevant methods and tools of risk assessment and management in relation to specific tasks.
  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of methods and research strategies, as well as the reliability, validity, precision and relevance of various forms of data and information.



  • independently identify and improve the knowledge base for critical decisions about security risks.
  • develop and implement solutions based on the best available evidence in complex and changing security environments.

The course is a combination of classroom lectures, exercises and discussions.

Course literature is a syllabus of 900 pages.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
The exam is a five-day written assignment, based on a set of questions. The exam paper must apply required readings and make use of data presented during the course.

The length of the written assignment must not exceed:
• For one student: 24.000 keystrokes (10 standard pages)
• For two students: 40.800 keystrokes (17 standard pages)
• For three students: 55.200 keystrokes (23 standard pages)

For further details on what constitutes a standard page, please refer to the Curricula’s Common Part for the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
The exam and re-sit exam are assessed by an internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

The exam and re-sit exam are assessed by an internal examiner as pass/fail.

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


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

Study Board for Security Risk Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Political Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Jonathan Luke Austin   (3-797b704f7875823d7a843d737a)
Saved on the 28-04-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students