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Introduction to Safety Security


Admission requirements



In this course, students will be introduced to safety and security risk management as it is applied in organisations. The focus is on how organisations can make (responsible) decisions on safety and security, using the concepts of risk. Students learn to understand and use the concept of risk in safety and security settings, being aware of its benefits and limitations. They acquire practical knowledge and skills that allow them to analyse decisions made by risk managers, as well as various reports on risk/ safety topics in media. The course starts with safety risk first (accidents), and then extends its scope to security risks (threats and attacks).

Course objectives

After this course, students are able to:

  • Understand, apply, and calculate risk and related concepts in safety and security settings, as well as reason about these

  • Explain the similarities and differences between safety and security risks and their assessment

  • Understand the tasks and responsibilities of the safety/ risk manager or professional

  • Apply several safety and security risk analysis techniques such as fault and attack trees

  • Make well-founded decisions regarding safety or security issues and countermeasures, explain these choices and communicate them



Course outline

The following topics will be covered:

  • Introduction of important safety and risk concepts, such as probability, frequency, hazard/ threat, vulnerability, impact/ consequence

  • Short history of safety and risk thinking

  • The management of risk and safety in organisations

  • Similarities and differences between safety and security risks

  • Quantitative and qualitative assessment of safety and security risks in organisations

  • Several risk analysis techniques such as fault/ attack trees, HBT-model and bowties

  • The psychology of safety and security, human error

  • A systems view on safety/ security and SADT-analysis

Mode of instruction

  • Plenary lectures (mandatory)

  • Exercises (carried out in small groups of 5 students)

Course Load

Assessment method


Multiple-choice exam (40 questions) based on book, papers, exercises and lecture slides. Students should have at least 31 correct answers to pass.
For students following the Minor 'Responsible Innovation', participation in lectures, discussions and exercises is required in order to receive a passing grade.



The students are allowed one re-sit per examination. It is not allowed to re-sit an examination or assignment for which they have received a pass (6,0 or higher). It is allowed to re-sit an examination or assignment which they haven't done during the first occasion. The re-sit format needs to be discussed with the teacher of the course in line with examination regulations.
In case the student is granted an extra re-sit by the Board of Examiners, this re-sit has to take place within study year 2017-2018. This means the students have to complete the minor within one study year.

Exam Review


Student attendance and participation is required and all assignments/exercises have to be fulfilled. One lecture can be missed. If a second lecture is missed, an assignment will be given to compensate for it. If a third lecture is missed, a passing grade can no longer be obtained, unless permission is granted from the Board of Examiners (with consent of the Course Coordinator).


In this course, Blackboard is used to present course information, notify you of changes to the course and to make course materials available.

Reading list

  • Bernardus (Ben) Ale (2009). Risk: An introduction. Abingdon: Routledge (or e-book)

  • Additional material (including scientific papers, book chapters and videos) will be made available through Blackboard/Brightspace.


Enrol through Blackboard/ Brightspace.