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Public Risk and Disaster

Public Risk and Disaster, 2024-2025

When global pandemics, earthquakes, and tsunamis strike, they leave a lasting impact on societies around the world. Next to these natural hazards, man-made risks can result in major industrial or nuclear accidents, which remind us of the costs that comes with human progression. The more subtle effects of constantly evolving technologies can also lead to safety and security risks, or impact significant values such as privacy and inclusion. In an era marked by climate change and increasing technological advancement, how do we tackle today’s grand challenges? How do we respond to both man-made and climate-related risks we face in today’s world, ranging from climate change and resulting intensified disasters, to cybercrime, and risks emerging from new technologies such as self-driving cars? Who is responsible for both reducing those risks, and mitigating and responding when something does go wrong? How have various governments and other stakeholders actively worked on preventing and responding to risk and disaster in the past, and how can they do so better?

The world’s population increasingly has to deal with risks related to these ever-evolving challenges. How humanity as a whole prepares for, responds to, and manages these grand challenges is crucial for the world’s future. In this minor, you will explore and unravel these grand challenges, and look for possible ways forward.

Risk and disaster studies cover a broad range of research topics, including technology assessment, ethical analyses, system analyses, multi-actor analyses, risk analyses, vulnerability analyses, and political analyses. In this minor, you will gain knowledge of essential concepts from all of these fields to understand and analyze today’s risks. Unique to this minor is its multidisciplinary approach, where you learn to combine a unique blend of social sciences and engineering concepts to analyze and evaluate current-day risk and disaster-related issues. You will follow courses on disaster studies and technological risks in which you explore academic and theoretical arguments, and apply them to relevant case studies.

To provide this broad spectrum of knowledge to students, TU Delft and Leiden University set up a cooperation. Leiden University primarily contributes with knowledge in disaster studies, focusing on climate change and disaster politics, and intersectional issues. TU Delft contributes in the areas of risk management, system analyses, technology assessment, and ethical analyses, focusing on man-made risks.

Because of the varying backgrounds students enter the minor with, the lecturing team will provide support to students with regard to skills needed to succeed within disciplines they may not yet be familiar with.


The minor PRD gives insight into risk and disaster-related topics which are omnipresent in today’s world, such as incidents due to technological errors, the effects of climate change, and disasters.

After completion of the minor, students will be able to:

i) Acquire multidisciplinary knowledge and skills to assess, analyze, and manage risks associated with complex socio-technical systems and global challenges

ii) Understand the interconnectedness of risks and vulnerabilities across borders

iii) Apply insights from theories on emerging technologies, cybersecurity, disaster studies, climate politics, cascading effects and engineering risk management to real-world cases and policy questions

iv) Formulate policy advice on some of the most pressing issues in the world today concerning technology, climate change, and disaster

v) Develop proficiency in conducting risk assessments, forecasting potential cascading effects, and proposing evidence-informed strategies for risk prevention and risk mitigation.

vi) Collaborate in multidisciplinary teams

Programme 2024-2025

The minor consists of 6 courses of 5 ECTS each and takes place during the first semester. The semester is divided into two blocks of eight weeks each. In every block, three courses are taught. You can also register to only follow the three courses in block one, which count for a total of 15 ECTS.

Please be aware that the PRD minor needs to be completed in one academic year. It is not possible to retake courses that you have not passed during the following academic year.

Start seminar

The PRD minor starts with an opening event to give a first introduction into the minor and to public risk and disaster. Attendance to this opening event is mandatory.

Goals and target audience

The minor is multidisciplinary in nature, is open to bachelor students from all majors, and is taught by lecturers from both Faculty of Governance & Global Affairs at Leiden University’s The Hague Campus, and from the Faculty of Technology, Policy & Management of TU Delft. The classes take place in The Hague and Delft, respectively.

The maximum number of participants is 140. Priority is given to students from Leiden University, TU Delft, and Erasmus University Rotterdam. Leiden University and TU Delft each have 60 reserved spots, EUR has 20. It is first past the post system, no waiting list is used, and once the maximum amount of participants is reached, no new admissions will be allowed any more. There are 5 places available for students from other Universities. They can apply by contacting the coordinator via

This minor is not accessible for HBO students.

Contact and registration

Students from Leiden University can register for the minor via eduXchange from 15 May 13.00 h until 4 July 2024.

Students from TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam can register for the minor via eduXchange from 15 May 13.00 h until 31 May 2024.

For your questions about registration,

Check: Admission, registration and enrolment

Contact 071 – 527 1111 or

Other questions

Dedicated email address:


The PRD minor courses will take place at Campus The Hague and Delft University of Technology. More information on this can be found in the e-prospectus of the individual courses.


The online timetables show an overview of all your courses, locations, and starting and ending times per semester. Please note that the timetables can be subject to changes if required, so please check the timetables regularly.

For Leiden University, timetables can be found via For TU Delft courses, Timetables can be found via In both timetables, click on “add timetable” and “program of study” and search for the minor to see the courses.

Extra information

All PRD courses are taught in English. Please check the e-prospectus for the individual courses for more information.

Course Overview

Block 1

Disaster studies (Leiden University, campus The Hague)

Risk management of emerging technologies (Delft University of Technology)

Instability and (In)securities: A case study of crisis (Leiden University, campus The Hague)

Block 2

Climate change as a political challenge: can we prevent disaster? (Leiden University, campus The Hague)

Engineering Risk Management in Organisations (Delft University of Technology)

Researching cascading effects: understanding the ripple effects of cybersecurity (Delft University of Technology)