The new study programme in Security Risk Management at the University of Copenhagen will provide the students with the tools to analyze and act in a globalized reality with many threats from a number of things from terror to natural disasters. This is to be achieved in close collaboration with businesses and industries outside of the University.
Predict the unpredictable, think the unthinkable and manage the unmanageable. The task may seem slightly daunting when you consider what the training in the new study program in Security Risk Management at the University of Copenhagen needs to prepare the future students for. But it is necessary to be able to make strategies, predict and manage political risks in a globalized world where every day can potentially offer new crisis, according to Associate Professor Karen Lund Petersen, Director of Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) and head of the new study programme.
"The new study programme is a direct result of the fact that both private companies and public institutions need to consider an increasing number of questions concerning risks and security. They need to protect themselves from anything from terrorism and organized crime to potential regional or financial crises in the countries where they operate or plan to operate. Therefore the labor market needs persons who can do a wide range of risk and security assessments, and who are able to handle and implement them," says Karen Lund Petersen.
Real-life situations included in all courses
The study programme will consider everything from conterterrorism to crisis communication, and the teaching will be done in close collaboration with private companies and public institutions. From these sectors there will be cases and problems which the students are to help process and solve. There will also be guest lecturers from relevant work places. For instance there will be visits from the Danish Defence Intelligence Service for the course on intelligence, and practical exercises will be part of all courses.
"This is how we wish to let the practical aspect play a crucial role in the teaching in order to prepare the students to manage the potential crises and disasters which they may come to face and handle in their work," says Karen Lund Petersen.
Close ties to industries
Carsten Jørgensen, who is a partner in the audit and consultancy company Deloitte, was member of the committee of potential future employers that was put together by the University and consulted during the time when the new study programme was put together. He very much agrees with the real-life approach, and he is one of the many potential employers who find that there is a need for the new study programme.
"In today’s world a substantial number of Danish companies and organizations work internationally, and in this context it is essential to have employees who can analyze political risks and risks concerning security in a world with increasingly complex global political decision making, a less and less stable global economy, climate change and terrorism. If I can find an employee who already has in-depth knowledge on the subject, and not just academic knowledge, but who is also able to act and manage as a result of the many practical elements of the studies, I am very interested," says Carsten Jørgensen.
Upon graduation, graduates can work in private companies or public organizations as analysts or advisers. Their job functions will focus on developing, assessing and leading projects in relation to organizational and political change. In particular they will be able to offer advice about and help implement initiatives on security risk management, and help to develop strategies, policies and the institutional structures supporting these new needs.