ASRK14000U  Security Studies and Strategy

Volume 2017/2018

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


Today, strategy and security involve a wide range of policy areas and actors in society. Threats, such as international terrorism, climate change, financial crises and nuclear threats, have shaped and, in some cases, altered our view on what security is and how it should be managed. These phenomena also challenge the conditions under which security policies are executed and they redefine the kinds of strategy processes needed for effective and legitimate operations. The armed forces, the police, the emergency management agency, private companies and citizens are all part of the management of today’s security threats. Thus, security and security knowledge are defined from a plethora of perspectives and this makes the recognising and reconciling of different perspectives a sought after competence. The aim of this course is to give the students theoretical tools which will help them analyse the contemporary complex security environment, as well as to provide them an overview of the means and strategies available for managing these issues.

The course introduces students to state-of-the-art theories, concepts and methods within security studies and strategic studies. It gives students knowledge about core concepts and methods within security studies and strategy, including an introduction to the theoretical development of the academic field, as well as the subfields of security studies and strategic studies. It will especially focus on how recent developments have brought the fields of risk- and security studies closer together and created a need to re-think the meaning of strategy. This theoretical knowledge is to be specifically linked to the practices of relevant security actors – public as well as private. 

In the context of the debates on security and strategy, the course reviews and discusses the challenges that intelligence services, armed forces, parliamentarians, international organizations and private companies face. This is done in cooperation with the course “Security Risk Management” that presents the students with a wide range of cases on the management of security risks. The aim is to create a setting for theoretically informed reflection on professional practices, which will equip the students with the best possible analytical tools for understanding future global and regional political issues.

Altogether, the course consists of three main components:

1. Security studies: how should security be conceptualised, how should security be studied; and what is the relation between security- and risk studies?

2. Strategic studies: how do we understand strategy, how should it be studied and what does it imply for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of strategy within the fields of risk- and security studies?

3. Exercise: based on a scenario that takes its starting context from a real-life situation, for example an armed intervention, a stock market crash or a terrorist attack, the students are tasked with a strategic analysis of foreign policy choices. In particular, the students are to develop specific criteria and conduct an assessment of choices of policy. The purpose of this exercise is to make the students reflect on the alliances in which countries partakes, as well as examine organisational choices. 

Learning Outcome


Students will know the important theories, schools and methods within strategic studies and security studies and retain knowledge about the development of the respective fields. They will have an under-standing of the future development of individual theories and the field in general.


Students will be able to evaluate and discuss security- and strategic theories, and use these theories to conduct empirical analysis as well as to plan and participate in strategy processes. Students will be able to assess the scope and consequences of a wide range of threats and risks associated with the modern, globalised world and make theoretically informed analysis of complex security challenges and the means and strategies available for dealing with them.


By using knowledge about security theory and security political developments, students will be able to analyse, assess and formulate strategies that deals with complex security issues in highly risky and malleable environments. 

Course literature is a syllabus of 900 pages set by the lecturer and approved by the Board of Studies. If the syllabus includes literature that has been read previously during other courses, the student must list additional literature in a supplementary literature list so that, in total, 900 pages of new literature are specified. The student must sign a solemn declaration of compliance with the rule about supplementary literature. 

The course is a combination of classroom lectures, guest lectures by practitioners and ongoing discussions with students. The course includes an exercise based on a real-life working situation where students are to develop specific criteria and conduct an assessment of Danish choices of policy in the form of a formal policy paper.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
The exam is a written portfolio exam ending with a five-day written assignment based on 2 sets of questions from which the students can choose.
Exam registration requirements

In order to sign up for the exam, students must have conducted an exercise based on a real-life working situation that has been approved by the teacher

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

Criteria for achieving the goals:

  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 168
  • Exam
  • 79
  • Total
  • 275