Course Syllabus Threat and Risk Management

Course Code:
Valid from Semester:
Education Cycle:
Advanced level
7.5 Higher education credit
Grading Scale:
Fail, Pass, Pass with Distinction
Main Field of Study:
Systems Science for Defence and Security
Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security
Systems Science for Defence and Security
Language of Instruction:
The education is partially in English
Decided by:
The Research and Education Board’s Course Syllabus Committee at the Swedish Defence University
Decision date:

Entry Requirements

Passed courses of at least 180 credits that include
- at least 7,5 credits in the field of Defence, Crisis management and Security,
- written thesis project including of at least 15 credits,
and knowledge corresponding to English 6 (English B).

Course Content and Structure

Through this course, the student builds up his basic theoretical knowledge regarding understanding, utilizing and adapting threat and risk management methodology. Risk analysis is a methodological field emerging from civil engineering applications, although it is currently utilised in all sectors of society to support risk management. In relation to antagonistic threats, threat and risk management is a crucial methodological field that provides a basis for decisions on defence and security. This course provides a theoretical foundation for understanding, utilising and adapting threat and risk management methodology.
The course takes its starting point from descriptions of how threat and risk analysis is conducted and discussions on the role of these analyses as an element of risk management. The course therefore cover:
  • Risk analysis, including defining scenarios, identifying threats and hazards and estimating risk.
  • Risk assessment including decisions regarding which risks can be tolerated and analysis of options (risk control options).
  • Risk reduction and management, including decision-making, implementation and monitoring.

The focus throughout the course will be on handling various types of uncertainty associated with threat and risk management.
The course also addresses understanding and communicating risk as a means for critically reviewing the benefits of implemented assessments.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:
Competence and skills
  • Perform a threat and risk analysis in a manner relevant to defence and security organisations.
  • Propose which decisions should be made based on the performed analyses and how these decisions can be implemented.

Evaluation abilities and approach
  • With regard to the performed analyses, discuss identified uncertainties and limitations.
  • Based on identified limitations, propose changes in the approach in order to reduce the level of uncertainty in a completed analysis.

Type of Instruction

The course is conducted through lectures, group work, seminars and the submission of an individual written assignment on an applied case. The course is structured in a manner that provides the student with considerable opportunities to plan their studies individually.


Scope: 7.5 Higher education credit


Grades are set according to a three-grade scale: Pass with merit (VG), Pass (G) and Fail (U).
Grading criteria are stated in the course description.
A pass (G) requires active participation in the compulsory seminar and a pass (G) for the individual threat and risk assessment.
A pass with merit (VG) requires a pass with merit (VG) for the individual threat and risk assessment in addition to a pass (G) for active participation in the compulsory seminar.

Restrictions in Number of Examinations

There is no limit on the total number of examination opportunities

Restrictions Concerning Degree

The course cannot be part of a degree whose content is wholly or partly in accordance with the content of this course.

Transitional Provisions

When a course is no longer provided or when the content of a course has been significantly altered, the student retains the right to be examined in accordance with this course syllabus once per term during a three-term period.


On the completion of the course, an evaluation will be conducted under the auspices of the course director, which will form the basis for any changes to the course.
If the student has a decision from the Swedish Defence University stating the need for extra pedagogical support because of a functional disability, the examiner may decide on alternative examination forms for the student.

Reading List Threat and Risk Management

Course Code:

Threat and Risk Management

Literature (digitally available to students, also additional titles dependent on individual work):
Agrell, W., & Treverton, G. F. (2014). Conveying uncertainty. In National intelligence and science, Beyond the Great Divide in Analysis and Policy. Oxford University Press.
Bang, M., & Liwång, H. (2016). Influences on threat assessment in a military context. Defense and Security Analysis, 32(3), 264–277.
Huddleston, S. H., & Brown, D. E. (2009). A Statistical Threat Assessment. Ieee Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics Part A-Systems and Humans, 39(6), 1307–1315.
Jackson, M. C. (1995). Beyond the fads: Systems thinking for managers. Systems Research, 12(1), 25–42.
Johnson, C. W. (2012). Military Risk Assessment: From Conventional Warfare to Counter Insurgency Operations. University of Glasgow Press.
Liwång, H. (2017). Risk communication within military decision-making: Pedagogic considerations. Defense and Security Analysis, 33(1), 30–44.
Liwång, H. (2018). Risk level in peacetime Swedish naval operations, Meta lessons identified. The Proceedings and Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences, 2018(1), 160–180.
Liwång, H., Ericson, M., & Bang, M. (2014). An examination of the implementation of risk based approaches in military operations. Journal of Military Studies, 5(2), 50–67.
Thompson, K. M. (2002). Variability and uncertainty meet risk management and risk communication. Risk Analysis, 22(3), 647–654.
Tomes, S. (2012). Risk: misunderstanding or military misnomer. The British Army Review, 153, 32–40.
Reference literature (digitally available to students):
US Army (2006). Composite Risk Management. Department of the Army. Washington DC.
NATO (2008). Improving Common Security Risk Analysis. NATO Research and technology organization.
US Army (2006). COUNTERINSURGENCY (FM 3-24). Department of the Army. Washington DC.