Course Syllabus for

Critical Review of Doctoral Dissertations in Risk, Safety and Crisis Management
Kritisk granskning av doktorsavhandlingar i risk, säkerhet och krishantering

VRS010F, 7.5 credits

Valid from: Spring 2022
Decided by: Gudbjörg Erlingsdottir
Date of establishment: 2022-09-14

General Information

Division: Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching languages: English, Swedish


The aim of the course is that the doctoral students shall gain broad knowledge about current research in the area of risk, safety and crisis management, as well as developing their ability to critically review and discuss research and research findings with the academic community.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must demonstrate the ability to critically reflect upon the benefits and limitations of research and research methods in the area of risk, safety and crisis management.

Course Contents

The course is centered around five doctoral defenses in the area of risk, safety and crisis management. Before each doctoral defense, the students will critically read the dissertation to be defended and prepare questions that the student would want to ask the candidate defending, as if the student were the opponent or a member of the examination committee. The critical review can for example be based on the components of doctorateness presented in Trafford and Leshem (2009). The individual reading is followed by a preparatory seminar, in which the doctoral students and at least one senior researcher critically discuss the dissertation and the questions each doctoral student has prepared. The next part of the course involves attending the doctoral defense (in person or through Zoom), and especially paying attention to what questions were asked by the opponent and the examination committee. Following the defense, the doctoral students will write a short individual reflection (1-2 pages) on the strengths and weaknesses of the dissertation, what the student has learned from the sessions and what could be relevant to bring into his/her doctoral thesis.

Course Literature

Trafford, V. & Leshem, S.: Doctorateness as a threshold concept. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. 2009.
46:3, 305–316. Obs! "Litteratur 2": Selected doctoral dissertation in the field of risk, safety and crisis management.

Instruction Details

Type of instruction: Seminars

Examination Details

Examination format: Written assignments. The examination consists of a combination of active participation in five preparatory seminars, attending the five corresponding doctoral defense and five individual written reflection.
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Further Information

The course runs continuously, which means that students can continuously register on the course to attend his/her first session. An updated list of planned sessions is available with the course coordinator. Contact and other information Course coordinator: Hanna Lindbom,

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinators:

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