Safety & Security Management Studies - English - Full-time

Public safety, international security and industrial safety are the three pillars of SSMS. In years two and three, you’ll get an insight into contemporary security threats, such as hybrid warfare and transnational crime. Hands-on group projects and expert guest lectures will give you the experience you need for niche careers that most people have not even heard about. Get ready to challenge yourself and push the boundaries.

Structure of Safety & Security Management Studies - English - Full-time




hours per week



hours per week

Study Credits


per year

Year 1

The first year is the introductory (propadeutic) year

To be an SSMS professional, you’ll first have to attain a basic understanding of safety and security. This is why year one prepares you with introductory courses like International Law, Criminology, Psychology, Economics, Policy Making, Business Administration and management courses. Before you even think about advising commercial companies and governmental institutions on their safety and security policies, you’ll have to understand their organisational structures and cultures.
We work in dynamic groups to tackle SSMS topics from a practical perspective. Safety and security management is all about anticipating and identifying risk, which can only be done if you do the groundwork. For example, after studying the basics of criminology, psychology and security management, we hone your professional skills in the ‘Getting the problem right’ project.  These introductory practical elements will get you investigating safety and security management issues before moving on to resolve bigger issues in the second and third years.


Semester 1
Intro to Safety & Security
Policy & Governance
Society & Politics
Applied Research Design
Fundamentals of Academic Writing
Professional Skills
Study and Career Advice
Semester 2
Business & Quality Management
Law & Compliance
Psychology & Crime
Applied Research Techniques
Professional Writing Skills
Research Project
Study and Career Advice

Year 2

Delve deeper

Year two is all about building on year one’s foundations, learning how to handle pressure and take on new challenges. You’ll be introduced to Industrial Safety, an important springboard for your future career. This could be as straightforward as evaluating new safety and security protocols at a car manufacturer, or as complex as designing crisis scenarios at Schiphol Airport. In the second half of year two, you’ll learn how international institutions and nation states tackle everyday safety and security issues. You’ll take part in group exercises assessing risks and threats for major international events. International safety and security management is as much about politics as it is about intelligence and you’ll need the self-discipline and determination to read between the lines.


Module 5
Interactive policy
Safety risk management
Safety theories
Project 5 / Professional Skills 5
Research methods 5
Study and Career Advice
Module 6
Society Today
Culture and Diversity
Safety practice
Project 6
Study and Career Advice
Module 7
Crisis and disaster management
International relations and geopolitics
Civil war and conflict studies
Project 7 and Professional Skills 7
Research methods 7
Study and Career Advice
Module 8
Crisis communication
National security systems
Managing international conflict
Project 8 and Professional Skills 7
Research methods 8
Study and Career Advice
Drag sideways

Year 3

Year three is all about the ‘how’ of SSMS. You’ll discover the professional skills needed for safety and security management. For example, modules in year three cover the practicalities of change management, media and communications and cyber security. You can take minors such as ‘Applied Intelligence’ , ‘Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism’ and ‘Advanced Criminology’. You’ll take on a more advisory role, consulting with companies on their current safety and security issues.
Last year, for example, the Organisation for the Prohibitions of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited us and asked students to analyse emerging industries and detect potential risks. We’ve also welcomed European directors from multinationals like Siemens and Tesla, who came to share their current concerns and glean our students’ knowledge and creativity.


Module 9
Applied Intelligence
Safety Risk & Safety Compliance
Study and Career Advice
Module 10
Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Crime, Safety, and Security
Study and Career Advice
Module 11
Change management
Media and communication
Rethinking safety and security
Thesis research skills
Final Research Project
Advanced English writing (optional)
Study and Career Advice
Module 12
Interorganisational cooperation
Cyber security
Thesis research tutorial
Consultancy project
Advanced English writing (optional)
Study and Career Advice
Drag sideways

Year 4

Internship and graduation

The first three inspiring years at SSMS culminate with a hands-on international internship in year four, which will ultimately define your career. You’ll have access to a professional network of around 40 internationally focused organisations, including the NATO Joint Force Command Naples, NLD Land Warfare Centre, the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (international security), the Dutch Explosive Ordnance Disposal Command, and the Financial Intelligence Unit (public safety) and KIWA, Tesla, Siemens, and Petrogas (industrial safety). You can also tap into The Hague’s rich resources. We’re right in the thick of the International City of Peace and Justice - the political and cultural heart of the Netherlands. Our city is home to the Peace Palace, International Court of Justice, Binnenhof (parliament), 115 embassies, multinationals like Shell, Siemens and ING and many international NGOs.

On the SSMS programme, we make every effort to ensure that this internship will be a springboard to your future career. You could start off at the NATO School in Oberammergau, designing professional military training programmes. Or go to the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Vattenfall, Eurocontrol (the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation), or Amazon. You can employ these new hands-on skills in your thesis exploring a specific safety and security issue at a host company. These organisations will give you the responsibility to solve problems and develop new innovative ideas during your internship.


Module 13
Thesis study group 1
Research proposal
Module 14
Internship (continuation)
Research proposal (completion)
Module 15
Internship (completion)
Thesis study group 2
Module 16
Thesis (completion)
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Your lecturers

Dr. Hüseyin Akdogan
070 4458424

Dr. Anna Matczak

Dr. Klaas Voss

Hana Oberpfalzerova

Gohar Baghdasaryan

Dr. Marc-Olivier Del Grosso

Dr. Inês Trigo de Sousa
070 4457447

Frits van Balveren

Leonie Duijnisveld

Charlotte Irwin

Dr. Menandro Abanes

Michael Wilson

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Miriam Cadoni

Rick Schrama

Lars van Gessel

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Shape your degree

During year three, you’ll get the chance to specialise as a safety and security management professional in three minors. Choosing a minor gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons, deepen your skills and fulfil your ambitions. As well as taking minors in the SSMS degree programme, you can follow THUAS minors at other faculties and even other institutions.

Intelligence Collection & Analysis

The minor Intelligence Collection & Analysis reflects the growing demand for intelligence analysts in foreign policy, law enforcement, military affairs, corporate security, and the natural resources and energy market. Students are familiarized with basic techniques of intelligence gathering, such as HUMINT, SIGINT, OSINT, GEOINT, and MASINT. They learn about (corporate) espionage and surveillance, counterintelligence and technologies used for the collection of information. In weekly exercises students practice the analysis of aerial and satellite imagery, use structured analytic techniques (SATs), conduct personnel security screenings, or observe and analyse counterintelligence interview techniques. Exercises are often conducted in cooperation with experienced professionals.

Safety Risk & Safety Compliance

This minor focuses on the management of safety and safety compliance, particularly in high-risk organizations. After completion of the minor, students can assess and manage a wide range of safety issues both from a risk management and compliance perspective. These include particular safety risks associated with high-risk organizations as can be found for example in the chemical industry, manufacturing, offshore activities. The minor starts with an introduction to the variety of safety functions in corporate and public sectors. Students are introduced to the RIE (Risk Inventory and Evaluation) and VGA (safety certification) as applied in the Netherlands and the basic skills to become a trainer. This is followed by several shorter units on a selection of safety topics; Occupational Health, Fire Safety, Dangerous Goods Safety, Process Safety, Personal Safety, Emergency preparedness and response and Business Continuity. Each subject starts with the exploration of the applicable legal framework and underlying technical principles. Subsequently, the knowledge is applied to real-life examples through guest lectures and field trips to companies to understand the safety topics within the context day-to-day operations.

Crime, Safety & Security

After completion of the minor ‘Crime, Safety & Security’ students acquire a more sophisticated understanding of major contemporary debates in criminology with reference to transnational organised crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, crimmigration, cybercrime, corporate crime, safety crimes, environmental crime, plural policing, restorative and criminal justice and learn how to apply relevant criminological issues to policy questions. Throughout, use is made of international evidence/comparisons, and the case studies are chosen so as to give a feel for the diversity of approaches in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Each week of the minor completes with one of the following practical exercises: crime script analysis, social network analysis, situational crime prevention, cybercrime awareness simulation, multi-agency policing exercise in relation to domestic violence, mock trial. The minor is delivered in collaboration with guest speakers from Cybersecurity & SMEs Research Center (HHS), Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Rotterdam Detention Centre, CEPOL and EUROPOL.

Terrorism & Counterterrorism

The minor Terrorism & Counterterrorism bridges the gap between practitioners and academia by integrating theoretical approaches to the topic with practical elements. Such practice-oriented components of the course include exercises in counterterrorist decision-making, introductions to weapons and tactics, and exposure to experienced practitioners in fields like military force protection, police counter-terrorism, or CBRN counter-proliferation. Students learn how to categorize terrorist groups and their organizational structures, learn about models of radicalization and de-radicalisation, and examine military doctrines like counterinsurgency. Students also study phenomena such as lone wolf attacks, the terror-crime nexus, or ISIS and their recruitment of foreign fighters.

Working methods

Lectures, seminars, study visits, self-study, group activities and project work

SSMS is the first full-time bachelor programme in Europe to be taught in English. The strong sense of international community in the SSMS classroom will help you understand how different nations deal with safety and security - and where there is room for change.

Guest lectures

Guest lectures are given by seasoned practitioners with many years of experience in the intelligence community, NATO militaries, or national and international security and law enforcement organisations. And yes, their names and résumés can sometimes be as secretive as the work they do.


During excursions in year two and three you’ll visit military bases and explore advanced prison systems, where you’ll see how the safety and security measures you learned about in year one are applied.

Professional tools

We’ll also teach you how to employ important professional practices, concepts and tools like the Roper methodology, the analysis of competing hypotheses (ACH), and the Gemba Walk for industrial sites.

Contact the programme

Do you have questions about Safety and Security Management Studies or would you like to receive more information? We are happy to help you.

  • Questions about the SSMS programme? Please contact us via:
  • Entry requirements and registration? Send an email to
  • Studying in The Hague? Students Orla and Claudia will tell you all about it.
  • Tips and tricks? Follow and ‘like’ us on Instagram and Facebook!

Contact a current student

Assistance during your studies

Study coaching and advice

We assume your time in SSMS will run smoothly. But we do offer personal assistance if you are experiencing any study problems. Our staff can help you keep track of your study progress and further guide your career development. If required, our lecturers can help improve your time management skills, reading and writing skills, or find the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions. We also provide sessions especially on study skills to help you tackle the academic workload. Lecturers will also support you if you have any personal problems that can adversely affect your schoolwork.

Collect ECTS

Binding Study Advice (BSA)

To continue your degree programme after the first year, you need to earn 50 of the 60 credits (EC or Credits). In some cases, the degree programme may also require that you pass a specific subject as European art of the credit requirements. We call this a qualitative requirement. If you meet the credit requirements as well as the qualitative requirement where applicable, you will receive a positive binding study advice (BSA) from the Examination Board at the end of your first year and you will be able to continue your degree programme.

If you earn less than 50 credits or don’t meet the qualitative requirements where applicable, you will receive a negative binding study advice and will have to leave the degree programme. This is why this advice is called a Negative Binding Study Advice (NBSA). 

Your academic progress may be affected by personal circumstances such as illness or the professional practice of a sport. It is important that you inform the Examination Board immediately of any personal circumstances that might apply to you. The Board can take these into account when issuing its study advice.

Read all the rules for the binding study advice in Chapter 7 of the Programme and Examination Regulations (PER) for your degree programme.

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