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.
hours per week
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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.
|Intro in safety and security|
|Introduction to Law|
|Security risk management|
|Project 3: Getting the Problem Right|
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.
|Culture and diversity|
|Project 5: Professional abilities 5|
|Research methods 5|
|Safety risk management|
|Crisis and disaster management|
|Civil war and conflict studies|
|Project 7: Professional abilities 7|
|Research methods 7|
|International relations and geopolitics|
|National security systems|
|Managing international conflict|
|Project 8: Professional abilities 8|
|Research methods 8|
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.
|Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism|
|Media and communication|
|Rethinking safety and security|
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.
|Thesis study group 1|
|Research proposal (completion)|
|Thesis study group 2|
Dr. Bas van Gool
Dr. Hüseyin Akdogan
Dr. Anna Matczak
Dr. Klaas Voss
070 445 2454
070 445 7140
Dr. Marc-Olivier Del Grosso
070 445 7443
Dr. Inês Trigo de Sousa
070 445 8495
Frits van Balveren
070 445 8081
06 3829 8270
070 445 7018
070 445 4848
Dr. Menandro Abanes
070 445 7961
Dr. Vana Tsimopoulou
070 445 2412
070 445 7107
Dr. Bas van Gool
Bas van Gool is the SSMS department’s chair. He has earned his PhD at Leiden University, and has developed broad expertise in international governance, politics and policy. Van Gool has published on diverse issues such as representative bureaucracy in India, neopatrimonialism in Africa and interactive policy making in Belgium. As an educational and research development advisor he has also consulted with academic institutions and professional organisations in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Belgium. In SSMS he has developed and taught courses in Public Governance, Risk Management, Policy Making, Interactive Policy, Interorganisational Cooperation and Intro to Safety and Security.
Dr. Hüseyin Akdogan
Hüseyin Akdogan has more than 18 years of experience in the field of policing. Akdogan obtained a Master’s from the Institute of Security Sciences in Ankara, Turkey, having studied criminal justice as his minor field. He completed his doctoral studies on public administration and policy at the University of North Texas, and earned his PhD in 2009. He has worked as a senior researcher at the International Research Center for Terrorism and Transnational Crime in Ankara where he conducted field research on regional terrorist organisations and operations, and the crime-terror nexus. Akdogan is also the author and editor of several books and peer-reviewed articles. His academic research interests include public administration and policy, human rights and terrorism, research methods, and statistics. In SSMS he lectures on subjects related to the field of public administration, policy making, and moreover provides tutoring for practical project tasks.
Dr. Anna Matczak
Anna Matczak holds a PhD from the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics (LSE). She also holds Master’s degrees in Social Policy (Research) from the LSE, and in Social Policy from the University of Warsaw. Her areas of expertise are penal policies and criminal justice systems in Eastern European countries, and restorative justice. Prior to beginning her PhD she was appointed as Research Associate at Kingston University & St George’s University of London, and Anglia Ruskin University where she was involved in research projects on domestic violence and family interventions. Matczak has also worked with the UK Home Office, National Crime Agency, London Probation, Social Services, Magistrates and Crown Courts as a qualified legal interpreter. She also runs a blog entitled: Lost in Translation: Interpreting the Polish Penality. In SSMS Matczak teaches Advanced Criminology, and other courses and projects involving criminological aspects.
Dr. Klaas Voss
Klaas Voss specialises in the international security domain of SSMS. His areas of expertise include intelligence studies, terrorism and counter-terrorism, geopolitics and national security, and military affairs. Voss studied history and political science at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and at the University of New Hampshire, USA. He completed his PhD in 2012 with a study of modern mercenaries and CIA covert operations during the Cold War. Voss held a graduate scholarship by the American Fulbright Commission and a PhD scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation. He is the author and editor of several books and articles, including his 2013 monograph Washingtons Söldner [Washington’s Mercenaries]. He also worked as a consultant for publications on intelligence services and mercenaries, including the German espionage TV series Deutschland 83/86. Before joining SSMS, Voss worked for several years as a research fellow at the independent Hamburg Institute for Social Research.
Hana Oberpfalzerová is an enthusiastic SSMS lecturer of Research Methods and of the minor course Terrorism & Counterterrorism since 2016, with four years of previous teaching experience at the Charles University in Prague (research methods and psychology of armed conflict). She has a Master's degree in Peace and Development Studies from the University in Pisa, a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Charles University in Prague, at which she is currently finishing a PhD in International Relations. Her dissertation focuses on the use of war victim stories in promoting reconciliation in Bosnia. Oberpfalzerová is the author of three peer-reviewed articles and a former holder of a SCIEX fellowship at the Department of Psychology of the University of Zurich. Among her fields of interest are peace and conflict studies, ethnic conflicts, post-conflict reconciliation, transitional justice, political Islam, terrorism, research methods, Balkans, and the Muslim world.
Gohar Baghdasaryan teaches Crisis Communication in the SSMS programme. She was born and raised in Armenia - a small mountain country, which is often considered a “Disaster Lab”. She has thus gained practical experience over 16 years in crisis communication, media relations and public affairs, having worked in a television newsroom, for the editorial board of the emergency information center, and for the Armenian government. Apart from that she has also worked with international and humanitarian organisations (UN, NATO, SDCA, JICA, Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the Children, OSCE, amongst many others) implementing bilateral programmes, providing professional advisory and training courses on communication. She strongly believes that effective communication is a significant life skill and key to success in many areas of personal and professional development.
Hessel Prins started working at The Hague University of Applied Sciences at the support office for the Faculty of Public Management, Law and Safety, while pursuing his studies in Business Administration. He has since obtained his Bachelor of Science and now works with the SSMS programme where he supports the management of a variety of policy and implementation matters.
Dr. Marc-Olivier Del Grosso
Marc-Olivier Del Grosso holds a PhD in Politics, International Relations & Modern History from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and a second PhD in Sociology & Political Science from Sciences Po Aix in Aix-en-Provence, France. His current research interests lie in belief systems, the sociology of religions, and international relations and organizations. As such, he has combined his research endeavours with professional experiences at institutions such as the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he worked with the International Cooperation Section as part of the Office of the Prosecutor. Del Grosso has always considered that the production and the sharing of knowledge constitute two sides of the same coin. Having joined the SSMS programme he hopes to provide students with the necessary tools to put theoretical knowledge into actual practice, and to ultimately encourage them to contribute to concrete decision-making processes within, for example, various types of international organisations.
Dr. Inês Trigo de Sousa
Inês Trigo de Sousa studied Political Science and International Relations in Lisbon, Portugal, at the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences. Her studies include post-grads on International Political Economy, and International & European Relations at the University of Amsterdam at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. As part of her PhD, which she completed with the Amsterdam School of Social Science Research, she studied state-business relations in Macao, China. Since 2007, Trigo de Sousa has helped develop and build the International Public Management programme (IPM), also part of the BRV faculty, where she taught courses on Sociology, Comparative Politics, and the minor Globalization, Governance and Development. She also has extensive experience with projects and thesis supervision. Trigo de Sousa has a strong interest in music and arts, and regularly practises Shotokan Karate.
Rick Arons has been a teacher for many years with a focus on Spanish, English, linguistics and pedagogy. Originally from the United States he has lived and worked for seven years in Cali, Colombia; seven years in Istanbul, Turkey; and since 2008 in the Netherlands. Arons has been working in the SSMS department since 2011 as a teacher of English and study skills and also as an academic/career counselor. His academic interests are in the areas of first- and second-language acquisition, sociolinguistics, language and gender, creole languages and the psychology of learning. He enjoys his work in SSMS, especially the contact with students and his SSMS colleagues. In addition to his teaching and counseling work, he coordinates some aspects of the programme’s Introduction Week. He can also arrange a “meeloopdag”, a day visiting classes with a student guide, for anyone who is interested in joining SSMS as a student.
Frits van Balveren
Frits van Balveren is a retired Officer of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF). During his career van Balveren changed to the RNLAF world of Safety and Security known as Force Protection (military safety and security), in which he occupied several functions relating to operations, as well as education, training, and policy development. Throughout his career was deployed to crisis areas such as Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Later, he became the Netherlands representative for NATO and was responsible for the development and lecturing of Force Protection and Tactical Evaluation policy courses at the NATO school in Oberammergau. He also acted as Military Adviser for the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague (2013-2014). Van Balveren officially joined Safety and Security Management Studies (SSMS) in January 2015 where he is responsible for Course Development, Internship Coordination, Project Development, Lecturing and Professional Network development and maintenance.
Leonie Duijnisveld is management assistant to the SSMS programme. She has a Bachelor’s degree in office management, and provides secretarial support to the SSMS and IVK (Dutch stream) management team. In addition, she organises the annual SSMS Introduction Camp, the propaedeutic/bachelor’s degree award ceremonies, the annual SSMS professional network seminar and assists in facilitating the group projects.
M.C. (Ben) Leung was born in Hong Kong, and left as a teenager and finished his formal education in The Netherlands with a Master’s degree in chemical engineering. He has lived and worked in The United Kingdom, in the People’s Republic of China, and in The Netherlands. Leung worked both in technical functions like chemical process engineering as well as in organisational support functions, e.g. in human resources, quality management and process safety. He developed a passion for safety management during the years in which he directed production operations in the chemical and horticulture industry. In SSMS he has developed courses in the Industrial Safety domain. Leung is married and is the fortunate father of a teenage son. He enjoys practising the Japanese martial art of aikido, and has been an aikido instructor for many years.
Charlotte Irwin is originally from the UK but has been living and working in the Netherlands for the past 13 years. Her professional background is in Consultancy, Executive Recruitment, Business Operations and Process Management across a number of business sectors in the US and Europe. Her work has mostly been in the international business arena with extensive experience of international companies and managing international teams. Her work passions include corporate trouble shooting, international business law, education, training and development. Irwin has a Bachelor’s degree in classical archaeology from Kings College London and an LL.M in International Business Law from the University of Liverpool.
Dr. Menandro Abanes
Menandro S. Abanes is a Filipino researcher and development worker who has more than 16 years of experience in the field. He earned a fellowship in the Ford-Foundation Graduate Degree for Southeast Asian Development Practitioners for his MA in Anthropology with special focus on development studies at the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) – Ateneo de Manila University. Then, he was awarded a scholarship by Nippon Foundation to specialise in International Peace Studies at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. In 2010, he joined a research project financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Ethno-religious conflicts in Indonesia and the Philippines (ERCIP) as a doctoral researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. In 2014, he earned his PhD in Social Science. Abanes teaches Sociology, Culture and Diversity, and Research courses in the SSMS programme.
Dr. Vana Tsimopoulou
Vana Tsimopoulu is a civil engineer with expertise in the field of hydraulic engineering and flood risk management. She was born and grew up in Greece, where she acquired her first civil engineering diploma in 2008 from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The same year she moved to the Netherlands to continue her studies at Delft University of Technology, where she was awarded a Master’s degree and a PhD in hydraulic engineering. Tsimopoulou has worked as a consultant/researcher for several companies such as Arcadis, Van Oord, HKV Consultants and Lynkeus Srl. She has been involved in projects in several countries including Turkey, USA, Bulgaria, Japan, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia. In 2015 she started teaching probabilistic design at UNESCO-IHE institute in Delft. In August 2017 she became Secretary of NVRB (Nederlandse Vereniging van Risicoanalyse en Bedrijfszekerheid). Within SSMS she teaches risk and disaster management and supervises theses on industrial safety.
Michael Wilson teaches Economics, Business Administration and Change Management in the SSMS programme. Previously, Wilson was engaged in diverse areas helping to ‘make things happen’ where margins for error were often small and the environment invariably hostile. During the seventies he served in the UK Royal Marines in places such as the Middle East, the North Sea, Ireland and the Mediterranean. In the ‘80s he focused on the offshore underwater construction business, working with major construction organisations installing and maintaining hydrocarbon installations in waters off the UK, India, the Far East and Africa. Wilson advised major oil companies on offshore construction. In the 2000s he started his own consultancy offering specialised services to operators concerned with floating offshore storage solutions. During this period he achieved a BA (Open) at the Open University in the UK, an MBA at Cranfield University, and a Master’s in Business Economics at Leiden University.
Lars van Gessel
Safety and Security Management Studies is one-of-a-kind programme that offers a different but intriguing perspective on many aspects from various fields. I consider it an open window with a view on what things happen worldwide that affect safety and security every day. SSMS is very dynamic and at the same time challenging course due to its intrinsic nature with many complex angles. This doesn't mean that you won't have your fair share of fun, though: prepare yourself for an international and stimulating environment!
When I saw the Safety and Security Management Studies (SSMS) programme for the first time on the THUAS website I was instantly hooked and applied for a visiting day. Since that day I was certain that this is a unique programme. During the Introduction Week I made friendships that will last for a lifetime and that is the exact feeling I have when I need to describe SSMS in a few sentences: camaraderie within a professional study atmosphere that is encouraged through a relaxed interaction among students and lecturers, and of course, interesting lessons and subjects!
Lars van Gessel
After much deliberation I have finally found the one study programme for myself. There is so much gained, academically speaking as well as socially. Interesting lecturers bring their own personal experiences from their work field into the classroom where they regularly share anecdotes related to the subject matter. Not only has my experience with the SSMS staff been very positive, but the other students around me also bring that same positive energy. If you are interested in the challenging world of safety and security you will enjoy this course.
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.
Advanced Criminology focuses on violence, drugs and fraud. How do you reduce youth crime in an Amsterdam neighbourhood like De Bijlmer? Or make sure that innocent bystanders are not injured by mafia-like activities? In this minor, we also deal with corruption. For example, how do you trace back illegal financial transactions conducted by FIFA? You might be more interested in the new ways governments and law enforcement agencies are fighting terrorism. If so, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, might be more your thing. Do you like solving puzzles when the stakes are high? During the minor in Applied Intelligence you’ll learn basic analysis techniques, and about tools of espionage and surveillance, counterintelligence and technologies used for gathering information. You’ll discover how foreign intelligence services operate, how the military analyses aerial photographs and how intelligence-led policing is used in the battle against organised crime.
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 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. 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.
If you have any questions about admission requirements and enrolment, please don't hesitate to contact the Enrolment Centre.
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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.
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.