Public Risk and Disaster


About this minor

When global pandemics, earthquakes, and tsunamis strike, they leave a lasting impact on societies around the world. Next to these natural hazards, man-made risks can result in major industrial or nuclear accidents, which remind us of the costs that comes with human progression. The more subtle effects of constantly evolving technologies can also lead to safety and security risks, or impact significant values such as privacy and inclusion. In an era marked by climate change and increasing technological advancement, how do we tackle today’s grand challenges? How do we respond to both man-made and climate-related risks we face in today’s world, ranging from climate change and resulting intensified disasters, to cybercrime, and risks emerging from new technologies such as self-driving cars? Who is responsible for both reducing those risks, and mitigating and responding when something does go wrong? How have various governments and other stakeholders actively worked on preventing and responding to risk and disaster in the past, and how can they do so better?

The world’s population increasingly has to deal with risks related to these ever-evolving challenges. How humanity as a whole prepares for, responds to, and manages these grand challenges is crucial for the world’s future. In this minor, you will explore and unravel these grand challenges, and look for possible ways forward.

Risk and disaster studies cover a broad range of research topics, including technology assessment, ethical analyses, system analyses, multi-actor analyses, risk analyses, vulnerability analyses, and political analyses. In this minor, you will gain knowledge of essential concepts from all of these fields to understand and analyze today’s risks. Unique to this minor is its multidisciplinary approach, where you learn to combine a unique blend of social sciences and engineering concepts to analyze and evaluate current-day risk and disaster-related issues. You will follow courses on disaster studies and technological risks in which you explore academic and theoretical arguments, and apply them to relevant case studies.

To provide this broad spectrum of knowledge to students, TU Delft and Leiden University set up a cooperation. Leiden University primarily contributes with knowledge in disaster studies, focusing on climate change and disaster politics, and intersectional issues. TU Delft contributes in the areas of risk management, system analyses, technology assessment, and ethical analyses, focusing on man-made risks.

Because of the varying backgrounds students enter the minor with, the lecturing team will provide support to students with regard to skills needed to succeed within disciplines they may not yet be familiar with.

Good to know

The minor consists of 6 courses of 5 ECTS each and takes place during the first semester. The semester is divided into two blocks of eight weeks each. In every block, three courses are taught. You can also register to only follow the three courses in block one, which count for a total of 15 ECTS. Please be aware that the PRD minor needs to be completed in one academic year. It is not possible to retake courses that you have not passed during the following academic year.

The application period for this (Leiden) Joint Minor is 15 May to 31 May for students of TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The application period for University Leiden students is 15 May to 4 July.

This minor programme can also be followed for 15 EC. Register for this minor and contact the minor coordinator.

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 30
  • Level
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Leiden University.


For guests, registration for this minor is handled by Leiden University