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Security & Safety Challenges in a Globalized World

Leiden University via Coursera


Security and safety challenges rank among the most pressing issues of modern times. Challenges such as, cyber-crime, terrorism, and environmental disasters impact the lives of millions across the globe. These issues also rank high on the agenda of politicians, international organizations and businesses. They also feature prominently in the public conscience and in governmental policies.

In the current, interconnected world, security challenges are becoming increasingly complex. Facilitated by developments as globalization and the spread of networked and hyper-connected technologies, new safety and security challenges arise and impact local, national, regional and international levels, which dramatically increases their complexity and scale. As such, solutions to contemporary security challenges require a wide array of actors operating on multiple levels of governance.

The course will introduce you to the broad theme of security and safety in an increasingly complex world. Together we will search for answers to important questions: what is security and safety? How can we understand complex modern-day security and safety challenges? And how do we deal with such challenges? This course combines scholarly inquiry from multiple disciplines (ranging from terrorism studies, to crisis management, to medical science) with real-life cases to explore and understand complex modern-day safety and security challenges.


  • Introduction
    • Welcome to the first module! This module features an introduction to the course and explains the main topic addressed, as well as introduces you to the teaching staff. Before you start with studying we invite you to first go through our introductory resources and introduce yourself in the forum to meet your fellow learners. If you encounter any difficulties while studying, please let us know in the forum. For technical difficulties or questions regarding the course certificate, you can always contact the Coursera Learner Helpdesk. Good luck and we hope you will enjoy the course!
  • Global Challenges and Wicked Problems
    • In this module you will learn about global challenges. In the modern, interconnected world, security and safety challenges are increasingly complex, impacting local, national, regional and international levels. You will also learn why many of these challenges can be labeled as 'wicked problems'; they are challenges which are difficult or impossible to solve because they have many different causes, are difficult to describe, and don’t have a single 'right' answer.
  • Safety and Security
    • In this module, you will learn more about safety and security. Safety and security have now become buzz words for society, marking the top of the agendas of politicians, businesses and many other actors worldwide. But what do these concepts mean? In this module we address the difference between safety and security. In addition, you will learn about one of the most important approaches to dealing with issues of safety and security, namely risk management.
  • Perspectives and Levels
    • In this module, you will learn more about the different actors and levels of governance involved in contemporary security and safety challenges. You will also learn a three-step approach which can be used to unravel modern-day safety and security challenges in an academic way.
  • Case Studies
    • In this module, we will take a closer look at three specific cases of security and safety. Using the three-step approach from the previous module, we will unravel these cases to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of modern-day safety and security challenges.
  • Security and Safety in Practice
    • In this module, we will continue to take a closer look at real-life cases of security and safety. Through interviews with three experts, we will look at the different actors and perspectives that are involved in the management of a specific type of security incident, namely a breach of cyber security.
  • Case Study: Explore, Understand, Do.
    • In this final module, you will be asked to apply all the knowledge from the previous modules towards unraveling a real-life safety and security case. Using the three-step approach of Explore, Understand and Do from previous modules, you will analyze how this case unfolded, which actors and specific levels of governance were involved, and apply various academic perspectives.

Taught by

Bibi van den Berg and Ruth Prins


4.9 rating, based on 15 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 372 ratings

Start your review of Security & Safety Challenges in a Globalized World

  • Anonymous
    Hitherto the courses ( online and totally free ) made by the Univercity of Leiden are materpieces .Very well constructed, with a lot of resourses, without strong bias
    When you want very information about our globalising world than check in or try it.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Safety & Security risk management has been a staple part of my career journey. I took this course as a refresher after leading other disciplines for the past three years. I found it very enjoyable and can certainly say it gave me more knowledge to add to my tool box. It has a good balance of practical information and the case studies are very interesting. I also liked that to achieve your certificate you were required to pass the course through a series of quiz's and three assignments, which made it more rewarding personally. I recommend it to anyone starting out in the risk management & safety & security field, or to anyone already in the industry that want's to improve their knowledge.
  • Anonymous
    The course is very precise and informative. I really appreciate the way the teachers broke down the course piece by piece. It’s gives you a clear insight about how the security and safety challenges in a globalized world works from different perspectives. I would love to actually travel to the university of leiden to learn more from them. They make the course so interesting that I didn’t want the course to finish. I will surely take another course from them.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Excellent course! The learning process is dynamic, the content is actual, and the modules include useful techniques and tools so as to understand the approach to nowadays security and safety challenges. I really enjoyed doing this course, and no problem in order to understand the lessons, despite the fact English isn't my mother tongue. Another interesting fact of this course is that it allows you to get in touch with people from all around the world through forums. Getting to know the perspective of people from different countries about the same topic is a really captivating feature this course. I really encourage you to do this course if you are intrigued by today's world and its constant changes.
  • Anonymous
    It’s truly one of the kind ,comprehensive course , clear and to the point I truly would like to appreciate Dr. Bibi and Dr. Ruth they make truly fantastic job as well I would like to appreciate Dr. Bakker
    Thank you to much and I wish to participate more courses with you and Leiden university
  • Anonymous
    I don’t regret taking this course, it was a very beneficial one and helped improve a lot my knowledge and understand better the difference between safety and security and to know how these two terms have to be used properly and correctly
  • Profile image for Muharram Mullajonova
    Muharram Mullajonova

    My name is Muharram Mullajanova. Muharram is my name, Mullajanova is my surname. I am from Uzbekistan and I live Tashkent city. By the way, Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan. I am 18. i still study at school. My classmates are so funny guys and i never get boring with them. My parents are ordinary people. My goal is to ensure the safety of ordinary people like them

    I believe that if the whole world is peaceful, there will be peaceful days without life formation, weapons and wars.I want to contribute to the peace and security of the peoples of the world and preserve peace as the apple of my eye.
  • Diana Judith

    Diana Judith completed this course.

    Very helpful. I learned a lot as pertains my field of career am in now. Thank you for this info.
    But how can I get a certificate?
  • Anonymous
    Very good course, both for starters and people with a little more experience in this field. The teachers explain the course material very well giving a clear overview of the main aspects in safety and security.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I have completed this course, and it is absolutely awesome. It broadens the view to analyze risk, and trains to develop abilities to "Explore, Understand, and Doing" a case study.
    Highly recommend it.
  • Profile image for Monish Gulati
    Monish Gulati
    A very good course. It is very well designed and focused on the learning outcomes. Being a security professional with several years of experience, I learnt a lot. The course is easy paced and enjoyable.
  • Anonymous
    Very good course. I gained alot of new information and knowledge. Thank you for you all. I really appreciate coursera and Leiden University .
  • Oluwasegun Joseph Adekunle
    What a great course. I learned a lot from this course. The course materials and assignments push you to know more. I really appreciate.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I didn't know what to expect of my first education at the University of Leiden with Coursera, but I am pleasantly surprised by the way this course is organised. I liked the web-based approach and learned a lot about offered study material. I can recommend this to everyone working in the Security business.
  • Mohamed Salah

    Mohamed Salah completed this course.

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