Conflict, risk & safety

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Learn to understand threats to citizens’ physical, psychological, and social safety in order to develop interventions to counter these.

How can the police interview suspects and witnesses effectively? How do civilians estimate the risks of a disease or the risks posed by fake news and conspiracy theories? And what is the best way to resolve conflicts (in the workplace)? The specialisation in Conflict, Risk, & Safety (CRS) will provide you with a deeper understanding of the (socio)psychological dynamics of safety issues in the broadest sense of the word, from a physical to psychological to social perspective. You will learn all about conflict and crisis management, risk perception and communication, and explaining and dealing with risky, antisocial, and criminal behaviour.

Reliability and ethics are important when covering topics in risk and safety. It takes awareness of your role within society: the decisions you will make matter, especially when you’re dealing with e.g. criminal behaviour or risk communication.

Dr. Miriam Oostinga, Assistant Professor within the specialisation in CRS

What to expect?

Within this specialisation, you will delve deeper into the domain of social psychology, in order to gain an understanding of e.g. group processes, interpersonal communication, social influence, attitudes, and prejudice. Moreover, this specialisation incorporates aspects of cognitive, clinical, and organisational psychology. The examples of topics you could cover are nearly endless. You might research the most effective ways to resolve conflict negotiations, for example on the work floor or in disputes between neighbours. Or you could focus on the field of legal and forensic psychology and find interventions to reduce the extent to which people commit crimes or help offenders in rehabilitating. Or what about communicating effectively with citizens in case of a terrorist event, or floods?

Examples of courses you will follow during this specialisation:
  • The course Psychology and Crime will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social psychological theories regarding crime-related aspects, from determinants to interventions and from detection to treatment.
  • How can you effectively communicate risk information to various groups within society? The course Risk and Leadership in Societal Technological Contexts focuses on the many facets of leadership, risk communication and crises against a societal and technological background. 
  • During the course Group Dynamics and Interventions, you will experience intra- and intergroup processes yourself (e.g. group formation, power relations, conflicts) and examine their consequences on the well-being of group members, productivity, decision making and creativity.

This specialisation places conflict, risk, and safety matters firmly in the context of our current digital society. You will, for example, explore how technology can be used as an analysis tool (e.g. eye-tracking or motion detection) or as a means for treatments or solutions (e.g. Virtual Reality training for rehabilitation or victim-offender mediation). You could also study technology as a context that impacts matters of conflict, risk and safety. Think, for example, of risk perception of new technologies, cybercrime, the spread of fake news or stigmatisation in (social) media.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of this Master's and this specialisation, you have acquired specific, scientific knowledge, skills and values, which you can put to good use in your future job.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have specialist and in-depth knowledge of and insight in contemporary (psychological) theories in the conflict, risk and safety field;
    • have a broad overview of the technologies and methods/instruments used in the field of conflict, risk and safety;
    • have knowledge of and insight in dilemmas, methods, and processes of academic and applied psychological research, and the ability to critically appraise this research.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can analyse complex psychological problems and relate them to a theoretical framework, in such a way that it results in a workable research question or problem statement;
    • are able to apply and integrate (psychological) theory, models and procedures to perform research and design effective interventions in the field of conflict, risk and safety (e.g. to prevent cybercrime victimisation or to resolve civilians’ conflicts);
    • can provide a written report and oral presentation on the executed research and design assignment following scientific standards and conventions.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have sufficient social and communication skills to be able to pleasantly work together with customers, supervisors, clients and peers in the conflict, risk and safety field;
    • are able to initiate your own learning and working process;
    • have the attitude and skills to be able to critically reflect on and form an opinion on the meaning, value and ethical conduct of scientific knowledge.

Other master’s and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. Or find out more about these other Master’s:

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