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AK2004 Philosophy of Risk 7.5 credits

The course will introduce important basic concepts that are used in the analysis of risks.

The course is comprised of both lectures and seminars.

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus AK2004 (Autumn 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

This is a basic course on philosophical aspects of risk and safety. The course goal is to equip students with tools, collected from different philosophical subdisciplines, that will facilitate risk analysis and risk communication.

The course is made up of lectures and seminars. In the lectures fundamental concepts used in the analysis of societal risks will be introduced, for example uncertainty, risk analysis, maximization of utility, the precautionary principle. A central part of the course is ethical analysis risks, risk assessment, and risk management.

The course is given in Swedish.

The course is given provided that a sufficient number of students apply to take it.

Intended learning outcomes

After completed course the student should be able to

  • outline the basics of risk analysis,
  • state and explain different definitions of risk,
  • analyze and discuss risks, using tools from different philosophical subdisciplines,
  • critically question and problemize risks and risk analysis from different philosophical perspectives,
  • discuss ethical aspects of risks and risk analysis.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

120 university credits (hp) and language proficiency corresponding to Swedish B/Swedish 3 and English B/English 6.

Recommended prerequisites

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Kurslitteratur anslås på kursens hemsida senast fyra veckor före kursstart

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • SEM2 - Seminars, 3.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN2 - Written Exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

  • Seminars (SEM2; 3.5 credits), P/F
  • Written exam (TEN2; 4 credits), A-F

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Built Environment

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Per Wikman Svahn (