Postgraduate Certificate in Global Risk Analysis and Crisis Management (GRACM)

Programme and curriculum

The Postgraduate Certificate in Global Risk Analysis and Crisis Management provides participants with unique insights and fundamental skills required for mastering the field of global risk analysis, early warning and the management of major man-made and natural disastersAs of Fall 2020 the programmed will be offered onlinewith the 5 modules spread from September through December.

The programme is taught by a renowned faculty of senior officials from major international organisations (such as the European Union, NATO and the United Nations), NGOs as well as leading security scholars (see Teaching staff section below). Examples in previous years include Mireia Villar (Senior Policy Advisor, United Nations Development Programme, UNDP), Karen Frazer (Former Head of Corporate Affairs and Risk Communication, MASTERCARD), Florika Fink-Hooijer (Director of Strategy, Policy and International Co-operation, DG Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, ECHO, European Commission), Lotta Lampela (Adviser to the Director of the EU Intelligence and Analysis Centre, INTCEN), Leon Prop (Director, Red Cross EU Office), and Jamie Shea (Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Threats, NATO).

The Brussels School of Governance is an alliance between the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Vesalius College. This Postgraduate Certificate in Global Risk Analysis and Crisis Management is a programme of which the degree will be awarded by Vesalius College.



Upon successful completion of the 5 course modules, which will be held from September to December 2022, and the associated exams, participants will be awarded the Advanced Certificate in Global Risk Analysis & Crisis Management. Due to the current situation, the certificate will be offered in an online format.

The 5 course modules will provide an introduction to the scope and nature of diverse forms of risk and fundamental uncertainty. Participants will be taught by leading practitioners and international experts how to classify, analyse and predict political risk, violent conflicts, and natural disasters. Participants will be introduced to the most modern IT tools for open source intelligence and to the main methods for early warning and monitoring global crises. Practical skills also include fundamental training on selection bias, on gathering data in crisis situations and writing succinct and effective analyses. The final module will provide an integrated training session and simulation during which participants will be required to apply their knowledge to the full early warning and information gathering cycle while under stress.


Structure and duration

This Postgraduate Certificate consists of 5 intensive modules. Each module includes a Saturday (9.00-12.30) and a Sunday session (9.00-11.00), consisting of intensive training, lectures, exercises and case studies. A policy round-table takes place on the following Wednesday (18.30-20.00). It is designed to stimulate exchanges between course participants and leading senior officials from Brussels-based organisations and beyond. The 5 modules are spread evenly over a period of 4 months, from September until December.

It is possible for participants to select and register for only one or several modules from the full curriculum. For more information, please contact us by e-mail or fill in the Contact Form below.

Overview of course modules for 2022:

  • Module 1: Understanding Risks, Grasping Uncertainty

    Preparation: week 26-30 September (around 2 hours/day). Training 1: Saturday 1 October morning (9-12.30). Training 2: Sunday 2 October morning (9-11). Round-table: Wednesday 5 October (18.30-20.00). Final assignment due: Sunday 9 October.

  • Module 2: Analysing Risks, Preparing for Uncertainty

Preparation: week 10-14 October (around 2 hours/day). Training 1: Saturday 15 October morning (9-12.30). Training 2: Sunday 16 October morning (9-11);. Round-table: Wednesday 19 October (18.30-20.00). Final assignment due: Sunday 23 October.

  • Module 3: Open Source Intelligence: Tools and Techniques

Preparation: week 7-11 November (around 2 hours/day). Training 1: Saturday 12 November morning (9-12.30). Training 2: Sunday 13 November morning (9-11). Round-table: Wednesday 16 November (18.30-20.00). Final assignment due: Sunday 20 November.

  • Module 4: A New Information Environment: Media, Conflict and Crisis Communication

Preparation: week 21-25 November (around 2 hours/day). Training 1: Saturday 26 November morning (9-12.30). Training 2: Sunday 27 November morning (9-11). Round-table: Wednesday 30 November (18.30-20.00). Final assignment due: Sunday 4 December.

  • Module 5: Global Crisis Monitoring, Conflict Analysis & Early Warning

Preparation: week 5-9 December (around 2 hours/day). Training 1: Saturday 10 December morning (9-12.30). Training 2: Sunday 11 December morning (9-11). Final assignment due: Sunday 18 December.

Success stories

  • "What stands out in this programme is the exponential learning curve students go through. As a recent post-graduate student in International Relations working in public affairs, knowing about one's professional risk environment is critical. This programme has offered me the necessary cognitive and practical skills in risk management and risk analysis to navigate and foresee risks in the context of political economy and communication crisis."

    Johann Diaz Manzano (Belgium)
    Postgraduate Certificate alumnus (2020)
  • "The 5 modules of this Postgraduate Certificate were a challenging and interesting experience. The modules contain a mass of information within the field of analysis and crisis management, summarized and taught by leading experts. It allowed me to review and approach some of the notions I already learned before from a different angle. The programme is quite unique because it includes several practical exercises and tasks to complete. It is also interesting in the sense that it is easy to combine with work."

    Pieter Balcaen (Belgium)
    Postgraduate Certificate alumnus (2020)
  • "The programme allows for much interaction and constructive criticism and offered a holistic approach to Crisis Management. Indeed, it looks at how to prevent and prepare a crisis through strategic foresight tools, risk indicators/categories, and open-source intelligence, but also at how to handle situations under stress through a crisis communication plan, for instance, or on how to monitor a crisis. As practitioners (EU, UN, NATO, …) handle this post-graduate degree, it allowed me to develop many practical skills and discover many useful IT tools.”

    Sarah Haber (Belgium)
    Postgraduate Certificate alumna (2020)
  • “The programme is worthwhile for everyone who works or is interested in the fields of crisis management and risk analysis. The combination of theoretical courses and hands-on exercises, provided by actors from the field, is especially valuable.”

    Sien Vanlommel (Belgium)
    Postgraduate Certificate alumna (2020)

News about the programme

Admission requirements

Admission to this Postgraduate Certificate is highly selective. Candidates should have a Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree plus the equivalent of 3 years’ work experience. Applicants are selected on the basis of the information provided in their CV and motivation letter.

For BSoG students who want to attend this Postgraduate Certificate as a part of their MA degree, please check our MA in Diplomacy and Global Governance or MA in Global Security and Strategy pages.

Tuition fee

To apply to the Postgraduate Certificate in Global Risk Analysis and Crisis Management, applicants need to pay an application fee of 50 euros, which will be detracted from the final fee upon acceptance.

The tuition fee for the Postgraduate Certificate is 3,500 EUR. Please note that it is possible to apply for individual modules (800 EUR per module).

We offer the following tuition discounts*:

  • 10% for applications before 1 August
  • 20% to BSoG students and BSoG / Vesalius College / Institute for European Studies alumni (incl. Study Abroad programme alumni)
  • 10% for employees of European institutions

*Discounts may not be combined.  

For current BSoG and Study Abroad students, acceptance depends on whether they meet the criteria for admission.


What is the application deadline?

Which entity awards the degree of this programme?

What happens after I applied?

What are the cancellation terms?

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What is the application deadline?​

Application deadline is 10 September.


Which entity awards the degree of this programme?

The Brussels School of Governance is an alliance between the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Vesalius College. This Postgraduate Certificate in Global Risk Analysis and Crisis Management is a programme of which the degree will be awarded by Vesalius College.


What happens after I applied?

We aim at providing you with a decision within three weeks from receiving your complete application AND your payment of the 50 EUR application fee.  You will receive our decision by e-mail. In case of acceptance to the programme, this e-mail will contain practical info about the next steps (registration fee / tuition fee payment, etc.).


What are the cancellation terms?

In case of cancellation before the start of the academic year, any tuition fees already paid will be reimbursed, with the exception of the 1,000€ registration deposit. Cancellations after the start of the academic year but before 1 December will result in a reimbursement of 50% of the total tuition fee minus the 1,000€ registration deposit, unless the student has received a maximum waiver in which case no tuition fees will be reimbursed. Cancellations after 1 December will not be reimbursed.

The registration deposit (1.000€) on any Brussels School of Governance programme is non-refundable, unless cancellation in a programme is due to events beyond the control of the applicant, otherwise known as force majeure (for example, if the student applied for a visa but was unable to obtain it, or if due to medical reasons the required previous degree was not obtained). In those cases, the full deposit will be refunded.

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