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DEVELOPING A NEW MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM – CASE SECURITY MANAGEMENT

J. Ojasalo

Laurea University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
PURPOSE. The purpose of this article is to increase the knowledge of the development process of a master degree program in security management. The present literature includes very little knowledge of development of higher education in security management, particularly outside of the traditional security bodies such as military and police forces or public emergency services. Indeed, there is a clear need increase the knowledge of this area. Furthermore, developing curricula in general, requires further examination. The present empirical article respond to the evident needs.
METHOD. The present article is an action research based case study. It is based on the development process of a master degree program which took 22 months, starting from the initiation of the project and ending up to the point when the first students began their studies in the program. This process is described and analyzed in the article in detail.
RESULTS. As a result, this article introduces a phase model of developing a master degree program.
CONTRIBUTION. This article contributes to the scientific literature, firstly, by increasing the knowledge of the development of higher education in security management. The literature includes very little knowledge of this issue. Moreover, most of the security and safety related education is provided by educational institutes of military and police forces or public emergency services. These educational institutes do not primarily aim at educating students for the fast growing private security industry. The case university of this study is a multidisciplinary university of applied sciences and not related to military or police forces or public emergency services. Thus, the context of the present case study is very rare, and the results provide new insights into developing higher security education outside of the traditional governmental security bodies. Secondly, this article contributes by increasing the knowledge of the phases and activities of degree program and curriculum development in general.
STRUCTURE. The structure of this article is as follows. Firstly, based on the analysis of literature, this article discusses developing curricula and degree programs in universities. In this context, it pays attention to objectives, critical issues, and phases in developing curricula. Then, it explains the research method of this study. Next, it describes the development process of the new master degree program in security management. After that, it brings forward the scientific contribution of the present article. Then, it draws the final conclusion.