Certificate Programme in European Peace and Security Studies

Programme and curriculum

The European Peace and Security Studies (EPSS) certificate is a 4-courses programme that provides in-depth and unique insights into the changing nature and fundamental challenges of contemporary security issues from a distinctly Brussels perspective. In 2021, this programme will be offered in a largely on-campus format.

By pooling the combined expertise and resources of 3 leading educational institutions in Brussels – the Belgian Royal Military Academy, the Institute for European Studies (IES) and the Global Governance Institute (GGI) - students are taught by prominent specialists in the field of civilian and military security issues, in both theory and practice.

The courses emphasize theoretical and practical analysis of the comprehensive, civil-military nature of contemporary conflict and crisis management from a NATO, UN and EU perspective. They also examine the history, institutional procedures and policies of, and interrelations between, these three organisations, as well as their interaction with a wide range of civilian and military partners. The programme also sheds light on the complex roots and causes of contemporary conflicts in Europe’s periphery and beyond.

Hence, at the end of the semester, students will have acquired an extensive knowledge of the institutional, theoretical and practical dimensions of contemporary issues and of the core actors in the field of European peace and security.

The Brussels School of Governance is an alliance between the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Vesalius College. This European Peace and Security Studies (EPSS) certificate is a programme organised by Vesalius College.


View more


The EPSS Programme consists of four interrelated courses worth 6 ECTS credits (3 US credits) each. We recommend students to take this programme in the Fall semester, when its full curriculum of four courses is taught. Students who want to study the programme at a slower pace, could consider starting the programme in the Spring semester, when only part of the curriculum is offered, meaning that they could then finish the remaining courses in the following Fall semester. Upon successful completion of the programme, students will receive a Certificate in European Peace & Security Studies.

For every new semester, we select the 4 courses that will constitute this programme, from the range of courses below. Indicated with  *** are the courses that will be taught in this programme in the Fall 2021 semester:

  • The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy 
  • Understanding Contemporary Conflicts in the Euro-Mediterranean Region***
  • Global Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and (De-)Radicalisation***
  • Security, Migration and Cultural Diversity in Europe
  • NATO and Transatlantic Approaches to Security*** 
  • Military Approaches to Promoting Security
  • International Approaches to State-Building, Reform and Good Governance
  • Russian Foreign Policy***

For a description of these courses, we refer to our BA courses overview.

View less

News about the programme

Tuition fee

The total tuition fee for this programme is 6500 EUR.

Have a question about the programme? Get in touch with us!

Have a question? A remark? Want to know more about our Certificate programme? 

If you have not submitted an application yet, ask us your questions via the Contact Form on this website, or send us an e-mail via the link below.


I have already applied and have a question about my application.

Contact us