MA in Global Security and Strategy

Programme and curriculum

 

The Brussels School of Governance is an alliance between the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Vesalius College. This MA in Global Security and Strategy is a programme of which the degree will be awarded by Vesalius College.

The English-taught MA in Global Security and Strategy provides students and professionals with comprehensive knowledge and policy-oriented skills at the intersection of security and strategic studies. The programme enables students interested in an international career in government, international organisations, think tanks or NGOs to gain unique theoretical foundations, practical skill-sets and high-level contacts.

Leading scholars, think tanks, and senior strategists in security studies (from organisations including NATO, the United Nations, and the Royal Military Academy of Belgium) are brought together in the partnership circle, advisory board and faculty of this programme to allow for a critical and balanced exchange between the perspectives. Graduates of this programme will be equipped to extract the insights, advantages and limitations of these perspectives and approaches to global security and strategy.

Classes are offered both during the evenings and during the day.

Our School also offers a similar Master programme focusing on Diplomacy and Global Governance.

 

Key Features

  • Organised in cooperation with the Royal Military Academy
  • Strong link between theory and actual practice
  • Limited class size ensures high interaction and close contacts among students and with the professors
  • Internship placement in international organisations, think tanks and NGOs
  • Intensive skills training and policy workshops, e.g. during a Capstone course that exposes students to real-life issues and challenges of policymakers and practitioners; during several simulations students participate in (SUNY model EU, Model NATO, Model UN MEDMUN)
  • Strong link to policy-maker scene in Brussels
  • Accredited by the Flemish educational authorities (NVAO)
  • Supported by the extensive expertise of our Office for Teaching, Learning and Innovation to accommodate sophisticated blended teaching methods

 

Academic Calendar

Curriculum

Prestigious Internships

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Academic Calendar

The first day of classes of the Fall 2021 semester is 27 September. Orientation and registration activities will take place a few days before that.  

 

Curriculum

The 90 ECTS MA in Global Security and Strategy runs across one intensive academic year and is divided into three trimesters. Hence, it will take a full-time student a total study time of 12 months. The additional time needed by part-time students to complete the study will depend on the number of courses a student will take each semester, but students interested in the part-time option should note that the minimum course load per trimester is between 12 credits (2 courses) and 18 credits (3 courses) and are strongly advised to discuss in advance their intended study plan with the Programme Director.

TRIMESTER 1: Core Foundations (Compulsory Courses)

 

  •  MA Thesis Preparatory Seminar - 6 ECTS

  •  The Theory and Practice of International Relations - 6 ECTS

  •  Theories and Applied Issues of Global Security and Strategic Studies - 6 ECTS

  •  Geopolitics - 6 ECTS

  •  Research Methods - 6 ECTS

 

TRIMESTER 2: Specialisation Tracks (Elective Courses)

Students follow four compulsory courses and one elective

COMPULSORY COURSES

  • MA Thesis I – 6 ECTS

  • History of Great Power Competition in the 21st Century - 6 ECTS

  • Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice – 6 ECTS

  • Non-traditional Security Threats in Theory and Practice – 6 ECTS

ELECTIVE COURSES* (choose one)

  • Public Diplomacy – 6 ECTS

  • The Success, Failure and Future of Global Governance - 6 ECTS

  • Global Economic Governance: Trade and Finance – 6 ECTS

  • Geopolitics and Security in East Asia - 6 ECTS

  • Terrorism and Europe's Internal/External Security Nexus – 6 ECTS

  • Disinformation, Cyber Warfare and Post-Truth – 6 ECTS

* In order to be organised, an elective course requires a minimum number of 4 students.

 

TRIMESTER 3: MA Thesis, Capstone Case Study and one elective

In addition to advancing their MA Thesis and working on a Capstone project, students take one elective which could be an internship (note that students taking the 120 ECTS option – see below – cannot take an internship in the 3rd trimester as they take an intensive internship in the additional trimester.)

COMPULSORY

  • MA Thesis II – 15 ECTS
  • Capstone case study – 9 ECTS

ELECTIVE (choose one)

  • Internship – 6 ECTS
  • Cases and Issues in Global Security & Diplomacy – 6 ECTS

 

Below you will find a downloadable overview of short descriptions of all courses that are part of this MA programme. If you would like to receive the full course catalogue of this MA programme, please submit a request via the Contact Form on this page. We will then send you a digital copy.

 

 

Additional content for the 120 ECTS track

Since some national career-tracks in diplomacy or government service may require a 120 ECTS MA, the programme offers the additional flexibility of enrolling for 30 additional ECTS credits with an additional trimester. Please note that this option will only be available until the 2021-22 academic year (included). This additional content consists of:

  • Intensive internship – 9 ECTS
  • The Theory and Practice of Diplomacy and Global Governance – 6 ECTS
  • Global Risk Analysis and Crisis Management concentration (5 modules) – 15 ECTS 
    • Understanding Risks, Grasping Uncertainty
    • Analysing Risks, Preparing for Uncertainty
    • Open Source Intelligence: Tools and Techniques
    • A New Information Environment: Media, Conflict and Crisis Communication
    • Global Crisis Monitoring, Conflict Analysis & Early Warning

 

Prestigious Internships

As part of this MA programme, students have the opportunity to partake in a tailor-made internship with one of our high-profile internship partners, where they are involved in our partners’ core activities from day one onwards. The programme has a wide range of agreements with international organisations to offer internships during the summer after the completion of the major course work, allowing students to focus full-time on their internship in addition to writing their thesis. Click here for more information on our MA internship programme

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Admission requirements

The Brussels School of Governance seeks students who are able to meet the challenges of our academic programme and are willing to participate fully in the intellectual and social life of the school in a spirit of openness and tolerance. Admission to the school is selective and holistic. We accept only students whose records indicate that they possess the qualities needed to achieve academic success in the degree programme of their choice. 

Diploma Requirements

Language Requirements

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Diploma Requirements

An undergraduate degree in Social, Economic or Political Sciences, Business or Law qualifying for graduate studies in the country of origin. If your degree is not within these disciplines, relevant work experience in these or related fields may qualify.

 

Language requirements

All our programmes are taught in English; hence, a good verbal and written command of the English language is essential. Results of an English proficiency examination are required for students who have studied for less than three years in a secondary school, or less than two years in a university with English as the language of instruction. Click here for an overview of accepted language test certificates and required scores

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Deadlines and application process

Places in our MA programmes are limited, so we encourage students to apply well in advance to their semester of choice.  Below are the application deadlines students must adhere to:

  Fall semester Spring semester
EU citizens 30 June 30 November
Non-EU citizens 31 May 31 October

 

If you are interested in one of our programmes beyond these dates, and do not need to apply for a visa for Belgium, please contact our Admissions Office, who will advise you on your options. 

Admission decisions are usually made within three weeks after receipt of the complete application. Once accepted, international applicants should contact the Belgian embassy or consulate in their country immediately to get a complete list of requirements specific for that country. More information on student visas is available here.

To apply, please click the ‘Apply here’ button at the top of this page, which will take you to a web page on which you can create your account in our applicaton system and then submit your application. This page also contains a checklist of the documents and information we require from you to assess your application.

The application process is as follows:

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1. Pay the non-refundable application fee of 50 EUR when submitting your application. The application fee will be deducted from the tuition upon registration. You can pay this application fee by card or by bank transfer:

  • By card: the School accepts MasterCard, Visa and Maestro. Payment by card can be made online. Please CLICK HERE to make a payment.
  • By bank transfer:
    ING Bank, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
    Account number: BE 64 3631 0290 8552
    Swift code: BBRU BE BB
    Account holder: Vesalius College vzw
    (Please make sure that in the comments section of your payment you mention ‘MA Glob application fee’ + your name)
    For international transfers, the main office of the bank is: ING Bank, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.
    ​Please allow two to three weeks for payments from abroad to arrive. It is important to retain proof of payment. Students are liable for all bank charges, including exchange costs.

2. Go to the home page of our application system, also accessible via the 'Apply here' button at the top of this page, which will take you to a web page on which you can create your account in our system and then submit your application. During the steps of this application process, you will have to submit the following documents:

  • Official academic credentials and transcripts (showing courses and grades) from all secondary schools and universities attended, including public examination results and official results of any national or regional examination (usually taken in the candidate’s country of residence).  

Photocopies of original documents are not accepted as official documents. However, we strongly encourage you to upload copies of any of the above-mentioned documents that you have with your online application while waiting for official credentials to be sent to us. 

  • A photocopy of either a passport or of a national identity card.  
  • Results of an English proficiency examination, required for students who have studied for less than three years in a secondary school or two years in a university with English as the language of instruction. See the ‘Admission requirements’ section for details.  
  • Official scores of the SAT test or the ACT test may be required. See the ‘Admission requirements’ section for details.   
  • A motivation letter or a personal essay on an issue of local, national or international or personal interest that is important to you. Please explain us why this issue is important to you (minimum 300 words).  
  • A curriculum vitae (for students who have been out of secondary school for several years) 

Applicants must ensure that their names are recorded clearly on all documents. The family name or surname given in the application must then be used in all correspondence with our School and on all documents relating to it. Note: None of the application materials submitted to the Brussels School of Governance will be returned to the applicant. Candidates are advised to make copies for their own records prior to submission.

We accept credentials in English, Dutch, French, and German. For all other languages, official translations by a certified translator (whose signature is authenticated) are required and are accepted only when accompanied by the document in its original language.

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Tuition and scholarships

Tuition (for the entire programme, full-time)

  90 ECTS

 

120 ECTS (including the Postgraduate
Certificate in Global Risk Analysis
and Crisis Management)

 

Tuition for all students

 

13.000 €

17.000 €

 

For Brussels School of Governance graduates / Study Abroad Alumni:

Students who graduated with a BA from the Brussels School of Governance (or with one of its two members, Institute for European Studies (VUB) or Vesalius College) or have completed a semester at the School as part of their Study Abroad programme qualify for a tuition fee reduction.

 

Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) – MA programmes

The Brussels School of Governance will award Academic Excellence Scholarships to students who have achieved outstanding grades in their most recent university degree and whose extra-curricular achievements show evidence of leadership in today’s global society. Other factors include one letter of recommendation from their university and (in certain cases) standardised test scores. The school's merit-based financial assistance can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees.

 

Eligibility

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  • Prospective students must possess outstanding academic records and personal integrity, as demonstrated by grades, extra-curricular activities that show social engagement or leadership, standardised test scores (such as TOEFL, IELTS, C2 Proficiency, C1 Advanced) and one letter of recommendation (if not already supplied with the Master’s application). The recommendation letter should ideally be from a professor who knows the prospective student well and can comment on his/her academic abilities and suitability for studying one of our Master’s programmes (including his/her academic writing and analytical skills). (click here for the Application form).
  • Prospective students must have been accepted into a Brussels School of Governance Master’s Programme as a full-time student.
  • There is a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) required to obtain a scholarship. The school will also take motivation and extra-curricular activities into consideration. Evidently, better scores and grades, combined with strong motivation and participation in extra-curricular activities will improve one’s chances of acquiring a scholarship.
  • Citizenship & residency: there are no limitations with regards to citizenship & residency. All applicants will be treated fairly and equally.

Please check the minimum requirements for the Academic Excellence Scholarship – MA programmes.

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FAQ

Which entity awards the degree of this programme?

Is this programme accredited?

How to apply for a visa?

What happens after I applied?

When do I get a VUB student card?

Is accommodation provided by the University or should it be arranged individually?

Where can I find more information about campus and facilities?

Is there a possibility to follow language courses at the VUB?

Will I get career advice as a student?

What are the cancellation terms?

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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 MA in Global Security and Strategy is a programme of which the degree will be awarded by Vesalius College.

 

Is this programme accredited?

Yes it is. The degree of this programme is awarded by Vesalius College, which is registered with the Flemish government of Belgium as an institution of higher education, and its BA and MA degrees are equivalent to fully-recognised degrees issued by a Flemish University. Vesalius College is a participant in the Bologna Process, the reform effort designed to standardise higher education throughout Europe. In accordance with the Bologna declaration, Vesalius College offers 3-year European bachelor programmes and calculates coursework in ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. All our Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees have been granted accredited status by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO, Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie). This official organisation was established by international treaty between the Flemish and the Dutch governments to ensure the quality of higher education in both the Netherlands and Flanders. More information on the accreditation of the MA in Global Security and Strategy can be found on its relevant webpage on the official government website regarding higher education in Flanders: https://data-onderwijs.vlaanderen.be/edulex/document.aspx?docid=15279

 

How can I apply for a visa?

As you will undoubtedly want to travel during your stay in Brussels, we strongly recommend that you ask for a long-stay Schengen Visa, or ‘Type D’ Schengen Visa, which will allow you to travel hassle-free to any of the countries within the Schengen region and to make multiple entries into Belgium. This type of visa is not issued by all embassies/consulates. Please contact the Belgian embassy or consulate nearest to you for details on specific procedures and requirements. Click here for more information about visa regulations.

 

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, cost of living, etc.).

 

When do I get my VUB student card?

Upon your registration with the academic administration, you will get a VUB student card.

 

Is accommodation provided by the University or should it be arranged individually?

Due to a limited number of rooms on campus, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel cannot provide housing for all international students and scholars. Hence they are advised to find other means of accommodation in Belgium, preferably prior to departure.
The Br(ik organisation aims to create a network of safe, reliable housing. The landlords and the accommodations linked to Br(ik, must meet criteria set by Br(ik and in case of problems between the landlord and the tenant, the Br(ik organisation can intervene.

Prearranged housing is only available for VLIR-UOS scholars who are registered for one or two year master programmes. All other students and scholars are advised to seek transit, short term or long term housing prior to departure. It is recommended that the search for accommodation is started as soon as the letter of acceptance or invitation has been received.

For more information, please visit: https://student.vub.be/en/housing#housing-in-brussels

Contact: international.relations@vub.ac.be

 

Where can I find more information about campus and facilities?

The School is located on the campus of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), a green campus in Etterbeek in Brussels. Modern sports facilities with sports halls, tennis and squash courts, and a swimming pool can all be found on site. Monthly gym subscriptions are available at Basic Fit, a modern and well-equipped gym right on campus. The student restaurant offers a large choice of meals and snacks at self-service counters. The campus is easy to reach by train, tram, bus or metro from the city centre or the outskirts of Brussels.

The School also offers the opportunity to attend career seminars and make use of psychological counselling (free of charge). Click here for more information about campus life, services & facilities and Living in Brussels Moreover, the VUB offers its students a unique career advice service. Its Career Centre’s clients include the European Commission. Its services include CV editing, interview preparation and general career advice. For more information:
e-mail: info@vubcareercenter.be
tel: +32 2 629 11 88
or immediately sign up here.

 

Is there a possibility to follow language courses at the VUB?

Yes. There are two possibilities:
BRUSSELS EDUCATION CENTER C.V.O – Day and evening language courses: VUB Campus – Pleinlaan 2 – Building D (Room D.1.33)
phone : +32 (0)2/629.39.08
website : https://www.cvosemper.be/en/?en

OR

ITO : University Language Institute – Pleinlaan 5 – 3° floor
phone : +32 (0)2/629.26.07
e-mail : secritow@vub.ac.be

 

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

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

 

If you have not submitted an application yet, use the Contact Form on this page, or
one of the other contact options below.

I have not applied yet and want to book a virtual appointment.

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