IMSISS - International master in security, intelligence and strategic studies (Erasmus Mundus scholarship)

January 14, 2022

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Location (s):

  • Czech Republic
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
Staré Město, Dublin, Glasgow, Trento


The International Master in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies (IMSISS) is a 24 month Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) awarded by a consortium of European universities – University of Glasgow (UK); Dublin City University (Ireland); Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) and the University of Trento (Italy), working in conjunction with a wide network of associate partners, including the University of Cádiz (Spain) and OTH Regensburg (Germany).


Students on this degree programme will examine a broad range of contemporary security challenges, such as terrorism, civil war and conflict, mass migration, energy supply security, cyber security and new technologies, and transnational and serious organised crime. Students will also explore the intelligence and strategic approaches used by governmental and non-governmental actors to combat these threats.

The degree adopts a unique approach to the study of security by combining theoretical, applied and empirical knowledge and skill sets. Students will have the opportunity to meet with and work alongside a range of academics and researchers from international partner universities and think tanks from around the world, as well as practitioner experts from governmental and industry security and defence sectors.

Programme Structure

The IMSISS programme is structured around a series of mobility periods across two years where you study at the three universities for one academic semester each. During Year 1 you will undertake a series of core courses reflecting the main themes of the programme and research methods training. You will also have time to undertake initial dissertation research and attend a specialist summer school.

In Year 2 you will choose a specialist concentration containing a range of optional courses. Also included is a fourth flexible study period, during which time you will complete your independent study (dissertation) and may have the opportunity to undertake a work-based learning placement with a relevant associate partner.

The periods of mobility are designed to enable you to engage with a variety of perspectives on the three core themes of the programme and promote valuable knowledge and practical skills based outcomes that will feed into future career opportunities.

IMSISS partners will work together to ensure that they deliver a joint master degree that:

  • utilises mobility opportunities to promote an innovative, interdisciplinary, and integrated team-delivered programme that recognises security as one of the top public issues of the modern world.
  • provides students with comprehensive training across theoretical, empirical and applied approaches to three interrelated core themes – security, intelligence and strategy.
  • engages its students with the reasons underpinning contemporary insecurity and threat; the strategic directions, policy responses and active solutions to security challenges; and the means to plan and horizon scan for future threats.
  • draws upon the expertise of consortium partners in specialist areas including: conceptual issues such as security theory, the politics of threat assessment, modern strategic thought, ethical dilemmas of just war; contemporary security challenges such as terrorism, radicalisation, migration, cyber-crime and cyber-warfare, regional security dilemmas, conflict and the use of modern technology (drones, weapons of mass destruction, social media), energy security; and practical skills development such as open source intelligence production, linguistic and data analytics.

Intended Learning Objectives

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes designed to prepare them for future academic and/or professional careers.

By completing this degree students will be able to:  

  • describe and apply a range of theoretical approaches and debates in security, intelligence and strategic studies in a critical manner;
  • recognise and critically assess a variety of traditional and non-traditional security threats and the interconnected nature of these threats;
  • conceptually locate contemporary security matters within global, national and regional contexts;
  • critically evaluate the role played by intelligence and information in addressing security concerns in specific domains of interest;
  • articulate the ethical implications of key policy approaches and strategic tactics in dealing with security threats, with particular emphasis on affects at a societal/human level.

Subject-specific/practical skills

  • deploy a range of evidence based research techniques and methodologies appropriate to social science and applied science approaches to security, intelligence and strategic studies;
  • employ an evidence based approach to resolving problems and completing tasks relating to specific disciplinary approaches to security and intelligence matters;
  • independently produce structured policy briefs / papers;
  • define and develop concepts and analytical approaches for the evaluation of big data and other forms of information;
  • apply a range of key skills, including software application, for acquiring and analysis of intelligence related data, specifically that available via open source means;
  • produce, present, and critically assess intelligence products with respect to a client’s needs and requirements.

Intellectual skills

  • undertake autonomous evidence based learning, including the identification and review of literature, set and solve problems, and process research data by reading and writing critically and analytically;
  • express originality and creativity in the application of knowledge and understanding;
    design and undertake a significant research project using a range of materials and relevant methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks;
  • demonstrate awareness of and respond to ethical consideration and concerns relevant to undertaking research on security matters.

Transferable/key skills

  • present materials and ideas coherently in written and verbal form, with clear use of language, professional referencing and use of tables, diagrams and graphics where appropriate;
  • communicate effectively with audiences at different levels (peer group, academic staff, professionals);
  • work flexibly and constructively in collaborative groups or independently;
    give and receive constructive criticism;
  • use a range of information technology resources and demonstrate the ability to use and evaluate internet sites perceptively and responsibly;
  • recognise and present an awareness of intercultural and interfaith matters and global citizenship;
  • undertake leadership roles and work effectively within team environments.

Early on in mobility one you will be given information about the programmes Work-based Learning (WBL) Scheme. This scheme is directly linked to the independent study portfolio element of the programme.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Entry Requirements

You should have a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject, such as, but not limited to politics, international relations, history, area and cultural studies, law, sociology, criminology, human geography, computing science, language sciences, global studies, psychology, media studies and journalism, modern languages or business. Other disciplines not listed here will be considered on an individual basis.  Applicants with a relevant work experience background in the fields of policing, security, intelligence and risk analysis will also be considered. You can check your country-specific requirements on our country information pages. 

If you are unsure whether your degree is suitable, you can email the programme convener to discuss.

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.

Academic Background:

The programme is opened to students from various backgrounds. 

English Language Requirements: 

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.


Deadline: January 14, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

The IMSISS student scholarship includes:

  • a contribution to the student participation costs (including tuition fees, full insurance coverage and any other mandatory costs related to the students' participation in the EMJMD study programme
  • a contribution to student travel and installation costs
  • a monthly subsistence allowance for the entire duration of the EMJMD study programme

The scholarships' terms depend on the student's country of origin/residence. 

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