MA in Diplomacy / Peace, Security and Strategic studies


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

With the MA in Diplomacy and Global Governance and the MA in Peace, Security and Strategic Studies, Vesalius College offers two separate English-taught Master programmes that can be considered as ‘twin programmes’: they have a similar structure and a common set of core compulsory courses in the first trimester to build on, but then further expand on the subject of the MA chosen by the student. Both these Master programmes can be taken either as a 90 ECTS programme (12 months for a full-time student) or a 120 ECTS programme (16 months). The 120 ECTS option adds an intensive internship to the curriculum, in addition to expertise on the subject of the twin programme, as well as a set of Risk Analysis and Crisis Management modules.

The MA in Diplomacy and Global Governance provides students and professionals with comprehensive knowledge and policy-oriented skills at the intersection of diplomacy and global governance. Both diplomacy and global governance are important institutions of the international order; but they are also the institutions undergoing permanent processes of change in the modern and at times turbulent world. With its strong links to the policy-making world and university/think tank partners in Brussels, wider Europe, US and Asia, the programme offers students a truly global exchange between theory and practice. By bringing together key practitioners with scholars from these fields, graduates of this programme will be equipped to extract insights and advantages of the various perspectives and approaches at this turning point in the history of diplomacy and global governance.

The MA in Global Peace, Security and Strategic Studies provides students and professionals with comprehensive knowledge and policy-oriented skills at the intersection of peace, 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, founders of the discipline of peace studies and senior strategists in security studies (from organisations including NATO, the United Nations, the Royal Military Academy of Belgium and the Egmont Institute) 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 peace, security and strategy.

Prestigious Internships

As part of this MA program, you will have an opportunity to do a tailor-made internship with one of our high-profile internship partners which you will be involved in the deep end of our partners’ activities from day one. The program has a wide range of agreements with international organizations for internships during the summer after the completion of your major coursework, allowing you to focus full-time on your internship in addition to writing your thesis.

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.

Structure and Courses

Please see full course list here for the MA in Diplomacy and Global Governance and here for the MA in Global Peace, Security and Strategic Studies. 

Academic Calendar

  • 21 September 2020 - 39 August 2021 (90 ECTS)
  • 21 September 2020 - 30 January 2022 (120 ECTS)

Entry Requirements

  • A first undergraduate degree in Social, Economic or Political Sciences, Business, Law and/or Contemporary History. If your degree is not withing these disciplines, relevant work experience in these or related fields may qualify.
  • TOEFL score of over 100, or equivalent proof of English language (i.e. IELTS) if your Bachelor’s degree was not taught in English.

Application documents

  • Application form
  • Motivation letter 
  • Official transcripts including copy of undergraduate diploma.
  • Recommendation letter
  • Application fee of 50 euro.


  • 90 ECTS: 13 000 euro
  • 120 ECTS: 17 000 euro


  • Academic Excellence Scholarships (AES), with a tuition fee reduction of up to 50%, are available to students with a GPA of 3.6/4 as well as evidence of extra-curricular activities that show social engagement of leadership.
  • Students who graduated with a BA from Vesalius College or have completed a semester or two at Vesalius College as part of their study abroad program qualify for a tuition fee reduction.
Last updated Sep 2020

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About the School

Vesalius College is one of the few higher education institutions in Brussels that offers European-focused Bachelor’s degrees solely taught in the English language. Founded in 1987 by the Vrije Univers ... Read More

Vesalius College is one of the few higher education institutions in Brussels that offers European-focused Bachelor’s degrees solely taught in the English language. Founded in 1987 by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Boston University, Vesalius College offers American-style education that includes small classes, low student-teacher ratios and participatory classroom experiences. Vesalius College takes full advantage of its location in the Capital of Europe with guest lectures from European policymakers, diplomats, business leaders, journalists and other experts. With a diverse student body drawn from all corners of the globe (50 + nationalities), Vesalius College provides an enriching academic and cultural experience. Read less