A one-year intensive MA Program

Organized in cooperation with The Egmont Institute – Royal Institute of International Relations, The Belgian Royal Academy and the Institute for Economics and Peace

Directed by Professor Jamie Shea (former NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges) this unique one-year Master’s program provides students and professionals with comprehensive knowledge and policy-oriented skills at the intersection of peace, security and strategic studies. Designed, led and taught by an international network of leading international academics from top universities and think tanks as well as senior policy-makers from the United Nations, NATO and the European Union, this program enables students interested in an international career in government, international organizations, think tanks or NGOs to gain unique theoretical foundations, practical skill-sets, and high-level contacts.

With its strong links to the policy-making world and university/think tank partners in Brussels, wider Europe, the US and around the globe, the program offers students a truly global and transatlantic exchange between theory and practice. Major scholars, think tanks, founders of the discipline of peace studies and senior strategists in security studies (including NATO specialists, the Royal Military Academy of Belgium and the Egmont Institute) are brought together in the partnership circle, advisory board and faculty of this program to allow for a critical and balanced exchange between the perspectives. Graduates of this program 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, students will have an opportunity to do tailor-made internships with one of our high-profile internship partners, which they 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 the major coursework, allowing students to focus full-time on their internship in addition to writing their thesis.

Key Features

  • Intensive full-time one-year Master’s program with flexible course formats; possibility of part-time modus of evening classes (two-years).
  • Innovative and Interactive Teaching, delivered by an outstanding Faculty of Scholars, Practitioners, and Trainers.
  • Organized by Vesalius College in cooperation with three leading partners (Egmont Institute, Royal Military Academy and the Institute of Economics and Peace).
  • A unique bridge between the disciplines, perspectives of Peace Studies, Security Studies and Strategic Studies.
  • A strong link between theory and actual practice.
  • Internship placement in international organizations think-tanks and NGOs.
  • Intensive skills training and policy workshops.
  • Strong link to the policy-maker scene in Brussels.
  • Capstone course that links students to real-life issues and challenges of policy-makers and practitioners.

Structure and Courses

60 ECTS must be completed for this MA program.

Semester 1: Compulsory Courses (30 Credits) + 1 Skills Training

Course Module Credits
The Theory and Practice of International Relations and Geopolitics 6 ECTS
Theories and Applied Issues of Global Peace, Security, and Strategic Studies 6 ECTS
The Role of International and Regional Organizations (including UN, IMF, World Bank, NATO the EU and other regional organizations) 6 ECTS
Diplomacy and Foreign Policy Analysis 6 ECTS
Research Methods 6 ECTS
Networking and Professional Skills Training Workshops (Preparation for Capstone Course in Semester 2) --

Semester 2: 3-4 Major Electives – Peace, Security and Strategic Studies (9 -12 ECTS)

Course Module Credits
History of Global Conflicts and Global Security 3 ECTS
Global and Emerging Powers 3 ECTS
Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding and Peace Enforcement 3 ECTS
Terrorism, Counterterrorism and (De-) Radicalization 3 ECTS
Comparative Regional Security Studies 3 ECTS
History and Theory of Strategy 3 ECTS
Emerging Security Threats in Theory and Practice (incl. Cybersecurity, Energy Security, Environmental Security) 3 ECTS
Internship 3 ECTS

AND/OR Semester 2: If desired, 1 Elective from the Diplomacy and Global Governance track (3 ECTS)

Course Module Credits
Negotiating the Global Economy 1: Trade 3 ECTS
Negotiating the Global Economy 2: International Finance 3 ECTS
Transnational Network Diplomacy and Global Public Policy 3 ECTS
Diplomacy, Global Development, and Humanitarian Aid 3 ECTS
The EU as a Global Diplomatic Actor 3 ECTS
International Law for Diplomats 3 ECTS
The Politics and Diplomacy of the Transatlantic Relationship 3 ECTS
Negotiating the International Environment: Agents, Actors, Issues 3 ECTS
Public Diplomacy and Communication (Science and Culture in the age of social media) 3 ECTS


Course Module Credits
MA Thesis 12 ECTS
MA Capstone Practicum: Policy-Oriented Advising 6 ECTS

Admissions Academic Year 2017-2018

  • 21 August 2017 - 30 July 2018.

Entry Requirements:

  • A first undergraduate degree, qualifying for graduate studies in the country of origin.
  • TOEFL score of over 90, or equivalent proof of English language (i.e. IELTS) if your Bachelor’s degree was not taught in English.

Application Documents

  • Application form.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Copy of undergraduate diploma.
  • Application fee of 50 euro.


(for the entire program)

  • 13.000 euro (EU students).
  • 16.000 euro (Non-EU students).


Academic Excellence Scholarships, which are up to 50% tuition fee reduction, are available. 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.

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Last updated May 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
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1 year
16,000 EUR
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