Master in International Security

The politics of violence and uncertainty

In addition to being an absolute priority for governments across the world, security seems to have colonized our language as much as our everyday lives. Not a day goes by without politicians and media outlets mentioning yet another ‘security issue’. The master’s program in International Security asks what this tells us about our contemporary world and whether our world has really become more dangerous and uncertain than before.

At the intersection of international relations studies, security and defense studies, political theory, sociology and history, this program provides a deep understanding of what security and international security could look like in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. It does so by analyzing the role of different actors in addressing and shaping international security issues, which go beyond the single framework of action of States. The program also seeks to provide students with the necessary critical skills for understanding and addressing the social-political mechanisms driving transnational armed conflicts, violence, and global uncertainty.

This degree of International Security will enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to diagnose security problems and design security policy solutions and to occupy key professional positions in national administrations as well as international and non-governmental organizations. Students will not only benefit from the academic environment of the School, but also from the practical knowledge of security practitioners and experts within various seminars such as a joint seminar with the French Army Command (based in Lille) and the research seminars co-organized with the Collaborative Observatory on Terrorism, Antiterrorism and Violence (OCTAV).

Semester 1

Core courses

  • Theories of Security & Contemporary Challenges
  • Armed Conflicts and Peacemaking

Research courses

  • Introduction to Research & Epistemology
  • Statistics and the Political Sociology of Quantification

+1 optional course

+1 intensive language module

+1 career development course

Semester 2*

Core courses

  • War, Terrorism, and Violence
  • Cyber Security

Research courses

  • Research Methodology
  • Academic Writing Workshop

+1 optional course

+1 intensive language module

+1 career development course

Semester 3

Core courses

  • Defense Policy in Practice
  • International Relations

+ Master dissertation

+1 intensive language module

Semester 4

Core courses

  • Sovereignty and the State in International Relations
  • World Political Organisation

+2 optional courses

+1 intensive language module

+1 professional internship

Optional Courses

In semester 1, 2 and 4, you will be able to further tailor your degree to your interests by choosing from a broad offer of optional courses, such as:

  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Global Food Politics
  • Digital Democracy
  • Global Economic Governance
  • International Development
  • Global History

*The second semester can also be completed in one of our numerous partner universities across the world.

How to apply?

  1. Choose your preferred Master program
  2. Review the eligibility and admission criteria
  3. Create your account on
  4. Select your preferred program on the admission platform
  5. Take a language test (or provide results from a recent test; see below)
  6. Ask your former professors for reference letters
  7. Upload the requested documents to the admission platform
  8. Submit your application through the admission platform

When to apply?

EU procedure: Applications will be reviewed in rounds, 4 times a year

International/non-EU procedure
Fall/Before 31 December: Deadline for scholarships
31 March 2019: admissions of non-EU applicants through Campus France

What to submit?

To be eligible for admission, students are required to submit:
  • An undergraduate level degree (180 ECTS or equivalent) at the time of entry to ESPOL. In principle, the ESPOL master is open to all disciplinary backgrounds but previous courses in political and social sciences will be appreciated. Additional classes can be imposed on students without a political science background.
    • A Master level degree for countries in which universities do not award undergraduate qualifications;
  • A personal statement in English. Personal statements explain your interest in the study programs and its aims.
  • A CV in English;
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions previously attended (including exchange programs);
  • Proof of English language proficiency through one of the following completed tests (proof of registration for a test is not enough):
    • TOEFL – 80 iBT or 550 PBT or 60 PDF
    • IELTS Academic – 6.0
    • PTE Academic – 54
    • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) – grade C
  • A language test is not required for native English speakers or students with an undergraduate/graduate degree in English.
  • Two academic references, in English or French

Tuition fees

Please calculate your tuition fees here:

Program taught in:

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Last updated January 29, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
4 semesters
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Sep 2019
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