iss_modulplan.png The program’s common curriculum aims to provide students with a thorough knowledge of contemporary security studies from both theoretical and policy perspectives. It starts with the introductory module “Theories and Methods”, in which students learn to understand the structures and processes behind international security policy. A particular focus of this module is also on consolidating the methods (analysis, writing, presenting) required for the program.

Subsequently, students attend the Marshall Center’s Flagship Course, the “Program on Applied Security Studies” (PASS). More than 100 international government officials participate in this eight-week foundation course, which makes it the perfect opportunity to exchange views and establish new contacts. The program consists of plenary lectures, small seminar discussion groups, expert panels, role-playing exercises, and a field study trip.

In the course of the module “Transnational and International Conflict”, students delve deeper into security and conflict studies and learn to understand and analyze historical and current international conflicts by extending their methodological understanding of sociological, political, and historical approaches.

The common curriculum concludes with a course in “International Humanitarian Law”, which provides students with a thorough understanding of international treaties and agreements. Students will learn to deal with aspects of jus ad bellum as well as jus in bello and assess the relationships between international law and politics.


In the second half of the study program students have to attend one out of two electives.

  • “Transnational Governance” focuses on the effects of globalization on the governance-capacity of international organization and the role of the state in the international system

  • “Security and Development” examines the nexus of security and development in post-conflict settings

Study Concentration

Students have the chance to specialize in a specific area of security studies by choosing a study concentration. For this purpose four different Marshall Center residents programs are currently offered (for course descriptions please click on the links).

Master Thesis

The program concludes with a 15,000 word Master Thesis.

Teaching and Learning Style

The Master of Arts Program in International Security Studies is structured in separate modules. Modules last between two and eight weeks and either end with a 5000 word research paper or an oral examination. Classes during modules normally take place from Monday to Friday. In the time between modules students do not have to be present at the Marshall Center as this time is reserved for self-study (research paper, preparation for examinations).

This study structure has the advantage that part-time students do not have to be present over a long period of time for weekly classes, which makes the course accessible for student from abroad who can fly in and out for single modules. During their time off-campus students keep full access to resources and library databases via the e-learning platforms ILIAS and Globalnet.

As the MISS program only accepts up to 15 students each year, teaching is conducted in small seminar groups. This gives our professors the chance to actively involve the students in the seminars and enables a close supervision.

The whole program has an overall workload of 60 ECTS credit points and is separated in modules of 5 up to 9 credit points each, which corresponds to 150 up to 270 working hours (presence time and self-study).

Modular Studies

The modular structure of the program allows to attend single modules without having to finish the whole master program. Successful participants receive an official transcript from the Universität der Bundeswehr München in the amount of the respective ECTS credit points of the module. The obtained credit points can be applied towards degrees at other universities or if a student has attended and passed all modules under this scheme, he can be awarded with a master’s degree in International Security Studies from the Universität der Bundeswehr München if he also prepares a master thesis that meets the academic standards of the program.