The Master in Military Science – Security and Defence aims to provide an advanced education on the employment of military forces at the operational and strategic levels and to develop general and specific competences in order to fulfil tasks required in national and international Joint Staff work, in Armed Forces and National Defence high level structures, as well as within national and international organizations.

Keeping in mind the focus on its military component, the course addresses political, strategic, social, economic and cultural knowledge, both at national and international levels, allowing better understanding and analysis of Security and Defence issues. It aims to develop practical activities in a group environment in order to promote joined-up thinking and information updating and also to allow the free expression of ideas in a supportive context that favours the exchange of experiences and the development of integrated plans.


The course is organized in accordance with the European Credits Trading System. The total number of credits required to complete the course is 120 ECTS.

The first curricular year mirrors the Joint Staff Course contents and upon positive completion of the first two semesters students are awarded with a post-graduation diploma (corresponding to 60 ECTS credits). The thesis is to be developed and presented throughout the 3rd and 4th semesters (corresponding to a total of 60 ECTS credits).


The duration of the course is two years. The first two semesters mirror the Joint Staff Course syllabus; the last two semesters are aimed at thesis development and public defence presentation (corresponding to 1500 work units that include 23 contact hours).


The degree of Master in Military Science – Security and Defence is awarded to students upon successful completion of all course units and public thesis defence presentation approval.


Admissible candidates in the 2015/16 academic year:

  • Academic years 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15 Joint Staff Course’s graduates;
  • Foreign Officers with acknowledged academic, scientific or professional curricula vitae adequate to this study level may attend the course, under permission.


Applications will be addressed to IESM – Institute of Higher Military Studies’ Director and sent to, or delivered at, the Institute’s Central Secretariat.

Required documents (paragraphs 1 to 5 are mandatory):

  1. IESM Application form;
  2. Identity document hard copy;
  3. Academic certificates;
  4. Transcripts of academic records;
  5. Curriculum vitae (one copy);
  6. Other documents deemed relevant for curriculum analysis.
  7. National authority authorization (only for foreign Officers)


Applicants will be selected by IESM’s Director upon Scientific Council recommendation, having into consideration both professional and academic curricula vitae. One additional interview may be required.