APPLICATIONS FOR ENTRY IN 2020 ARE NOW OPEN

Applications for entry to the IMSISS programme in September 2020 are now open. Applications for entry with Erasmus Mundus Scholarships will close on Friday 10th January 2020 and self funded applications will close on 1st April 2020.

Make sure you get your application in on time! We look forward to receiving more top-quality applications this year. All details on how to apply can be found on our website – see the Apply section and the Scholarships & Fees section.


Study In Italy with IMSISS

We are excited to welcome the University of Trento to the IMSISS Consortium. The School of International Studies at the University of Trento is the 4th degree awarding partner and will lead on a new specialist study track that focuses on the "Causes of Conflict". Students on this study track can also participate in one of two specialist summer schools, including one focusing on the Middle East held in Trento and another addressing Borders and Conflict to be held in Spain at the University of Cadiz.

The University of Trento is one of Italy's top educational institutes and has been teaching security in a multi-disciplinary context for many years. This makes it an ideal partner for IMSISS reflecting the programme's ethos to explore security from many different perspectives.

If you would like to know more about the University of Trento and the new Causes of Conflict study track then you can visit the WHY TRENTO webpage or contact the Trento IMSISS coordinator Dr Louisa Parks.

Presentazione alla stampa della nuova Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia in via Tommaso Gar

©AgFBernardinatti, UniTrento archive

Presentazione alla stampa della nuova Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia in via Tommaso Gar

©AgFBernardinatti, UniTrento archive


Summer University 2019 on Security and Strategic Analysis in Regensburg

IMSISS 2018-2020 students at OTH Regensburg

This year, our Summer University occurred from the 5th to 16th August. Conducted in collaboration with the IMSISS partners, the University of Glasgow, Dublin City University, and Charles University, the event took place for the second time at Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg (OTH Regensburg). The particularly large cohort of 51 international students who attended the Summer University indicates the extremely high level of interest in the opportunities afforded during the event.

Supervised by Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky (Faculty of Applied Natural and Cultural Sciences) and with the support by representatives from the field, the students received practical insights into methods of strategic analysis in the field of security policy. This year's Summer University was organised by the Faculty of Applied Natural and Cultural Sciences and the Centre for Further Education and Knowledge Management (ZWW) of OTH Regensburg.

The focus of the Summer University was on structured analysis techniques, and gave impetus to critical and analytical thinking. Instruction in practical concepts took an equally high priority, however, as our students learned and tested various security studies methods, such as red teaming, intelligence modelling, and scenario construction. Divided into smaller analysis teams, participants then developed different scenarios for various countries within the MENA region and SAHEL zone.

During their development of forecasts for the next five years, the students received technical and methodological support from professors at OTH Regensburg and an external lecturer from the field. The participants also had the opportunity to discuss their scenarios with representatives of the think tank, The Middle East and International Affairs Research Group (MEIA Research). Finally, the students took part in a cultural excursion to the Gäubodenfest in Straubing.


IMSISS re-funding bid is successful!

We are delighted to announce that our application for 5 further years of funding for IMSISS was successfully approved by the EACEA in July 2019. This funding will support 88 scholarships across four intakes of students, as well as help the programme run its various events, visiting fellow programme and guest lecture series. The first intake of students for this new funding will start in September 2020. Individuals interested will be able to apply from October 2019.

On top of the exciting funding news, we can also announce that the programme continues to expand with a wide range of new academic and practitioner partners. The University of Trento in Italy, which had been an associated partner for the first funding round joins IMSISS as a full degree awarding partner and staff from its School of International Studies will lead on a new pathway focusing on the "Causes of Conflict". The University of Cádiz in Spain has also joined the consortium as a new associate partner offering a second summer school on migration and border security.

The historic Main Square in Trento, Italy

Other new associate partners to join the programme and who will contribute to the visiting fellows scheme and our work placement and internship programme include among others: the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, the University of Malaya in Malaysia, and PUC Minas in Brazil.

Since IMSISS launched in 2017 it has been an exciting and challenging project for the main team behind delivery of the programme. However, we have to acknowledge the role played by our students who have shown themselves to be enthusiastic, engaged, thought-provoking and hard-working.

Huge thanks also to all of our Partners and Associate Partners around the globe – established and new – for their input.  We look forward to strengthening these relationships and working closer with them in the coming years.

More details about the new programme and the changes that will take place will be made available as we update this website. Please bear with us as the website updates are made.


IMSISS Student, Casey Cannon, Attends the Brussels European Forum

By: Casey Cannon

"BEF is a week-long international conference providing students and young professionals with a complex overview of the international decision-making process, while at the same time offering an immersive learning experience to our participants. By simulating the roles of world leaders, journalists and advocates, students benefit from a unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the intricate workings of the Council of the European Union, NATO and the G-20. We put our participants face to face with decision-makers and experts in Brussels and give them the floor to ask their questions."

The Brussels European Forum was a week-long event hosted by the Munich European forum with NATO sponsorship. The event required attendees to prepare to play the role of a state representative for either the G-20, NATO North Atlantic Council, or EU Foreign Affairs Council. Each group was responsible for following strict procedure and passing an agenda with points related to organization objectives.

As the Defense Minister for Turkey, Hulusi Akar, I was tasked with filling out a form with specific information from the CIA Factbook about Turkey and then to answer questions relating to Turkey's position concerning conflict in the Black Sea, strategic objectives in the Mediterranean, commitment to collective defense and deterrence, the Arctic Circle, and NATO's fight against terrorism. This research was essential because it forced me to consider these issues with a supposed personal and professional stake in mind. Through evaluating the listed challenges as a stakeholder, I gained a much more nuanced understanding of the issues surrounding them and gained a deeper awareness of Turkey's state view.

Throughout the week, the NAC debated and found consensus on our resolutions. However, my greatest successes in the simulation came from supplementing work within the NAC room with negotiations with leaders outside of it. This included arranging a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin to discuss mid-range nuclear agreements and counseling my president- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on missile defense deals- and extending an olive branch to China's president - Xi Jinping - which eventually culminated in a mid-range non-proliferation agreement signed between the U.S., Russia, and China. What I took away from that experience was that Turkey holds a unique geopolitical brokering position considering its NATO membership, position between Europe and the Middle East, and relatively positive relations with states that the West has challenging dealings with, such as Russia. Considering that the NAC requires consensus to pass resolutions, I felt that I was in a unique position to direct dialogue to my benefit even when the other members disagreed. Beyond Turkey's role, the NAC simulation offered a great exercise in mediation and negotiation and I will take these lessons back to my academic and professional life.

The other unique aspect of the BEF was the visit to NATO. Getting to visit NATO's brand-new headquarters was a remarkable experience, particularly as a result of our presentation from Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Lieutenant General Steven Shepro. The General gave us a brief presentation and then answered questions from every willing participant in the room. Seeing the General's generosity of his time and expertise at addressing the wide-reaching topics he was approached with gave me great respect for him and a much better understanding of NATO's role and stance on a multitude of issues. Following the NATO tour, we had the opportunity to visit the EU museum and several other locations of interest around Brussels.

The week was extremely well coordinated and even included some surprise events for participants to tackle. I also think the event is well-suited for IMSISS students, as it requires them to concern themselves with real and current foreign policy issues on a deeper level. I both enjoyed and took away a lot from the experience.


IMSISS STUDENTS COMPETE IN THE CYBER 9/12 STRATEGY CHALLENGE

In February, three teams of students from the International Masters in Security, Intelligence & Strategic Studies (IMSISS) took part in the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge run by the Atlantic Council in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and senior government and industry stakeholders. Twelve students participated across the three teams at the competition venue, the BT Tower.

Team IMSISS Cyber Task Force was awarded the prize for Best Oral Presentation.

Team Encryptonite, made it all the way to the final, coming third overall.

Simon Plattner from Team Analytics said of the competition: “We were all as exhausted, as fulfilled by the quality and the intensity of the challenge. Confronting our academic skills with this highly practical situation provided a wealth of revelations for us.”

The students were joined by Dr Damien Van Puyvelde, Lecturer in Intelligence and International Security, as their academic mentor for the competition.

Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the IMSISS programme, said: “It is fantastic that students have opportunity to take part in international competitions, such as Cyber 9/12, to learn and to test their ability in real time to respond to a crisis and present workable policy solutions to officials from government and industry. We were delighted that IMSISS students made such an impact within the competition. This showcases the quality and capability of the programme’s students”.

IMSISS is a 2-year Erasmus Mundus Joint International Master in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies. Students study at the University of Glasgow, Dublin City University and Charles University Prague with an optional summer school at OTH Regensburg.

This is the seventh year the Challenge has run globally, and the second year in the UK.  The London edition is one of six events running in 2019 (others taking place in Austin, Washington DC, Lille, Geneva, and Sydney). This is the second year in which IMSISS students have taken part.

To read more about Team Encryptonite's experience please click HERE.

 


Applications for entry in September 2019 are now closed!

Applications for entry to the IMSISS programme and for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship competition closed at midnight GMT on Friday 25th January 2019. Thank you to everyone who applied. You should receive a decision on your programme application in the next couple of weeks, and the results of the scholarship competition will be announced via email by Wednesday 3rd April. If you are unsuccessful in the scholarship competition you will have until Wednesday 17th April to pay a £1000 deposit towards the programme tuition fees in order to secure a self-funded place. We look forward to reading all of your applications!


IMSISS 2019-21 Applications are now open!

Applications for entry to the IMSISS programme in September 2019 are now open. Applications will close on Friday 25th January 2019 so make sure you get your application in on time! We look forward to receiving more top-quality applications this year. All details on how to apply can be found on our website – see the Apply section and the Scholarships & Fees  section.


OTH Summer School 2018

Summer University 2018 – Strategic Intelligence Analysis

Short Description
During the Summer University on “Strategic Intelligence Analysis” IMSISS students learnt about processes and methods in the field of security and strategic intelligence analysis studies. This programme is run as a certificate course of the “International Masters in Security, Intelligence & Strategic Studies” in cooperation with the University of Glasgow, Charles University Prague and Dublin City University. The Summer University was organised by the Faculty of General Sciences and Microsystems Engineering, as well as the Center for Further Education and Knowledge Management (ZWW) of OTH Regensburg.

Timetable
From 6th to 17th August 2018

Credits
10 ECTS

Subject Matter Experts
– Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky coordinated the course and provided lectures related to Big Data and Data Mining

– Lt. Colonel of the Bundeswehr Georg Fuchs provided lectures related to the Strategic Intelligence Analytical Techniques and Tactical Intelligence Analysis

– Experts of the International Affairs Research Group (MEIA Research)

Course Aims

The lectures and the project work were based on:

  • Development of critical thinking, an important skill that every intelligence analyst should acquire in order to overcome different biases and mindsets that badly impact on the intelligence analysis
  • Teaching structured intelligence analysis techniques, such as NATO PMESII structure; Decomposition & Visualisation; Idea and Hypothesis Generation; Indicators and Scenarios Development; Assessment of Cause and Effect
  • Challenging the analysis in order to assess their validity with the adoption of the Red Team and Devil’s Advocate Analytical Methods
  • Training on the use of specific software and tools for the processes of intelligence collection, analysis and visualisation
  • Development of an independent project related to the strategic intelligence analysis
  • Development of strategic forecasting scenarios for the next 5 years related to real case studies, such as the Libyan and Syrian crisis
  • Consultation and decision support

Visit to the MEIA Research Group in Munich
A visit to MEIA’s The Middle East and International Affairs Research Group in Munich took place the 11th August. During the workshop provided by the organisation, the students presented the findings derived from their research on countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya and interacted in in-depth discussions with the MEIA’s experts. It was an opportunity to interact with field experts and assess the validity of the analysis presented during the workshop.

Main Task Of The Project
The students were asked to divide in two groups and to develop strategic intelligence analysis related to the Syrian and Libyan crisis. Thus, the students applied the processes and methods of structured intelligence analysis to develop 5 years strategic forecast scenarios for the countries assigned. At the end of the project, the students had to deliver an intelligence report and to present their findings in front of a commission for evaluation.

Learning Outcomes Of The Summer University

By the end of this course students were able to:

  • Understand the main challenges of the intelligence analytical techniques and develop their own analytical method for intelligence analysis
  • Apply the analytical techniques learned during the Summer University to other fields beside intelligence
  • Develop a strong critical thinking in order to challenge and structure valid analysis
  • Use sophisticated and specific software and tools for the activities of intelligence collection, visualisation and scenario development
  • Develop their own project respecting the tasks submitted by the professors organising the team structure and the working plan
  • Delivering an intelligence report and present their findings to a customer (policy maker, private customer, director of an organisation) respecting his requests


Summer University in Regensburg

A Summer University on “Strategic Intelligence Analysis” took place at Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule (OTH) Regensburg from 6th August to 17th August 2018. Fourteen students of the Erasmus Mundus international master’s degree in “Security, Intelligence & Strategic Studies" from the University of Glasgow, Dublin City University and the Charles University of Prague worked on processes and methods in the field of security and strategic intelligence analysis studies. The Summer University course was organized by the Faculty of General Sciences and Microsystems Engineering, as well as the Center for Further Education and Knowledge Management (ZWW) of OTH Regensburg.

The students were guided and advised by subject matter experts coming from both the academic and professional environment related to strategic intelligence analysis. Thus, the students were taught by professors from OTH Regensburg as well as lecturers coming from the intelligence field. Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky coordinated the course and provided the students further lectures about Big Data Analysis and Data Mining. The professional expertise concerning Strategic Intelligence Analytical Techniques and Tactical Intelligence Analysis was provided by Lt. Colonel Georg Fuchs of the Bundeswehr.

The Summer University programme mainly focused on the development of critical thinking, teaching structured intelligence analysis techniques such as: Decomposition & Visualisation; Idea and Hypothesis Generation; Indicators and Scenarios Development and Assessment of Cause and Effect. Moreover, the students were trained to constantly challenge their own analysis employing the processes of “red teaming” and “devil’s advocate”.  Besides the more theoretical classes providing practical intelligence competence the programme led the students to concentrate their work in depth subject matter expertise on the MENA region. Thus, the students were asked to divide in two groups and to produce a strategic intelligence analysis on the Syrian and Libyan crisis. They applied the processes and methods learnt during the front lectures to develop 5 years strategic forecast scenarios for the countries assigned. At the end of the project, the students delivered an intelligence report describing their findings and presenting them in front of a commission for evaluation. In addition, the students were trained to use specific software and tools that helped them in the processes of intelligence collection, analysis and scenarios development.

A visit to MEIA's The Middle East and International Affairs Research Group the 11th August gave students the opportunity to discuss their findings with field experts of the MENA Region. During the workshop, provided by the organization, the students presented the findings derived from their researches on the countries Iraq, Syria and Libya and undertook intense discussions with the MEIA’s experts. It was an important opportunity for the student to interact with field experts and assess the validity of the analysis presented during the workshop.

The Summer School programme also included a cultural excursion to the Gäubodenfest in Straubing, an important Bavarian festival that takes place every August. The excursion gave the students the opportunity to interact with the Bavarian culture and to socialize with some other students of OTH Regensburg.