Summer Schools

Students have the opportunity to participate in one of 5 optional summer schools that run in the summer period in year 1 of their programme. Four of these run in person and one online. There are a defined number of places on each summer school. The cost of the summer school tuition is embedded in the total programme fees whether you decide to attend the summer school or not, although we highly recommend that you attend one. However, the travel costs and living costs incurred during the summer school are not included in these expenses. Scholarship students should use their travel and monthly subsistence grant to cover attendance at the summer school.

The OTH Regensburg Summer School will provide specialist project and scenario-based training on social network analysis, data analytics and will provide the opportunity to work directly with civilian and military intelligence personnel.

During the two-week course, students learnt about critical thinking, cognitive biases, and structured analytic techniques for intelligence analysis – ranging from Key Driver Identification to Scenario Development (as part of the Cone of Plausibility) and Courses of Action to verify assumptions – taught by LTC Georg Fuchs and Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky.

The practical and application-oriented nature of the Summer School required the participants to work together in small teams and prepare a 5–10-year strategic outlook for one of the countries of the G5 Sahel, Sudan, and Libya.

Throughout this process, the students received constant support and feedback from the entire OTH Regensburg team. A series of expert talks and social events further enhanced the Summer School experience.

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.

From 6th to 17th August 2018


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

The University of Cádiz Summer School will offer a unique learning experience at the crossroads between border security, immigration, and crisis management. Students will attend a series of seminars on migrations, human rights, geopolitics, intelligence, and crisis communication. Working in teams, they will take part in a scenario that will challenge them to respond to a fictional crisis with ongoing real-time events and impactful decisions made by politicians and senior security and intelligence officers. Students will also pay a visit to some border agency facilities (Integrated External Surveillance System – SIVE, Port of Algeciras, police forces and the Rota military base where they will participate in a conference involving Rota staff).

Antonio Diaz, director of the Cadiz Summer School has descried it as ‘An opportunity for going away from our comfort zone and to enter into a different reality. Knowing from first hand experiences the complexity of some our societies problems and how different actors approach their solutions, this summer school provides true engagement with these concepts and the stark realities of how governments respond to it.’


2023 Summer School

Click play to hear from Pejman Abdolmohammadi, Academic Coordinator of the NAMEPES Project

Click play to hear students’ thoughts on the NAMEPES Summer School

The 2023 NAMEPES (North-Africa Middle East Politics and EU Security) Summer School was held from the 27th June – 1st July 2023. It aimed to provide participants with a deep understanding of the relations between the MENA region and the European Union in different aspects (geopolitics, international relations, economics, law). Most of the Middle Eastern and North African countries (MENA) have spent a period of political instability in the last two decades. The region, most related to Europe for both historical reasons and geographical proximity, is one of the most complex and conflictual regions in the world.

Inter-state and civil wars, terrorism, political instability and poverty have had repercussions both within the MENA borders and in the neighbouring countries. In addition to hosting important European trade routes, endowment in vast energy resources and the global energy supply security dependence give this region a greater strategic relevance.

The Summer School analyses in depth the domestic and foreign policy of the main regional players in Middle Eastern politics by highlighting the role of institutions, civil society and political ideologies, particularly political Islam and nationalism.

Below is the Programme for this Summer School.

2022 Summer School

The North Africa Middle East Politics and EU Security – NAMEPES Summer School provides its participants with a deep understanding of the relations between the MENA region and the European Union in different aspects (geopolitics, international relations, economics, law). The Summer School also analyses in depth the domestic and foreign policy of the main regional players in the Middle Eastern politics by highlighting the role of institutions, civil society and political ideologies, particularly political Islam and nationalism.

The second edition of the summer school on North Africa, the Middle East Politics and EU Security (NAMEPES), which took place from 20 to 24 June 2022 at the School of International Studies, was strongly influenced by the impact of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The war is affecting, and will continue to affect, the MENA region in many ways, especially with regards to its democratization process and the role of Europe in that direction. Throughout the summer school, the specificities of each lecture contributed to this wider theme, by connecting insightful speeches with intense discussions.

The first day was filled with introductions. Pina Picierno Vice-President of the European Parliament gave an opening address emphasizing the importance of the region and the topic to be dealt with. Tuesday was opened with Fawaz Gerges lecture on the international relations of the Middle East. Covering the timeframe from Napoleon to modern times, the lecture contextualized the Middle East, highlighting problems with the formation of states, orientalism, beauty standard and many more while also putting a focus on the dependency of the West on the region. Condensing as he put it: a years’ worth of lectures into one concise lecture. After having highlighted the many ongoing fights, he closed with an emphasis on the existential threat posed to the region by climate change, which renders all other
aspects mute.

Next was Professor Birte Wassenberg, an expert on border studies, who looked at the MENA region from an EU perspective and especially focused on the security aspect, which in Europe remains dominated by NATO. Also, Prof Wassenberg highlighted how relations with North Africa are mostly seen in the context of migration. With these two lectures rooting both Europe and the NorthAfrica and Middle East region politically the second day of summer school was ended.

On Wednesday, Professor Joel Gordon went on to discuss the cultural and historical links and issues especially between the Arab world and Europe. The students benefited from his vast expertise on the Arab world, Middle Eastern Studies and especially Egypt. He skillfully combined anecdotes, sound academic advice and expert knowledge. Next was Professor Ali Ansari who had to join via zoom explaining in detail the issues around the Iran nuclear deal and engaging with the relationship between Iran and Russia which, considering the ongoing war intrigued many students. Engaging with the mindset of the Iranian leadership and the issue of democratization in Iran. With the Arab and the Persian world covered the students now had a good grasp on the region.

Thursday broadened the perspective and the discipline scope with the topic of Maritime delimitations by Trento’s very own Marco Pertile, bringing in the aspect of international maritime law in theory and practice, and explaining through several case studies how it created conflict in the Mediterranean, while also helping students get a good understanding of the legal basis of that is topic. The lesser-known topic of maritime law led to many interesting inquiries by students and a small group work in which the students took up the positions of either Italy or Libya and engaged in an intense debate about a naval incident caused intense discussions. Then came the organizer of the event, Professor Pejman Adolmohammadi, who due to COVID-19 could only join via zoom. Starting with the Persian Gulf, he covered the aspects of history of Iranian identity and the foreign policy happening in the region. Building on Professor Ansari’s lecture, he emphasized the long history of Iranian domination in the region as well as the long standing differences between both the world of the Iranian plateau and the regions West of it, delimiting both areas through historical examples. He also engaged with modern politics by underlining how history and symbolism has been used in the ongoing political struggles in Iran.

On Friday the closing conference kicked off, with experts on China, Russia and the Middle East discussing the contemporary situation, providing new insights and intense discussions. While the current war and its impact was on the minds of everyone, many students also asked questions regarding the more longterm developments such as the retreat of the US, the rise of China and power-shifts among local actors. Professor Nikolay Kozhanov of Qatar University gave his view of the Russian foreign policies in the region but also looked how the war would influence the region, discussing with Professors Gerges and Abdolmohammadi. In the second half, Enrico Fardella gave his insights on the topic of China in a discussion with Joel Gordon and Courtney Freer (LSE).

In a nutshell, both the summer school and the conference emphasized the importance of local actors and local agency and, while many changes were observed, continuity was a theme that both events emphasized. The region will remain pivotal for EU security and while the topic of democratization was not directly touched upon, it remained on the mind of everyone when looking at countries like Iran and