International Security and Law, Master

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition Fee
    8500 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
    Tuition fee
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #251 (WUR) ,
The Master in International Security and Law at the University of Southern Denmark combines knowledge from political science, law and sociology and offers a dynamic research environment for students who prepare to become experts in solving international conflicts. The Master’s degree helps you gain the ability to integrate and understand causes of war in a global political context.


International conflicts have changed fundamentally over the past two decades. To understand them and to manage them requires new skills, which is why we offer this new Master programme.

In the old days the understanding and management of conflicts built on a fairly clear division of labor between specialists between diplomats, soldiers, and aid experts. Conflicts could be understood according to distinct phases, moving from peace to tension over war and stabilisation to renewed peace. For each phase a particular set of specialists went to work.

Todays conflicts are multiple, complex, and volatile. They may last for more than a decade. Signs of progress are often deceptive, and outsiders involved in managing the conflict can experience war, development, and peace enforcement all in one day. It is what the military calls a three block war. To grasp it, and to help organisations prepare for it, experts must look beyond specialisations and be trained to understand and work with complex and conflict ridden environments.

This Master of Social Sciences in International Security and Law will train this kind of expert. It will be experts who look to the international domain, who want to work with international issues, and who will want to help solve conflicts. The programme will provide the experts with the skills to integrate a conflicts political, juridical, and ethical dimensions in a comprehensive assessment that identifies the drivers of the conflict and what international organisations can do about them.

Career opportunities

Do you want to play a role and make a difference by analyzing, managing and solving conflicts of the 21st Century?

With a Master of Social Sciences in International Security and Law you will be primed for a career in organisations that are involved in analysing, managing, and solving conflicts. It can be private or public organisations, and it can be organisations that are purely analytical or more broadly engaged in all dimensions of conflicts.

  • Civil servant in central ministerial organisations, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, as well as emergency management agencies.
  • International organisations such as the UN and its agencies, or the EU, NATO, the OSCE, or the World Bank.
  • Non-governmental organisations such as the Red Cross and the International Crisis Group.
  • Large private companies with interests in areas of conflict, typically in the domains of shipping and transportation or energy and resource extraction.
  • Or as an advisor to policy-makers and practitioners who grapple with a particular conflict or crisis area (such as Haiti, Somalia, or Afghanistan) and who need to augment standing organisational capacities on a case-by-case basis.

Programme Structure

The programme is a two-year full-time study programme amounting to a total of 120 ECTS. There are 6 core courses, 3 electives, and a thesis. All courses, core courses and electives, each represent 10 ECTS. The thesis represents 30 ECTS.

Core courses are offered jointly by the Department of Political Science and the Department of Law and they make up the first two semesters of the Master’s four semesters in total. The core courses of the first semester are open to students of this programme only.

All courses of the second and third semester will be oriented towards practical analytical skills, combining background knowledge of the big debates in terms of theory and world developments with the ability to bring this knowledge to bear in the assessment of specific conflicts. It will be a trademark of the programme to have students connect big ideas and concrete events.

Another trademark will be the integrated focus on politics, law, and ethics. Some courses focus mainly on one dimension, especially first semester courses, but second and third semester courses must relate their core topic (politics, law, or ethics) to the wider and combined context.

There are good opportunities for studying abroad, either in the third semester where the student can follow courses at another university of his/her choice or replace one elective course with a traineeship, or in the fourth semester where the thesis can be written abroad and under long distance supervision from the University of Southern Denmark advisor.

You will be attracted to this programme if:

  • You take an interest in international affairs, in particular in security and development issues.
  • You are aware of the many links between domestic and international issues and would like to work in the interface between the two.
  • You would like to be an international expert with a multidisciplinary edge.
  • You believe that conflicts have distinct political, juridical, and ethical dimensions that must be grasped for conflict understanding and resolution to happen.
  • You plan on having an international career in a world marked by tensions between the good of globalisation and the bad of intractable and dynamic conflicts.
  • You would like to take part in a programme that offers you a flexible menu of choice in terms of focusing on international politics, law, or ethics in the course of your studies because this menu is built into the courses offered over the two years.
  • You believe that theory and practice should meet, and that university studies should be attuned to providing the kind of analytical skill that can be made operational in other environments.
  • You would like to be part of a dynamic research environment where the study of politics and law has deep roots and strong departments to support them.
  • You would like to be part of an international study programme that mixes Danish and international students and where staff and administration look forward to interacting with students of diverse background and outlook.
  • You would like to study in a city that is centrally located, affordable, and which offers a wide range of activities and opportunities for students.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

To apply for the Master's programme in International Security and Law, you need a relevant Bachelor's degree. You can apply if you hold a Bachelor's degree within one of the following areas:

  • Political science
  • Public administration
  • Law
  • Sociology
  • Social science
  • Economics
  • History (major)

You can also apply if you hold a relevant degree within Humanities. The guiding principle is that the bachelor degree must include subjects amounting to 45 ECTS within:

  • Law
  • Social issues
  • International relations
  • Comparative politics

If you do not have a bachelor’s degree from a university, but have gained equivalent – e.g. professional – experience of relevance to the programme, you can also apply (e.g. military officers, applicants with international aid work experience or experience from the central administration or similar). Relevant professional experience entails that you:

  • have had extensive experience with international relations
  • have had extensive experience with international conflict management
  • in other ways through your professional employment have acquired knowledge and qualifications that will contribute to the progression of the Master's programm.

If your degree does not fulfill the entry requirements, the study board will decide whether you can follow one or more supplementary courses.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    8500 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8500 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.

Living costs for Sønderborg

5,500 - 8,500 DKK/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Options for full-degree graduate students:

BHJ Scholarship

Only available for students applying for a master programme at our Sønderborg Campus

Six one-year scholarships are issued pr. year: three for studies within the technical field i.e. Mechatronics and Innovation & Business respectively, and three are for studies within the field of business administration i.e. Business Relationship Management.

A scholarship of DKK 40.000 may be granted if and when the requirements are met. It is paid in two instalments of DKK 20.000 per semester. The scholarship grant depends on acceptance and enrolment as a full-time student in one of the above mentioned programmes.

Options for Exchange and Guest Students:

Danish Government Scholarship for Foreign Nationals (the Cultural Agreements)

Danish Government Scholarships for Foreign Nationals - The scholarship helps cover living expenses.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.