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MSc in International Security Studies

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The Master of Arts in International Security Studies is a LM degree (Laurea Magistrale, equivalent to a Master of Science - MSc) that is offered jointly by the School of International Studies of the University of Trento and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa.

Security studies have become a crucial domain to analyse and understand the challenges of international politics.  From traditional ideas of security related to armed conflicts and national security to non-traditional concerns such as energy crises, migration, terrorism, pandemics and climate change, security studies represent a framework for the analysis of multi-level challenges to our global society. The Master’s Degree in International Security Studies (MISS) provides the students with both theoretical and practical perspectives on the dynamics of contemporary security, as well as on the evaluation of responses, and their implications.

Degree objective

The Master of Arts in International Security Studies (MISS) aims to prepare a new generation of analysts, policymakers, and scholars to address contemporary national and international security challenges. The course adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, which provides students with solid knowledge of the core theories, analytical frameworks and tools. Participants will acquire the theoretical tools and competences that are necessary to understand and assess the various factors and actors capable of impacting on the global order, with specific reference to security issues.

The Master has been approved by the National University Council and has obtained an official accreditation by the Italian Ministry of Education and Scientific Research.

Structure of the Master

The Master of Arts in International Security Studies is an innovative teaching programme that combines the resources and traditions of two of the leading Italian universities that share a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of international politics: the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa (SSSA) and the School of International Studies of the University of Trento (SIS). The first year of the Master takes place in Trento: the first semester includes full-time teaching and seminars offered by the faculty of the SIS, while the second semester provides students with an ample spectrum of opportunities to carry out exchange programmes, internships or research activities connected to the topics of the Master. The second year takes place in Pisa: it is organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences and it involves full-time teaching and seminars offered by residential and adjunct faculty members.

Building on a strong multi-disciplinary approach, the courses offered during the second year of attendance in Pisa address topics such as:

  • Introduction to Security Studies: concepts, methods and issue areas;
  • The role of universal and regional organizations in promoting peace and security;
  • Genealogies and aporias of security from a philosophical perspective;
  • Armed conflicts and international Law;
  • Probability, certainty and security in economics;
  • Transnational global governance;
  • Ethics of security;
  • European security: politics and policies;
  • Introduction to statistics
  • a variety of elective courses (e.g., Middle East, Africa, gender perspectives…).

Employment opportunities 

The MISS prepares its students for positions within the areas of security, public policy, and international relations. MISS graduates will possess the skills and qualifications necessary to:

  • Hold positions of responsibility within European and international institutions and organisations engaged in security, peacekeeping, and state-building activities;
  • Work in private organisations dealing with risk prevention and risk management;
  • Work in national ministries and enter the diplomatic service;
  • Work for governmental and non-governmental organisations engaged in areas such as institution-building, project management, humanitarian assistance, local development and reforms, security risk prevention and management;
  • For those intending to continue their studies, the programme provides a solid basis for admission to PhD programmes in International Studies and in other disciplines related to international security.

Living in Pisa

The MISS admits highly motivated and proficient candidates from across the world. The university town of Pisa and the campus of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies provide an ideal environment to stimulate learning and sharing with students, researchers and professors from different backgrounds.

All MISS students will enjoy access to the campus facilities of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, including IT services, the library and the canteen, language courses as well as to all the academic events organised by the School. The Master’s fees include a significant support for the access to the canteen throughout the first year. Please note that the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies cannot offer on-campus housing for MISS students. Students rent single/double rooms directly from landlords or private families or decide to share a flat/apartment. The International Relation Office of the School can assist incoming non-Italian students to find convenient accommodation options.

For further details about the programme and entry requirements, visit the MISS webpage atù

For information about the foreign language requirements  please visit: