Home>Academics>Two-Year Master's Programmes>The 11 Policy Streams of the Masters>Master, Policy Stream: Security and Defense

Master, Policy Stream: Security and Defense

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Description and objectives of the Security and Defense Policy Stream

The Security and Defence policy stream at the School of Public Affairs produces highly qualified specialists capable of occupying positions of strategic and operational responsibility in the public or private sector. The course equips its students with wide-ranging, up-to-date and practical knowledge of key issues surrounding security and defence in the 21st century.

The stream’s curriculum allows students to acquire a solid theoretical training in subjects related to public affairs (economics, public law, analysis and evaluation of public policies, etc.), a detailed knowledge of the current and future actors and issues of security and defence (bringing together the public and private spheres, security continuum, new threats linked in particular to cybersecurity, etc.), as well as professional skills.

Through the Policy Lab, students in the stream participate in various innovative and professionally-driven training exercises.

They are immersed in new scenarios blending research and action with stakeholders in the public and the private sector:

  • A security assessment of an international organization's activities
  • A crisis simulation
  • A hackathon on cybersecurity-related issues
  • A case study
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The Security and Defence policy stream can be taken as part of two Masters programmes: the Master in Public Policy or the Master in European Affairs.

Compulsory courses in the Security and Defence stream

  • Security and defence law
  • Public security and defence finance
  • Economics of security and defence
  • Digital revolution and cyber security
  • Public intelligence policies
  • The challenges of counter-terrorism
  • Democracies and European jihadism

Elective courses in the Security and Defence stream

There are more than 30 different courses offered, including :

  • Crisis communications and sensitive communications in the field of security
  • Decision-making in degraded mode: the State facing crises
  • The world of intelligence. The reality behind the fantasy
  • Ensuring security in Paris and the Paris area: issues, stakeholders, solutions
  • Protecting fundamental freedoms and the security issue 
  • Cybersecurity in practice: attackers, defenders, public policies
  • Civil security: the 3rd internal security force
  • The challenges of climate security
  • What weapons want: the ethics and regulation of war through the prism of armaments
  • The rise of European space?
  • Defence industry: a strategic power factor for France
  • Decoding military operations

The courses are taught by teachers-researchers and practitioners recognized for their expertise in the field of security and defence (spokesperson and adviser to the ministries of the Armed Forces and the Interior, Army general, frigate’s captain of the French Navy, director of the Préfecture de Police de Paris,medical firefighter, director of public affairs for arms manufacturers, director of security for major groups, financial magistrate at the Cour des Comptes, magistrate at the Direction des actions criminelles et des grâces, etc.).

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Programme of Security and Defence Policy Stream

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Professional opportunities after the Security and Defence Policy Stream

The Security and Defence policy stream prepares its students for careers in both the public and private sector. Graduates wishing to enter the public sector may do so by sitting the competitive civil service recruitment exams for which the School of Public Affairs offers preparatory classes, or else by applying to contracted state positions in France or abroad, particularly at ministries of defence or internal security.

Professional opportunities in the private sector are highly varied. The security departments of large companies are currently being expanded and their needs will continue to grow. Private security companies and security and defence contractors are also seeing a boom, with the demand for managers specifically trained in security and defence issues increasing in parallel. Consulting firms are also important recruiters, especially on cybersecurity issues.

For more information about professional opportunities after the security and defence policy stream, follow this link.

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Testimonials from students and graduates of the Security and Defence Policy Stream

Student testimonials

Portraits of graduates

Events of the Security and Defence Policy Stream

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Academic Advisor of the Security and Defence Policy Stream

Guillaume Farde, Associate Professor at Sciences Po

Guillaume Farde holds a doctorate degree in management sciences. He is the author of several books relating to national defence and internal security issues, including The Continuum of National Security (Le continuum de sécurité nationale), published by Hermann in 2020.

He is also the author of articles on internal security analyzed both from the institutional angle and from the more political angle of violent protests. More recently, Guillaume Farde has been interested in studying the relationship of public opinion to the internal security forces.

Finally, Guillaume Farde is a reservist of the National Gendarmerie, a member of the orientation council of the Ecole des officiers de la Gendarmerie nationale (EOGN) and administrator of the Republican Guard endowment fund.

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