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icono de curso

Intelligence Studies (semi-intensive)


Credits: 4 ECTS

First semester

Pathway core courses




This course will introduce postgraduate students to the theory, practice and history of secret intelligence, primarily in connection with post 9/11 international relations and foreign policies. The course will also explore the nature of post 9/11 changes on intelligence services, focussing the attention on the changes experienced by the intelligence organizations and their need for new regulations and their effects over civil liberties in, for example, continuous declarations of ‘states of emergency’. Terrorism hitting our cities (Madrid, Paris, Brussels...), fiascos such as the WMD and the subsequent invasion of Iraq, or the almost permanent global economic war has relaunched and reshaped the intelligence services. By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate understanding on both the historical and the current-day role of secret intelligence in the international domain, challenges for the intelligence community, as well as to be able to explain key concepts and issues in the field of intelligence studies.


The evaluation comprises four elements: i) active class participation and engagement in debates (10%); ii) in-class debate about intelligence, ethics and civil liberties (30%), iii) future of intelligence (10%) and, iv) final essay (50%). The final essay will have an approximate extension of 3.500-4.000 words. Further details on the precise specificities of the essay and the oral presentation of the research proposal will be provided during the first session and worked out individually with the students during the following weeks.

The course methodology is very proactive. During each session, the professor will propose different activities, videos, debates, polls..., and an active participation from the students is enthusiastically expected. Students shall prepare the homework during the week previous to the session as the theoretical contents relay on the autonomous work of the student while on line classes will be mainly used for discussions and analysis. Please come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings and tasks.

All tasks and homework are explained in detail in the virtual campus.

Students are encouraged to have their camera on during the whole session in order to facilitate the engagement with the rest of the group and the professor.
Sessions will last 80 minutes with a 5 minutes break in the middle of the session.

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)