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icono de curso

Intelligence Studies


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 lived 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 of the historical and current-day role of secret intelligence in the international domain, challenges for the intelligence community and to be able to explain key concepts and issues in the field of intelligence studies.


The evaluation comprises three elements: active class participation and engagement in debates (15%); in-class debate about intelligence, ethics and civil liberties (35%) and final paper (50%). The paper will have an approximate extension of 3.500-4.000 words. Further details on the precise conditions of the paper and the oral presentation of the research project will be provided on the first pre-session and worked with the students in the weeks previous to the beginning of this block teaching course.

Due to the design of this block teaching course, some previous work is enthusiastically expected from students. The professor will activate 5 pre-session in the Virtual Campus comprising one or two readings and the suggestion of watching a film on espionage. Students will have two weeks to complete each pre-session and, at the end of each one, a forum will be opened in order to exchange ideas about those materials. This will allow more room for analysis and debates during the two block teaching weeks as well to advance in the design of the final paper.

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)