MA Programmes


GGSG’s interdisciplinary Master’s degree programmes come in three varieties : full-time (day classes), executive (evening and Saturday classes), and online.

Each consists of 18 courses each of 30 hours’ duration (lectures [15 hours], small classes [12 hours], final exams [3 hours] – except for advanced French language courses [60 hours]), grouped into two categories : core requirements and specialized courses. They are offered in the following subject-matter areas :

  • Risk & Disaster Management
  • Management of Energy & Natural Resources
  • Labour Management & Migration
  • International Governance, Trade & Development
  • Conflict Management & Post-Conflict Development
  • Entrepreneurship : Economy, Culture & Society
  • International Environmental Issues

Note, however, that these seven programmes are not offered simul-taneously at all times, so that some may not be available in a given year. Likewise, the modalities enumerated below are subject to (slight) changes.

All Master’s programmes have three mandatory “core” modules in common : Leadership Development, Crisis Leadership, and Communication Skills & Media Relations. In addition, while most courses use English, four core or optional courses are delivered in French. As befits a bilingual school catering for the needs of future international careers, GGSG requires students to take at least one such course (and encourages them to take more).

Teaching and personal study are spread over four semesters, each of 14 weeks of day or evening classes (or equivalent on-line coursework). In order to earn the 48 credit-hours/ 120 ECTS credits allotted, Master students are required to take twelve “core” courses, and six “specialized” courses in any one of the areas of concentration offered, for a total in-class time of 560 hours (or equivalent sustained on-line effort).

Students must also  successfully complete (1) a research assignment giving rise to the defence of a 50-page Master’s thesis on a subject related to their chosen area of concentration, and (2) a joint integrated policy exercise in late June of the programme’s final semester. An optional internship in a Geneva-based international organization (subject to availability) is offered during the middle summer in their two-year programme.

The online version substitutes written or multimedia documents for lectures. Instead of the “small classes” and direct contact with professors and adjuncts that characterize the resident mode, e-mail exchanges between online students and their designated coach form the basis for the personalized intellectual support which is at the heart of GGSG’s teaching philosophy.

Online students are required to take the “Communication Skills & Media Relations” core course, and to participate in person in the two week-long “Leadership”  modules as well as in the Integrated Policy Exercise. They should thus expect to travel to Geneva on at least one occasion and spend 3 weeks there at the end of their final semester. They are also offered optional summer internships, and the same requirements and encouragement regarding courses delivered in French apply to them.

Syllabuses are premised on the notion that students are expected to devote at least 20 hours weekly to personal study and group work, which places their total workload at some 30 hours per week and 100-110 hours per course .

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