The aim of the Civil Servants’ Course (CSC) is to enable civil servants from security and defence related governmental organisations to contribute to the development and implementation of security and defence policies. The course provides unique networking opportunities, facilitates civil-military interaction and interagency cooperation, thus enhancing students’ skills and readiness for their future assignments in national and international positions.



The CSC has been conducted since 2001 to educate civil servants on the wide range of challenges related to the transformation of defence institutions and policies at the national and international levels.

The CSC’s underlying philosophy is to provide an education that focuses on subjects related to defence and security, by transferring ideas and points-of-view from military to civil servants and vice versa. Students are required to be able to employ the teaching in a wider context and better place the newly acquired knowledge in the international relations and politics framework. The course follows a curriculum, which brings the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) and CSC students together in order to achieve a high level of synthesis and integration. The level and kind of education achieved at the college is not feasible at other institutions.

The CSC is highly engaging and demanding. Students will be required to conduct individual research and to participate in a range of collective tasks and discussions. CSC students take part in study trips, staff rides, conferences and social activities.

There is also a potential for civil servants to participate in the JCGSC’s major practical exercise on the Planning and Execution of NATO Joint Operations. This provides CSC members the possibility to apply the acquired knowledge in fulfilling the roles of political and legal advisors.

Upon graduation, civil servants will have enhanced their ability to work together with their military counterparts and to plan the development of defence capabilities. They will also be able to contribute to the planning and conduct of military and non-military operations. Importantly, they will have established a network of relations with their counterparts in the defence forces and in the civil services of other nations, which can be leveraged in their future work.


The Course’s educational framework is predicated on a combined educational approach, including lectures, seminars and small group (syndicate) activities, exercises and study trips, to facilitate adult learning. Students are expected to actively participate in lectures, syndicate and other educational activities, successfully pass oral and written exams, prepare essays and participate in study trips throughout Europe. Students are also expected to spend time on their individual and preparatory work.

Students are expected to spend around a week preparing for the course by completing an online module and reading mandatory material prior to their arrival.

Admission Requirements

Students attending the course are selected and nominated by their respective Ministries of Defence or other government agencies and should have acquired already couple of years’ experience from working with defence and security related issues.

The course is designed for civil servants in their junior positions (desk officers/senior desk officers, experts) up to more experienced professionals in mid-level positions (section chiefs, project leaders, and advisors). Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the main beneficiaries of the CSC, however, other NATO and EU countries and partner-countries are invited to send their selected civil servant to attend the CSC.

Students should:

  • Hold a national security clearance;
  • Have good computer skills in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel and PowerPoint;
  • Have good English language skills (Level 3333, according to NATO STANAG 6001 or an equivalent test). A proficiency certificate should be provided to the Registrar upon arrival.

At the beginning of the course, the college will conduct an English language assessment.

Further Information

The College provides all students with excellent accommodation which allows them to focus on their academic studies. During the study period, all students have access to Estonian National Defence College’s canteen.

During the course, several types of sports, social and cultural activities will be organised by the college.

The CSC students will be invited to participate in BALTDEFCOL’s International Night event. The International night is a special social and culture event organised at the College where students and staff present their national culture, music and food.


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