Master Compliance and Integrity in International Military Trade

From October 2019 until October 2021, the Faculty of Military Sciences of the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA-FMS) offers the first iteration of the part-time 60 EC Master’s programme (MSc) in Compliance and Integrity in International Military Trade (CIIMT) in Breda, the Netherlands. In 2019, MSc CIIMT was accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). The programme is given in English and will accommodate approximately 20 students per iteration.


The academic master’s degree program CIIMT is concerned with exploring, analysing, understanding, explaining, controlling and improving the military dimension in international military trade. More particularly, managerial questions regarding export control of military and dual-use goods and services are studied. These questions encompass ethical, organisational, legal and strategic dimensions (e.g., human rights, international order and security) that interact directly with defence economic concerns, depending on the transparency of the markets these economies are rooted in. To prevent misuse as well as to protect commercial interests and knowledge, the international military trade realm is regulated in detail and various mechanisms for controlling arms exports are applied internationally.


Throughout the Western world, compliance and integrity in international military trade are linked. In the market of military and dual-use goods and services, five main categories can be distinguished that are subject to control. These comprise:

  1. weapons of mass destruction;
  2. major weapon systems;
  3. light weapons;
  4. dual-use technologies;
  5. services (e.g., training and maintenance).

Each category raises specific issues and requires different market structures and control mechanisms. There are numerous arguments for a specific focus on compliance and integrity in these markets. Contrary to the international trade of commodities’ (traded on a global scale in huge volumes), the market for defence procurement on the supply side is mainly characterised by investments in knowledge development (R&D).

Maintenance, development and the protection of knowledge are of the utmost commercial interest and, consequently, the key reason for the existence of commercial enterprises. Following from the need to protect investments, the defence industry is characterised by entry barriers and (near) monopolies or oligopolies. Relations between the supply and demand sides are typified by market imperfections and information asymmetry.

Therefore, one cannot exclusively trust the market process for the closure of trade transactions. Finally, the market for defence procurement is subject to specific regimes of international agreements concerning non-proliferation of knowledge and technology. This is to prevent weapons systems, technologies, knowledge and services that could pose threats to international safety and security from falling into the hands of violent state and non-state actors.

Curriculum and design

MSc CIIMT is offered as a part-time blended-learning programme taught over the course of two years, totalling 60 ECs and encompassing ten contact weeks. Students must be prepared to spend 20 hours a week on self-study. Spread over two years, during the ten contact weeks (Mon-Fri) classes take place in Breda.

Picture with information about the master Compliance and Integrity in International Military Trade.

Curriculum CIIMT

MSc CIIMT derives its coherence from the following structure. First, by taking an outside-in perspective, modules 1-4 provide an interdisciplinary context from which export control in the international trade of military and dual-use goods and services can be understood. Next, the programme proceeds to deepen the students’ understanding of particular control and information aspects within organisations by studying feasibility and boundaries to re-designing, implementing, monitoring and auditing internal compliance programs (ICPs) within organisations.

Students are involved in how to construct an ICP. To this end, modules 5 and 6 integrate practice-based knowledge and skills, stemming from experience in the field, with scientific-based knowledge on information systems and internal control.

Building on these modules and the module on research methods (module 7), it becomes possible to study and discuss problems, challenges and controversies that will only partly be solved by ICPs, such as managing non-compliant behaviour or conflicts of interest within and between organisations in the international trade in military and dual-use goods and services (module 8). Subsequently, the Integration Project (module 9) draws from all previous modules, enabling students to conduct their own interdisciplinary research based on their selection of ICP key elements in relation to a specific business environment and using appropriate research methods. The Integration Project is as a stepping stone to the thesis phase (module 10).

The educational model is based on the preparation-feedback model. Each seven-week module consists of three phases:

  • five weeks of independent learning and preparation;
  • one contact week (face-to-face education);
  • one experiential learning week at the workplace.

Student characteristics

MSc CIIMT caters for students who seek to gain a more in-depth understanding of managerial questions regarding export control and defence procurement by integrating practice- and science-based knowledge. The programme is thought to be of interest to those currently engaged in the international trade of military /dual-use goods and services either on the demand side (MoD, governmental, NATO, EU) or on the supply side (defence-related industry), as well as (inter)national regulatory agencies or research centres.

Admission requirements

Applicants will be admitted to MSc CIIMT depending on their prior academic education (as manifested by a relevant Bachelor’s degree), experience in the professional field of export control (at least 2 years) and English language skills. Entry requirements are laid down in more detail in the admission policy to be found in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (TER), which are available to all prospective candidates.

Tuition Fees

Military and civilian personnel from NATO and the Netherlands Ministry of Defence are exempt from paying tuition fees, if their application is supported by their military unit (military personnel) or department (civil servants). In addition, employees from other NATO institutions are also exempt from paying tuition fees. Other students pay a one-off reduced commercial rate of €5,000 a year for the first iteration (start 2019), totalling €10,000 for the complete programme (excluding the purchase of study books). For information on tuition fees, please contact the programme’s coordinator via

Application and registration

Applicants can enrol from 1 June until 25 August 2019. All applicants will be notified on admission to the programme before 7 September 2019.

Information Meeting at the Trip van Zoudtlandtkazerne Breda, 9 July 

You are very welcome to join the CIIMT information meeting at the Trip van Zoudtlandtkazerne in Breda on 9 July from 18:00h until 19:00h. You can register for this information meeting by sending:

  • your first name
  • surname
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • ID type
  • ID number

to If you are not able to participate, you can also opt to receive all information by email. Please contact the programme’s coordinator at

Additional information

Additional information can be found in the following publications:

If you have any questions or remarks about the CIIMT programme, please contact the coordinator at