Civil Servants' Course

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 CSC provides unique networking opportunities and facilitates civil-military interaction and interagency cooperation, thus enhancing students’ skills and readiness for their future assignments in national and international positions.


The CSC was conducted in 2001 to educate civil servants on the wide range of challenges related to transforming defence institutions and policies at the national and international levels.

AY 2023-2024 introduced a new CSC edition as a pilot version. This pilot version includes mandatory modules in both semesters, one mandatory module for a specialist nature, and the other JCGSC curriculum activities as an additional choice.

The CSC’s underlying philosophy is to provide an education focusing on defence and security by transferring ideas and points of view from the military to civil servants and vice versa. Students must 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 that brings the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) and CSC students together to achieve a high level of synthesis and integration. The college's level and kind of education are not feasible at other institutions.

The CSC is highly engaging and demanding. Students must conduct individual research and participate in various collective tasks and discussions. CSC students can participate in staff rides, conferences, roundtable seminars, 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 allows CSC members to apply the acquired knowledge to fulfil 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, small group (syndicate) activities, exercises, and study trips to facilitate adult learning. 

Students are expected to participate actively in lectures, syndicate, and other educational activities, pass various tests and exams and complete a Research Project. Students are also anticipated 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 already acquired a couple of years of 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).

In the pilot CSC 2023-2024 iteration, only civil servants from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are invited to participate.

Students should:

Hold a national security clearance;

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 accommodation for a compulsory residential period. All students have access to the Estonian Military Academy's canteen during the study period. There are also possibilities for being involved in sports and other activities in Tartu.

During the course, several types of sports, as well as 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 unique social and cultural event organised at the College where students and staff present their national culture, music, and food.