Militære køretøjer i formation taget med drone.

Foto: Kristian Vinther Brøndum

The core empirical and theoretical materiel will be NATO Operations Planning Process and the Operational Level Planning Process on one hand and the methodology and attributes of Military Design Thinking* on the other hand. The module views planning across all levels of war but focuses on operational level processes. The module enhances planning competencies of the military officer in two ways. Firstly, through the provision of a higher-level theoretical understanding of the formal military planning processes and models. Secondly, through the understanding of a constructivist approach to military operations planning in the form of military design thinking.


*“Military design thinking means the capability to understand a current conflict environment from a holistic perspective, to imagine a desired post-conflict environment and to realize it with counter-intuitive military and non-military means” (Phillippe Beaulieau-Brossard, 2017)



The aim of the module is to provide students with a theoretical understanding of key components of military planning to enable them to engage critically in different paradigms for military planning processes and thereby, enable students to analyse evaluate, and provide advice on the planning approach to a military problem within all problem domains.



Students admitted to the Master in Military Studies (MMS) program.


Military Personnel with a bachelor, masters or equivalent degree. MMS students are prioritised.



Learning Objectives

Upon completion students have acquired the following knowledge, skills and competencies:



  • Understand key components and structures of current military planning doctrine.
  • Understand academic concepts, theories and debates from the scholarly literature relevant to planning processes and paradigms within military operations.



  • Evaluate, adjust and develop existing military planning models to match contemporary and future campaign-specific problems and conditions.
  • Participate in professional and interdisciplinary discussions on planning paradigms.



  • An individual and critical approach to both traditional military planning and military design thinking founded in students critical thinking and reflexive praxis.



The content may include topics such as complexity theory, problem understanding, systems and military design theory, the operating environment, operations design, Operational Art, Center of Gravity, assessment and evaluation, risk, as well as Danish and NATO concepts and doctrines for planning.


Learning Activities and Work Load

The learning activities are mainly conducted in English and Danish and the curriculum is predominantly in English.


The learning activities combine self-study of the curriculum, online activities, and one presence module including lectures and group discussions, planning tasks as well a number of learning-exercises which aims to stimulate student´s critical thinking and support a reflexive learning process. 


The module is conducted between the 7th of March 2022 and the 20th of May 2022. The course includes a five days presence module, which will be executed in period 25th –29th April 2022 at Royal Danish Defence College at Svanemøllen Kaserne.


The work load is set as 5 ECTS-points with each ECTS-point comprising approximately 27.5 hours, i.e. approximately 137.5 hours altogether. Approximately 2 ETCS-points are allocated for the presence module and approximately 2.5 ETCS-points are allocated to curriculum, assignments and various other learning activities. Approximately 0.5 ECTS-point is allocated to the exam.



Type: Individual oral synopsis based exam. Further guidance for the exam will be promulgated, however, the overarching framework will be:

  • Students hand in a short synopsis of 1-2 pages a week after the presence module and will two weeks after the presence module, conduct the analysis and discussion of the problem as an oral exam of 25 min duration.
  • The synopsis outlines the chosen problem and provides a contextual understanding including theories applied.


Language: English or Danish


Censorship: Internal

Deadline: The 20th of May 2022


If the student has not passed and is required to retake the exam. The student is required to re-exam. The deadline for the re-exam is normally four weeks from the time the previous exam, but the exact deadline is taking the students regular job and workload into consideration. The student has a total of three attempts to pass the module exam.


25 February 2022

Students attending the MMS and other qualified participants

Min 10 – max 20

Level 7 within the Danish Framework for Life Long Learning

5 ECTS-point

10(/13) Weeks.

Part Time.

Start: 7th of March 2022

End: 20th of May 2022

In accordance with ordinary procedures for MMS.

Royal Danish Defence College

Ryvangs Allé 1

DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

Employees under the Ministry of Defence: Free.

Others: 5.000 DKK.

Cdr. Henrik Thrue

Institute for Military Operations, Centre for Joint Operations

Royal Danish Defence College



Telefon: +45 51 61 49 86

Cdr. Claus Smith Rasmussen

MMS Section

Royal Danish Defence College


Admin Office

Royal Danish Defence College

Diana N. Chabert-Jørgensen

Phone: +45 72 81 70 83


Sidst opdateret 9. november, 2021 - Kl. 10.10