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.


MMS students who have attended the transitional IMO MMS Military Operations Basic module in 2022 are strongly advised not to attend this flex module as the overlap between the two modules are too significant.


Applications are to reflect whether the student attended IMO MMS Military Operations Basic Module 2022.


Applicants outside the MMS programme are most welcome but their acceptance to the course will be decided upon a screening conversation with the course director.  


Criteria for course execution

A minimum of 12 students, incl. minimum 6 MMS students, are accepted to attend.

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 incl. one group assignment, 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 20th of February 2023 and the 05th of May 2023. The course includes a five days presence module, which will be executed in period 17th – 21st April 2023 at Royal Danish Defence College at Svanemøllen Kaserne. The presence module will be executed as long working days.


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.


Students will be required to attend 3 mandatory online sessions in the distance learning period as follow:


  • Wednesday 01 March, 1000 - 1100 (Welcome, Course intro)
  • Wednesday 15 march, 1000 - 1100 (Intro to home assignment)
  • Date and time to be coordinated with students (Backbrief home assignment) (2 hrs duration)



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 no later than 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

Grading: Grading in accordance with 7 steps-scale

Censorship: Internal

Deadline: The 05th of May 2023


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 two weeks from the time of 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.


October 2022

Students attending the MMS and other qualified participants

Min 12 – max 20

Level 7 within the Danish Framework for Life Long Learning

5 ECTS-point

11 Weeks.

Part Time.

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

Kenneth Pors Straarup 
Telefon: +45 72 81 70 61 


OASS Nesrine Dauti



Telefon: +45 72 81 70 84

Sidst opdateret 3. november, 2022 - Kl. 10.03