ISU develops the future leaders of the world space community by providing interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international (3I) educational programs in all relevant space domains through core programs such as the Master’s of Space Studies program. ISU also fosters entrepreneurship and supports start-ups in its dedicated incubator.
The ISU Global Faculty consists of more than 170 members worldwide, including the ISU Central Campus Resident Faculty; the Associate and Adjunct Global Faculty; and in addition many visiting lecturers from space agencies, industry, start-ups and academia share their experiences with the MSS students.
By joining the ISU network, students engage with world space experts who are shaping the development of the global space economy. In addition, the many visiting lecturers allow students to meet a powerful space network, benefitting their future careers.
Since 1996, the Master of Space Studies offers a one-year interdisciplinary graduate degree program that can be extended to a second year for in-depth research studies. The Master covers all aspects of the space domain in a unique 3Is approach and is designed for students from a diverse range of educational, cultural and professional backgrounds. All MSS students conduct team projects, individual projects, and internships throughout the course of their studies, often within the scope of ISU’s extensive partners network.
The entire MSS curriculum (courses, projects, experiments, workshops etc.) reflects the activities of the dynamic public and commercial space sector.
With the arrival of NewSpace, new business models and partnerships between academia, research organizations and industry are emerging.
The space sector is increasingly integrated with other economic sectors, and international cooperation and multi-stakeholder partnerships will be the key for innovation.
The ISU Master’s Program curriculum strongly integrates global space economy trends in space applications, space science, space policy, and space exploration to provide cutting edge knowledge in navigation, telecommunication, Earth observation, space policy, space security, space law, and space entrepreneurship.
The MSS 2022/2023 is currently structured as a one- or two-year program.
The first year is delivered primarily at the ISU Central Campus in Strasbourg (France).
Some students will take only this year and graduate with a Master’s degree of Space Studies.
During the first year, students who fulfil their academic performance at an appropriate level may apply for the additional thesis year in which they conduct in-depth space research either at ISU, or at an appropriate host institution. These students will graduate with an MSc in Space Studies and Thesis degree.
MSS Year A is an intensive year worth 75 ECTS. It consists of three types of modules:
CORE MODULES are mandatory taught modules designed primarily to deliver academic program content and are broad and interdisciplinary in their scope.
☞ Introduces students to the fundamental space- related disciplines and builds a firm foundation for interdisciplinary study in subsequent modules
☞ Develops students’ transferable skills, including intercultural awareness, time management, team working, written communication, and oral presentation skills
☞ Advances students’ knowledge of the global space sector and trends and enhances their understanding of the interdisciplinary links between them
☞ Demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of space activities and their integration with other economic sectors, in particular with the NewSpace environment
PRACTICE MODULES are mandatory student-activity focused modules, designed to deliver experience in the application of academic program content in a broad 3Is context.
☞ Each year, topics are proposed to the students on a relevant subject of interest
☞ The students then perform, in interdisciplinary groups, a literature survey on the topic, with the main objective to detect knowledge gaps or opportunities
☞ The team then develops those gaps and opportunities and presents the result in a report and a presentation for a broader audience
☞ The team will afterwards, depending on the relevance of the outcome, be encouraged to publish or present the results in international conferences
☞ To provide students with experience of conducting independent research and gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the selected space topic
☞ To train student in self-organization and critical thinking and to summarize their research findings in a publication-quality report
☞ To encourage students to explore the current limits of knowledge and demonstrate originality and creativity☞ To develop in students a professional level of communication (orally, graphically and in writing)
☞ Allows students without previous experience to establish a first real-world contact, working in a space-related organization
☞ Allows students with work experience to do an internship in another field, in order to gain a broader view and experience
☞ Allows students to enhance networking links essential for their further professional development
are shorter, taught modules designed to deliver academic program content in areas that students choose in terms of their career expectations or interests. They are narrower and more discipline-focused than core modules. Students must take two elective modules. During MSS22, the following electives ran:
• Space Pharmacology
• New Space and Entrepreneurship
• Space Architecture
Elective offerings vary each year to leverage emerging opportunities and new discoveries.
During the academic year, students have the opportunity to visit significant space-related enterprises and activities in Europe. Previously, visits have been made inter alia to Airbus Defence and Space, Safran Aircraft Engines, SES, ESA’s European Space Operation Centre, ESA HQ, ESA’s European Astronaut Centre, CNES (French Space Agency), EUMETSAT, Telespazio Vega, UNESCO, University of Stuttgart Institute for Space Research and DLR (German Aerospace Center).
MSS Year A must be completed in full-time mode from September 2022 to September 2023.
MSS Year B consists of a single module:
MSS Year B can be completed in full-time mode over seven months or in part-time mode over a longer period within a maximum of three years from the start of MSS Year A.
Eligible students work with a potential advisor to choose, develop, and conduct their individual research project, either at ISU with an ISU Resident Faculty advisor, or with one of ISU’s collaborating university partners.
A significant part of the ISU academic programs are delivered by Resident Faculty who provide teaching and advisory support to all ISU programs and activities.
A number of the ISU Faculty not resident at ISU are involved in supporting the MSS as Visiting Lecturers or as mentors for students during their internships.
Before the start of the MSS program, students are given the opportunity to attend a week of intensive French classes to help with daily life in Strasbourg.
We highly recommend taking advantage of these classes in order to obtain a good basic level of French early on, before the program work intensifies.
These French classes are continued during M1-ITS at two levels: Beginner and Intermediate.
The MSS program curriculum is continuously updated to provide cutting edge education that reflects the rapid developments in the space sector, increased entrepreneurship and commercial opportunities.
Applicants for the MSS program 2022-2023 should apply on the ISU website and send the requested documents by 31 May 2022 if they are in need of financial aid, and by 30 June 2022 otherwise.
Early applications are recommended, and for applications received after the 31 May deadline, remaining partial scholarships will be granted on a first come first served basis until they run out.
MSS 2023-2024 applications will open by mid-September 2022.
Once candidates are admitted to the Master’s programme, they are put in contact with the Student Affairs Office to prepare their arrival in Strasbourg.
Here are the main questions candidates ask: