Summer 2021 - POL 880 G100

NATO Field School, Simulation, and Experiential Learning Program (6)

Class Number: 3300

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, We, Th, Fr 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    Admitted graduate student in Canadian University Political Science Program.



Intensive international security and defence policy engagement program with over 240 hours of contact learning. Observation and interaction with military, diplomats, and experts in Canada and Europe (Riga, Brussels, Rome, Bucharest). Visiting Expert sessions and multiple simulation training. NATO, EU, UN multilateral negotiation simulation, strategic communication and crisis management.


Summer 2021 - NATO Field School and Simulation Program

POL 484 – 12 credits
POL 880 – 6 credits

To enroll in the course, students will need to apply and be accepted to the program, See application information here: 

Please refer to the NATO Field School website for updated pre-requisites and eligibility requirements.

Application deadline: March 15, 2021

Deliver Method: Online

Course Times:

All course components will be taught online through both synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods in Vancouver's time zone, Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Participants will be expected to participate live in all synchronous components.

Live Course Dates/Times:

Dates: May 12, 2021 - August 6, 2021

Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (each week of the term)

Time: 8:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PDT

Additional course/final assignments may be due past the end of the scheduled live course date.

Please note: There will be two separate weeks where students will participate in a simulation training that would fall outside the scheduled class time (TBC):

June 10-11: 08:45-16:00

July 27-July 29: 08:45-16:00

July 30: 08:45-17:00

Calendar Description:

This intensive Political Science course combines virtual classroom learning, visitor expert modules, negotiation training and studies to observe NATO and EU facilities, interact with diplomatic and military personnel, and simulate the decision-tasks faced by diplomats. The program is designed to prepare students for entry-level careers and internships in global affairs, multinational organizations, the defence and security sectors, and other careers in the public service.

Course Details:

The Virtual NATO Field School and Simulation Program (VNFS) will offer a unique online experience that includes seminars, simulation training, policy briefing training, and individual and panel video conferencing. It will bring students, policymakers, security practitioners, and North American and European academic experts together to learn about current international issues, multilateral security, and defence goals and practices. The VNFS will create an immersive experience to introduce senior undergraduate and graduate students to diplomatic, civilian, and military practitioners and will teach them how an international organization, such as NATO, manages internal and external complexity in its attempt to translate both security needs and democratic norms into policy and operations.

The VNFS cohort will simulate decision-making, teach negotiation skills, policy implementation, and strategic communication by means of various simulations. The scenarios are supported by background documents and feedback from NATO Defense College officials.

Students will engage and interact with security, defence, and diplomatic practitioners as well as simulate real-world decision-making processes faced by senior high-level government and military officials. Students will have the opportunity to engage online with such officials from the following organizations:

  • Canadian government 
  • Canadian Armed Forces 
  • Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
  • EU Military Staff HQ and European External Action Services, 
  • Task Force Latvia
  • NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, 
  • and many more.

Student learning objectives:

  • Policy making and policy implementation in defence, international security and peace operations from the academic, military and policy maker’s perspective
  • How Canadian Armed Forces, foreign and defence policy makers, diplomats and communicators define and execute their work
  • How officers, international civil servants and organizational staff conduct simulation exercises to generate and improve skills
  • How sovereign states pursue their interests, as well as international cooperation in complex and diversified settings like NATO.
  • How to work in teams inside a multilateral framework
  • The Whole-of-Government and the Comprehensive approach in crisis resolution
  • How to prepare decision documents for senior political decision makers
  • How to prepare a press statement and conduct a press conference

Grading (TBD)

Course Materials (TBD)




Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).