Lesson series

Intelligence Fundamentals

This course covers the basic concepts and ideas that will introduce you to the world of intelligence and frame the rest of our courses. First, we will explore the definition of intelligence and the differences between intelligence and information. Then, we will take you through the different kinds of intelligence and explain how they use the same process to help decision makers with different problems. After that, we will talk about the different kinds of intelligence consumers, from government officials to the general public. The course will conclude with a walkthrough of the intelligence cycle, which is the most common model of how intelligence is produced. The intelligence cycle is also the organising principle for the rest of our intelligence fundamentals courses. The estimated time for this course is around 5 hours.

Content Warning: This course deals with the common types of work in the intelligence industry and therefore features broad discussions of issues such as conflict, terrorism, and natural disasters. We also provide links to historical documents that deal with these topics throughout the course. We include this context because they are common topics in intelligence and are the subject of most historic and declassified documents. For specific concerns about the nature of any content please contact school@greydynamics.com.
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By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Recognise and explain the difference between intelligence and information
  • Understand the different types of intelligence and intelligence consumers
  • Differentiate different kinds of intelligence consumers' needs and expectations from intelligence
  • Describe the importance of different types of intelligence and different kinds of intelligence consumers
  • Identify the key elements of the intelligence cycle as well as its variants and limitations

Course Lessons

Join our school and build your intelligence career!

I'm Marcel Plichta,  a former analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense and PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews. In this course I will be taking you through the key concepts to help start your intelligence career.
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