Research course

Defence Studies Research

King's College London · Defence Studies Department - DSD

Entry requirements

Master's degree with high merit (or overseas equivalent), and a 2:1 honours degree at the bachelor's level (or overseas equivalent). It is highly desirable but not essential to have taken courses in this field at postgraduate level before undertaking research work in the Defence Studies Department. Extensive practical experience in a relevant field (eg military, diplomatic, humanitarian or developmental) may be taken into account when evaluating an application.

Months of entry


Course content

The Defence Studies Department (DSD) provides academic support at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, the principal centre in Britain for the training and education of officers from the Armed Forces. DSD is part of the War Studies Group but is based at the UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham, between Swindon and Oxford.

The Department has a thriving research culture in subjects across the range of military and naval history, defence policy and international security studies, reflected in the publication of high-quality monographs and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Members of DSD work closely with a range of British and international governmental and academic organisations, providing policy advice and consultancy.

For some years, DSD staff have supervised postgraduate research students in the Department of War Studies, our sister department, but DSD has now launched its own PhD programme. It already has approximately 50 postgraduate research students taking advantage of the Departments unique combination of research expertise and close interaction with the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence. We are keen to receive applications for postgraduate research from students whose research interests complement those of members of staff and of our research groups.

Fees and funding

Research students can apply for ESRC, AHRC, Graduate School, School of Social Science & Public Policy, and School of Arts and Humanities studentships. Some fellowships and bursaries are available for serving British military officers.

Qualification and course duration


part time
48 months
full time
24 months


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Dr Andrew Stewart, Admissions Tutor
44 (0)1793 788078
44 (0)1793 788295