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
Research in the Defence Studies Department (DSD) is reflective of the diverse interests of our staff members and postgraduate students. It covers military, naval, diplomatic and imperial history, international relations, defence and regional security policy studies, strategic studies, and the ethics of conflict. This wide range of topics is united by their relation and relevance to contemporary security and defence issues.
Indeed, DSD’s unique position, an academic department based at the Defence Academy, heavily influences its research. At the heart of security and defence education in the United Kingdom, it is able to draw on the experiences and knowledge of a not only UK officers, but officers from a wide range of allied nations. The Department’s research is therefore able to benefit from and influence defence thinking and policymaking not just in the UK, but also across the world.
Researchers from DSD have played important role in past UK security and defence reviews and continue to influence future reviews. Additionally, DSD staff members are regularly consulted by national and international media on contemporary and past events. Public engagement includes working with a wide range of museums, such as the Imperial War Museum, the National Army Museum, the RAF Museum, and the Royal Navy Museum. DSD researchers have also contributed to national and international events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Napoleonic Wars and the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Research from members of staff is published in top-ranked international journals, including International Affairs, War in History, Journal of Strategic Studies, English Historical Review, International History Review, and Survival. Articles by DSD staff members have won Society for Military History Moncado Prizes, and monographs have won prizes from the Royal Historical Society, the US Navy League, and the Roosevelt Institute. Moreover, researchers regularly present at international academic conferences and institutions, such as Yale University, Hong Kong University, and the National University of Singapore, as well as military institutions, such as the US Naval War College, US Naval Academy, and the Japanese National Institute of Defence Studies.
DSD research projects have been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the MacArthur Foundation, the British Council, the European Commission, the US Army War College, the UK Ministry of Defence, and the US Department of Defense.
Since 2011, we have run our own postgraduate research programme. We attract studentships from a variety of sources, including the ESRC and the AHRC, as well as the MacArthur Foundation, the UK Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense. We also offer studentships funded directly by the department. All students have access to King’s ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Dr Andrew Stewart
- +44 (0)1793 788078
- +44 (0)1793 788295