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PhD research

Leadership plays a significant role in both development and security processes and outcomes. Our Leadership Studies with reference to Security & Development PhD offers the opportunity to delve into the interaction between the leadership and security-development nexus, with a focus on developing countries. 

Our MPhil/PhD programme provides the academic space, support and training to interrogate leadership, security and development, particularly at the conceptual level.

MPhil/PhD awards

Qualification(s): PhD 
Duration: 3-4 years f/t or 6-7 years p/t

Study Leadership Studies with reference to Security & Development PhD, in the African Leadership Centre in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy at King's College London or Joint PhD Leadership and Security Studies with the University of Pretoria.

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Apply to study PhD research with us

Before submitting your application, read through our staff profiles to determine who is most suited to your research interests, and include this information in your application. We encourage you to email us with your draft proposal and CV, along with any questions you may have.

You will need to submit an online application via the application portal 'King's Apply'. Applying online makes the process easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.

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Application process

The heart of your application is your research proposal. The ability to identify and propose a viable research project is a major indicator of your potential for doctoral study.

Email your research proposal (4-5 pages) and personal statement to our Admissions Tutor. Your research proposal should explain precisely the field of study that you wish to contribute to, as well as any current research gaps, what you want to do, and how you propose to do it. Meanwhile, your personal statement should outline your reasons for pursuing further research.

If our Admissions Tutor encourages you to apply, you will need to submit an online application via the application portal  King's Apply.

Preparing a research proposal

A good research proposal typically includes the following components:

  • A clear statement of the proposed research question.
  • An explanation of the importance and originality of the proposed topic. This may include a section on the lack or shortcomings of existing academic work in your proposed area.
  • A section describing not only your proposed methodology but also an explanation of why this methodology is the most appropriate for the proposed topic.
  • A prospective chapter outline of the proposed thesis.
  • A timetable showing a realistic plan, including critical milestones, for the completion of your research and writing within three years.
  • A concluding section showing why this research should be conducted specifically here, within the African Leadership Centre, rather than anywhere else.

Why study with us?

We are at the forefront of leadership, security and development research. Our scholars are engaged in active and dynamic research and gain access to an authentic end-user community. They have the opportunity to interact with academics, practitioners and policy makers within our vibrant network.

Graduates from our programme are well-suited for academic employment, in addition to private sector consulting organisations, NGOs and government employment in the UK, Africa and internationally.

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