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MRes in Defence Studies


Up to 24 students will have the opportunity to undertake an original, independent research project.


This will have an emphasis on research methodologies, critical engagement with the literature and self-guided research, the culmination of which is a 25,000-word portfolio dissertation.

The portfolio is split into three parts: a 2,000 word recorded Executive summary, 3,000 words in blogposts, and a 20,000 word dissertation.

Students are also allocated a mentor by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to help facilitate research and interviews.

Students on the MRes undertake three core modules, a total of 180 credits:

  • International Security Studies
  • Operational Studies
  • 25,000 word portfolio dissertation.

MRes students do not do an elective module, and additional time is created within the programme for research and interviews. 

Research is undertaken within one of seven identified themes, sponsored by CDS:

  • Levers of power
  • Information and influence
  • People
  • Challenge
  • Future conflict
  • Innovation, adaptation and resilience
  • Organisation

Students will develop an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative & quantitative research, and gain specialised knowledge and understanding of their chosen research subject, drawing on primary research and interviews.

Students also have the opportunity to showcase and share their research through interactive lightening talks and wider dissemination of their research via blogposts or other social media.

Please note, the MRes is open to all students – UK and international – with a 2:1 degree (outstanding applicants who do not possess this qualification may be admitted by exception), but students must be confident of having the requisite English language skills to deliver a 25,000 word research portfolio.


Student Testimonials:








Hacking 4 MoD

Hacking 4 MoD

H4MoD is an innovative program allowing students to work on real-world government defence problems.