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PhD programmes


At Defence Studies, we are proud of our thriving body of research students who enhance our research community and culture


Our research degrees draw upon the expertise of a large and multidisciplinary department. Our acknowledged strength in the field of diplomatic and military history is complemented by world-class research into numerous aspects of contemporary and future warfare, such as security and defence policy, strategy, land, air and maritime doctrine and operations, proxy warfare, conflict termination, space power, and the relationship between artificial intelligence, military operations and conflict.

In addition, we offer tremendous expertise across a range of non-military subject areas such as regional and area studies, international security organisations, gender, war and violence, domestic and international terrorism, peacebuilding, political economy, and ethics. Such breadth of research offers our students the intellectual tools to expand and enhance their knowledge and understanding of all aspects of conflict, defence, security, and strategy.

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. Our research students are supported through their affiliation with a number of research groups and themes, which sponsor seminars and provide opportunities for interaction with established researchers.

My advisor has been consistently engaged and attuned to my progress, his guidance for the project has made it more relevant and topical. My experience working with him has been exceptional. I truly appreciate the opportunity to be at King's

Kerry Lynn Nankivell, DSD PhD Student


World-leading interdisciplinary research from the Defence Studies Department.

Defence Studies Research MPhil/PhD

The Defence Studies Department’s unique position as an academic department based at the Defence Academy heavily influences its research. Sitting at the heart of security and defence education in the United Kingdom, it is able to draw on the experiences and knowledge of not only UK military 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 across the world.

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Further information



The Defence Studies Department is home to world-leading experts in their field