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22 March 2023

King's launches new institute to deliver professional education in security and defence

The King's Institute for Applied Security Studies (KIASS) aims to provide world-leading professional education in security and defence, as well as advisory and other services for government, the military and the private sector.


KIASS brings together decades of expertise in the security and defence, drawing on the work of staff from the School of Security Studies, one of the world's largest and most diverse communities of scholars engaged in teaching and research on all aspects of war, conflict and security.

At the launch event of KIASS, Professor Christopher Hobbs, Director of KIASS, presented the institute’s strategic vision, approach, key projects and new educational offerings. Highlighting how it seeks to inform defence and security policy and practice, through engaging with government organisations, the military, and the private sector, both in the UK and abroad.

"KIASS has developed new innovative educational offerings that enable practitioners to slowly accumulate credits over extended periods, providing them with the flexibility to fit further study alongside their busy day jobs. The Institute also advises governments in the UK and internationally to understand and scope out emerging threats and issues, informing policy. In its activities, it draws on academic experts with the Department of War Studies and Department of Defence Studies and the broader College”

Professor Christopher Hobbs

Professor John Bew, foreign policy advisor to the Prime Minister, spoke of his experience working in UK Government at the KIASS launching, highlighting the challenges busy decision-makers face in receiving high-quality policy advice and suggesting several practical solutions, such as bringing in external expertise or allowing practitioners more time to think and study. He also discussed the relationship between universities and the government and how they can work together effectively.  

"Working with universities and government can sometimes be challenging due to their bureaucratic nature. They are both large organisations trying to collaborate, which can be compared to two giant pandas trying to meet each other. To overcome this, a more fluid and bespoke approach must be needed [...]. Having a diverse range of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who can come in and out of the system can be more effective. This does not require massive structural change, but rather a few strategic appointments and openness in the system"

Professor John Bew

KIASS offers various educational options, including short courses (both unaccredited and accredited), online master's degrees, and a new flexible MA in Security Studies that will allow practitioners to slowly accumulate credits over time while also recognising prior learning (RPL) and prior experience (RPE). Students taking KIASS educational offerings can study a wide array of topics, including international affairs, strategic communications, artificial intelligence in national security, sanctions and statecraft, and many more. The Institute also provides advisory and other services for governments, armed forces, and private sector organisations worldwide.

The KIASS launch event recording is available here.

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