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Teaching and Education

Doctoral Supervision

Professors and Lecturers associated with the Centre will supervise doctoral work on the following topics:

  • Nuclear and missile proliferation 
  • Non-proliferation and counter-proliferation
  • Terrorism and counter-terrorism (particularly in the WMD area) 
  • US security policy
  • The application of military force including deterrence
  • Realism and Neorealism
  • Proliferation of Weapons
  • Deterrence and Compellence
  • Balance of Power

General information about doctoral research in the Department of War Studies, including how to apply, can be found here. This should be the first port of call for students interested in pursuing a PhD within the department. Prospective students with more specific questions about PhD proposals relevant to the Centre may contact Dr Susan.Martin, Deputy Director of Education (


Below you can find a couple of testimonials from our post-docs:

Dr Heather Williams, MacArthur Fellow in the Centre for Science and Security Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London (PhD on The Legacy of 'Trust but Verify' in U.S.-Russia Arms Control, finished Dec 2014)

My experience as a PhD student within CSSS in the Department of War Studies prepared me for a variety of professional options. The Centre takes an innovative, some might say religious, attitude towards bridging the gap between policy and academia. As part of my PhD I regularly engaged with policymakers and my analysis was always required to answer the ‘so what?’ question in terms of policy-relevance. Because of the diversity of the Centre’s team, as well, my research was subjected to rigorous scrutiny and my own thinking was challenged in a positive environment. During my time as a PhD student I also worked as a Research Fellow at Chatham House, and since completion of the PhD I have taken up a postdoc within CSSS and consulted for various governments. The PhD experience equipped me for a policy, think tank, or academic career.

But perhaps the greatest strength of the Centre is in providing a community within War Studies, which can feel a bit intimidating upon arrival. The Centre is a small and close group of analysts from a variety of nationalities, backgrounds, and disciplines, including history, mathematics, physics, and French studies. At no point during my PhD was I given the ‘cold shoulder’ or made to feel like my research wasn’t a priority. The team within CSSS was a collaborative sounding board, but also a source of encouragement and motivation, which was particularly important in the final stages of the dissertation. We are a smaller family within the much bigger War Studies community.

In my current role as a postdoc, my research focuses on issues of nuclear deterrence and arms control. I am converting my PhD dissertation on U.S.-Russia arms control into a book, and also applying the findings of my dissertation to the current NATO-Russia conflict to identify the potential for further arms control and how to deter Russia. One of the greatest benefits as a postdoc has been the encouragement to think creatively about nuclear challenges and to see how my research can contribute to a broader debate and body of literature. In my current role I continue to engage with policymakers and think tanks, and am also working with others in the Centre to develop an MA programme in arms control'


Dr Matthew Harries, Managing Editor of Survival and Research Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) CSSS postdoctoral researcher on conventional deterrence, 2013-2014; CSSS PhD student, 2009-2013 (thesis title: ‘The Role of Article VI in Debates About the Non-Proliferation Treaty’).

'I had a great experience at CSSS, first as a PhD student affiliated to the centre, and then as a postdoctoral researcher. CSSS is a lean operation which produces extremely impressive results: research and teaching around the world; engagement with policymakers, international agencies and industry; and timely, high-quality and policy-relevant publications. A collegial and open-minded atmosphere makes CSSS a fantastic place to work, and affiliation with the centre as a PhD student offers rare access to very high levels of policy-oriented scholarship. CSSS has made a real name for itself in non-proliferation and nuclear security; long may that continue!'


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