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Hacking Defence Problems

Hacking Defence Problems is an accredited MA module open to all MA students in the Department of War Studies. It is an interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial module that provides students the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Defence to better address the nation's emerging threats and security challenges.

The module is an applied one that sees students form groups of teams that engage directly with complex, real world problems proposed by UK government sponsors. Hacking Defence Problems covers policy, economics, technology, national security, and any area needed to address the problem sponsor’s challenge.

The module is based on the Mission Driven Entrepreneurship™: Hacking for MoD programme initially developed at Stanford University and is now offered at many other universities in both the US and the UK.

In the US it is an education initiative sponsored by the US Department of Defense's Defense Accelerator, MD5.

In the UK, it is supported by the Common Mission Project and is sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, under the name Hacking for the Ministry of Defence.



Hacking Defence Problems Module information

In the module, students will be assigned to a team and to a problem, and then be provided with a range of relevant methodological tools and techniques drawn from the business/start-up world (Lean start-up). As the module progresses, student teams will be required to discover and validate customer needs and to continually gather feedback on their understanding of the problem and their proposed solution. Teams take a hands-on approach requiring close engagement with actual military, Ministry of Defence and other government agency end-users.

H4MoD Blog Pieces

     Student Success

           Three teams from the ten who made up the second cohort in War Studies were selected to present at Defense Disrupted 2021 

Team Mission

Team Mission

This H4MoD team look to solve an RAF problem of mission efficiency

Team Skill Fade

Team Skill Fade

Students investigate the perception of skill fade among The Marines


A team of former War Studies MA students who were part of the first cohort at War Studies to take part in the 10-week Hacking for MoD programme in 2020 have built a new start-up business inspired by an initiative they developed as part of the module. Based in the US, the alumni have received funding to further develop their new company - Ox Intel. It works with senior stakeholders across the US and UK intelligence communities to design, develop, and deploy technology to improve and scale human-led decision-making


What our students say

Lila Ghosh

Lila Ghosh

"H4MoD definitely fulfilled my desire for more practical engagement with my degree: Intelligence &…

Alicia Rémont Ospina

Alicia Rémont Ospina

"This module was the hallmark of my MA. Most of the lessons and skills that I gained will remain…

H4MoD News & Events

       Hacking Defence Problems Staff


       Hacking Defence Problems Alumni