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War Studies at 60


The Department of War Studies celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021-22

The Department of War Studies at King’s College London is the world’s pre-eminent academic institution focused on the study of war, conflict and security. The Department’s success owes much to the vision and ethos of its founder, the late Professor Sir Michael Howard, who established the Department as a hub for interdisciplinary research and education on the causes, conduct and consequences of war.  

Since the Department’s establishment in 1962, it has grown from a handful of PhD students and one MA programme to a large and vibrant community of scholars with a diverse range of interests and expertise. We now teach over 1500 students across two single honours undergraduate programmes in War Studies and International Relations, fourteen separate MA programmes and hundreds of PhDships.  

As the world has changed, so too has the Department expanded and evolved.  Today, our world-leading research and sustained engagement with national and international audiences has significant impact and our graduates go on to change the world in myriad ways. Our community of around 200 multi-disciplinary researchers as well as numerous research centres and groups span diverse perspectives and approaches to understanding conflict and security, including historical, political, sociological, philosophical, artistic, legal, ethical, scientific and technological. 

We celebrated our past, present and future, reflecting on our unique origins and legacy. We came together with our community of students, staff and alumni and considered how far we’ve come in developing teaching and research across all aspects of war, conflict, security, defence and international relations, and where new roads will lead. Now looking ahead to the next 60 years, we continue to make vital contributions to public debates, education and policy on what remains the most pressing problem of our time: to understand war so that we may live in peace.

The War Studies at 60 Launch Event with Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman in conversation with Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, took place on 6 October, you can watch a video of the event here


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