Ph.D. Online

Defence Studies Research

King's College London

72 months
21870 GBP/year
5820 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Research in the Defence Studies Department (DSD) at King's College London is reflective of the diverse interests of our staff members and postgraduate students. It covers military, naval, diplomatic and imperial history, international relations, defence and regional security policy studies, strategic studies, and the ethics of conflict. 


Indeed, DSD’s unique position, an academic department based at the Defence Academy, heavily influences its research. At the heart of security and defence education in the United Kingdom, it is able to draw on the experiences and knowledge of a not only UK 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 also across the world.

Key facts:

Researchers from Defence Studies Department (DSD) at King's College London have played important role in past UK security and defence reviews and continue to influence future reviews. Additionally, DSD staff members are regularly consulted by national and international media on contemporary and past events. Public engagement includes working with a wide range of museums, such as the Imperial War Museum, the National Army Museum, the RAF Museum, and the Royal Navy Museum. DSD researchers have also contributed to national and international events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Napoleonic Wars and the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Programme Structure

Course study environment

  • Postgraduate students are allocated a supervisor from within the Defence Studies Department and a second supervisor either from DSD or another Department. They meet their primary supervisor regularly, with formal progress reviews being held every six months. Students have access to workspaces with computers and printers, either located in the Department of War Studies on the Strand Campus or at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, subject to security clearance. Students can also request access to the library of the JSCSC. 
  • Students are encouraged to take part in the lively research culture of the Department and the Group, attending research seminars (at which they are expected at some point to present a paper on their work), student-organised research workshops, or the regular seminars, visiting lectures and conferences that are held either in London or at the JSCSC in Shrivenham. They are also expected to participate in one or more of the DSD or War Studies research groups which organise their own programmes of events.

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 72 months
    • Flexible

Start dates & application deadlines


  • Fully structured
  • No Attendance
  • Continuous support with feedback on request
  • Online group works/assignments

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Master's degree with high merit, and a 2:1 honours degree at the bachelor's level. It is highly desirable (but not essential) to have taken courses in this field at postgraduate level before undertaking research work in the Defence Studies Department.
  • Extensive practical experience in a relevant field (eg military, diplomatic, humanitarian or developmental) may be taken into account when evaluating an application.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    21870 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 21870 GBP per year during 72 months.
  • National

    5820 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 5820 GBP per year during 72 months.


Research students can apply for ESRC, AHRC, Graduate School, School of Social Science & Public Policy, and School of Arts and Humanities studentships. Some fellowships and bursaries are available for serving British military officers.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last 9 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Defence Studies Research
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