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The Masters by Research Programme Lt Col David Calder
ACSC 22 HAS BEEN the first full course that has been able to choose between two Masters-
level pathways. The second of these pathways – the new
Masters by Research (MRes) programme – was designed to allow students to trade-off the breadth offered by the traditional MA programme against the chance to dive deeper into a research topic. By
guiding students to investigate issues crucial to defence, the output of the MRes should be tuned to respond to the contemporary challenges defence faces. Although uncommon, MRes qualifications are becoming increasingly popular in universities as they introduce students to the skills needed to undertake post-graduate level research and, for some, provide a gateway to doctoral level studies. For Defence, growing a cohort of trained researchers should, in time, increase the levels of critical engagement with defence’s problems
while also promoting creative thinking.
On ACSC 22 a total of 12 MRes students benefited from increased supervision and access to additional training to improve their research skills and build a robust methodology to support their project. In many areas, the research topics relied heavily
on the collation and interrogation of primary source material to answer their chosen research questions. This additional training is a defining feature of the MRes program. It forced the
students to interact with experts and opinion makers across the Defence community and broader academia. As the scheme is sponsored by the Chief of the Defence Staff, each student was allocated a 3* mentor to offer additional advice and help them engage with cutting edge research and thinking across Defence.
While the research topics were extremely diverse (ranging from the use of creativity in Defence to the weaponisation of economic power by China), there were several areas where
additional training is a
defining feature of the MRes program. ◆◆◆
   Understanding the Continuum of Conflict and the evolving nature of contemporary threats and shifting onto the front foot in our responses
Stimulating innovation and adaptation and responding to new opportunities
Owning the narrative
CDS’s MRes Themes
 Future Conflict
Levers of Power
Understanding the evolving nature of Power and Influence and what this means for military and security services (economic / prosperity; political; military & security; societal & cultural; information)
Creating an agile MOD and making every penny count
Delivering credible advantage by challenging current assumptions and mindsets
Innovation and Adaptation
Information and Influence
Creating a futuristic people model

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