International defence engagement

The International Defence Engagement team is part of the Defence Leadership Centre (DLC) at the Defence Academy, providing leadership capability and capacity building programmes in the defence and wider security sectors. Our activities are delivered in line with the UK defence engagement strategy where we look to develop and maintain close relationships, and consequently influence and access, with our partners and customers across the world.

Our portfolio of educational courses and programmes provide a platform for wider diplomatic and high level defence activities, often paving the way for other forms of UK defence education and military training, whilst enabling Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) compliant access into politically sensitive countries.

We regularly cooperate with inter-governmental organisations such as the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations (UN), as well as humanitarian networks such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  We have also worked with international government departments as part of an integrated approach. 

Our blend of academic excellence and expert level practitioners continues to provide masters standard defence education, which has proven to be a powerful defence engagement tool.

Developments and updates

Our programmes, courses and workshops are supported by our accredited academic providers, Cranfield University and King’s College London. In partnership with the Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) school, the team has provided ‘expeditionary education’ to over 135 nationalities, across 5 continents since 2000. This post-graduate level education is principally aimed at military officers and government officials, where we routinely deliver in excess of 40 programmes per year.

The team also supports the UK’s Building Integrity (BI) programme, which itself supports the NATO programme of cooperation and capacity building via the Partnership Action Plan.

The content of our programmes generally cover the following themes:

  • strategic planning
  • security and governance
  • strategic leadership
  • international law and ethics
  • defence management
  • transparency and accountability

International defence training is highly regarded and valued, playing a crucial role in the UK’s successful defence engagement strategy; demand exceeds supply threefold. Our programmes, courses and workshops are tailored and contextualised to address the challenges and opportunities of the host country (or region) and are either delivered as stand-alone commitments or as part of a modular institutional syllabus. Host nations are encouraged to draw representation from across the security sector, to include members of civil society. In the past, delegates have included ministers, parliamentarians, ambassadors, senior military and civil officers as well as non-governmental organisations. Some delegates attend with existing high-level academic qualifications whilst others have no formal education at all.

A fully blended learning approach is used to optimise the educational experience and facilitate discussion and debate. Whilst the delegates are not formally assessed, the programmes are fully validated. All programmes are delivered in English but can be translated on request – we have successfully delivered courses in Arabic, Armenian, Burmese, Bosnian, French, Georgian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Korean and Thai.

The orthodox number of delegates is approximately 30 however audiences have ranged up to 250 for specific events. All the courses and programmes provide the delegates with the opportunity to network and they all become part of a formal alumni base. 

Strategic Leadership

Strategic Leadership Programme (Export) 

Senior Strategic Leadership Programme (UK Residential)

Managing Defence In a Wider Security Context

Managing Defence in a Wider Security Context (Export)

Managing Defence in a Wider Security Context (UK Residential)

Building Integrity (BI)

BI Course for Senior Leaders

BI Foundation Course