Higher Command and Staff Course 

The Higher Command and Staff Course prepares selected officers and officials for higher command and staff appointments.

HCSC is a combined, joint and inter-agency defence and security course delivered at the post graduate level.  The course represents the pinnacle of staff training delivered by UK defence and, although the majority of students are UK military, overseas military officers and key partners from other British government departments also attend.  The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, syndicate room discussions, exercises and visits.  Although it is underpinned by the study of the global context and the formulation of strategy, the course is centred around a full spectrum approach to command at the operational level of conflict.  The course is reviewed annually to ensure it remains at the cutting edge of contemporary security education.



The aim of HCSC is 'to prepare future strategic leaders for higher command and staff appointments across the defence and security environment'.


Training Outcomes

Students should graduate for HCSC having revitalised their professional interest and learned how to: 

a.  Evaluate the defence contribution to national strategy.

b.  Demonstrate effective military decision-making in crisis management and operational design.

c.  Judge the utility of force at the operational level in the joint, inter-agency and multi-national contexts.

d.  Revitalise their professional interest.

e.  Evaluate the enduring nature and character of high command and leadership. 

f.  Demonstrate and refine the required standards of personal and collegiate behaviour within a network of like-minded security professionals.