Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) is situated at the heart of London in Belgravia at Seaford House. Originally built in 1842 and extensively refurbished in 1902, Seaford House is one of the finest town houses in London. The college moved into this site in 1946. The main lecture hall can accommodate 120 and there are 11 seminar rooms plus a number of study areas around the building.
The college has its own library which houses an extensive collection of approximately 26,000 books and pamphlets focusing on security studies, politics and international affairs. It has a large collection of research papers including a full set of members’ dissertations and Seaford House Papers. The library subscribes to a wide range of current periodical titles and provides members with access to a number of e-journals and online databases primarily designed to assist them with their research. Members who undertake the MA option also have access to the libraries at the University of London.
The college has its own IT team to support staff and members. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building. The college also has a comprehensive VTC capability, including in the lecture hall in order to deliver lectures from around the world.
In addition to the college programme the RCDS occasionally hosts a number of events which are open to invited audiences beyond the college members. These events usually occur in the evenings after the main college programme has ceased for the day. The principal sessions are a series of strategic theme seminars which occur approximately four times per year on a wide range of themes. Recent and upcoming events have addressed the challenges and opportunities posed by Brexit, demography and population change and the future of the special relationship. There is a small nominal fee of £10 charged to cover the cost of supper afterwards.
The college also acts as a host for several other events ranging from the National Security Community Senior Faculty, US/UK Rising Leaders through to the UK/France Strategic Forum.
The college does not offer any living accommodation on site. Members either rent privately in London or may be entitled to use a number of Defence Infrastructure properties reserved for RCDS. The college offers access to a small gym on site and has locker rooms for male and female members. There is also an active social programme throughout the year.