A brochure for the leadership course is available here. The timetable for the week can also be viewed here. The application form can be downloaded here

This intensive one-week executive leadership course running from the 26th to 30th June 2017 will equip participants with a critical understanding of the changing character of armed conflict as well as the conceptual and practical tools necessary to anticipate and tackle future conflict. The course takes an interdisciplinary, participatory approach and combines academic rigour with innovative practical thinking. It is critical for current and future leaders involved in policy-formulation, practice or research related to security, defence and peacebuilding. 

The combination and convergence of new technologies, including cyberwar, in the context of the information age, and the corresponding prevalence of low-tech’ challenges by violent non-state actors has created significant challenges to addressing future security threats. The changing geo-strategic balance, or perceptions of change, against a background of fundamental shifts in the global economy, has added to the sense of uncertainty. Nevertheless, there are well-established hot spots of conflict which allow analysts the opportunity to make more concrete assessments, while international institutions continue to provide mechanisms for diplomacy and co-operation.

Structure and Methodology

This course will involve critically reflecting on recent examples, assessing risks, planning and testing policy ideas and forecasting strategic trends. Modelled on successful programmes that we have run in the past, it will be structured into intensive participatory breakout sessions, evaluation of case studies and practical exercises. A number of keynote speakers will complement the interactive course sessions. Course facilitators will include distinguished academics and experienced practitioners.

Speakers include

  • Dr Rob Johnson
  • Dr Annette Idler
  • Professor Rana Mitter (Director of the China Centre, University of Oxford)
  • Sam Daws (Director, Project on UN Governance and Reform)
  • Lord John Alderdice (Former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly)


Global in outlook, the course is principally designed for government officials, staff of international organisations and NGOs, military professionals and the private sector with several years of work experience in issues related to security, defence or peacebuilding. It is also for scholars researching armed conflict.

Sessions include

  • The Changing Character of War
  • New Security Threats and Revolutions in Military Affairs
  • Behavioural Patterns among Violent Non-state Groups
  • The Relationship between Policy and Strategy
  • Wars of the Future: New Conflicts, New Policy?

Course Dates and Location

The course will take place over five days in conference facilities in the leafy surroundings of Lady Margaret Hall next to the University Parks. Fees include full board accommodation, with delegates housed in en-suite accommodation onthe College site. A banquet dinner and drinks reception will take place on the Thursday evening.

All course participants will receive Bodleian cards, allowing them to access the historic facilities of Oxford’s famous libraries during their stay.


  • Minimum of 5 years work experience in a relevant field or postdoctoral level
  • Application form, motivation letter and CV to be submitted by 1 May 2017
  • Able to demonstrate visa requirements
  • Proficiency in the English language
  • Able to cover fees of £3,300 (includes en-suite accommodation, all meals, banquet dinner, and Bodleian reader’s card)


£3,300 (includes en-suite accommodation, all meals, banquet dinner, and Bodleian reader’s card).


To register, please send a completed application form (available here) to olivia.griffiths@pmb.ox.ac.uk. Application form, motivation letter and CV to be submitted by 11 May 2017.