About DCSS

Our structure

The ten staff of the Dartmouth Centre for Seapower and Strategy (DCSS) are faculty members at Plymouth University and are located either on the Plymouth campus or at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

These members help deliver our teaching, dialogue, and research activities.

Find out more about our structure

Plymouth University’s Dartmouth Centre for Seapower and Strategy (DCSS) has been set up to meet the clear and growing need to raise knowledge, awareness and understanding of strategic and defence issues as they relate to maritime affairs and the use of seapower in the 21st century. 

Contemporary strategic challenges – including the resilience of global networks, food and water security and the rise in global maritime trade, have highlighted the dependence of island nations, such as the UK and Ireland, on seapower to maintain open lines of communication, connectivity, and so economic prosperity and political stability.  

  • In late 2013 the UK Chief of Defence Staff argued that UK military risks having “exquisite weapons systems” but a “hollowed out force” not fit for purpose.  
  • In January 2014 a former US Secretary of Defence suggested that the UK was in danger of losing full spectrum interoperability with the US.  
  • By March 2014 the UK Chief of General Staff noted tensions in Ukraine were unforeseen and ‘confound our previous assumptions about stability across Europe.’  

Since 2008, Plymouth University has established a history of excellence and success at delivering educational opportunities to naval officer and NCO professional training at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (BRNC). This experience is now complimented by Plymouth University’s newly created School of Law, Criminology and Government, who have expertise in strategic and defence studies as well as experience in professional military education.  

The DCSS will undertake valuable teaching and research.  It will also help inform and shape security policy decision-making by generating education and training opportunities, research, dialogue and debate across the maritime domain.   

This independent, influential and inclusive Centre has three unique selling points:  

  • Plymouth is Britain’s ‘Ocean City’ with a proud maritime and military history and Dartmouth hosts the BRNC, the world’s most prestigious naval college.  Plymouth and Dartmouth have a unique heritage and profile in marine and maritime matters.  
  • The Centre’s core staff are well positioned to highlight the implications of evolving links between key contemporary drivers including science and technology, business and trade, societal values and norms and changes to the strategic environment itself. 
  • The dialogue, research and educational opportunities offered by the Centre will be of high quality, accessible and represent value for money.