Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre

The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) is the Ministry of Defence's think tank. The organisation was created as a result of the 1998 Strategic Defence Review which took the view that Defence needed a clear long-term, truly joint vision of how our Armed Forces should operate.


What we do

Our mission is to challenge the status quo, inspire debate, and provide world-class futures, concepts, doctrine and legal products. This is achieved through producing strategic foresight, concepts and doctrine, underpinned by evidence-based research and experimentation.


The Doctrine Team write authoritative threat-informed NATO and UK strategic- and operational-level doctrine to inform professional military education and guide operations.

Watch our video on ‘what is joint doctrine’ to find out more.

The Doctrine Team work with a range of cross government and international organisations including: Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

By putting ‘NATO at the heart of UK Defence’ the Team are able to achieve maximum coherence and interoperability with, and between, the UK’s closest allies and partners.

Where possible, NATO doctrine is adopted rather than producing national doctrine.

Publications include:


The Concepts Team develop and assure threat-informed concepts to inform and influence the evolution of policy, force design and capability development.

Working closely across MOD and wider government, engaging with academia, industry and multinational allies and partners, the Team write exploratory and operating concepts that look beyond current policy and financial horizons at the likely ways Defence might operate over the next 20 years.

Publications include:


The Futures Team provide the threat-informed, long-term global strategic context for policy, strategy and capability development.

In collaboration with their global network the Team consider what the future might look like in the coming decades and publishes its thoughts and findings through its Global Strategic Trends Programme. Beyond this work within MOD, the Futures Team contribute to cross-government thinking about the future and work closely with international partners and allies.

Publications include:

Analysis, Research and Challenge

The Analysis, Research and Challenge Team provide analysis and research to inform and support the continuous development of policy and strategy within Defence.

They employ critical thinkers, seek alternative perspectives and perform rigorous analysis and research via a range of tools and resources augmented by the Global Strategic Partnership contract.

As the owner of Defence’s Red Teaming Handbook, they offer red teaming techniques and applications to Defence and other government departments in the form of workshops to assist them in making better-informed decisions or to produce a more robust product.

Publications include:

DCDC Internship Programme

DCDC runs a paid internship programme open to any Masters-level (post-graduate) students. This is designed to bring recent academic research and practice to support DCDC outputs and to give interns the experience of working in government on major strategic issues.

Read more on the DCDC Internship Programme page.

The Legal Team support the development of DCDC outputs through the provision of legal advice and undertake legal reviews of new weapons and means of warfare.

They are custodians of Joint Service Publication 383, The Joint Service Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, support the assurance of operational law training to Service personnel, and participate in national and international legal debates, particularly regarding emerging technology.

Publications include:

Contact details