Defence Studies – Career Scope, Eligibility, and Job Prospects

defence studies


Defence Studies – Course, Admission, Institutes

By Vaishnavi Tyagi

Defence Studies is the most respectable and sought after option for youth to work for national security and military services of the nation. Candidates have plenty of options to choose from at UG/PG/Research level to pursue their career in Defence Studies. Candidates can opt for UPSC CDS/SSB/NDA/NA level examination or can pursue graduation in Defence Studies from state-level universities. There is also an option for entry at the Technical level through SSC after completing B.E./B.Tech degree.

BA, B.Sc., MA, M.Sc., MBA, M.Phil, Ph.D. are the courses offered in Defence Studies in India.

Through this article, we will discuss Eligibility Criteria, Course Fees, Average Salary, Admission Process, Career Scope, Job Prospects and Top institutes for Defence Studies.

Check out the tips on career preparation and planning, here

What is Military Studies/Defence Studies?

Defence Studies is the approach of studying national security and which includes geopolitics, military geography, science and technology, war and strategic studies, warfare and national security studies and much more.

Career Scope in Defence Studies

There are many career options for aspirants after 12th, graduation and research in defence studies, they are as follows:

  1. Indian Army Officer
  2. Ground Duty Officer
  3. Indian Defence Officer
  4. Military Officer
  5. Research Officer
  6. Research Associate
  7. Military Intelligence Specialist
  8. Security Agencies
  9. In-Service Officer
  10. Lecturer or Professor
  11. Military Journalism
  12. Commissioned Officer

Also see: Career options after class 12, here
Check out Opportunities for Women in the Armed Forces here
Defence Entrance Exams after 12th, here

Job Prospects in Defence Studies

  1. After clearing the UPSC examination after your graduation, one can be recruited as a ‘Commission Officer’ in the Indian Army, Indian Air Force or Indian Navy.
  2. After completing Ph.D./Research Fellowship in Defence/Military Studies, one can become a Professor/Lecturer in renowned universities/Institutes in India.
  3. One can become a Military Journalist after completing a journalism course and graduation in Defence Studies.
  4. One can become a Research Officer/Research Fellow/Research Associate. The role of research in Defence is to help in decision making by conducting relevant analysis, data collection and intelligence reports for politicians and civil servants.
  5. Jobs at Defence Ministry Office
  6. One can become a School Teacher by completing a Bachelor’s degree in Defence Studies and clearing TET/CTET examination.
  7. One can join Army/Navy/Air Force for 5 years through Short Service Commission (SSC).

Salary in Defence Studies

Minimum Salary (in lacs per annum)
Maximum Salary (in lacs per annum)
Indian Army Officer
Indian Defence Officer
Ground Duty Officer
Research Officer
Military Officer
Military Intelligence Specialist

Also see: Career opportunities for medical students in armed forces, here

Check out a list of entrance exams after graduation, here

Defence Studies Courses – BA, MA, B.Sc., MBA, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Course Name Duration Eligibility Course Fees
BA in Defence & Strategic Studies 3 years 10+2 from a recognized board INR 1 lac to 2 lacs
B.Sc. in Defence Studies 3 years
MA in Defence Studies 2 years Graduation from any discipline from recognized university INR 30,000 – 50,000 Per annum
M.Sc. in Defence Studies 2 years Graduation in Defence Studies INR 30,000 – 40,000 per annum
MBA in Defence Management 2 years Graduation from any discipline from recognized university INR 4 lacs to 7 lacs
M.Phil in Defence Studies 2 years Master’s degree with minimum 55% marks from recognized university INR 10,000- 12,000 Per annum
Ph.D. in Defence Studies 2 – 5 years

Also see: Top Entrance exams after 12th, here

Eligibility for Defence Studies

  1. At Under-Graduation Level: Candidate must have passed 10+2 examination or equivalent from a recognized board of the country.
  2. At Postgraduate Level: Candidate should have passed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university.
  3. At Research Level: Candidate must have passed NET and a Master’s degree from a recognized university.

Defence Studies Admission Process

  1. For admission in Graduation/Post Graduation level, candidates need to log in the official website of the university. Fill the Application form, attach the required documents and pay the application fees through NetBanking/Credit/Debit Card or Cash in person.
  2. For admission in MBA in Defence Management, the majority of colleges accept scores of CAT/MAT/XAT/CMAT. Candidates can also fill individual application forms from the official website of the colleges/universities.
  3. For admission in Ph.D. in Defence Studies, candidates usually have to pass a written test followed by an interview or group discussion. Also, candidate also needs to appear for NET as many universities/colleges accept the NET score.

Top Institutes in India that offer Defence Studies

  1. Pune University, Pune
  2. Osmania University, Hyderabad
  3. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  4. Madras University, Chennai
  5. Allahabad University, Allahabad
  6. Panjab University, Chandigarh
  7. Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak
  8. Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Uttarakhand
  9. Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Agra
  10. Symbiosis Institute (MBA)
  11. Army Institute of Management (MBA)

Other Recruitments/Job Offers by Indian Army/Navy/Air Force

UPSC conducts two All India Level entrance examinations for entry as a Commission Officer in the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.

  1. Combined Defence Service Examination (CDS)
  2. Short Service Commission (SSC) Technical Entry

If you want to join the Indian Army for a permanent service then, you need to get selected in Permanent Commission (PC). If you are looking for serving the Army for a few years, you could consider joining the Short Service Commission (SSC). There is also a special Short Service Commission (SSC) for Women who wish to serve the Indian Army for a few years. The maximum age limit to join is 27 years.


Recruitment in Indian Army through the non-UPSC level:

  1. Permanent Commission (PC)
  2. Short Service Commission (SSC)
  3. Short Service Commission (SSC) Women
  4. Personnel Below Officers Rank (PBOR)


Recruitment in Indian Air Force through the non-UPSC level:

  1. Women Special Entry Scheme
  2. National Cadet Corps (NCC) Special Entry Scheme
  3. Service Entry


Recruitment in Indian Navy through the non-UPSC level:

  1. For Executive Branch – Law, Air Traffic Control, Naval Armament Inspection, Logistics, Information Technology
  2. For Engineering Branch – Naval Architecture Cadre
  3. For Electrical Branch – Electrical Officer
  4. For Educational Branch – Education Officer
  5. Indian Coast Guard – Officer Level, Sailor Level

One can conclude that there is immense scope in the field of defence studies. A candidate possessing the required qualities must give it a shot.