Institute of Commonwealth Studies

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is the only postgraduate academic institution in the UK devoted to the study of the history and politics of the Commonwealth and of Commonwealth countries.

Address: School of Advanced Study, University of London, 2nd Floor, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, UK

Tel: +44 20 7862 8825 | Fax: +44 20 7862 8813

Email: |

Foundation: 1949


Director: Professor Philip Murphy; Administrative Manager: Alison Stewart


The Institute provides a forum for teachers, researchers and graduate students with Commonwealth research interests, providing seminars, conferences and symposiums (see website for details), library facilities and academic advice. It registers students for doctoral research, and for the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. It also provides a base for the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit (CPSU) and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and for a variety of externally funded research projects, and it hosts every year a number of visiting research fellows from other universities and institutions.

Commonwealth Studies: Over a number of years the Association of Commonwealth Studies, an informal network of those interested in Commonwealth Studies, held occasional conferences at Cumberland Lodge. Arising from the deliberations of a working group, it was agreed to place these meetings on to a regular basis, renamed the Commonwealth Conference.

The first such conference was held in November 2010 organised by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and supported by the Commonwealth Foundation and the UK Commonwealth Scholarships Commission.