Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 8 hours. (8 x 1 hour)
Lecture 21 x 1 hour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  60%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss the role and utility of force in International Relations
2. Outline some of the key elements in the evolution of modern warfare
3. Discuss theories of nuclear deterrence, revolutionary guerrilla warfare and terrorism
4. Outline the role of and some of the concerns surrounding intelligence
5. Demonstrate an awareness of some of the contemporary issues in strategic studies

Brief description

This module provides an introduction to the study of strategy, the evolution of warfare and to the study of intelligence. Its focus is on the role of force in international relations, the manner of its use and on how assessments are made over its possible use. The module consists of five key elements:
- The utility of force in the modern age
- The evolution of warfare from Napoleon to World War Two
- Strategy in the nuclear age
- The role of intelligence
- Contemporary issues in strategic & security studies


The module is in five linked sections. The module begins with a discussion of the utility of force in the modern age, including debates over the use of force and the obsolescence of war. It then considers the evolution of modern warfare from Napoleon to the nuclear age, covering the Napoleonic revolution and the birth of modern warfare, the emergence of total war and the impact of technology upon war, bringing students up to the advent of the nuclear age. The third section is concerned with strategic thought in the nuclear age, including deterrence theory, nuclear strategy, arms control, revolutionary-guerrilla warfare and terrorism. Fourthly the role of intelligence is considered, including the legitimacy of intelligence gathering activities, intelligence and the state, and counter-espionage. Finally the module addresses a number of contemporary issues in strategy, including humanitarian intervention, nuclear proliferation and the war against terrorism.

Introduction to the module
1. The Study of War and War in International Relations
2. European war in the 'age of the masses' (I): Levee en masse
3. European war in the 'age of the masses' (II): Total War
4. Sea and Air Power: from Salamis to Iraq
5. The History and Study of Espionage and Intelligence
6. Strategic Deception
7. Covert Action
8. Clausewitz and his successors (I)
9. Clausewitz and his successors (II)
10. Nuclear deterrence (I)
11. Nuclear deterrence (II)
12. Insurgency, guerrilla warfare and terrorism (I)
13. Insurgency, guerrilla warfare and terrorism (II)
14. Contemporary issues in security studies
15. The Privatisation of security
16. Ballistic Missile Defence
17. Africa: a case study in contemporary issues
18. The USA and the 'Global War on Terror'

Seminar 1: War and Force
Seminar 2: Sea and Air Power
Seminar 3: Intelligence
Seminar 4: Clausewitz and Contemporary Strategic Studies
Seminar 5: Nuclear Weapons
Seminar 6: Conventional Power and Future Warfare
Seminar 7: Humanitarian Intervention and Peacekeeping
Seminar 8: Terrorism and New Wars

Transferable skills

Throughout the module students will practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management skills. In seminars, students will enhance listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as oral presentational skills. Preparing for and writing-up essays will encourage students to practice independent research skills including data retrieval, selection, assembly and organization, writing, IT and time management.

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
The set text for the module is John Baylis, James J. Wirtz and Colin S. Gray (eds.), Strategy in the Contemporary World: An Introduction to Strategic Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4