Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Women and Military Service
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar Performance  10%
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Discuss key concepts such as gender and citizenship in relation to women's experiences of militaries.
2. Evaluate the impact on militaries of the presence of women soldiers.
3. Assess changes to the roles and expectations of women soldiers in the period since 1914.
4. Discuss the contributions that women have made to civil wars and wars of resistance.


This module adds to Departmental provision in the areas of Military History and International Politics. It will allow students to explore the under-studied but rapidly-growing field of women's military history by examining key debates and case studies.

Brief description

This module will consider the roles which women have played and continue to play in militaries, with emphasis on the period since 1914. Students will engage with academic debates about the gendered nature of militaries and, through the exploration of a series of historical and contemporary cases, will consider such questions as whether the presence of women soldiers can act as a catalyst for changing the militaries in which they serve.


1. Introduction: Why study the relationships between women and military service?
2. Nature versus nurture in the creation of soldiers
Seminar: Gender and militaries

3. Women and the international peace movement at the start of the 20th century
4. Women's active support for war: 1914-1918
Seminar: Women and the First World War

5. World War II: American women in military service
6. World War II: Women's military service in other combatant countries
Seminar: Women soldiers in the Second World War

7. World War II: Women and resistance movements
8. World War II: Women and wartime intelligence
Seminar: Women in covert roles during the Second World War

9. Women in civil wars and wars of resistance: China, Russia, Spain
10. Women in civil wars and wars of resistance: Vietnam, Palestine
Seminar: Women in civil war and wars of resistance

11. Discrimination, abuse and scandal
12. Domestic violence in military families
Seminar: Gender and militaries revisited

13. Women in peacekeeping missions
14. 9/11 and after: women's military roles in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Seminar: Women soldiers in the post-Cold War period

15. Universal military service: women in the Israeli Defence Force
16. Limits on military service: debates about women in combat roles
Seminar: Citizenship and military service

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar performance. Students will also be required to submit their report in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminar participation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. The Moreover, the written work includes writing a presentation which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: * Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module * Ability to evaluate competing perspectives * Demonstrate subject specific research techniques * Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political problems
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. Blackboard facilities such as the blog will also be used and students will be encouraged to contribute their comments to the entries.


This module is at CQFW Level 6