Module Information

Module Identifier
IP38520
Module Title
A History of British Intelligence
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Professor Michael Rainsborough (Professor of Strategic Theory - King's College, University of London)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 5 x 2 Hour Seminars
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

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 Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. analyse the origins of the contemporary British intelligence community, and why the modern agencies were established in 1909;
2. evaluate the performance of British Intelligence in both World Wars and the Cold War;
3. evaluate the performance of British Intelligence against threats to the British empire;
4. assess the extent to which the end of the Cold War has altered the work of British Intelligence;
5. critically discuss the way British Intelligence is managed and made accountable to the government and Parliament;
6. analyse the law relating to national security

Brief description

The module examines the development of the British intelligence community over a period of more than two hundred years, focusing on the twentieth century. In particular, it explores how British intelligence developed in response to the pressures of war, empire, terrorism and political subversion.

Content

This module examines the development of the British intelligence community over a period of more than two hundred years, focusing on the twentieth century. It explores how British Intelligence developed in response to the pressures of war, empire, terrorism and political subversion. It briefly examines the origins of British Intelligence and then turns to the operations of the modern intelligence agencies, investigating their performance in both World Wars, the inter-war period and the Cold War. The module also sheds light on the key current taskings of counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation, as well as government secrecy and the contemporary system for making the agencies publicly accountable.

Lectures

1. Introduction: the origins of British Intelligence and its historiography
2. British Intelligence in the First World War
3. British Intelligence and the Rise of Nazism, 1933-1939
4. British Intelligence in the Second World War 1: Ultra
5. British Intelligence in the Second World War 2: SOE
6. British Intelligence in the Second World War 3: SIS, the Security Service and collaboration with the United States
7. Counter-intelligence and counter-subversion: the Kell era
8. Counter-intelligence and counter-subversion: the Cambridge Five and after
9. British Intelligence in the Cold War 1: the Soviet Union
10. British Intelligence in the Cold War 2: covert action
11. Counter-terrorism: Ireland
12. Contemporary intelligence structures and powers
13. Counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism: Iraq and the 'War on Terror'

Seminars

1. British Intelligence from the First World War to the Second, 1909-39
2. British Intelligence in the Second World War
3. British Intelligence in the Cold War
4. Counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism
5. Iraq and the 'War on Terror'; oversight of the intelligence community

Aims

The module strengthens the Department's provision of teaching in the field of Intelligence Studies. It both broadens and deepens students' understanding of intelligence and security, giving them a deep understanding of the history and current activities of the British intelligence community.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand 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 the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their 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. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
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).
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable the student to develop independent project 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 the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The submission of an essay will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. 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 political problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6