Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1,000 word document analysis  10%
Semester Assessment 3,000 word Essay  40%
Semester Assessment 4,000 word Essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Critically analyse the debate surrounding nuclear weapons
2. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the historiographical and contemporary contexts of the nuclear debate
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of strategic theory and practice and an awareness of the work of key thinkers in the field of nuclear weapons
4. Evaluate the role nuclear weapons played in shaping the Cold War and why it didn't turn 'hot'
5. Critically assess the nuclear arms control process from 1945-the present
6. Assess why some states continue to proliferate and why some eschew the development of nuclear weapons


1. Introduction to the Module
2. The origins and development of the Manhattan Project and the origins of nuclear strategy
3. Intelligence and espionage: The origins and development of the Soviet nuclear programme
4. 'The Bloody Union Jack' and the Tricolor: Britain, France and 'medium' nuclear powers
5. The Sword and the Shield: NATO and the Warsaw Pact
6. Means of delivery and nuclear weapons: Questions of geography and security
7. The Limited Test Ban Treaty, the Non Proliferation Treaty, Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and INF
8. Nuclear proliferation: Israel, India and Pakistan-The 'nth country' problem
9. Arms control 1991-present: Lessons learned?
10. Global governance, non-proliferation and nuclear terrorism: Is a nuclear weapons free world possible?
11. Overview and conclusion

Brief description

This module provides a detailed and holistic approach to nuclear history, nuclear/conventional strategy and forces whilst integrating this with efforts to curb non-proliferation through international law (the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and international institutions (the United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency and Nuclear Suppliers Group). In this latter setting this module is also able to examine the major issues facing the world today in areas of non or counter proliferation and the possibility of nuclear terrorism.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Students will be required to further develop methods for communicating their ideas and opinions both verbally and in writing. Group discussion should augment their individual inputs into seminars. The use of primary evidence will allow them to explore the merits and limitations of current historiography and engage with the fields or International Relations and International History. They will also learn to better direct their aims and objectives. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion, presentations and team games will be actively encouraged as well as responses to primary documents. This will form the main medium of teaching with an emphasis on student participation and communication. Students will be encouraged to question the views of what they are reading, those of the module convener and of their peers.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convener and fellow students. Students will be expected to improve their own scholarship and abilities through directed preparation for each seminar and by undertaking research on their own initiative. This will entail searching for apposite sources, looking beyond the provided reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the topic and direction of their essays. The need to prepare for essays and to participate in group-work in the preparation of presentations/group activities and documentary analysis, as well as the requirement to meet essay deadlines which 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 the growing multiplicity of sources available on the internet as well as seeking sources through electronic information portals such as BIDS. Blackboard facilities such as the discussion board and a selection of audio-video materials will also be used.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal communication and presentational skills. The role play exercises will help them develop team building skills whilst the documentary analysis will assist the progress of their analytical skill set.
Problem solving Independent research as well as a strong element of group-based problem solving will be two of the central goals of the module. Research and writing the two long assessed essays and document analysis will require that students further develop their independent research and problem solving skills. Discussion in groups during seminars and preparation of group presentations will require the development of new skill sets. These skills, and the adoption of differing and opposing points of view, will be developed through a number of case studies (including binary relationships such as those of India-Pakistan and individual case studies such as Iran and the DPRK).
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research, supported by a number of materials which will be provided to them prior to seminars for all elements of assessed work. This will involve utilising primary materials (some of which will be provided with a large number also now available on the internet), as well as appropriate secondary source texts. Research preparation for group discussions and presentations in seminars will also enable the student to develop both independent and cooperative research skills.
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 key questions and issues contained within this module. These subject specific skills include: - An ability to evaluate differing, often competing, perspectives on key issues in the nuclear weapons debate including the evolution of nuclear strategy and military history both from contemporary as well as historical perspectives. - An understanding of conceptual, methodological and epistemological underpinnings in the study of the nuclear weapons debate at a global level. - An understanding of the key theoretical and empirical bases underpinning different approaches in the field and of the case studies used to explore them
Team work Team-work skills are an essential component of this module. Seminars will consist mainly of small-group discussions and role play with introductory presentations. Much of the core learning students will do will come through sharing and debating their ideas with their peers.


This module is at CQFW Level 7