Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Cyber Warfare: the changing nature of security in the digital age
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 5 x 2 Hour Seminars
Lecture 14 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 5 x 500 word blog entries  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay in lieu of blog entries  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Discuss key concepts in the field of cyber security within the context of the security and strategic studies canon of International Relations.
2. Discuss how these key cyber security concepts have been applied to a range of empirical case studies..
3. Identify and discuss significant trends in the field of cyber security
4. Demonstrate an awareness of the benefits and challenges of cyber warfare as well as an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of this field.
5. Demonstrate an ability to identify and discuss the links or disjunctures between military and civil applications of the cyber world.

Brief description

This module examines a focused range of cyber security and cyber warfare issues – it will analyse numerous current developments whilst also looking ‘over the horizon’ towards what issues might be faced over the next generation.


This module begins by outlining and evaluating some ‘fifth generation’ military systems in terms of their military capabilities. The aim will be to question the extent to which these systems offer a qualitative or quantitative break from the past (such as visual stealth through meta-materials). It will then go on to examine how increased system integration, in terms of intelligent design and intelligence or information sharing, might be exploited at state or sub-state levels through computer viruses such as ‘logic bombs’ which could potentially render front-line systems such as aircraft or ships vulnerable to relatively low-level cyber-attack (i.e. through targeting GPS and related technologies). It will also discuss the current range of systems in operation, development programmes and competitor fifth generation systems and look towards what forms sixth generation systems might take.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas verbally and in writing, and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will develop skills in using the many sources of information available 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. Students will also be required to submit their written assessments 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 supported self-learning within a context in which support and assistance is available from the module convenor, the department and university and from their fellow students. 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 how to approach the online blog and answer assessed essay questions.
Information Technology Students will enhance their proficiency using Blackboard, where materials to support learning will be made available. Students will also develop skills in searching for, and assessing the validity of, online information sources as part of preparation for lectures, seminars and the online blog. Assessed work will be presented in electronic format, according to university and institute/departmental guidelines.
Personal Development and Career planning The 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. Moreover, the written work requires students to write clearly and concisely, 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 will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable students 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; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills These are developed throughout, especially through the online blog, and students will be encouraged to locate research and information outside of that provided in the module handbook. This could be through MOOCs, TED talks, public events, speeches, and by sharing links.
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 within the module. These subject specific skills include: • How to collect and analyse a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex contemporary technological, political and social questions.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For almost all of the topics covered in this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.


This module is at CQFW Level 5