Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Spies at War
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 5 x 2 Hour Seminars
Lecture 16 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 X 2,000 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment Seminar Participation  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment 2 x 250 Word report in lieu of seminar participation  10%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Critically analyse the role and significance of espionage in the Cold War.
2. Critically evaluate different arguments regarding the relationship between intelligence and counter-intelligence.
3. Discuss in detail the nature of treachery and betrayal.
4. Critically assess the implications of the end of the Cold War and 9/11 for espionage activities
5. Critically evaluate different positions regarding the efficacy and morality of spying in politics
6. Compare, contrast and critically evaluate different literary and cinematic representations of espionage
7. Demonstrate a detailed and systematic understanding of the historiography of espionage

Brief description

The module provides understanding of the role and significance of espionage in national security, during the Cold War, after 9/11 and more generally in world politics. It generates critical insights into the historiography and representation of espionage, including in literary and cinematic genres. The motives for spying, and in particular concepts of betrayal and treachery are explored. While the principal focus is on inter-state activity the challenges and opportunities for agent running for counter-terrorist and anti-criminal purposes are additionally examined.


The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. The main areas covered during the module will include the following:
• The role and significance of espionage during the two World Wars.
• The role and significance of espionage during the Cold War
• The role and significance of espionage in the contemporary, Post 9/11 world.
• The major principles surrounding espionage, such as tradecraft, motivation and ethics.
• Representations of espionage, counter espionage and counter terrorism.

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 self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from the module convenor and other 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 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 assessed tasks. Assessed work will be presented in electronic format, according to standard expectations.
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
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 Students will be required to undertake independent research in order to complete the assessed work. This will involve utilizing a range of information sources, including core academic texts, journal articles, EU electronic publications, and online news sources.
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 • Evaluate competing perspectives • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary social and political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of 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 6