Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Intelligence, Security and International Relations in the 20th Century
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2000 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

1) demonstrate an advanced understanding of key terms and debates in intelligence studies
2) demonstrate an advanced understanding of the role of intelligence in policy formation and state action in times of both peace and war
3) evaluate the methodological and historiographical problems inherent in the study of intelligence, security and international relations

Brief description

This module examines the nature of intelligence and the role of intelligence and intelligence organisations in world politics after 1945.


The aim of the module is to examine how intelligence has been gathered, analysed and used in policy-making since 1945. Other aspects, including the problems of counter- intelligence and the use of intelligence services to secretly intervene in the affairs of other states are explored.


Intelligence has been described as the "missing dimension" of international affairs. Yet the twentieth century has seen the growth of intelligence organisations whose activities have played an often crucial role in policy-making, and international relations. The advent of the Cold War and the development of nuclear weapons have provided context and pretext for the growth of modem intelligence organisations. In recent years intelligence studies has emerged as a significant field of scholarship, casting light on key events and issues in twentieth century international security. Yet the study of intelligence faces considerable methodological challenges. The aim of the module is to explore these various issues and to examine the role of intelligence in national security policy making. This is done by focusing on key events and issues in international relations in which intelligence and intelligence organisations played a vital role. Finally, the end of the Cold War and the world after September 11 present new challenges (and opportunities) to spies, intelligencers, and their organisations which the module seeks to evaluate.

Transferable skills

Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the module, students should practice and develop their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management. In seminars students enhance and develop their analytical skills and practice listening, explaining and debating skills. Students develop critical awareness of the processes and practices of deceptive activity and the capacity to conduct and detect such behaviour. Essay and project writing encourages students to practice independent research, writing and IT skills.


This module is at CQFW Level 7