Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Total War, Total Peace
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  1500 Words  40%
Semester Assessment Seminar Participation  10%
Semester Exam 8.5 Hours   Online examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Report  500 Words  10%
Supplementary Exam 8.5 Hours   Online examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Critically evaluate the differences between and historical roots of the concepts of ‘total’ and ‘limited’ war

Apply and assess a range of conceptual frameworks to understand the complex and changing interaction between war and societies.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the different levels of societal mobilisation employed by various belligerents in particular conflicts.

Critically evaluate the range of stresses placed on a society by different types of conflict.

Critically explore the link between ideas, society, economy, politics and the nature of war.

Brief description

This module builds from the question 'what is war' to explore two popular typologies of war: 'total' war and 'limited' war. Through a consideration of examples from a broad chronological and geographical span, the module encourages students to examine the relationship between societies and the type(s) of war pursued by their militaries at varying points in their history. Exploring case studies through the total/limited war binary encourages students to develop an appreciation for why different societies and governments seek to wage wars differently according to the context in which those wars are fought, and how socio-economic, technological, and cultural factors influence the practice of war. This module links the nature and character of war with the political process, enhancing students' understandings of the interrelationship between war and politics, and challenging them to consider both why politicians choose to pursue military action and why that action takes the form(s) it does.


Topics covered over the course of the module will include: definitions of war and 'total' war; war and strategy; ancient and early modern warfare; Napoleonic warfare; the American Civil War; the First World War; the Second World War; Indochina/Vietnam; Iran-Iraq War; warfare in the 21st century.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. This module will particularly develop aural and oral communication skills through participation in small group activities.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. 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 for presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminars and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time.
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.
Personal Development and Career planning This 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 includes writing 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 the essay and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving 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.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
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 • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems.
Team work Students will be expected to participate in a range of small and large group activities, and to make contributions to the development of group presentations.


This module is at CQFW Level 6