Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 x 1 hour
Seminars / Tutorials 8 Hours. (8 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam  60%
Supplementary Exam Exam  Students failing the module will repeat only the failed component(s); those re-sitting failed coursework are required to select a different essay/assignment title and must not submit re-written versions of the original essay/assignment.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

By the end of this module students will:

- have been introduced to the key issues and ideas concerning the role of force in International Relations, including its evolution, modern strategic thought and a number of contemporary issues in strategy;
- have a basic familiarity with the concepts utilized in contemporary strategic discourse;
- be able to apply these concepts to a range of issues and problems.
- Effectively deploy skills of: identification and location of appropriate sources; independent study; writing (essays and examinations); IT skills plus time-management.

10 ECTS credits

Brief description

This module is intended to provide an introduction to the study of strategy, the evolution of warfare and to the study of intelligence. Its focus is on the role of force in international relations, the manner of its use and how assessments are made over its possible use. It consists of five key elements:

- the utility of force in the modern age
- the evolution of warfare from Napoleon to World War Two
- strategy in the nuclear age
- the role of intelligence
- contemporary issues in strategy


The module is in four linked sections. It begins with a discussion of the utility of force in the modern age, including debates over the use of force and the obsolescence of war. It then considers the evolution of modern warfare from Napoleon to the nuclear age, covering the Napoleonic revolution and the birth of modern warfare, the emergence of total war and the impact of technology upon war, bringing students up to the advent of the nuclear age. The second section is concerned with the role of intelligence, including the legitimacy of intelligence gathering activities, intelligence and the state and counter-espionage strategic thought in the nuclear age. Thirdly, the module focuses on strategy, including deterrence theory, nuclear strategy and arms control. Finally, the module addresses a number of contemporary issues in strategy, including privatization of security, humanitarian intervention, nuclear proliferation and the war against terrorism.

1. War, Strategy, Intelligence: Introduction
2. The Study of War and War in International Relations
3. European war in the 'age of the masses' (I): Levée en masse
4. European war in the 'age of the masses' (II): Total War
5. Sea and Air Power: from Salamis to Iraq
6. Insurgency, guerrilla warfare and terrorism
7. The History and Study of Espionage and Intelligence
8. Strategic Deception
9. Covert Action
10. Clausewitz and his successors (I)
11. Clausewitz and his successors (II)
12. Nuclear deterrence (I)
13. Nuclear deterrence (II)
Contemporary Issues
14. Contemporary issues in security studies
15. The Privatisation of security
16. Ballistic Missile Defence
17. Africa: a case study in contemporary issues
18. The USA and the `Global War on Terror¿


1. War and force
2. Air Power
3. Terrorism
4. Intelligence
5. Nuclear Weapons
6. Intervention and Wider Peacekeeping
7. Weapons of Mass Destruction
8. The War on Terror


To provide an introduction to the role of force and of intelligence in International Relations and to some of the oncerns and debates surrounding these.

Transferable skills

Throughout the module students will practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management skills. In seminars, students will enhance listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as oral presentational skills. Preparing for and writing-up essays will encourage students to practice independent research skills including data retrieval, selection, assembly and organization, writing, IT and time management.

Reading List

Recommended Text
John Baylis, James Wirtz, Colin S. Gray and Eliot Cohen eds (2002, 2007) Strategy in the Contemporary World: Introduction to Strategic Studies Oxford University Press Primo search
Supplementary Text
Alan Collins ed (2007) Contemporary Security Studies Oxford University Press Primo search Barry Buzan and Eric Herring (1998) The Arms Dynamic in World Politics Lynne Rienner Primo search Colin S. Gray (1999) Modern Strategy Oxford University Press Primo search Craig A. Snyder ed (1999, 2008) Contemporary Security and Strategy Palgrave Macmillan. Primo search John Baylis et. al (1987) Contemporary Strategy 1. Theories and concepts (second edition) Croom Helm Primo search Ken Booth ed (1991) New Thinking about Strategy and International Security Harper Collins Primo search Lawrence Freedman ed (1994) War Oxford University Press Primo search Matthew Hughes and William J. Philpott eds (2006) Palgrave Advances in Modern Military History Palgrave Macmillan Primo search Peter Paret ed (1986) Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the nuclear age Clarendon Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4