Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 18 Hours. (1 x 2 hour seminar per week)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essays: 2 x 2,500 words (50% each)  100%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module students will:

- have been introduced to the key issues and ideas in contemporary strategic thought and will have evaluated the various positions in key debates
- have appropriate familiarity with the terms utilized in contemporary strategic discourse
- be able to apply these ideas to a range of policy issues and strategic problems
- be able to apply research design skills to the specific field of strategic studies

Brief description

The module examines contemporary strategic thought and practice. It focuses on a number of key theoretical debates (such as the transformation of war, nuclear strategy and `post-modern? terrorism) and relates them to contemporary policy issues (such as democracy promotion, the future of nuclear weapons and counter-terrorism policy).


This is the Research Training mode of the second core module in the MScEcon in Strategic Studies, to fulfill ESRC Postgraduate Training Guidelines. It aims to give students an understanding of contemporary strategic thought; and to allow students to apply this to a range of contemporary problems/policy issues. Each of the seminars is self-standing, addressing a particular issue or theory; taken together, the seminars lead students to identify and reflect on common threads and themes which inform contemporary strategic discourse.


The module begins with a discussion of the nature of contemporary war, specifically the transformation of war thesis. It then addresses key areas of contemporary strategic thought, including: the use of force; nuclear strategy; arms control and disarmament; proliferation; terrorism; and intervention. Each seminar includes a consideration of the `state of the art? in terms of theory and its application to a particular policy problem. Although each seminar is stand-alone, together the seminars give a thorough understanding of the contemporary state of the discipline and the manner in which theory relates to policy debates.

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.


This module is at CQFW Level 7