Module Information

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

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 4,500 word essay  60%
Semester Assessment 3,500 word essay  40%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Display historical background knowledge of the role of intelligence in international relations.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of main features of British and American intelligence structures.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the central theoretical innovations developed in the study of intelligence and apply these innovations .
4. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the way British and American intelligence structures have evolved and discuss the role of history and political culture in shaping this process as well as attitudes towards intelligence among intelligence practitioners and policy-elites in Britain and the United States.
5. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the various challenges facing western intelligence services at the opening of the twenty-first century from terrorism and counter-insurgency to more traditional issues concerning the intentions and capabilities of states in the international system.
6. Possess thorough knowledge of the intelligence dimension to contemporary events and issues such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the threat posed by Iraq under Saddam Hussein before March 2003,
7. Demonstrate through participation in seminar discussions their ability to apply theoretical approaches encountered to evaluating the significance of particular events and issues.
8. Demonstrate through a written essay an ability to apply theoretical and empirical material to answering important questions concerning the nature of intelligence in international relations.
9. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the potential threat posed by a range of security legislation to civil liberties and democratic principles.

Brief description

A survey of the way western intelligence agencies (primarily those of Britain and the United States) have dealt with the key security challenges of the early twenty-first century. The module will consider the effectiveness with which these agencies have met these challenges as well as the strategies adopted to improve intelligence the collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence. It will also consider the issues that new practices have raised for civil liberties and other democratic principles.


1. The evolution and structure of British Intelligence.

2. The evolution and structure of American intelligence.

3. 11 September 2001 and the response to terrorism in the United States

4. British intelligence and the response to terrorism in the United Kingdom

5. British Intelligence and the issue of Iraq

6. US intelligence and the issue of Iraq

7. Intelligence and war-fighting: a new way in warfare?

8. The politics of intelligence reform in the United States and Britain

9. Intelligence and new security challenges: from non-state actors to the environment

10. The emergence of a private sector component and the evolution of intelligence practices


This module is at CQFW Level 7