Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 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  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

- 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 five linked sections. The module 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 third section is concerned with strategic thought in the nuclear age, including deterrence theory, nuclear strategy, arms control, revolutionary-guerrilla warfare and terrorism. Fourthly the role of intelligence is considered, including the legitimacy of intelligence gathering activities, intelligence and the state, and counter-espionage. Finally the module addresses a number of contemporary issues in strategy, including 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)
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¿

Note: The lectures are given by a number of staff, including several professors. The actual lecture programme might change depending on staff availability.


Seminar One: War and force
Seminar Two: Air Power
Seminar Three: Nuclear Weapons
Seminar Four: Terrorism
Seminar Five: Intelligence
Seminar Six: Intervention and Wider Peacekeeping
Seminar Seven: Weapons of Mass Destruction
Seminar Eight: The War on Terrorism

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

Should Be Purchased
The set text for the module is John Baylis, James J. Wirtz and Colin S. Gray (eds.), Strategy in the Contemporary World: An Introduction to Strategic Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4