Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Churchill’s Wars: From the Age of Empire to the Cold War
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%
Semester Assessment Written essay  (2,000 words)  40%
Semester Assessment Seminar participation  10%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   50%
Supplementary Assessment Written essay  (2,000 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Review  (500 words)  10%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of warfare from the 19th century through to the Cold War.

2. Identity and evaluate the principal political, strategic, operational, and tactical issues which shaped this era of military history.

3. Communicate information, arguments and analysis related to the role of key states and declining empires influencing the military evolution of the 20th century.

4. Analyse the main military interventions which shaped the first half of the 20th century and their impact on global security.

5. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of shifting global powers in the 20th century.

6. Evaluate and apply knowledge to produce essays on the the changing nature of warfare in the 20th century.

Brief description

This module provides the foundation for a comprehensive analysis and understanding of the concepts and dynamics of the British military experience from the late 19th century through to the height of the Cold War. It aims to develop a broad knowledge of the security challenges, as well as political, defence, and military strategies affecting Britain from the apex of Empire though to decolonization. It examines the technological advance of military science and rationale while exploring the evolving contexts of military history in the 20th Century.


• Strategy/tactics of Imperial Warfare
• Strategy/ tactics of total warfare
• Evolution of military science in the 20th century
• International political context in which these wars occurred
• The role of Britain and key British leaders in this context

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will engage with statistics through an examination of defence spending data.
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. This is facilitated by group-role play based on teams operating within and beyond the seminar environment.
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 convener and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their report and essay topics. Group work is integral to the seminars and provides opportunities for students to reflect individually and collectively on their performance. The need to contribute to the group discussions in seminars and to meet an assessment deadlines will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
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 internet, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Primo, Google Scholar etc). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the AberLearn Blackboard. Finally, they will learn to navigate through numerous institutional online resources.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students’ verbal and presentation and team-working skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards students’ portfolio of transferable skills. In particular, report writing is an essential transferable skill contributing to their employability profile.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of essays will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar discussion points will also enable students to develop independent project 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 identify appropriate sources of both primary and secondary source information and to use them appropriately, understanding their relevant strengths and weaknesses. In particular, research for their assignments will require careful gathering of data and information, the judicious use of such material in support of a particular set of recommendations. Using and analysing primary sources material will provide a particular set of information literacy skills.
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 • Ability to evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small group role-playing activities where students will be obliged to prepare, present and discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module learning experience.


This module is at CQFW Level 5