Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Intelligence, Security and International Relations in the 20th Century
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2000 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an advanced understanding of key terms and debates in intelligence studies

Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the role of intelligence in policy formation and state action in times of both peace and war

Evaluate the methodological and historiographical problems inherent in the study of intelligence, security and international relations

Brief description

This module examines the nature of intelligence and the role of intelligence and intelligence organisations in world politics after 1945.


The aim of the module is to examine how intelligence has been gathered, analysed and used in policy-making since 1945. Other aspects, including the problems of counter- intelligence and the use of intelligence services to secretly intervene in the affairs of other states are explored.


Intelligence has been described as the "missing dimension" of international affairs. Yet the twentieth century has seen the growth of intelligence organisations whose activities have played an often crucial role in policy-making, and international relations. The advent of the Cold War and the development of nuclear weapons have provided context and pretext for the growth of modem intelligence organisations. In recent years intelligence studies has emerged as a significant field of scholarship, casting light on key events and issues in twentieth century international security. Yet the study of intelligence faces considerable methodological challenges. The aim of the module is to explore these various issues and to examine the role of intelligence in national security policy making. This is done by focusing on key events and issues in international relations in which intelligence and intelligence organisations played a vital role. Finally, the end of the Cold War and the world after September 11 present new challenges (and opportunities) to spies, intelligencers, and their organisations which the module seeks to evaluate.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details


This module is at CQFW Level 7