Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
War, Strategy and Intelligence
Academic Year
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar Performance  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,000 word essay  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 500 words review in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word essay  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Discuss issues in the study of war
2. Discuss the nature of war and engage in debates over its transformation
3. Discuss the ethics of war and the use of force and apply to historical examples
4. Discuss and engage in different forms of strategic thinking
5. Discuss the nature and evolution of intelligence
6. Discuss and engage in debates on a range of contemporary security problems

Brief description

The module introduces first year undergraduate students to the key ideas and debates in the fields of war, strategy, security and intelligence. In this way it provides the intellectual foundations for Honours-level study in these fields as well as a grasp of key ideas and concepts for those studying in other areas of International Politics and related fields. Students will be provided with a grounding in subject-specific knowledge and techniques which will contribute to the general development of scholarly and employability skills.


The module explores key ideas and debates in the study of war, strategy, intelligence and security. The lecture programme is divided into four thematic sections:
1. The study, nature and limits of war.
2. Strategy, including conventional strategies, deterrence, revolutionary-guerrilla warfare and terrorism.
3. The study and practice of intelligence.
4. Contemporary security problems and debates.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn 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. The presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from the convenor, other staff teaching on the module and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to meet coursework deadlines will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work electronically through the Blackboard VLE. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web. Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving 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 undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
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; Evaluate competing perspectives; Demonstrate subject specific research techniques; Apply a range of methodologies to complex ideas and contemporary political problems
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars and workshops. Use of Blackboard facilities such as message boards and forums will be encouraged.


This module is at CQFW Level 4