Module Identifier IP36020  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Wolfango Piccoli  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   12 Hours (1 hour lecture per week)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   12 Hours (6 x 2 hours per week)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification, please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

- assess critically and discuss how the US intelligence community has developed
- assess critically and discuss what functions it currently performs on behalf of the US Government
- assess critically and discuss how important intelligence has been to American war-making, defence planning and foreign policy
- evaluate methodological and historiographical problems in the study of intelligence

Students will also improve their skills of research, analysis and expression during the course, as well as those of time and learning resource management.

Brief description

The module examines the history and current activities of the US intelligence community, looking above all to see how it has promoted the political, military and other interests of the USA.


The aims of the module are to provide students with an understanding of how the US intelligence community serves the US Government and how it has developed since the latter part of the nineteenth century. The module will demonstrate to students how US Intelligence has assisted American war-making and defence planning, and how it has enabled the United States to influence political developments worldwide.


The module examines the historical development and current activities of the US intelligence community. Within that framework, it examines: how intelligence has assisted the USA's armed forces in war; how it has assisted American defence planning; how it has assisted American foreign policy; the role that covert operations have played in American foreign policy; what role intelligence and covert operatons have played in domestic politics; and how the intelligence community is held accountable to the USA's political system.

Transferable skills

Students have the opportunity to develop, practise and test a wide range of transferable skills. In sum, they learn to understand, analyse and organise information and ideas. Throughout the module, students practice and develop their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management. In seminars, students enhance and develop their analytical skills and practice listening, explaining and debating skills. Essay-writing encourages students to practise independent research, writing, analytical and IT skills; the examination will test these skills under conditions of time constraint.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

J Richelson (1999) The US Intelligence Community
C Andrew (1995) For the President's Eyes Only: Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush
E Drea (1992) MacArthur's ULTRA


This module is at CQFW Level 6