Module Identifier IP36520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Alastair J Finlan  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours (18 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   7 Hours (7 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,000 words  30%
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

At the end of the module students should be able to:

- identify and discuss the key theories of naval warfare developed in the twentieth century.
- outline the impact of changing technology upon the conduct of war at sea.
- outline the evolution of thinking about land/air warfare from the First World War on, with particular attention to theories of
manoeuvre warfare and attritional warfare.
- discuss the impact of nuclear weapons and guided missile technology upon strategy and the battlefield.
- outline the development of air power and discuss the theory and practice of strategic bombing

Brief description

This module examines the evolution of warfare in the twentieth century. It focuses on developments in military technology and how these affected the strategy and conduct of war.


The aim of the module is to discuss the evolution of modern warfare, and in particular the relationship between developments in technology and the conduct of modern war.


The module considers air, land and sea power in three broad historical periods: the late C19 through to the end of the First World War when strategists were forced to think about the impact of industrialisation upon the conduct of war; the inter-war years and the Second World War, when mechanisation and the increased use of air power began to affect military strategy and operations; and the post-war period when rapid technological change, and particularly the development of nuclear and precision guided weapons, affected the character of war.

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills which will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the module, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
P Paret Makers of Modern Strategy
J Black Warfare in the Western World 1872 - 1975


This module is at CQFW Level 6