Module Identifier IP36620  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mike Williams  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Lecture   16 Hours (16 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  50%
Semester Assessment 2 x Seminar Presentation  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word paper  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

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

- demonstrate an understanding of the key concerns of strategic studies since 1945, and of the assumptions underpinning strategic thought.
- critically discuss the theory of nuclear deterrence and the development of nuclear strategy
- discuss the new forms and dynamics of post-Cold War military force
- assess emerging trends in strategic relations and their significance.
- analyze the relationship between strategy and cultural contexts
- assess the questions surrounding nuclear proliferation.

Brief description

This module is concerned with the development and nature of strategic thinking in the nuclear age.


The module involves a consideration of: the nature, concerns and problems of strategic studies; the relationship between strategy and its social contexts; deterrence and nuclear strategy; the post-Cold War development of strategic relations.


The module discusses the differences and similarities between nuclear and pre-nuclear strategy. After examining different strategic theories, it goes on to discuss the evolution of nuclear strategies and capabilities, questions surrounding proliferation, the impact of new technologies upon strategic relations, and new and emerging forms and structures of conflict.

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 course, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills. Ins lectures, students will develop listening and note-taking skills, as well as analytic skills. In seminars, case- and problem-based scenarios will allow students to develop their analytic and debating skills, as well as enhancing teamwork capacities and presentational abilities. 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
Lawrence Freedman The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy 2nd.


This module is at CQFW Level 6