Strategic Studies

School: School of Government and Society
Department of Political Science and International Studies

Modular value: 40 credits
Duration: All Year
Teaching: By lecture and seminar 2 hours per week

The Strategic Studies module provides students with a comprehensive introduction to debates about the threat, use and management of military force in international relations. It locates strategic studies in broader international relations and security studies debates whilst exploring core concepts such as the causes of war; the legality of the use of force; the role of land, sea and air power; deterrence; coercive diplomacy; weapons of mass destruction; and arms control. 

The module also explores changing perspectives on warfare and in particular the legacy of major thinkers on the utility of military force throughout history examining the influence of major thinkers such as Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and Mahan. It also explores the dynamics influencing the changing character of warfare, including such factors as technological, social and political change, as well as the role of military organizations and military and political leaders. This element of the course looks at the implications of the changing character of warfare, new wars, irregular warfare and terrorism for the threat, use, and management of military force in the 21st century.

On completion of the course the student will have developed better research and analytic skills, an understanding of the wide-ranging nature of strategic studies, an appreciation of the historical importance of strategic issues, and an insight into future problems and debates that will effect the stability of the 21st century world order.


  • 2 essays 50%
  • 3 hour examination 50%

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.