Over the last century, air power has proved to be one of the most complex and fascinating forms of military capability. It is full of contradictions and controversies. Its reach and versatility make it the most desirable of components; its lack of permanency equally offers real flexibility, but also potential drawbacks. Some issues, such as the strategic bombing of Germany continue to promote ‘savage’ debate. And much has been made of the rhetoric, and of the consequences, of warfare in the third dimension. This exciting MA programme provides a unique opportunity to study the theory, history and practice of air power within the context of War Studies.
You will study six core modules (descriptions below)
- Research Skills in Air Power: Methodology and Sources
- The Evolution of Air Power Theory
- Air Power Technology, Tactics and Training
- The Legal, Ethical and Political Dimension of Air Power
- The Experience of Air Warfare
- Research Skills: Dissertation Preparation
Each of the modules is assessed by completion of a 4,000-word essay and you will complete a 15,000-word dissertation at the end of your second year.
By the end of the programme, you will have been exposed to many of the debates and issues surrounding air power. You will be able to couch your ideas in relation to the academic literature and structure your responses. You will have learned the necessary research skills to be able work at Masters level and will be able to consider taking your research further at higher levels.
You will study six core modules:
Research Skills in Air Power: Methodology and Sources
This module will introduce to the various sources of information – some general and some specific to air power. It will cover the literature, secondary sources, contemporary debates and where to find and use primary sources.
The Evolution of Air Power Theory
This module will introduce you to the various theories of strategy before going on to examine the air power strategists. The module will look at the various theories as well as their relevance to practitioners.
Air Power Technology, Tactics and Training
This module will introduce students to the inter-relationship between scientific and technological developments and their impact on training and tactics.
The Legal, Ethical and Political Dimension of Air Power
This module will analyse the development of legal and ethical thinking on the development and utilisation of air power. The module will critically examine the interface between air power and the political arena, how this has developed and what current challenges imply for the future. Possible areas for debate in this field include: how thinking developed on the legality and morality of the strategic bombing campaign in the Second World War; rules of engagement in small wars (air policing on the NW Frontier); and current issues on collateral damage.
The Experience of Air Warfare
This module will examine the wider aspects air warfare and the issues surrounding its application. It includes thought on stress, fatigue and how these problems have been dealt with through history.
Research Skills: Dissertation Preparation
The culmination of your degree programme is the writing of a 15,000-word dissertation, a piece of supervised, but essentially independent, research on a subject of your own choosing. In order for you to undertake this exercise with confidence, the Summer Term module will be devoted to Dissertation Preparation.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:
Home/EU: £3,105 part-time
As this is a part-time programme, the above fee is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.
Learn more about fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme
For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.
A good Honours degree in History or an equivalent discipline. Other professional qualifications comparable to degree standard would also be considered, e.g., an Honours degree or higher degree in a subject other than History, or professional qualifications of degree standard such as law, accountancy, management, or published work in a relevant field. Every submission is considered on its own merits.
Learn more about entry requirements
How to apply
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