You will study six core modules before completing your dissertation, which will be based on a substantial and sustained investigation of an historical problem – of your choice – relating to the First World War, undertaken in the light of current knowledge and after an analysis of available primary material. You will receive one-to-one advice and supervision from an expert in your chosen field.
The core modules are as follows:
Brass Hats and Frock Coats: British Strategy in the Great War
The module will analyse the determinants of British strategy during the First World War, paying particular attention to historical, political, economic and diplomatic factors. It also explores the evolution of British strategy under the discipline of events, including the divisions that this produced among the political and military high command. It also looks at the conditions and difficulties of coalition warfare and the extent to which British war aims were fulfilled at the Paris peace conference.
Operational Development in the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front, 1914-1918
The module will analyse the methods the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front used to plan and execute battles and how these methods changed over time. Particular attention will be given to the evolution of C3I (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence), weapons systems and doctrine.
Training, Tactics and Technology in the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front, 1914-1918
The module will analyse the recruitment, training and tactical development of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front during the First World War. Particular attention will be paid to the period of voluntary recruitment (August 1914-January 1916) and the introduction of conscription, the British army’s pre-war and wartime methods of training and tactical preparation, and the impact of new technologies on training, tactics and weapons systems.
Bullets and Billets: The British Experience of the First World War
This module analyses the war experience of different groups and classes including the combat soldier and his officer, the military commander, the civilian and women. Particular attention will be paid to issues of discipline, morale and dissent, and their management.
Research Skills: Methodology and Sources
This module introduces you to the historiography of the First World War and to a variety of different research methodologies and research sources. A series of case-studies will focus on key research sources (published and unpublished) for the British experience of the First World War, including: the Official History; the diaries, memoirs, letters and autobiographies of contemporary actors; archival sources, especially the National Archives of the United Kingdom: Public Record Office.
Research Skills: Dissertation Preparation
The module introduces you to the techniques necessary for the location of literature and sources relevant to your dissertation research. You will become familiar with the relevant bibliographical aids for the location of secondary and primary sources, and will be introduced to a range of libraries, archives and data sources.