Skip navigation to content

IR4540 The Changing Character of War

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Planned timetable:2.00 pm Mon

The aim of this module is to discuss change and continuity in the theory and practice of war. The module is organised along historical instances and phases of war over the past two decades. Starting with the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the module will consider major events in the history of war such as the two world wars and the Cold War. It discusses to what extent terrorism and humanitarian intervention present new forms of war. Each session will analyse change and continuity regarding four thematic areas: strategic thought and practice, technology, socio-political conditions and cultural representations of war. The module is intended to give students a nuanced overview of major developments in the theory and practice of war and hence to enable them to discuss contemporary security issues from a historically well-informed perspective.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for International Relations and BA (Intl Hons) International Relations

UG Pre-requisite(s):IR2005 and IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 20
  • Guided independent study: 280

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr L Middup
Module teaching staff:Dr L Middup