Security Studies

Module titleSecurity Studies
Module codePOL2057
Academic year2019/0
Credits15
Module staff

Dr John Heathershaw (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

300

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will introduce you to the study of war and the use of force in world politics. It explores three schools of thought (strategic studies, contemporary security studies and peace studies) and examine the theories and concepts they deploy to understand contemporary conflict. Moreover, it will examine cases of political violence and address current issues relating to strategy, security and peace. The module will focus first on strategic studies and the pursuit or order and national security including nuclear weapons and the arms trade.  It goes on to look at security more broadly in terms of new approaches to the concept of security, the problem of terrorism and counter-terrorism, and the idea and practice of human security. It finally considers peace studies and international interventions to end conflict including peacekeeping, peace-building and the theory and practice of non-violence. The module provides a broad survey of strategy, security and peace which will provide a basis for more detailed studies at Level 3 and in undergraduate and postgraduate research.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will introduce you to the study of war and the use of force in world politics. It will explore three schools of thought (strategic studies, contemporary security studies and peace studies) and examine the theories and concepts they deploy to understand contemporary conflict. Moreover, it will examine cases of political violence and address current issues relating to strategy, security and peace. The module will focus first on strategic studies and the pursuit or order and national security, before going on to look at (international) security more broadly and the old and new concerns it raises, and then finally considering peace and international interventions to end conflict. The module provides a broad survey of strategy, security and peace which will provide a basis for more detailed studies at Level 3 and in undergraduate and postgraduate research.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate knowledge of a specific case of conflict with regard to the following schools of thought: strategic studies, contemporary security studies and peace studies;
  • 2. situate this knowledge critically with respect to the other schools of thought;
  • 3. understand how these concepts and cases inform our study of the general field of International Relations;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. critically analyse secondary source material including audio-visual material in the field of politics;
  • 5. understand and use political theory;
  • 6. construct well-structured and rigorous political arguments;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. demonstrate the ability to digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment;
  • 8. demonstrate competence to use the internet and other IT resources.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Introduction:  War, conflict, security: contentious concepts

Part 1:Classical approaches to war, security and conflict: Strategy, geopolitics, and traditional IR theories

Part 2: Contemporary security studies: new theories and new objects in a changing world

Part 3: Crossing disciplinary boundaries: security through the lens of Economics and Psychology

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
26.5123.5

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity16.511 x 1.5 hour lectures. Subject knowledge will be communicated in lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity1010 x 1 hour tutorials - subject knowledge will be developed through tutorial discussion and group worksheets prepared in advance
Guided Independent study14Worksheet preparation
Guided Independent study109.5Weekly reading, essay reading and writing, exam revision

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
7 xTutorial worksheetsTwo page A4 worksheets1-2, 4, 7-8Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
33670

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination671.5 hours1-7Written
Essay331,500 words1-8Written

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExamination (1.5 hours)1-7August/September assessment period
EssayEssay (1,500 words)1-8August/September assessment period

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The core textbook for this module is:

Contemporary security studies. Edited by Alan Collins. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Second edition.

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Other materials will be identified by the module convener in lectures, tutorials and via ELE.

Key words search

Security, Studies, Politics, terrorism, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

5

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

01/10/10

Last revision date

20/02/12