Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2082: The Changing Character of Warfare

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Aims

Without shying away from the conceptual and political challenges of thinking about armed conflict, this module will aim to:

  • Introduce you to the practical and operational realities faced by decision-makers and actors that have dealt with the conventional and sub-conventional warfare challenges since the end of the Cold War;

  • Enable you to analyse, by looking at earlier or more current conflicts, how state and non-state actors have gone about fighting in them;

  • Enable you to examine how Western militaries have adopted new modes of operational thinking, structures, and postures often as result of their military culture, organizational biases, and societal pressures and also as a reaction to the asymmetric challenges that they have increasingly confronted as a result of their conventional military superiority;

  • Enable you to explore in particular the problems and challenges stemming from the growing trend of military intervention in international relations, and the conduct of the ‘Global War on Terror’.

  • Provide you with a basis for further graduate study and post-graduate study in defence and security, or for a career in government, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, media, or the security forces.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of warfare and its evolving characteristics.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the evolving nature of civil-military and military-societal relations in Western states.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the developing attributes of the “Western way of warfare” and their effect on those challenging the “Western way of warfare” thinking and praxis.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of the growing asymmetric challenges confronted by Western states and the way that these have reacted to such challenges from the societal, operational and organizational perspectives.
Discipline-Specific Skills5. Examine secondary and primary source material in the field of war and conflict studies.
6. Demonstrate awareness of the key concepts and debates relating to the study of war and its changing character.
7. Evaluate competing conceptions and theories of warfare.
Personal and Key Skills8. Study independently and manage time and assessment deadlines effectively.
9. Communicate effectively in speech and writing.
10. Demonstrate analytical skills through tutorial discussions and module assessments.
11. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of the internet, online journal databases and other IT resources for the purposes of tutorial and assessment preparation.
12. Work independently, within a limited time frame, and without access to external sources, to complete a specified task.