War and Empire (916V1)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

The modern world has been made and remade by wars and empires. And although we might like to think of ourselves as more peaceful than our predecessors, the international realm is still riven by animosity and tension between global powers.

This module focuses on historical conceptions of warfare and its relationship with the creation and maintenance of empires from antiquity to the twentieth century.

With a focus on intellectual history and the history of international thought, you will examine key episodes of military and imperial conflict as well as intellectual justifications and criticisms of imperial order, in both European and extra-European settings.

Some of the crucial themes covered in the module include:

  • the rise and fall of empires
  • theories of perpetual peace
  • the idea of universal monarchy
  • global perspectives on empire and the rise of the West.

You will be introduced to some recent historiographical and methodological developments (e.g. the international turn in intellectual history) and will be encouraged to consider how we should write the history of war and empire.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.