What is War (L2072S)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

You will gain an advanced understanding of the place of war in the political world. What is war and how, if at all, is it different from other forms of violence? What is the relationship between war and politics? We will ask what war is and then investigate its relation to the fields of ethics, gender, sexuality, and culture. You will then use this knowledge to investigate specific forms of warfare, including genocide as a war of annihilation, insurgency/guerrilla warfare, and counterinsurgency. We conclude by addressing anti-war activism and related forms of civil disobedience as alternatives to war. You are provided with an advanced knowledge and analytical skills that will help you to think, talk, and write in an informed and critical manner about war.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 36 hours of contact time and about 264 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, there may be changes to this module in response to COVID-19, or due to 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.

It may not be possible to take some module combinations due to timetabling constraints. The structure of some courses means that the modules you choose first may determine whether later modules are core or optional.


This module is offered on the following courses: