The Arms Trade and Global (In)securities (L7095A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Weapons – from fighter jets to firearms – are used in human rights abuses, violations of international law, gender-based violence in places and spaces as diverse as the wars in Yemen and Syria, femicide in Mexico, police and intimate partner violence in the USA, occupation in Kashmir and Palestine, and corruption in the UK.

This module examines the arms trade with a view to understanding its role in contemporary global (in)securities. We will:

  • explore global patterns of arms production, looking at the countries, companies and other actors involved in the legal and illicit trade
  • examine patterns of arms transfers: who supplies what weapons, where –and with what effects?
  • assess contemporary efforts at the regulation of the arms trade, such as the UN Arms Trade Treaty – where do these control regimes come from, and what politics do they embody?


100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Presentation)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

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.

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 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: