From Bombs to Algorithms: Science, Technologies, and Global Insecurity (016IRS)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

You will critically interrogate the entanglements of science and technology with war and security.

You will first learn about science and technology studies (STS) concepts, to understand the co-production of science, technology, security and war. You will also learn about social scientific tools to analyse the techno-security politics.

You will then focus on cases where these entanglements will be discussed with concrete examples, including:

  • the development nuclear weapons
  • the evolution of biological weapons and biological disarmament
  • the politics of dual-use research
  • artificial intelligence and imaginaries of “smart wars”
  • disinformation and democracy in cyberspace
  • big data
  • surveillance.


100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 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 2024/25. 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: