Modern Britain at War: From Rorke's Drift to Port Stanley HIST4186

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Focusing largely on conflicts involving the British Army but encompassing a global context, this course will explore the history of modern warfare from the late 19th century to the late 20th century.


Two one-hour sessions per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University 's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,000 words) - 20%

Seminar paper (800 words) - 6%

Seminar presentation of 10 minutes and seminar participation - 4%

Examination (2-hour duration) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ develop the intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired during their first two years;

■ study previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options;

■ develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness;

■ introduce complex historical debates and interpretations, to develop skills in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research;

■ develop transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ assess British military history between the nineteenth and the late twentieth century and its place in European and world history.

■ identify the changes in military structures and technologies which took place over this period and the role that they have played in defining the outcomes of the various conflicts.

■ analyse constructively the primary source material, defined as consisting of both documentary sources (including newspaper journalism and other popular media) and material culture, critique primary sources, and assess the validity of historians' opinions on the basis of the secondary literature.

■ identify the contribution that non-standard techniques such as archaeology and landscape studies can bring to the study of this period.

■ present relevant analysis in unambiguous, concise and effective prose, incorporating a range of substantiating evidence in essays, seminar papers, and a written exam.

■ lead and participate in seminar discussions devoted to selected primary and secondary sources, and in delivering analysis clearly and effectively in oral presentations and in group discussion.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.