War Studies Core Course: Battles, Conflicts and their Legacies HIST5069

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This team-taught War Studies core course examines the evolution of warfare and armed conflict from the perspectives of theory, practice, and representation. It does so by exploring a range of historical case studies that will cover different periods, nations and/or empires, and contexts. The focus is on warfare as practiced in the western world, though some of the case studies here also highlight engagements that have involved confrontations between western and non-western actors. Each case study will highlight one important battle, broadly defined, that will then be examined from a variety of perspectives and using different approaches.


2x2hr seminars per week over 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses





One 5,000-word essay (50%)

Two presentations each with a 1,200-word written version (25% each)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ enable students to analyse the changing nature of warfare through the study of important battles;

■ give students the opportunity to explore the factors that drove those changes;

■ investigate the impact key battles and wars have had on strategic thought, international relations, and society as well as the ways these battles and wars have been remembered and depicted in culture;

■ encourage students to think conceptually and theoretically whilst dealing with specific historical case studies;

■ give students the opportunity to approach a given case study from different vantage points and disciplinary approaches;

■ give students the opportunity to hone their research, writing, and presentation skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the core course the student will be able to:

■ Exhibit knowledge of some of the most important developments in western warfare both in theory and in practice.

■ Evaluate historical ideas on western warfare from a number of different periods, goegraphical contexts and historical perspective.

■ Integrate primary sources and secondary material within informed, interesting and persuasive presentations and essays.

■ Write essays consistent with work at the post-graduate level.

■ Progress through the subsequent elements of the MSc in War Studies.

■ Prepare for further postgraduate work of an advanced kind.

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.

This requirements comes from the University's Code of Assessment for Undergraduate & Taught Postgraduate programmes.