Battles, Conflicts and their Legacies HIST5088

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will provide an overview of approaches to the study of war with particular emphasis on strategic theory and operational art. It will emphasise the linkages between technological change, the evolution of military thought, and the changing threat environment.


Twice weekly 2 hour seminars, normally Tuesdays and Thursdays 15.00 - 17.00.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.


one 1,000-word seminar paper (20% of the student's mark)

one 4,000-word essay (80% of the student's mark).

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to the nature of some of the key engagements in Western history from the medieval period to the 20th century, and their tactical, strategic, military and cultural contexts.

■ engage students with debates surrounding the political and cultural legacies of these battles, and their often contested memorialization

■ develop students' critical engagement with a range of primary sources and secondary scholarship and historical debate.


Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Possess a developed understanding of the major changes and develops in the practice of western warfare from the medieval period to the twentieth century

■ Evaluate historical ideas on western warfare from a number of different periods, nations and historical perspectives.

■ Bring a wide comparative knowledge of the cultural and political legacies of key engagements to an enhanced study of conflicts present and past.

■ Engage with enhanced critical ability a range of different forms of primary sources and historical debate


■ Integrate major trends in Western warfare to create informed, interesting and persuasive presentations and essays.

■ Have a developed ability to produce written work demonstrating critical analysis, focused argument and coherent expression, commensurate with assessment criteria expected at the Masters level.

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.