Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Comparative Approaches to Warfare and Violent Conflict HIST5088

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus 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

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 study the key theories, themes, and concepts of western strategic thought in historical perspective.

To provide students with a broad overview of the evolution of western strategic thought

To provide students with a greater understanding of the changing nature of violent human conflict.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Apply their knowledge of some of the most important theoretical developments in western warfare, and how these different theories fared when they were put into practice

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

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

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