AH2B01-Studying Leadership, Strategic Studies, and International Relations

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Satisfactory completion of the Army Commissioning Course, RMAS
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Sinem Bulkan
Email: s.bulkan@henley.ac.uk

Type of module:


Summary module description:


This module is run jointly by LOB and SPEIR.

The SPEIR Module Convenor is Dr Graham O'Dwyer (g.m.odwyer@reading.ac.uk)  

The module introduces students to the core themes, theories, and study skills in the fields of Leadership, Strategic Studies, and International Relations and in doing so equips students with the relevant skills required for engagement with subsequent academic modules. It examines the diverse range of perspectives, theories, and topics on leadership, strategic studies, and international relations and serves to complement the learning experiences of the Commissioning Course at the start of Career Stage One. Hence the overriding rationale of the module is to ‘bridge’ learning undertaken on the Commissioning Course and to prepare students for subsequent academic modules that explore more complex theories and principles of leadership and the theoretical underpinnings needed to critique and enhance existing Army doctrine and British foreign policy in a wider sense.


To introduce students to the academic study of leadership, strategic studies, and international Relations and to develop student competency in the specialised study skills, theories, methodologies, and evidence-based learning required for progression on the BSc in Leadership and Strategic Studies. The module also introduces students to the key themes, central issues, and core concepts in contemporary leadership, strategic studies, and international relations in a broader sense.


The key objectives are:

  • To set the overall tone and rationale of the programme and its approach to learning within an on-line environment.

  • To demonstrate the key requirements of an undergraduate programme for study skills, including understanding, academic reading, academic writing, and structuring academic work.

  • To develop critical and analytical skills required for structured thought through engagement with a diverse and demanding range of literature and to demonstrate these skills in academic writing.

  • To develop student understanding of the academic study of leadership and its practical application in a professional, military setting.

  • To provide an overview of the major theories, concepts, and issues in contemporary strategic studies and international relations and to think critically about the uses and limitations of the evidence employed to explore this.

  • To familiarise students with the academic, administrative and technical support available to them on the programme.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Intended learning outcomes:

Assessable outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to demonstrate their ability to:

  • Develop a structured approach to reading course materials, academic articles, and seminal texts.

  • Reflect on their own awareness of their competence in study skills.

  • Review and reflect upon personal strengths and weaknesses and identify how to develop as an independent learner.

  • Deploy a range of study skills, especially those relating to the reading and appraising course materials, and the planning and execution of written assessments.

  • Develop knowledge of the academic study of Leadership and understand its practical application.

  • Develop broad knowledge of the theories and concepts of strategic studies and international relations and demonstrate how these enable structured thinking about the international system, Britain’s role within this, and critiques of British foreign policy and Army doctrine.

Additional outcomes:

  • Take appropriate and effective use of different approaches to the key subject areas.

  • Identify the key leadership resources required to take an organisation forward.

  • Understand and develop one’s own and others’ leadership responsiveness capability.

  • Develop leadership capability through knowledge and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of leaders.

  • Demonstrate the ability to compare, contrast and critique theoretical works in the fields of leadership, strategic studies, and international relations and apply this to contemporary examples.

  • Develop knowledge of different theories on International Relations and reflect upon how these offer the basis for structured thinking on British foreign and defence policy.

  • Develop critical and reflective thinking, effective and independent use of academic sources, and develop the ability to offer coherent and rigorous argumentation.

  • Examine the current nature and context of international affairs and relate these to the role of a contemporary Army Officer.

  • Understand the relationship between the overall professional environment, the need to become a leader, and to lead others in order to achieve overall objectives.

  • Demonstrate through personal behaviours, the attributes appropriate to leading in an ethical and authentic manner, both as an individual and when working as a group.

Outline content:

The following content is indicative and may be subject to minor changes but will broadly address the following:

  • The ability to undertake study at Bachelor’s level, including sourcing and assimilation of appropriate materials, critical evaluation of these materials, understanding the different levels of importance in theory and practice and the essential elements of academic writing.

  • The central theories and concepts of leadership required to develop complex, structured thought on the role of leadership, its difference from management, leading others, the importance of diversity, leading change and reflecting on one’s own leadership practice.

  • The central theories and concepts of strategic studies and international relations required to develop complex, structured thought on Britain’s role in the world.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The content is delivered on-line in a guided self-study format with directions to associated content, textbooks and journal articles.  The module is structured around key readings and other sources, with a series of practical activities for each topic.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Work-based learning 60
Guided independent study: 140
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 95
Portfolio 0
Set exercise 5

Summative assessment- Examinations:

No examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Practice applications supported by on-line tutor.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the arrangements as laid out in the programme guide.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

The assignment must achieve a pass mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

These are in accordance with the arrangements for resubmission as laid out in the programme guide.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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