AHM001-Studying Leadership, Strategic Studies, and International Relations

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Commissioning Course (CC)
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 MSc 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 a master’s 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 identify the key political actors on the international stage and analyse and assess their aims and practices in relation to British foreign and defence policy and Army doctrine.

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

Assessable learning 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.

  • To reflect on their own awareness of their competence in study skills.

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

  • To deploy a range of study skill s, especially those relating to the reading and appraising course materials, and the planning and execution of written assessments.

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

  • To 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.

  • To develop a broader understanding of the nature and development of the international system, the central actors within this, and the contemporary issues that are studied today such as state security and international organisations.

Additional outcomes:

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

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

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

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

  • To 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.

  • To develop knowledge of different theories on strategic studies and reflect upon how these offer the basis for structured thinking on British foreign and defence policy.

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

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

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

  • To 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:

  • Introduction to Study Skills – understanding how to prepare for and develop your on-line study, to capture reflections, to read academic material and to write in an academic style

  • Introduction to Leadership including understanding of the key theoretical underpinnings of leadership theory and how you will apply this during the re mainder of the degree programme

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

  • The historical evolution of the international system, the development of the various state and non-state actors within this, and Britain’s relationship with these.

  • Current issues and themes in strategic studies and international relations such a s the role of the state, threats to state security, international organisations, and the ethical and moral constraints on the use of force in international politics.

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.  An on-line tutor will support students as they work through the content.   The on-line tutor will ensure students cover the key topics from the syllabus with a range of case material and exercises for group activity and fac ilitated on-line discussion both synchronous and asynchronous.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 40
Work-based learning 40
Guided independent study: 120
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 100

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

Summative assessment- Examinations:

No examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written assignment, including essay - 95%

Participation (referred to as oral assessment in the above table)  - 5%

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:

Module pass mark of 50%

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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