AHM003-Contemporary Strategic Studies and International Relations

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 15 [7.5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites: AHM002 Developing Leadership in Others and AHM001 Studying Leadership Strategic Studies and International Relations
Non-modular pre-requisites: JOLP3, JOTAC, MA(A)
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Vladimir Rauta
Email: v.rauta@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

AHEP online module

Summary module description:


This module is run by SPEIR.

This module explores contemporary debates in the fields of Strategic Studies and International Relations, placing a particular emphasis on their theoretical and conceptual underpinnings.  Focusing on developments in the academic understanding of war and strategy, it aims to deepen students’ understanding of the contemporary global strategic environment.  Throughout the module students are encouraged to think critically about the use and limitation of evidence and the ways in which this helps to inform structured thinking about strategy and international relations.


The module aims to:

  • Develop knowledge of debates within Strategic Studies and International Relations about the different types of war – inter and intra state;

  • Develop understanding of a range of theories and concepts which may inform a critical understanding of the contemporary strategic environment, such as proxy wars and hybrid warfare;

  • Develop students’ capacity to engage in conceptually and theoretically-informed thinking about war and strategy;

  • Enable students to articulate a clear understanding of the contemporary strategic environment, the UK’s place within it, and the implications for the Army;

  • Cultivate the critical skills, awareness, and understanding necessary to recognize, evaluate, and explain current and future developments in global security, war, and strategy.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

  • Knowledge of a range of theoretical and conceptual debates in Strategic Studies and International Relations and how they inform understanding of war and strategy;

  • Understanding of central features of the contemporary global strategic environment;

  • Appreciation of a range of perspectives on the changing character of war and strategy;

  • An ability to analyse, evaluate, and explain contemporary strategic developments;

  • An ability to reflect critically on the possible implications, for the Army, of developments in the global strategic environment and of academic debates about these developments.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to:

  • Develop students’ ability to think critically about the uses and limitations of evidence in relation to war and strategy;

  • Develop an appreciation of different ways of approaching Strategic Studies and International Relations, and of their strengths and weaknesses;

  • Develop the knowledge and skills required to undertake an extended research project related to war and strategy in the broader context of the MSc pathway.

Outline content:

The module explores a range of topics designed to build on and further develop students’ existing understanding of contemporary debates in Strategic Studies and International Relations.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Students are required to:

  • Work through a series of on-line teaching materials, including slides, videos, and practical activities;

  • Read extensively from the supporting literature;

  • Reflect on the module content and readings individually and through contributions to online discussion fora;

  • Complete a variety of formative on-line tests and exercises that assess knowledge of the module material;

  • Compl ete summative assignments on various aspects of the module. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Tutorials 12
Guided independent study: 126
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 150

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Portfolio 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

No examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Academic Essay (3000 words) - 50%

Short Research Paper with accompanying video Reflective Component (referred as Portfolio in the above table) - 50%

Formative assessment methods:

These may include:

  • Formative essay

  • Quizzes and multiple choice questions

  • Discussion fora

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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