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Intelligence in War and Peace (Module)

Module description

  • Induction and Orientation module
  • If studying War in the Modern World you must also complete History of Contemporary Warfare 1: the early Cold War, 1945–1975 and History of Contemporary Warfare 2: from Cold War to War on Terror, 1975-2011.
  • If studying International Relations and Contemporary War, you must also complete International Relations and Contemporary War 1: Theories and Concepts and International Relations and Contemporary War 2: Problems and Issues.

Study units

  • Understanding Intelligence
  • Evolution and Organization
  • The Intelligence Analyst and the Policy Maker
  • Intelligence and War
  • Intelligence and Counter-insurgency


Intelligence in War and Peace explores the complexities and difficulties of using intelligence in war and outside war. It is not explicitly a history of intelligence use, but rather incorporates study of various intelligence theories, as well as how intelligence failures occur and how they might be avoided. It deals with practical issues of intelligence analysis, explores intelligence organisation in the Western world over the last 60 years, and examines how the use of intelligence in conventional and unconventional warfare has changed in this period. The module explores a range of themes, from cognitive dissonance and other practical problems of intelligence analysis, to the history of the evolution of intelligence organisation in Britain and the USA since 1945. It explores the use of intelligence in peacetime, including national security and counter-terrorism. The use of intelligence in war is also explored in a thematic fashion. Intelligence has been and will continue to be an important force-multiplier in conventional warfare, and new technology is increasing its value. However, in counterinsurgency, high-tech means of intelligence collection is partnered with more conventional approaches, focusing on the attainment of cultural, social and demographic intelligence.

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

One-term course, 1 x 11 weeks

Module assessment - more information

All War Studies Online modules are 20-credit modules and will be assessed by:

  • 1 x 1500-word short essay
  • 1 x 3000-word long essay
  • In addition you will be assessed on participation within the discussions

Key information

Module code 7SSWM199

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 20 credits

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No