KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Strategic Dimensions of Contemporary Warfare (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 on Terror 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

  • Introduction: Strategy and the Art of War
  • What is Strategy?
  • What is War?
  • The Elements of Strategy
  • The Realms of Strategy
  • Contemporary Influences on the Conduct of War


This module examines the broad nature of strategy and its role in the shaping of contemporary warfare. The focus of this module is on what might be termed ‘military’ strategy, however the boundaries between politics and military action, civilian government and military organisations, as well as the influence of economic and social developments, have increasingly eroded clear distinctions. The module begins by looking at how strategy has been understood and evolved into modern times. An important part of this aspect the work of Carl von Clausewitz and its influence on war and warfare is examined. From this foundation we go one to consider the elements of strategy, how it is crafted and by whom. Understanding the character of war and its constituent elements is equally important. To what extent strategy is universal or subject to specific realms or circumstances is discussed by means of contrasting land, maritime and air strategies. Finally we consider the contemporary influences upon strategy caused by technological, political and societal change and what implications this might have on the conduct of future wars.

*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 7SSWM179

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 20 credits

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No