Local Government Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
107 place StudyQA ranking:1910 Duration:36 months You need IELTS certificate

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What is war? Why study it? Why are wars so common? What are they for? What, if anything, do they achieve? How important are technology, leadership and tactics to the outcome of wars? How have combatants (and non-combatants) experienced war and how has this changed over time? How does war affect society and how does society affect war? War Studies explores these questions.
Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, War Studies at Birmingham is based in the large Department of History, which has an outstanding international reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

Career opportunities

This programme equips you with a wide range of knowledge in addition to reasoning and personal skills appropriate for a career in the armed forces, the media or the Civil Service. Your War Studies degree will also be suitable for a career in fields related to historical studies such as libraries, archives and museums.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline None, but early application advised Tuition fee Not specified Start date September 2015 Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
  • English
Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

First year

This represents a foundation year in which core skills and knowledge are acquired and developed. Our interdisciplinary module War, Armed Forces and Society (40 credits) addresses general questions relating to the nature of warfare and considers how war has evolved from ancient times to the present. In addition, War Studies students choose two 20 credit survey modules from either Discovering the Middle Ages and Living in the Middle Ages; or The Making of the Modern World 1500-1815 and The Making of the Contemporary World 1815-2000). Focused on key periods, these are contextual modules that examine fundamental themes and issues and indicate the kinds of questions historians explore in answering them. The aim of Practising History (A): Skills in History(10 credits Autumn semester) and the Practising History (B): Approaches to History (10 credits Spring) is to give War Studies students a firm grounding in the principles, skills and methodologies needed to approach their subject from a historical perspective.

The remaining 20 credits Themes and Areas 1 (the Module Outside Main Discipline) enables War Studies students to choose from an extensive range of modules on offer within the wider University that serve to extend their conceptual training and enhance their knowledge of their discipline. For example, a War Studies student may choose to study philosophy, a social science or a language, or to engage more closely with archaeology or international relations.

Second year

In the second and intermediate year, War Studies students are encouraged to consider and address a diverse set of questions aimed at extending their knowledge and exciting their interest prior to a greater degree of specialisation in their third year. The Rise of Modern War (20 credits), taught in the autumn term, traces the evolution of war in a global context from the early seventeenth century to the late 1800s. In the spring term, Introduction to Strategy and Operational Art (20 credits) studies the work of leading theorists of western war since the Renaissance and examines the intermediate field of military knowledge situated between strategy and tactics. War Studies students also choose a War Studies option for the autumn (Option A) and the spring (Option B) terms (20 credits each). A wide range of options is available which, for 2012-13, included ‘The British Army c.1660-1960’ and ‘Command in War from Napoleon to the Twenty-First Century’.

Group research (20 credits) reinforces research skills being developed elsewhere in the second year and provides a further opportunity for students to engage directly with primary source material; this module also provides students with the invaluable experience of working collaboratively on a common research project.

Lastly, Research Methods (Dissertation Preparation) (20 credits) gives War Studies students first-hand experience of individual research as they learn to identify and frame a valid and intellectually coherent research question for their final year dissertation.

Third year

In the final and advanced year of their undergraduate studies, War Studies students study Writing the History of Warfare (20 credits) which addresses some key figures and newer methodological approaches in the historiography of warfare. The War StudiesAdvanced Option (20 credits), which is studied in the spring term, is chosen from a list of options that in 2012-13 included ‘The United States and World War II’ and ‘Military Revolutions and the Conduct of War, c.1300-1650’.

War Studies students also choose a War Studies Special Subject (40 credits) from a number of available modules, which in 2012-13 ranged from ‘Holy Men, Holy War: The Cistercians and the Crusades’ to ‘The Sharpe End: The British Army and the Defeat of Napoleon’. The Special Subject provides an opportunity to focus more narrowly on a specific area of study and to develop an in-depth understanding of issues and debates in the secondary literature; this module also requires students to engage with primary sources at an advanced level.

War Studies students must also complete an independent piece of research, their War Studies Dissertation (40 credits); this allows War Studies students to showcase the skills gained throughout their undergraduate studies and to deepen their knowledge of a closely defined War Studies subject of their own choice.

English Language Requirements

CAE score : 80(Grade A)

To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you to

take an IELTS test. More About IELTS


Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: ABB

Required subjects and grades: History A level/ Ancient History/ Medieval History

International Baccalaureate: 34 points to include History at Higher Level

Additional information:

Other qualifications are considered

International students:

Standard English language requirements apply: IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band; TOEFL IBT 93

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

Related Scholarships*

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

    "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

  • Access Bursary

    Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

  • Alumni Bursary

    Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than University of Birmingham.

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