Why study this course

Alongside studying the history of warfare, you’ll also investigate and examine the many social and cultural impacts of conflict.

Lincolnshire is known as ‘Bomber County’ for its RAF heritage and role during the Second World War, making it a perfect and unique place to study military history.

You will be inspired by research active lecturers within the classroom and beyond by learning about military history on location at a range of historic military sites from battlefields to secret Cold War bunkers.

Important employability skills feature throughout the course with a strong focus on developing independent research skills and the ability to construct and defend thought provoking arguments

Course summary

This exciting course reviews the evidence for conflict from the medieval period through to the present day across a breadth of geographical situations. Armed conflict has shaped states, societies and economies from ancient times through to the present day. The study of military history is a fascinating topic and includes much more than learning just about weapons and battles. Taking this course will help you to develop an understanding of the wider social, ethical and political contexts of warfare.

Key facts


BA (Hons)

UCAS code



3 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

Although questions of technological advances are important, the study of military history is more than just learning about weapons and battles. Our Military History programme is designed to offer you a course of critical historical study with a significant focus on the scope and chronological development, experience and impact of conflict from the medieval period through to the present day and across a breadth of geographical situations. It aims to equip you with a range of critical and analytical skills through a wide-ranging study of the incidence, formation and operation of military institutions and organizational structures in naval, land-based, airborne and civilian contexts.

The course will engage you in understanding the wider social, ethical and political context of war. You will engage in real historical research, working side-by-side with members of academic staff and also during your final year when working on your personal research-based dissertation. You will gain skills that will help you to research and analyse sources and data, and to construct and defend thought provoking arguments.

You will encounter a wider variety of historical study as you participate in modules, and in learning activities shared by students following other history-based pathways, including our pre-existing single honours History programme. The significant focus on Military History is enhanced during the final year of study through a Special Subject module and a personal research-based dissertation.

During the course of your studies you will study modules which are designed to engage you in a broad survey of the academic character and identity of military history, along with exploring the wide range and origins of historical sources. You will also use a range of case-studies to introduce yourself to the practice of military history from the medieval to modern periods, with modules designed to deepen your understanding of specific approaches to historical study and widen your area of historical knowledge beyond Britain.

Military History Course Booklet

Keep up to date with the latest news and activities of the department by following us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BGUMilitaryHist

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

This module serves as an introduction to the subject of history, offering a snapshot of some of the themes covered in subsequent modules. You will consider key areas of theory and practice in history, such as the significance of different schools of historical thought, key source types and popular interpretative approaches.

This module explores the specific definitions of military history and considers the various approaches historians have taken to this field of study. There will be a focus on the relationship between theory and practice in the context of studying military operations, with reference to historical case studies exploring organisational and operational excellence, and reform in a variety of situations including military and conflict situations at sea, on land, and in the air.

Throughout history, land battles have won wars, redrawn geographical borders, removed royal monarchs and political leaders, and influenced the spread of culture. A range of case studies from the Battle of Hastings, the Battle of Lincoln, Agincourt, to Waterloo and the Somme, will explore the changing face of battle for those who fought and their interaction with civilians, alongside developments in tactics and weaponry, recruitment, organisation, discipline, logistics and morale.

Students taking this module will survey the history of interwar Britain. The module will consider various political, social, cultural and economic perspectives, as well as different interpretations in the historical literature. A particular focus will be the experience of everyday life contrasting unemployment, poverty and depression with higher living standards and the growth of leisure activities from cinema going to professional football.

The module will consider various political, social, cultural and economic perspectives of a transitional and turbulent period of English history. You will consider important social structures and lifecycles, the nature of kingship, the role of the church, challenges to and the decline of feudalism, medieval warfare, and the development of towns as centres of learning and trade.

You will study the chronological development of early modern Britain from Henry VIII to the English Civil Wars. The module will explicitly examine reformation and religious change, the rise of parliament and the state, radical politics and revolutionary change, the impact of print culture, the English Civil War, and the role played by towns, and especially London, as drivers of economic, social and cultural change.

This module will introduce the key events, themes and characters of the US Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War. You will explore different elements of the Civil Rights Movement, including the black, women and gay rights movements, how these overlapped with the workers’ rights struggle and ultimately affected the national political landscape. This module will also enable you to appreciate the impact the war in Vietnam had on American society, culture and politics.

This module will investigate the evolution of the concept of just war and just war theory through the practical application of the ethics of war to a broad range of historical case studies drawn from the medieval to the modern world. Consideration will be given to the social, cultural and political dimensions of ethical decision-making in relation to war and combat at a national, institutional and personal level.

This module will explore the changing character and function of European armies and navies during the period 1750 to 1914. The module will consider the development of regimental and naval organisational structures, issues of command and communications, battle strategies and technological developments. The varying approaches taken by governments to the administration of armed forces during periods of war and peace will also be critically reviewed.

Through a wide-ranging social historical approach, this module will advance your knowledge and understanding of the history of the civilian wartime experience in Britain during the Second World War. You will consider the administrative and bureaucratic structures put in place to manage wartime life and the social response to this. Everyday concerns will be reviewed, such as news and censorship, home defence, food supply, housing, education and coping with death.

The module will explore the evolution of modern British espionage throughout the twentieth century. It will include a critical discussion of the historiographical issues related to the study of intelligence history, focusing on a number of case studies drawn from: Britain’s culture of secrecy, the 1911 Official Secrets Act, the growth of MI5 and MI6, the Abdication Crisis of 1936, Ultra, the Cambridge Five, The Profumo Affair, the role of women, international relations, and the popular culture of espionage.

You will embark on a voyage of discovery into the Atlantic World of the 17th and 18th centuries. Through a critical review of cutting edge historiographical debates and a variety of primary source material students will analyse the history of the Atlantic World, with a particular focus on the English-speaking colonies of the Caribbean and North America. This module will provide an opportunity to examine a range of key themes from the trans-Atlantic slave trade, pirates in the Caribbean and European state rivalry, to the revolutionary change in social, cultural and religious identities as a result of the Atlantic experience.

This module provides you with an experience of the world of work in the form of a placement, work experience or a project with employer involvement. It enables you to apply knowledge and skills in a real-life context offering you a valuable experience to draw on when you present yourself to employers upon graduation. The module also reviews the nature of public history and in particular the relationship between heritage practitioners and popular history.

This module examines the historical development of air warfare from the use of motorised flight during the First World War through to the contemporary use of drones. The module considers the impact that an ‘aerial view’ had on battle field management from the mid-19th century onwards, first with balloons and later the vital role played by aerial photography during the Second World War. The use of aircraft as weapons, either through the concept of ‘air-power’ or to take war to civilian populations will also be reviewed. The organisational challenges of developing a novel fighting force in a new theatre of combat will also be explored.

During this module you will have the opportunity to draw upon staff research specialisms to take an in-depth, critical and complex approach to a theme or topic. By way of example such Special Subjects might include: ‘The French Revolution: Liberty, terror, warfare and the origins of modernity’, or ‘The Secret War: British Intelligence during the Second World War’.

The focus of this module is the global and expansionist nature of British Empire between the American Revolution and the First World War. Students will examine the impact of British power, money and culture on indigenous peoples and societies with whom they came into contact and who responded with a mixture of adaptation, co-operation and resistance. In turn, you will examine the ways in which British society and culture were transformed by the imperial experience. You will be expected to engage in historiographical debates about the nature of the British Empire, its origins, purpose, meaning and legacies.

During this module, you will undertake a wide-ranging critical study of the political, social and cultural chronology of the Cold War from a number of differing geo-political perspectives including that of Great Britain and other European nations as well as the USA and USSR. The module will give significant focus to the conquest of space as a specific element of both Cold War politics and later 20th century social, technological and cultural change.

In this module, you are required to undertake a research-based project, drawing on academic advice as well as your own interests and intellectual skills, to produce a substantial written dissertation. You will conduct your research by addressing self-formulated questions, supported by the critical selection, evaluation and analysis of primary and secondary source material. By these means they devise and sustain a core argument, and/or solve relevant historical problems, to support the premise of their research question. The guiding role of the supervisor means that you will be empowered to develop their intellectual and transferable skills of initiative and responsibility

Entry requirements

You will normally need 96-112 UCAS tariff points (from a maximum of four Advanced Level qualifications). We welcome a range of qualifications that meet this requirement, such as A/AS Levels, BTEC, Access Courses, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Pre-U, Extended Project etc.

However this list is not exhaustive – please click here for details of all qualifications in the UCAS tariff.

To find out more about the international application process including English Language requirements, please visit bishopg.ac.uk/apply-now/international

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).

How you will be taught

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study within many courses at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.


In Military History, a variety of assessment methods are used, which include essays, reports, presentations and written tests. We support you in this work through a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops and a wide range of field visits. History is primarily a written subject and consequently much of the assessment of the course is based on essays and reports. There are a few exams, which often include analysis of provided source material, either text or images. There are also a smaller number of oral presentations and the production of portfolios of research material.

Careers & Further study

The study of Military History teaches you how to assemble and assess evidence from a wide range of sources – archival and digital, textual and visual. It teaches transferable skills in the analysis of data and the robust construction of arguments using critical reasoning supported by evidence. This course will equip you with a wide range of critical and analytical skills through the in-depth study of the incidence, formation and operation of military institutions and organisational structures in naval, land-based, airborne and civilian contexts. Possible future careers for Military History graduates may include serving as an Armed Forces Officer, Intelligence Officer, within the civil service or security and policing, law and public policy, information research and management, journalism and publishing, or education.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2022 entry, the application fee is £22 for a single choice, or £26.50 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.

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