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
If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain, the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction to what it means to be a university student and prepares you for effective undergraduate study. In your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary academic skills and knowledge to progress successfully in your chosen subject. You will also engage in a series of bespoke subject sessions delivered by experts, designed to introduce you to your chosen subject area.
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.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
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.
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
As a student on this course, you may study some or all of the modules listed below.
In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practise and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.
You will learn about a range of resources and practise locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.
This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.
Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.
The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Environment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.
This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.
Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models.
Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.
On this module you will be introduced to the early modern British Isles, broadly covering the period from the Reformation of the English Church to the 1688 Revolution. The module will consider political, social, military, cultural and economic perspectives on a transformational period in the history of the British Isles. By taking a survey approach the module will support you as you gain a wider understanding of this period of history. Consideration will be given to, variously, social structures and lifecycles, 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 urban, rural and maritime/imperial development as drivers of change. In summary, you will come to understand why the period is referred to as 'early modern', neither wholly medieval or modern. The module will engage you in the excellent digitised resources available for this period and introduce you to the vibrant historiographical and methodological approaches to explaining changes in the early modern British Isles, as appropriate, and you will learn how to apply these to the research and analysis of this period of history.
This module will introduce you to 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's 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. You will critically analyse developments on the ground in Vietnam and make links between military conflict and the domestic situation, with a view to understanding the role of American masculinity, national identity and anti-communist ideology during this period. Through this study, you will be able to understand the importance of a changing domestic situation on the perception and prosecution of an overseas war.
This module will provide you with an introduction to the First World War focusing on the military, social, and political aspects of the conflict. Emphasis is placed on the global nature of conflict and you will explore how the war developed across different theatres including Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. You will consider the outbreak of the war, the advent of ‘total war’, and the changing nature of warfare between 1914 and 1918. The impact of the war on the state and society will be assessed, focusing on opposition to the war, conscientious objection, and political upheaval. You will be introduced to the key historiographical debates concerning the First World War and consult a range of primary material including official documents, personal testimony, and visual sources.
This module introduces you to the study of history at undergraduate level and is a key part of your transition to university. You will gain an initial understanding of the varied nature of the discipline and the range of approaches to it, introducing key areas of theory and practice covered in subsequent modules in history, such as: the significance of schools of historical thought, key source types and popular interpretative approaches. There will be a focus on some of the key critical and practical skills involved in reading, researching and writing history. The use of an engaging case study will contextualise how historians analyse primary sources and how historians engage with the secondary accounts produced by their colleagues. Introductions to information literacy, academic integrity and a range of study skills, such as the reading of academic texts, will be explicitly embedded within the module. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own study skills, learning strategies and approaches. Taught sessions and assessments will encourage your to express your ideas in written and spoken form through discussion, debate and argument. This module is designed to support your progression through subsequent modules in the subject.
On this module you will study late medieval England - in particular the various roles, occupations and classes of people in Late Medieval England. Through a survey approach, you will examine the changing nature of various aspect of late medieval society, such as kingship, the aristocracy, feudalism, gender, education, literature and drama. The module will introduce you to recent historiographical debates surrounding the nature and transformation of kingship in this period as well as the extent and nature of conflict between social groups, particularly in relation to the Baron’s Wars and the War of the Roses. As well as providing opportunity to understand the significance of powerful late medieval women, the module will also look at gender roles in wider society and how these changed. You will also study the changing role of religion, how drama was used to promote religious ideas, the development of literature, learning and the transformation of the medieval landscape. The course will introduce you to this formative period of English history and to key historiographical debates. It will use a variety of methodical approaches to enable you to research, analyse and explain various aspects of this period.
This module serves as an introduction to the subject of military history; it explores the specific definitions of military history and considers the various approaches historians have taken to this field of study. The module will offer an introductory snapshot of some of the themes developed in subsequent modules. 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. The module reviews a wide-range of historical contexts giving particular focus to the international and globalised character of military history. This module will support your progression through subsequent modules in the subject.
Throughout history, land battles have won wars, redrawn geographical borders, removed royal monarchs and political leaders, and influenced the spread of culture. This module examines the nature and development of the historical subject of battle, adopting a long historical perspective. 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. Appropriate use will be made of primary and secondary sources to both understand specific aspects of the history of warfare and to consider the contested nature of historiographical debate.
This module examines the development of the British Army since its formation in 1660. You will learn how the administration, structure, and organisational culture of the British Army has changed over time. You will explore aspects such as recruitment and training methods, the development of the regimental system, and composition of the office corps. Although the module provides a chronological analysis of the development of the Army, you will examine a range of thematic issues including the relationship between the British Army and society, its role in shaping the state and empire, and the role of women in the armed forces. By exploring these issues, you with gain an understanding of the British army from the 17th century to the present day.
The module will explore the historical evolution of modern British espionage throughout the twentieth century. Through a wide-ranging study of primary sources and secondary literature you will examine the historical contribution of British intelligence services in peace and war. The module will include a critical discussion of the historiographical issues related to the study of intelligence history. The module will focus on a number of case studies drawn from: Britain’s culture of secrecy, the 1911 Official Secrets Act, the growth of MI5 and MI6, codebreaking at Bletchley Park, the Cambridge Five, The Profumo Affair, the role of women, international relations,and the popular culture of espionage.
This module comprises a work-based placement experience or employment related project, combined with a study of the principles and practice of using and applying historical knowledge and training in the public sphere. The taught element of the module will provide you with the necessary skills to identify and apply for potential employment opportunities and develop your knowledge and understanding of application and interview processes. You will also engage in a critical review of the contemporary manifestations of history/military history in public and private sectors. You will be be given the methodological and theoretical tools to account for the complex and often contested nature of academic and public understandings of the past. Additionally, you will be challenged to consider the issues raised when historical knowledge and methods are applied to workplace contexts. The placement element of the module will support you as you apply your acquired knowledge and skills in a real-life context offering a valuable experience to draw on when you present yourself to employers or selectors upon graduation. The module is designed to enable a range of placements and/or projects to be developed which are most suited to your potential future career. Approved placement hosts are often, though not exclusively, positioned within the heritage, armed forces and education sectors. Working with your appointed tutor and placement providor, you will be directed towards an appropriate placement/project enabling you to both meet the learning outcomes and have a valuable experience that captures the challenges and rewards of using historical knowledge and skills in a work-based learning environment.
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. The role of combatants and non-combatants will be examined through which students will identify and assess the connections between law, politics, and religion. The module will also address aspects of post-conflict reconciliation, commemoration and memorialisation.
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. The specific issues of authority, class, gender, technology and race will be examined through the close analysis of sources with the aim of developing particular research skills.
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. The module 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. A particular focus will be a consideration of gendered responses to war both among the civilian population and within those service organisations that recruited women.
In this module you will explore the nature of armoured warfare during the Second World War. You will examine the rise of the tank during the First World War and the development of theories and doctrines of armoured warfare across different nations during the interwar period. The work of key theorists such as JFC Fuller and Basil Liddell Hart will be examined as well as how theory was applied to the battlefields of the Second World War. You will explore the major operations of the Second World War across a range of theatres. You will critically assess the use of armour in campaigns such as the German invasions of France and the Soviet Union, the British in the North Africa, and the war in the Pacific. In addition to the evolution of tactics, you will also consider aspects of the training of tank crews and their experiences in battle.
This module provides you with an understanding of the causes and conduct of counterinsurgency operations and how different nations have confronted insurgencies. You will be introduced to key cases studies ranging from the American Civil War, 19th century ‘small wars’ such as the Second Anglo-Boer War to Cold War conflicts such as the Malayan Emergency and Afghanistan. The learning process and challenges faced by militaries when trying to adapt to fighting irregular and counterinsurgency warfare is a key focus. You will explore and critically assess key concepts relating to counterinsurgency operations as well as the development of theories and doctrines relating to ‘irregular war’ from the colonial to the contemporary world. The links between insurgencies, nationalism, and revolution will be considered as well as the strategic and ethical issues arising from irregular warfare.
This module provides you with the opportunity to engage in close, detailed and systematic historical study of a specific theme or topic at an advanced level. Based upon the in-depth critical reading and interpretation of primary and secondary texts, small group teaching will be led by academics whose specialist historical knowledge will be used as a focus for the chosen theme or topic. Seminar and tutorial sessions will explore the chosen subject area through source-based analysis and critical interpretation with, where appropriate, reflection on the contested nature of historiographical debate. The content will include relevant and specific themes or topics that reflect the research specialisms of the academic staff leading each Special Subject group. Normally a range of history and military history topics will be optionally available each academic year that will provide some degree of both thematic and chronological choice. Subject-specific details relating to the syllabus and session structure will be published in advance of delivery via the University’s VLE. The module is designed to support you as you further develop your subject specific research skills at an appropriate level.
During this module you will undertake a wide-ranging critical study of British imperial development during the nineteenth century. The narrative underpinning the module is the increasingly global and expansionist nature of European empires at that time, with Britain in the vanguard of imperialistic, globalising forces. You will examine the impact of British political and military power, money, technology and culture on the peoples, societies and environments it came into contact with. You will likewise analyse the agency of human responses to imperialism through a mixture of adaptation, co-operation and resistance and be introduced to scholarly research on the geographical and environmental signifance of industrialised imperialism. Additionally, the ways in which British society and culture was transformed by the imperial experience will be a crucial point of consideration with its legacies stretching into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. You will utilise relevant secondary texts and a variety of primary sources in order to understand the most significant political, economic, technological, social and cultural aspects of the imperial experience and engage directly with classic and recent historiographical debates about the nature of the British Empire, its origins, purpose, meaning and legacies.
This module provides you with a critical study of the history of the Cold War ‘conflict’ between the US and its allies, and the Soviet Union during the second half of the 20th century. Through a wide-ranging study, based on primary and secondary sources, the module will review the political, diplomatic and social manifestations of the Cold War. A specific element of the module will focus on the foreign relations between the Soviet Union and the United States of America, examining the historiographical debates that surround the origins and the end of the Cold War. Key features such as Soviet and U.S. foreign policy, ‘proxywars’ and the role of secret intelligence alongside events such as the founding of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, Korea and Suez, the Chinese and Cuban Revolutions, Vietnamese and Afghan Wars will be examined. Popular protest movements will also be considered, such as CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and the Anti-War movement. Key actors, episodes, events and crises will be addressed through an international lens encouraging you to take a global historical view on the issue of when, or indeed if, the Cold War ended. The module will consider relevant historiographical and methodological approaches, and you will learn how to apply these to the research and analysis of aspects of this period of history.
This module examines the historical development of air warfare from the first use of motorised flight during First World War through to the contemporary use of UAVs (unmanned drones). The module considers the impact that having an ‘aerial view’ had on battle field management from the mid-19th century onwards, with the early use of balloons through to the vital role played by aerial photography during the Second World War. The module also reviews the use of aircraft as weapons, either to dominate the 20th century concept of ‘air-power’ or as a means to take war to civilian populations. The organisational challenges of developing a novel fighting force in a new theatre of combat will also be explored.
In this module you will examine the history of military wargaming and the rise of the military-entertainment complex. You will learn how militaries have used wargaming as an educational tool, beginning in the 19th century with Kriegsspiel, and consider the theory and practice of war simulation through a selection of case studies. You will evaluate the importance of wargames in military education and in developing strategic, tactical, and doctrinal solutions to military problems. You will also examine the rise of commercial wargaming and the military-entertainment complex. You will critically assess the representation of war in military themed videogames and films and will reflect the rise of drone and computer controlled weapons, how the line between video games and war has blurred in recent conflicts, as well as the impact of gaming and films in contemporary politics, society, and culture.
On this module, you will be required to undertake a research-based project, drawing on academic advice as well as your own interests and intellectual skills, to produce a research-driven, written dissertation of 8-10,000 words. 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 you will devise and sustain a core argument, and/or solve relevant historical problems, to support the premise of your research question. Taught sessions will help you to explore and understand the research methodologies and issues of presentation required for the production of a successful history dissertation. Through such workshops specific guidance is given with regard to appropriate research skills for the topics chosen. You will then have further individual tutorials spread across both semesters, in which allocated dissertation supervisors will closely monitor and advise on the development of appropriate, distinctive, and critical arguments in respect of your chosen subject of study.
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GCSE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.
Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.
The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year.
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.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliographies, presentations, digital technologies, reflective journals, and academic essays. All modules involve early, small, and frequent informal and formal assessments so as to be supportive and build confidence, while ensuring development of the core academic skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, diverse, and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support comprehensive preparation for undergraduate study. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and personal reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.
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.
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