Technology, Politics and War

Module code: PL3141

Advances in technology have changed the nature of warfare ever since the first conflicts began. The cavalry charge was a crucial tactic for thousands of years until the trenches, mud and machine guns of the First World War turned it into a liability. The gruelling nature of trench warfare which replaced it, associated with the horrors of the Western Front, was much less prominent 20 years later during World War 2, as armoured warfare reduced its appeal. And now, cyber warfare tactics have reduced the need to even physically engage an adversary at all.

During this module, you'll look at the key technologies that shape military and security policies today and in the future, and the challenges they pose for politics and warfare. You'll critique the key debates on military and security technologies today, as well as claims surrounding them and the socially situated nature of science and technology. Plus, you'll critically assess the role of technology and its advantages and disadvantages in the modalities of war, conflict and security in contemporary world politics.


  • 30 hours of seminars
  • 120 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay one, 2,500 words (50%)
  • Essay two, 2,500 words (50%)