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Contemporary Military and International History

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - Politics and History

UCAS Code: VV13

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time

Six years part-time


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £12,300 per year

In Brief:

  • Profit from our international expertise in a range of military history, intelligence and security studies areas
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to undertake a military history archive placement in the final semester
  • Take advantage of international exchange opportunities, in Europe, Australia, Canada or the USA (including Wayne State University and the Virginia Military Institute)
  • Part-time study option
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

The Contemporary Military and International History course at Salford is an exciting and unique degree that examines war and statecraft from the 19th century to the present, including intelligence, terrorism and counter-insurgency. The degree offers a choice of modules on naval, air and land warfare.

The research, communication and writing skills which you will acquire during the degree will assist you in a number of possible future avenues, such as in the police, armed forces, the private security sector, teaching, further study (including research), and many others.

The course helps you to expand your knowledge and understanding of many of the major trends relating to war and diplomacy over the last 200 years. There are a range of supplementary activities such as visiting speakers from Britain and abroad providing specialist guest lectures and a military history field trip during the first year to enhance your studies.

You also have the opportunity to spend some or all of your second year studying abroad, with additional placement opportunities in the third year to boost your CV. The course offers the chance to be taught and supervised by staff who have links to many academic and professional organisations, such as: The Royal Navy, The British Army and The Royal Air Force.

Course Details

The course helps you to expand your knowledge and understanding of many of the major trends relating to war and diplomacy over the last 200 years. Visiting speakers from Britain and abroad provide specialist guest lectures. A military history field trip during the first year is part of a range of possibilities which supplement the lectures and seminars.

Course Structure

Year 1

Modules at year 1 provide you with an introduction to the study of military and international history at university level. They enable you to analyse the work of historians and political scientists in a variety of genres and to use a range of sources in order to do so appropriate to undergraduate study. You will also be introduced to the necessary study skills which you will build upon during your undergraduate course.

Year 2

Modules at year 2 provide you with knowledge of central themes in military and international history. The modules focus on a variety of subject areas which will expand your knowledge of key areas; it will also assist you in understanding how contemporary theoretical and historical debates affect the ways in which historians and political scientists engage with their subjects. In particular, you will receive training for the dissertation which you must write in semester 1 of year 3. You will use the study skills acquired at year 1, and will develop these through your classes, your individual research and your assessments.

Year 3

Modules in year 3 provide you with knowledge of specific case studies of more specialised areas. The modules encourage you to develop independence of mind in critically assessing primary and secondary sources, and expect a high level of analytic skills in discussing texts and contexts. You will further develop your study and presentational skills, researching topics independently and presenting work professionally. A key aspect of study at this level is the dissertation. This double-weighted module gives you the opportunity to study with the assistance of a supervisor, one subject of your choice in considerable depth.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Introduction to Contemporary Military History
  • International History 1 1890-1945
  • Issues in Contemporary History
  • Introduction to Intelligence and Security
  • International History 2 1945-Present

Year 2

Core modules

  • Theories of War
  • Researching in History
  • International History 1789-1914

Optional Modules

Choose four from:

  • Technology, Warfare and Strategy
  • Armoured Warfare
  • Intelligence, Security and Politics in Britain
  • The United States and Vietnam
  • Air Power
  • 20th Century European Fascism
  • Contemporary Security Studies

Year 3

Core Module

  • Dissertation - a 12,000 word dissertation on a research topic of your own choosing under the guidance of a dedicated supervisor.

Year 3

Optional Modules

Choose four from:

  • Sea Power
  • Pacific War 1931-45
  • Kennedy, Johnson and the World
  • US Foreign Relations, 1961-69
  • The First World War
  • Asia-Pacific Security
  • Conflicts, Refugees and Humanitarian Intervention
  • British Foreign and Strategic Policy
  • Britain and the European Resistance

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English and Maths GCSE grade C
UCAS tariff points 96 - 112 points
GCE A level 96 - 112 points. General studies accepted, history and/or politics desirable
BTEC National Diploma MMM-DMM
Scottish Highers 96 - 112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 96 - 112 points
International Baccalaureate 29 points
Access to HE QAA Approved - Pass

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

Applicant profile

We are looking for highly motivated students with a keen interest in military and international history and good writing and analytical skills. Students who provide evidence of extensive reading and knowledge in the subject area are of particular interest to us. Students without formal qualifications may be asked to attend an interview and complete an assignment.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,300 per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


You will learn through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Independent study
  • Tutorials

There is ample support and encouragement available for you to develop all the intellectual skills required for you to do well. We strive to make your studies enjoyable and enriching as possible. For example, Contemporary Military and International History students recently staged a re-creation of the Great War in a nine-week simulation with other universities.


Proportions vary from module to module, but typically you will be assessed by 40% coursework and 60% examination.


The degree can lead to a career in journalism, teaching, Government and non-governmental organisations, the police, the Armed Forces, business management and other areas.

The degree will provide you with a whole range of intellectual and transferable skills, and can lead to a career in journalism, teaching, the Government and non-governmental organisations, the police, the Armed Forces, management, and other areas. Many graduates go on to further study at postgraduate level.

Career Prospects

Alumni Profile

I thoroughly enjoyed studying Contemporary Military and International History at the University of Salford. In particular, my final year modules helped me expand my knowledge on my most passionate subject: the Second World War. The knowledge I gained helped me to secure a placement on HMS Belfast, where I contribute to the restoration and upkeep of this historic warship.

Rachel Whalley, BA (Hons) Contemporary Military and International History

Links with Industry

The course offers the chance to be taught and supervised by staff who have links to many academic and professional organisations, such as:

  • The Royal Navy
  • The British Army
  • The Royal Air Force
  • The British International History Group
  • The Army Record Society
  • The Navy Records Society
  • Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm
  • German Armed Forces Military History Research Office, Potsdam

Other placements have included the NHS, the education sector, environmental, arts and cultural organisations.

Placement Opportunities

There is also the opportunity to participate in a military history archival work placement in semester two of year 3. There is a choice of venues in the North West and beyond. The placement does not extend the duration of the degree course and you will complete assignments based on your placement activities. The placements are of great value to your CV.

Further Study

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