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Military and International History BA

Subject area: Politics and History Undergraduate Open Day How to apply
Mode of study

3-year full-time; 4-year thick-sandwich


V102, V103 with Placement Year

Start date


Military and International History BA

Placement Offered This course has a Placement Year option


This is a new course and we are accepting applications for 2017/18 entry. Find out more at the Politics & History subject talk taking place at our next Undergraduate Open Day on 22 October 2016. Click here to book your place.

About the course

Our Military and International History degree examines war within the context of wider international history to give you specialist knowledge of war in history while educating you to be a historian. Our course analyses warfare inside and outside Europe (including the Middle East), covering the period from the Renaissance to the present but with an emphasis on the modern era. We teach you the subject of war in history over a broad span of time with a focus on land and naval war, while also giving you the opportunity to take specialist modules in particular wars and themes in military studies. The course also draws on the department's specialism in intelligence studies to examine the role that intelligence has played in warfare. Our course provides our students with the critical thinking and analytical skills of the historian.

Our course, one of the few military history programmes in the country, provides you with the opportunity to study military history within the broader setting of a vibrant, student-centred department with a long history of supporting its students, and this is reflected in the annual student satisfaction survey (the NSS) where history at Brunel is ranked (2016) fourth in the country. As a department, we provide excellent pastoral and tutor support for our students. Students are taught by a range of established academic specialists in the department in military and international history, who draw on their own world-class research and publications to deliver cutting-edge teaching. Small-group seminars and personal tutorials allow you to develop in smaller groups and in one-to-one discussions. This is a unique opportunity to study war in history in a friendly, supportive department known for its excellent teaching and student support.



  • To provide you with an exciting, attractive academic programme in military and international history which is rigorous, flexible and coherent, through which you will acquire knowledge and understanding of the origins, course and consequences of warfare in the modern era – the synergetic combination of international and military history – and which will also allow you to gain knowledge and understanding of how diverse societies and cultures have engaged with war in history. The focus of the programme is on the modern period, with an emphasis on the post 1789 era

  • To ensure that you acquire the core skills, methods and theoretical approaches employed within the discipline of history and apply these competently to interpret data and evaluate different perspectives

  • To foster the core skills in military and international history and other key general skills to develop your powers of independent enquiry, analysis and judgement, which enhance study of history and transfer usefully into employment

  • To provide key transferable research skills to proceed to further study at postgraduate level

  • To provide key transferable skills to further professional development

  • To enable you, through a Work Placement, to develop skills and knowledge relevant to work and professional development (4 year thick sandwich mode)


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265

Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Admissions Tutor: Dr Martin Hansen

Course Content

Typical modules might include:

Year 1

  • Makers of Modern Strategy

  • What is History?

  • Total War in the Modern Era

  • Europe at War, 1914-1945

  • The Making of the Modern World

  • Introduction to World Politics

Year 2

  • Historians and their Craft

  • The First World War - Causes, Course, Consequences

  • War and Geography

  • (Placement students also take the History Pre-Placement Study module) 

  • The Holocaust

  • US Foreign Policy from WW2 to the End of the Cold War

  • State and Revolution

  • Political Geography

  • Themes in African History  

Year 3 (or Year 4 if Placement Year option is chosen)

  • Military and International History Dissertation

  • Arab-Israeli Conflict 

  • Intelligence and National Security

  • Fascism

  • Second World War

  • The British Maritime World, 1660-1815


You will produce a 12,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, relating to Military and International History. This major piece of work, undertaken with the support of a dedicated dissertation tutor, will give you the valuable opportunity to demonstrate research and writing skills. It is written on a subject relevant to your particular course of study and may well relate to your future career plans.

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Typical Dissertations

  • The German army and armoured warfare on the Eastern Front, 1941-45

  • Barbarism and the War in the Pacific, 1941-45

  • The Armies of the French Revolution

  • The Revolution in Military Affairs in the Early Modern Period - the Michael Roberts Debate

  • The Dreadnought and the New Way in Naval War

  • Douhet and Air Power

  • The Role of the Helicopter in the Vietnam War, 1965-73

  • British Counter-Insurgency in Kenya in the 1950s

Special Features

  • History is ranked fourth in the UK and first in London for student satisfaction in the annual student survey (the NSS) for 2016

  • You will have the opportunity to study a range of military history from Britain, Europe and the wider world

  • You will have plenty of opportunities to shape your degree programme to meet personal interests and aptitudes

  • There is a work placement module available

  • You will receive expert teaching from lecturers who are recognised experts in their fields

  • You have easy access to multiple resources in London, such as national and international museums (such as the Imperial War and National Army museums), galleries, libraries (including the British Library) and the National Archives (in Kew), all of which contain a wealth of information on military and international history in Britain and Europe

  • You will write a specialist military history dissertation of your choice in the final year for which you are assigned a specialist dissertation tutor

  • Our Department has international student exchanges where the teaching is in English and which are on offer to you as a BA Military and International History student: Ankara University (Turkey), Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic), Freie Universität Berlin, JFK Institute (Germany), Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Rennes (France), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), University of Helsinki (Finland), American University of Paris (France), SUNY State University of New York (USA), University of Nottingham, Ningbo (China), the National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and the University of Cyprus.

Teaching and Assessment


Lectures and seminars - Modules are usually taught by way of a mixture of lectures and seminars (discussions in seminars are often led by students). Depending on its credit rating, you can expect to have one or two hours of lectures per week for each module and a one-hour seminar each week or fortnight.

Other teaching and learning strategies will include participation in workshops, case studies, presentations, fieldwork and external visits. Those who elect to do a work placement year will also be provided with preparatory workshops and tutorials.

Private study – Your work also consists of private study, for which module and personal tutors will provide guidance, of up to 30 hours each week.

Core Military History Teaching Team

Dr Alison Carrol

Professor Philip H J Davies

Dr Martin Folly

Dr Mohamed Gaballa

Dr Kristian Gustafson

Professor Matthew Hughes

Dr Tom Linehan

Dr Steve Pickering

Professor Matthew Seligmann

Dr Peter Thomas

Dr Hannah Whittaker


The assessment methods of this course are designed to test your abilities in applying your knowledge and skills. Assessment methods and weighting can vary from module to module.

You can expect to be assessed through coursework essays, article reviews, short assignments and presentations, alongside exams.

Work placement students will complete a placement log book and extended critical analysis, reflecting on professional development and its connection to the BA Military and International History course.

Year one does not count towards your final degree classification, year two is worth a third, and year three two-thirds of your final degree. This means that you are rewarded as you get better academically over your time studying at Brunel. The final-year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.

Exact assessment patterns vary, but most are based on a combination of coursework and formal written exams. Typically, coursework marks constitute 25-50 per cent of overall module grades.


Emphasis throughout your studies is placed on gaining transferable employment skills. You will develop communication, report writing and presentation skills to an excellent level, equipping you for a range of subsequent professional careers.


As a military historian, you will have all the skills of historians but with a specialism in war in history, preparing you for a range of careers from government, the armed forces, teaching and business to think tanks and NGOs.

Work Placements

You can choose to study either the three-year degree course or the four-year sandwich degree course.

On our four-year sandwich course (with Professional Development), you have the opportunity to gain professional work experience in a variety of settings. We have excellent links with a wide range of external organisations providing high quality placements.

You will develop invaluable skills and in some cases our students have been offered graduate positions within the organisations where they undertook their work placements.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2016/17 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £14,100 full-time

The fees shown above are for 2016/17. Fees for 2017/18 will be confirmed soon.


The Government has proposed changes to allow tuition fees for UK and EU students to rise by inflation. These changes are currently subject to approval, but if approved, would result in tuition fees of £9,250 per year from 2017/18.

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Criteria 2016/17

  • GCE A-level BBB (all subjects considered).

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject.

  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-level at grade B.

  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-levels grade BB.

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points.

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit in all units.

GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants within our grade range as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.