IR7010 - Contemporary Challenges in Conflict and Security

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the most significant challenges to peace and order that we face today, recognising the changing nature of such challenges. Conflict and issues of security (or indeed insecurity) appear to go through phases, with some issues ebbing and rising over time. You will understand and conceptualise these through various lenses of security, for example nuclear security during the Cold War or ethnic conflict during the 1990s. This module aims to respond to broad trends in conflict and security, analysing their nature and impact on policy-making throughout the world. This may include (but is not limited to) issues such as global military interventions, migration, health security, gender, and cybersecurity.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, workshops, and independent learning. The lectures will cover theories and concepts that will enable you to engage critically with contemporary and emerging news stories of conflict and security challenges. You will engage in critical discussion and analysis with the lecturer and your peers in guided interactive workshops and seminars. Your learning will be supported by the electronic learning platform (eLP) and electronic reading lists. You will receive formative feedback during lectures, workshops and seminars, and also summative feedback that will assist you in improving future work in response to your assignments.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your tutors will support you throughout your time at Northumbria. Module tutors are available for feedback and consultation during set office hours, and you will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of your degree with whom you may discuss your progress, your specific learning interests, and any personal or professional issues. Skills development will be part of your programme, in particular in relation to the dissertation.
The university additionally offers an extensive range of support service, including careers services, disability support services and learning support services (Library and skills).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically analyse and discuss the nature of contemporary challenges in conflict and security
2. Evaluate the impact of contemporary and emerging challenges in conflict and security on UK, European and/or global policy-making

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Apply frameworks of analysis to emergent and contemporary challenges in order to present information to a professional audience
4. Synthesise and deploy a broad range of material and evidence to deconstruct academic and public arguments, as well as policy proposals, and propose new hypotheses

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Apply discipline and inquiry knowledge to complex problems in their discipline and its professional practice in order to identify appropriate solutions, which are sustainable and justifiable

How will I be assessed?

A 1000 word critical review of an academic article on contemporary challenges in conflict and security.

A 3,500 word essay will assess your ability to contextualise contemporary security challenges, understand and interrogate policy implications.





Module abstract

What is security? What makes us insecure? Why does war continue, and how do conflicts elsewhere affect our security? This module analyses the concept of security and its changing nature. It responds to emerging security issues, analysing how a range of issues – some not at all related to the use of weapons – create situations of insecurity to which the international community responds.
Through this module you will interrogate the meaning and practice of security, and develop in-depth analyses of global issues and perceived threats, designed to support your professional development; for example as a government analyst.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Part Time
2 other options available

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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