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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3146: International Law, Conflict and Strategy

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (12 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Aurel Sari (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


The purpose of this module is to explore how international law regulates war and other forms of conflict at the international level. It provides you with an opportunity to study in depth the rules of international law governing conflict and security, the legal and policy challenges presented by contemporary security threats and the impact that strategic considerations have on the development and application of international law. While the module focuses on the legal dimension of conflict, it benefits from the contribution of colleagues from the Strategy and Security Institute, who will help to put the law into its broader strategic context.


The first part of the module will provide you with a basic foundation in international law and strategic thought. The second part will ask you to engage with three themes. First, the rules regulating the use of force in international relations, as found in the United Nations Charter and in other sources of international law. Second, the rules governing the conduct of hostilities, also known as international humanitarian law. Third, the challenges that technological development and the changing character of warfare pose in both of these fields. Each of these themes will examine a range of cases, conflicts and contemporary challenges—such as the global war on terror, foreign intervention in civil war, cyber operations, drone warfare, hybrid threats, automated weapons and accountability for mass atrocities—to explore the competing legal and policy considerations involved. The module will conclude by revisiting the relationship between international law and strategy from a practical perspective and draw some lessons.


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