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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

COURSE DESCRIPTION What is security? What does it mean to be secure? Who or what secures us? Can we ever be secure? The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the major theories and themes in contemporary security studies, primarily, by engaging a range of ‘critical’ perspectives. Part One mines into the origins of Security Studies and the ‘traditional’ approaches security typically found therein, thus setting a scene for the (re)emergence of critical approaches to security. It will then engage students in conversation around a range of contemporary security issues that are to the fore within contemporary ‘critical’ security studies literature, including: surveillance and governance; biopolitics and border control, and the aesthetics of modern warfare. Part Two will expose students to the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of a number of key ‘critical’ approaches found within (Critical) Security Studies, building on—and supplementing--those covered in the University of Glasgow’s International Security and Strategic Thought module. Student contributions are essential to this course and a high level of in-class and online will be expected.

Learning Outcomes

1. An appreciation of the difficulties and politics surrounding how one conceptualises 'security'
2. An understanding of the development of 'traditional' approaches to security
3. An understanding surrounding the aesthetics of modern conflict
4. AN understanding of a range of contemporary security issues, as read through a variety of critical lenses
5. An understanding of various 'critical' approaches to security not covered in the preceding International Security and Strategic Thought module (University of Glasgow)

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Total Workload: 0

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative coursework
COURSE FORMAT This course will take place once a week for a two-hour session. This session will be (typically) comprised of a one-hour lecture followed by 50 minutes of discussion based on the week’s required readings. A high level of student contribution is expected. Students will also be assigned to answer and/or discuss certain questions/issues that will be submitted online via Loop (more details below). Weekly Readings Under each lecture topic you will find listed specified chapters from the course text, which provide basic background information in the issue area. The weekly required readings are marked with an * and are composed of specified excerpts from scholarly texts and/or select journal articles, which will be the subject of the weekly discussion sessions, as well as online discussions. Note that these required readings are subject to change as the course progresses and are provided here as an initial guide only. Updated readings will be provided on the course Loop site throughout the year. Adequate notice of any changes in relation to required readings will be provided in advance. Supplemental readings are provided for those with a particular interest in a topic and as a starting point for essay preparation. All of the readings listed here can be found either in the library and/or online. Essay preparation, in particular, will require you to supplement the readings identified here with additional research drawn from relevant books and journal articles. You are therefore strongly encouraged to browse through the library shelves, familiarise yourself with the library OPAC, and employ tools such as Google Scholar for online searching. ASSESSMENT I. Online Discussion Forums: Assigned questions/issues/topics will be submitted via Loop each week. Students must contribute to an online discussion on said questions/issues/topics each week in order to attain full marks. Students are required to make one contribution, which will be considered for grading. Any subsequent contributions are optional, but encouraged; these will not be considered for grading. Requirements for the forum contributions are as follows: a) student contributions should be no less than 400 words; b) contributions must make reference to the assigned reading(s); c) contributions must be submitted as part of a developing discussion--i.e. you must show that you have read what has already been posted and develop your contribution accordingly. This aspect accounts for 20% of the overall grade. . II. Essay: Students are required to produce an essay on a topic of their choice, to be submitted no later than Thursday 3 May at 3pm. The essay must correspond to some of the pertinent issues addressed in this module and refer directly to the appropriate literature. The essay should be no less than 4,000 words in length and no more than 5,000 words in length (not including footnotes and bibliography). This essay will account for will account for 65% of the overall grade. III. Presentation: Students are required to deliver a presentation, which will serve as the basis for our final lecture. Students will be assigned a topic to reflect the breadth of the course content (e.g., a presentation on drones, a presentation on post-colonial studies, etc.). Presentations will be approximately 5-6 minutes in length. The use of Powerpoint, or other presentation software is optional. This presentation will account for 10% of the overall grade. IV. All students are expected to contribute to in-class discussions. This will account for 5% of the overall grade.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes