Media, War and Security SPS5008

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the contemporary dynamic relations between media, war and security. Through the prism of emergent theories of the shifting media environment and engagement with recent empirical research, students will examine war and security as constituted through a complex mesh of everyday media.


2 Hours per week over 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry



1 x 4,000 word essay

The essay will require students to undertake a case study analysis of a topic or event that demonstrates a critically informed, interdisciplinary grasp of the subject matter.

Course Aims

This course will provide students with an understanding of the role of contemporary media in dynamically shaping the nature and experiences of warfare and security. (Media here refers not only to formal broadcast media but also to the multitude of techniques, technologies and practices through which discourse and interaction is mediated). It will enable students to develop critical thinking on the relationship between different modes of media representation, consumption and experience, in shaping contemporary in(securities) around war and terrorism, the conduct and outcomes of warfare, and in the legitimization or otherwise of political discourses on war and terrorism. Students will be expected to develop interdisciplinary modes of analysis and understanding of a range of interconnected themes including: Sanitization, Compassion, Witnessing, Genocide, Radicalization, Memory, Memorialization, Legitimacy.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and critical understanding of the contemporary theorisation of the relationship between media, war and security.

Critically apply the concepts of mediation and mediatization to an inquiry of contemporary war and security.

Draw systematically on a range of resources and materials, including academic, journalistic, and other media texts, to inform interdisciplinary understanding, argument and analysis.

Demonstrate skills in individual presentational group analytical and work.

Present clear, analytical and robust analyses and arguments in both written and oral form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Generic regulations apply