Modern Warfare - 2016

This unit contains mature content including Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.
This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Analysis Task (40%) , Assignment (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

Modern warfare is plagued by myths and misunderstandings about how military force is applied, what it can achieve and what is simply cannot do.

The unit begins with an overview of the political and strategic contexts of war. This grounds the unit in the literature and doctrine relevant to warfighting. It also introduces some limitations on militaries which are often overlooked in commentary, such as logistics and costs.

It then covers different types of warfare to ensure that students are familiar with the differences and similarities between different kinds of warfare and how they are fought. The unit then covers technology and the impact of new weapons and systems, particularly precision-guided munitions and drones, and some of the political and ethical considerations related to their use in modern wars.

The unit then examines the human costs of wars. It views war as one aspect of people’s lives and looks at the trauma it causes. It also examines the argument that war is a social force which helps organise societies. Finally, it looks at the long-lasting impacts of war on civilians’ lives and on human security and development in countries plagued by war.

Upon fulfilling the requirements of this unit, students will have the skills and knowledge to:

  1. explain the enduring intersection of politics and warfare and the logic of strategy as it is presented in key literature
  2. explain the concept of limited war and how it applies to politics of victory and warfighting
  3. identify logistical considerations for major combat operations in conventional and urban warfighting
  4. explain the core concepts of the Law of Armed Conflict
  5. discuss the influence of technology on warfare and warfighting in the twenty-first century
  6. examine the human impact of particular operations on both combatants and civilian populations.
  • Analysis Task (40%)
  • Assignment (10%)
  • Assignment 1 (25%)
  • Assignment 2 (25%)

It is recommended that students complete a 100 level PICX unit before enrolling in this unit.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Political and strategic contexts of war
2Limitations on militaries
3Different types of warfare
4Technology and the impact of new weapons and systems
5Precision-guided munitions and drones
6Political and ethical considerations, human cost and impact of war

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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