UCC ACE Short courses

Air Power: A Century of Military Aviation COURSE CLOSED

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Air Power: A Century of Military Aviation COURSE CLOSED

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    Ten weeks, Tuesdays 7-9pm, from 28 January to 7 April

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    Cert of Attendance

  • Fees

    €230 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Friday 17 January 2020

  • Venue

    Western Gateway Building, Room G18, UCC

  • Start Date

    Tuesday 28 January 2020

Course Outline

War in the air existed in the imagination before it ever did in fact. Even as the first flimsy contraptions were lifting themselves off the ground, the technocratic visionaries and the prophets of doom alike were hailing a new form of warfare. While the reality was no more than wire and canvas, the vision was of command in the sky and apocalypse on the ground.  The twentieth century saw the imagination made real. With the technology barely keeping up, aircraft were sent out to attack troops, sink ships, burn cities and vanquish the enemy in ways previously impossible. This course surveys the hundred years that took military aviation from the first fragile experiments at Kitty Hawk to the Predator drones over Afghanistan, and shows how war and the world were changed. 

Course detail:

1. The military potential for aircraft was obvious before the first plane ever flew. The Wright brothers were scarcely airborne when they were negotiating with their very first customer – the United States War Department.

2. In 1914 a still faltering technology was committed to war on the grandest scale as a new dimension opened over the Western Front.

3. What to do with the newly-made air forces after the war is over? While some advanced the cause of aviation by setting speed and distance records, others looked to the possibilities of policing and defending nations from the air.

4. The visionaries of air power saw the future in strategic bombing. Theory was into practice over Madrid and Warsaw.

5. In 1940 Britain was attacked and defended solely by air, and it seemed that the fighter was an effective answer to the bomber. From then on it was a race to make ever more fighters – ever faster, ever more lethal.

6. Could Germany be defeated from the air? The bomber barons set out to prove their case, whatever the cost in men in the air or civilians on the ground.

7. The battle for Normandy – with its close air support and airborne assaults – provided a picture of what could be done when air superiority over the battlefield was finally achieved.

8. The war in the Pacific was all about defeating distance. It was a war of aircraft carriers, and a war for little islands on which could be built the runways that led all the way to Hiroshima.

9. In the nuclear and supersonic age the sky was seen as the decisive theatre – and the USA had inherited the sky.

10. The ultimate weapon had proved unusable and the lessons of WW2 had been misread. This last lecture looks at strategic realities and tactical solutions from Korea to Afghanistan.


Course Practicalities


Short courses are non-assessed

Who teaches on this course

John Ware is a part-time lecturer in the UCC School of History and Centre for Adult Continuing Education.

Why Choose This Course

These are the dreams and nightmares of flight – the history of the twentieth century given wings.


Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €230.

How Do I Apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 January 2020. Fees are listed in each course description. Students register and pay fees before course commencement as follows:

1. Register and pay online by clicking the Apply Now button below. Course commencement is subject to sufficient enrolment. In the event of a course not commencing applicants will be informed and their fees will be returned.

2. Payment may also be made by credit or debit card, cheque, postal order or bank draft made payable to UCC and these should be returned together with a completed application form to Short Courses, Adult Continuing Education, The Laurels, Western Road. Application forms are available from the office or they may be downloaded from the link below.

3. Students may also hand in completed application forms to the office at ACE between 9:15am and 5pm each day prior to the closing date. We regret we are unable to accept cash.


Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact