The Faculty of Social Sciences is excited to offer a rigorous one-year international graduate program in Peace and Conflict Management. Viewed through both international and regional lenses, the field of conflict management will be explored in its many facets, with special attention paid to the wider Middle East conflict while conceptual, practical and comparative elements of conflict management of other global conflicts are examined.
As a deeply divided society and a country in protracted conflict with other countries in the region, Israel is a unique environment for a program whose goal is to enable students to understand how conflicts unfold from the grassroots level and move up through the halls of government to the international community. Israel supplies excellent field study opportunities that allow students to see how attempts to manage conflicts and promote coexistence, mutual understanding, and peace processes actually develop and take root, and is a real-time hands-on working laboratory for advanced international and Israeli students, offering encounters with ongoing conflicts as well as successful and failed efforts to achieve peace.
The interdisciplinary program of study includes courses in political science, international relations, psychology, sociology, communications, history and regional studies. Included in the course of study are a number of field trips throughout Israel in order to gain close familiarity with certain aspects of the local conflict. There is also a practicum component in NGOs related to aspects of peace-making and conflict management; thoughtful simulations of decision making processes, negotiations and conflict management; and guest lectures given by activists, practitioners, politicians, diplomats, academics and former military officials.
Over the course of three semesters we will study sources, types and levels of conflicts, where students will become familiar with tools to trace their development. The curriculum takes as its focus courses on conflict management and provides students with practical tools in the fostering of peace processes. Research methodology and a field practicum are also included. For more curriculum information please visit here.
Thesis and Non-thesis tracks are available. For more information on the course curriculum and course descriptions please click here.
The diverse faculty is made up of teaching staff from a variety of disciplines including politics, international relations, psychology, conflict mediation and history. For a full list of factulty staff and their specialisations please visit here.
The M.S. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution is designed to train reflective professionals in the practice, design, and evaluation of a variety of conflict resolution applications. The M.S. program focuses on pragmatic approaches to solving problems inherent in human social relations. Students are exposed to a wide array of techniques and strategies to help people achieve nonviolent, non-litigious solutions for conflicts that arise in many personal, professional, organizational, and social environments. The M.S. program consists of a 12-course (36 credits) sequence that includes conflict resolution theory, practice skills, field placement, research design, and program evaluation.
Graduates of our Master's program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution who decide to continue their studies and are accepted into our Ph.D. program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, can transfer up to 15 credit hours to the Ph.D. program, thereby reducing the total number of credits for the doctoral program.
The M.S. program is offered in both residential and distance learning formats. These flexible formats allow mid-career working adults and those unable to attend the on-campus program, to study conflict resolution in a creative, rigorous, and structured fashion.
Students may enroll full or part time, taking six to nine credit hours per trimester. Students who attend full-time can expect to complete the program in 15 months. Part-time students will complete the program in 2 years. Summer attendance is mandatory.
Students taking online classes are required to attend 2 Residential Institutes (RI) per academic year. Each RI is 5 days. Currently the RIs are held in February and October. Please visit the Residential Institute for current information.
Master's students are provided NSU computer accounts including email and Blackboard, but must obtain their own Internet service providers, use their own computer systems and have a usable web camera. Online students use the web to access course materials, announcements, email, distance library services, subscription library databases, and other information, and for interaction with faculty and fellow students. Online, interactive learning methods are based on the use of Blackboard as a course management system. Online activities facilitate frequent student-to-faculty and student-to-student interaction. They are supported by threaded discussion boards, white boards, chat rooms, email, and multimedia presentations. In addition, Blackboard enables students to submit assignments online in multimedia formats and to receive their professors' reviews of assignments online in the same formats.
Masters students must complete a minimum of 36-credits; successfully pass a field practicum and a Comprehensive Examination or an optional thesis to be eligible for the degree. Students must also maintain a 3.0 GPA through completion of the degree. Some courses have specific prerequisite requirements that students must meet; these should be checked to ensure compliance. If a student chooses to they may opt to do the master's thesis.
Masters Theses Option
The student may write a research thesis. The thesis is 6 credits and counts as two electives. Instead of the electives offered in the fall and winter trimesters of the second year, thesis students register for Master's Thesis. Entrance into the thesis track is not automatic; students must meet eligibility requirements. For details regarding the Master's, please visit Conflict Analysis and Resolution Student Resources for the Master's Thesis handbook.
Practicum is a student centered learning experience that is supervised by professionals at a variety of local, regional, national, and international organizations, as well as monitored by the practicum coordinator and guided by faculty teaching the practicum sequence. Practicum I and II are offered both residentially and online, during the fall, winter and summer terms. Doctoral students do have the option of doing Teaching and Training which is offered in the fall, followed by a Teaching and Training practicum in the winter term. Students may follow either of these tracks.
Practicum provides opportunities that you must be active in creating. It provides the chance to explore employment settings and obtain a realistic feel for your level of expertise in conflict analysis and resolution. Practicum also offers you a preview of locations where conflict resolution is currently being used or where it can be introduced. Practicum essentially allows you to explore the field in an individually focused, yet supervised manner. Take advantage of this opportunity to explore and to appreciate the new contacts you make. Experiences like these can help establish your personal and professional reputation within the community.
Please visit Student Resources for the Practicum Handbook and forms.
The MSc will provide students with advanced knowledge of the complex and specialised areas of peacebuilding, among it conflict analysis, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and conflict transformation, community driven reconstruction, peace processes within the context of contemporary conflicts and in the context of broader international (humanitarian) interventions. Integrated into the MSc structure are opportunities to develop operational and vocational skills for example in negotiations, conflict mediation, conflict sensitive programme design and programme management, or urban peacebuilding. Students are provided with theoretical and empirical knowledge and with practical skills that are helpful for current and future employment opportunities. The courses are thus attractive to both graduates and mid-career practitioners. Whilst the academic and applied focus of the MSc comes through a peace and conflict studies analytic lens, course material will also draw from traditional strategic/security and development studies, enabling cross fertilisation between different perspectives. It allows the exploration of unique and new paradigms and practices in the fields of conflict, peace, security, defence, diplomacy, development and humanitarian intervention.
Five core modules worth 75 credits plus a Dissertation worth 60 credits plus three optional modules to the value of 45 credits.
Optional modules in previous years have included:
At the beginning of the academic year, as well as the general induction programme offered by the School and the university, Durham Global Security Institute (DGSi) students are invited to a programme specific induction. This induction provides an overview of the programme an opportunity to meet members of the team and an opportunity to discuss optional module choices.
The 180 credits one-year MSc degree programme is divided into five core and three optional modules of 15 credits each. Students also have to submit a dissertation (60 credits) of not more than15,000 words. Practitioners have the option of writing an in-depth policy document as their dissertation.
Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation. Assessment methods include: an examination, essays, presentations, reflective journal, reports, article reviews and policy briefs.
Although all modules have 18/19 contact hours, the core modules are spread over 9/10 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2-hour sessions which take the form of a one hour lecture and a one hour tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another. The optional modules of the programme are either delivered over two full days, through a mixture of lectures, Q&A sessions, seminar discussions, and role plays or over a single term in 2-hour seminar sessions. There is also the opportunity to participate in a study visit which provides an opportunity to investigate issues ‘in the field’ concerned with conflict prevention, conflict resolution, state and peace-building. Of particular interest is the theory-practice linkage
Students can also meet their module coordinators or programme coordinator during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the latter half of the year, they are required to attend two 4-hour workshops. In addition, they have the opportunity to meet their assigned supervisors for an average of 6 meetings. Students also have access to the MSc Programme Director and the School’s Director of Taught Post Graduate Studies whenever there is a need.
The School hosts events throughout the year which all postgraduate students are invited to attend. Students are also fully integrated into the Durham Global Security Institute which also hosts guest lectures and seminars throughout the year. These events provide students with the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies, and in conflict, peace and security studies.
Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.
Our students go on to a wide range of successful careers including civil service and other government agencies, UN/INGOs/CSOs, journalism, media, teaching, law, banking and finance, diplomatic services and risk analysis.