Judged best in the field
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Conflict Studies and Human Rights programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
In this year's Elsevier Best Studies Survey, students have also rated Conflict Studies as the best programme.
Conflict Studies and Human Rights: Theoretical analysis and grounded research
Why has ’nationalist’ violence erupted in Ukraine? Will cities become the war zones of the future? How is the term ‘human rights’ used and abused in times of violent conflict? What role did social media play in the rise and subsequent collapse of the Arab Spring? What are the ethical and political issues associated with the use of drones in zones of conflict - and what impact does this have on the subjects of surveillance? Who defines ‘evil’ and what does ‘doing good’ mean? How do ‘humanitarian wars’ affect the everyday lives of the ‘victims’ they protect?
These are just some of the pressing questions arising from the complex interconnectedness of today’s world. A solution to these questions can only be found through systematic analysis of processes of inclusion and exclusion, mobilisation, and collective violence. Addressing these topics properly demands critical reflection on the national and international policies developed to contain, manage, resolve, or transform violent conflict.
Our Master's programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights is a selective, international graduate programme combining the study of theory with in-depth case study analysis.
The programme focuses on both the dynamics of violent conflicts and the problems associated with national and international military or humanitarian intervention by agencies such as the UN, NATO, or non-governmental organisations.
The Master's programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights will equip you with the necessary analytical and theoretical skills to engage with global and local challenges in insightful and innovative ways. You will acquire solid theoretical, analytical, and methodological expertise in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, as well as field experience in conflict and post-conflict regions.
You will learn about and develop mastery in three key areas:
1. Subject knowledge
You will gain in-depth knowledge of theoretical approaches to understanding and explaining contemporary conflict and human rights. You will also obtain a general understanding of international policy approaches to contemporary conflict and human rights, as well as an understanding of the political contexts in which they are used.
2. Evidence-based social research
You will learn to undertake research that consists of systematic analysis and synthesis and is based on a dialogue between ideas and evidence. In the course of this dialogue, you will be able to identify “sensitising concepts” from theory to facilitate your data collection. You will also use theory to gain an understanding of the evidence you gather and to explain your findings.
3. Critical attitude towards received wisdom
You will have the conceptual and analytical skills necessary to question conventional ideas and accepted courses of action while defining your own viewpoint. You will also be able to assess the problem of violent conflict and human rights by considering interrelated issues of identity, perception, discourse, and practice.
The Master’s programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights offers good preparation for careers in any sector involving conflict analysis, including the public sector, business, non-governmental and international organisations. Read more about possible career prospects.
The Master of Peace and Conflict Studies is an inter-disciplinary programme providing students with an advanced qualification in peace and conflict studies, development and peacebuilding. Drawing upon national and international expertise in the field, this programme will position graduates for a wide range of career options in the public and private sectors as academic researchers and as practitioners and policy makers in fields such as conflict analysis and resolution, peace-building, and post-conflict transformation.
This programme (which replaces the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) in Peace and Conflict Studies) combines theory and practice with a solid research component and is regionally focused on Asia and the Pacific.
PEAC 501 Theories of Peace and Conflict
PEAC 502 Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory
and two of
This programme is located within INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute). INCORE is in an active research and practice Centre, and you can expect to learn from Faculty with practical and theoretical skills. Its location in Northern Ireland provides excellent opportunities for experiential learning in a society coming out of violent conflict. However, the geographical scope of INCORE’s work in research, policy, and practice is both local and global. It is a linked Postgraduate Diploma/MSc.
This programme has a strong focus on post-violence peacebuilding, which is appropriate given that it is rooted in a society emerging from decades of protracted violence. However, the geographical scope of INCORE’s work in research, policy, and practice is both local and global and this is reflected in the modules offered on the programme.
The overall approach seeks to develop the critical, theoretical and analytical skills necessary for working in conflicted societies – in ways that are grounded in real life application and case studies.
The MSc takes one calander year. You will normally be expected to attend class for 4-5 hours on two days a week during Semester One (Sept- Jan) and Semester Two (Jan - May). Students conduct their dissertation during Semester Three (June - Sept). The programme will be supplemented with seminars and lectures by visiting academics and practitioners, as well as field visits.
Students of an interdisciplinary programme such as the MSc. in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies are well placed to follow a number of distinct career opportunities, based on their specific interests and core strengths. The past decades have seen tremendous changes in the global context. As a result, the demand for well-trained individuals to work on the myriad of peace and conflict issues continues to rise. The knowledge and capacities developed by INCORE peace and conflict studies students are transferrable across sectors and regions, making their skill set mobile and flexible within a globalised job market.
There are a range of career paths available to students undertaking the MSc. in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies. The course is designed to enhance the students’ employability within the applied field of peace and conflict studies, which can take a wide variety of forms, both locally and internationally.
The MA in Peace and Conflict Studies is an exciting international and interdisciplinary two-year programme focusing on violent conflict as well as its prevention and management. It is a unique programme which is jointly offered by the University of Kent and the Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany and is taught in English.
You gain advanced knowledge in peace and conflict research, designed to help you understand the causes of violent conflict and to explain its effects and dynamics. As befits the complexity of violent conflict, the programme is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on insights from politics and international relations, sociology and psychology. It examines the major theories and leading practices of conflict and conflict resolution, supplementing theory with detailed case studies. Topics typically covered within the programme include risk analysis, negotiation, mediation, conference diplomacy, twin-track diplomacy, third-party intervention, peace-keeping, peace-making, and coercive diplomacy.
The programme draws on the large pool of expertise in the field of conflict analysis at Kent and Marburg, concentrated in the Centre for Conflict Studies at Marburg (https://www.uni-marburg.de/konfliktforschung/startseite-englisch?language_sync=1) and the Conflict Analysis Research Centre at Kent, both leading research centres in the field.
You develop your high-end analytical skills, along with more practical capabilities in areas such as mediation. Valuable skills are gained from dedicated research exercises such as conflict simulations, while you learn additional practical skills from an internship that is usually undertaken between the first and second years of study. Overall, the programme provides you with an outstanding basis from which to pursue a variety of careers, including in government, international organisations, NGOs, media, business, and consultancy and research.
The School of Politics and International Relations is one of the most dynamic places to study Politics and International Relations. We combine high-quality teaching with cutting-edge research in a supportive environment that welcomes students from all over the world.
All lectures and seminars on postgraduate modules are informed by the latest research and scholarship, and are delivered by full-time academic staff who have internationally recognised expertise in their field.
The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability, Internships, Placements and Alumni Manager who works with students to develop work-based placements in a range of organisations. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.
Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.
We are currently ranked 8th in the UK for Graduate Prospects in the Complete University Guide 2018.
The MSc Conflict Studies is dedicated to the analysis of violent conflict and its management or resolution. Its interests range from the interaction of high-level international, domestic and local politics, to the ideological, cultural and political economy factors in violent conflict.
Faculty are pedagogical and methodological pluralists, interested in explaining the causes, dynamics and outcomes of conflict and developing new perspectives on the institutional and non-institutional means by which conflicts can be better managed.
The MSc Conflict Studies has at its core some fundamental questions about what causes violent conflict. Why does it happen when it does and where it does? How and why do conflicts change over time? What can be done to manage or resolve a conflict? What is the role of international politics, or civil society? We aim to address these major questions that are pivotal to the comparative study of politics. The involvement of leading experts in the field will provide you with insights and critical thinking on the latest theoretical developments, research and best policy practices.
We aim to provide a multi-disciplinary perspective on the study of conflict which will be a valuable learning experience for those who wish to develop careers in the policy world in governments and public service, international organisations, security agencies, the media, NGOs or finance, as well as providing an excellent foundation if you wish to progress to a PhD programme. While many students who have taken the programme have gone on to successful careers in these fields, many have also come to us from such careers and with experience of work in major conflict zones, and have found their perspectives and skills enhanced by the in-depth learning experience at LSE.
Our goal is less to teach you how to think about conflict normatively, though this is an element in some courses, but more how to develop your skills to research and analyse conflict. The programme also offers an array of extracurricular activities each academic year, including guest speakers, public lectures, colloquia and workshops, and film screenings.
Previous graduates have developed careers in the policy world in governments and public service, international organisations, security agencies, the media, NGOs and finance. The programme is also an excellent foundation for those students who wish to progress to a PhD programme.
The MLitt in Peace and Conflict Studies is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations.
The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.
Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials with average lecture sizes ranging from 20 to 30 students and tutorial sizes ranging from 1 to 15 students. Assessment methods include a combination of examination and coursework.
Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
All Peace and Conflict Studies MLitt students take two compulsory and two optional modules over the course of the programme.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
Life is conflict. Life is cooperation. Both define the human condition. Conflict will never be eliminated, nor should it be, because conflict can foster change. But conflict can be approached in ways that do not involve mass killings, assaults on human rights, and oppressive structural violence that creates the appearance of order while people suffer. The newly created Master’s Program (and Bachelor’s/Master’s Program) in Peace and Conflict Studies within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark offers a unique approach to the issues which will shape our future. Based in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, this program prepares students for further scholarship or employment in three areas: the social bases of peace and conflict, the causes of large-scale violence, and nonviolent social conflict and recovery from violence. Students will also have opportunities for research and practical internships associated with the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and the International Institute for Peace, whose Directors are faculty members of the Master’s Program. The Center and Institute bring scholars, policy makers, peacemakers, projects, and events to our campus, and connect us to researchers, practitioners, and peacebuilding communities around the world.
There are many good programs covering peace and conflict issues, but ours is different in two ways. First, the Master’s is based in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and is oriented to the social bases of conflict and cooperation, of war and peace. Social dimensions include topics of migration, economic development, environmental degradation, inequality, education, race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. Beyond the Sociology/Anthropology Core Faculty and courses, the program is very interdisciplinary. Associate faculty, including both Newark and New Brunswick campuses, come from programs and departments of Political Science, Global Affairs, History, English, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Economics, and Religion.
Second, we expect graduates to have dual competence in understanding violent conflict, such as war, genocide, ethnic violence, and terrorism; and in nonviolence, including both nonviolent prosecution of conflict as through social movements and civil resistance, and in moving away from violent struggle toward reconciliation, justice, and sustainable peace.
Our students will be prepared to continue toward a higher degree in the most demanding PhD programs. They also will attain a most valuable competence for employment by any governmental agency, NGO, or business working in areas of high social conflict—the ability to analyze and communicate about complex situations, understanding the interacting factors that lead to nonviolent social movements or to large scale violence, ways to mitigate destructive conflict, and move forward toward sustainable peace.
Students may be full or part-time. Master’s students will complete 36 credits, and pass a final examination. A full-time student may complete the program in three semesters. Part-time students should complete it within three years, with extension beyond that requiring program approval.
Nine credits of foundations include
Distribution requirements include
Final Graduation Requirements
For graduation, students are required to fulfill one of three final requirements. 1) Three written examinations, one for each of our distribution areas. 2) A final thesis, according to University regulations. 3) Or, an extended research paper. (See Graduation Requirements.)
Our MA International Conflict Studies combines the intellectual endeavour associated with advanced learning and the practical policy implications emerging from particular approaches used in the study of conflict at regional, transnational and global levels of interaction.
Our MA course provides you with a comprehensive understanding of international conflict. It aims to combine theory and practice, providing advanced engagement with the theoretical and philosophical aspects of the subject as well as training in the investigation and analysis of specific cases of conflict. It enables you to engage critically with the application of social and political theory in developing an understanding of the origins, dynamics and resolution of international and transnational conflict and political violence.
You will examine the impact of globalisation on the complexities of present-day conflict; the politics of identity and how it relates to the emergence of violent conflict; the relationship between security, insecurity and the politics of violence at international level; the politics of security and how this relates to human rights and policies surrounding migration; the relationship between language and violent conflict; the place of cultural and gender difference in relation to conflict and peace, as well as the political and ethical implications of the diverse theoretical and methodological approaches in the study of conflict, violence, and peace.
You will typically have 2 hours per week over two 10-week terms per 40-credit module, as well as 360 hours of self-study. This can be split into one lecture + one seminar or combinations thereof. For the dissertation module, you will have 12 hours of training workshops and supervision to complement the 588 hours of self-study.
Most 20 to 40-credit modules are assessed through a combination of essays (3,000-6,000 words), presentation, oral vivas, and/or exams.
The dissertation module assessment will be based on a 80% dissertation assignment (up to 15,000 words) and a dissertation proposal worth 20%.
War Studies Graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more. Recent posts held by our alumni include Threat Analyst, Director of Political Violence Forecasting, Research Advisor at NATO Defence College, Foreign Policy Fellow.
This interdisciplinary MA explores the processes through which actors have attempted to define and build peace in areas affected by war and violence, particularly since the end of the Cold War. Drawing on expertise from the fields of history, politics, anthropology and the arts, this newly revamped course will offer students the opportunity to engage with conflict management, conflict resolution, conflict transformation, peacebuilding and statebuilding theories and practices.
Moreover, the programme will critically address the conceptualization of peace and the implementation of peacebuilding projects by global, regional, national and local actors, including the UN, the International Financial Institutions, development agencies and donors, INGOs, and local organisations in conflict-affected environments. In particular, it will focus on social agency for peace, the question of the nature of the `peaceful state', and the ever-fraught question of the reform of the international system. The dynamics of these various contributions to peace will be the focus of a guided engagement, via local partner organisations, with the range of peace and conflict management actors present in either Bosnia Herzegovina or Cyprus (in Semester II).
Students will be able to show a critical understanding of:
1. Key issues and debates related to the theories of peace and practices of peacebuilding, statebuilding, conflict management, resolution, and transformation. They will become familiar with the range of international actors and organisations, their policies and practices, and their pros and cons.
2. The range of social science topics that influence peacebuilding, statebuilding, conflict management, etc., (including political, historical, anthropological understandings of peace and related programming strategies). Students will become familiar with the methodological and normative underpinnings of these disciplines.
3. The analytical and policy literature concerning peacebuilding, international governance structures, statebuilding, and the role of key actors and institutions including NGOs and military and other security actors. Concurrently, students will be able to evaluate the theory and policy tools in the context of the recent history of peacebuilding and statebuilding since the end of the Cold War, in a range of examples, including across the Balkans, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, the recent and various Arab Revolts, and others.
4. An understanding of local approaches to peacebuilding, including an awareness of the problems and critiques associated with `bottom up' approaches. Students will examine current debates on the nature of everyday peace and hybrid forms of peace, related questions about `local agency' and forms of resistance, activism, and social mobilisation.
5. Students will experience the on-the-ground realities of peacebuilding and statebuilding through a guided research visit to the range of actors involved in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Cyprus. This will form a key part of one of the core modules of the programme and will be run in association with local partners.
6. The development of a range of academic and professional/transferrable skills through both independent and group-based work.
7. A detailed understanding of a specific conceptual and/or policy-related area of peacebuilding along with the implications and limitations of research findings on this subject, and of how to produce an original piece of academic research. This will be delivered via the dissertation.
The Institute is developing a novel configuration for research and teaching which will uniquely associate practitioners, non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners, theoreticians, policy makers and analysts in sustained intellectual engagement. Combining a targeted programme of research with the provision of timely analysis on current emergencies and conflicts, the institute will seek to develop new methodologies in the emerging field of humanitarian and conflict response research.
Additional voluntary workshops and events throughout the year further enhance study including:
The evidence of objects, a trip to the Imperial War Museum (North)
Other Case Briefings (e.g., Cyprus, Arab Uprisings)
Policy Sessions: UN system and INGOs (Professor Dan Smith, International Alert)
Manchester Peace and Social Justice Walk
Working with Governments (Professor Dan Smith, International Alert)
Regular `Leading Voices' workshops, with key thinkers in the field
Students studying this programme will also benefit from possible additional activities, such as:
Student organised trips to London (International Alert ), New York (UN/IPA ) and Brussels
Case Study Internships
Attendance at the annual Peacebuilding conference in Manchester and potential participation in student panels.
Delivery of the course will take a range of forms, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, directed reading, a guided walk, a museum trip, a field trip and independent study. Much of the delivery will be problem based/enquiry based learning.
This MA will be influenced and informed by the research of both staff and postgraduate research students at the Institute including research projects on:
Students completing this MA may consider a wide range of career choices, including careers with:
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.
Why is violent conflict so pervasive? How can we explain the origins and intensity of violent conflicts? What are the conditions for an enduring peace?
The Master's specialisation in Conflict, Power and Politics offers students insights into the origins, causes, and processes of conflict and conflict resolution. Recognising that contemporary conflicts cannot be understood without taking both domestic and international politics into account, the programme draws on comparative politics, international relations and conflict studies. Students will critically explore themes such as the determinants of political violence and warfare; the impact of political systems on the ways in which political demands are articulated; the links between ethnic violence, nationalism and war; how international regulations affect efforts to acquire peace; and which ethical dilemmas arise in such situations.
This Master’s programme is built around the basic notion that causes and (lasting) resolution of (violent) conflict can only be properly understood if we combine insights from international relations, comparative politics, conflict studies and international ethics: conflict may have domestic origins, but always has an international-political dimension; resolving such conflicts requires a proper grasp of the ethical and practical dimensions on intervention and peace building.
Our staff investigates the role of international organisations in humanitarian intervention and peace building (Verkoren, Verbeek); the role of social and political movements in mobilising conflict (Zaslove; Lehr; Malejacq); how changes in political representation contribute the (de)escalation of (potential) conflicts (Jacobs; van Leeuwen; Swedlund); how major global power transformations affect the likelihood of local conflict (Eimer).
Students in this Master’s programme prepare for a career as academic, (inter)national policy or decision maker, or journalist. Students acquire skills for positions as policy makers in NGOs, media international organisations, political parties, national ministries, and supranational institutions. They may also work as consultants for profit and non-profit organisations and as researchers at think tanks or universities. Our graduates obtain the skills that employers covet, such as sound research and analytical skills, excellent writing and oral communication skills, and experience in working in teams and working independently.
Find out more at http://www.ru.nl/masters/cpp
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.