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.
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 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.
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
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.
This MA programme is designed to critically examine the theoretical and methodological issues surrounding the dynamics of peace and conflict in the contemporary world. The programme engages with the work of leading peace and conflict studies scholars, at both conceptual and empirical levels, and draws on evidence from a range of recent armed conflicts.
The programme also addresses techniques in conflict resolution, such as mediation, in order to deepen your understanding, and to develop practical skills in conflict analysis. The programme also uses optional modules from Politics to support the core programme.
You will take five taught modules each assessed by a 5,000 word essay. The programme culminates in the writing of a 20,000-word dissertation in a subject area of your own choosing.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
This MA explores how contemporary politics, conflict and debates about human rights and security are informed by the processes of globalisation.
You will study topics including human rights and humanitarian intervention, the world economy and the changing global order, global governance and the United Nation system, the growth of global networks and movements, global security, conflict resolution and peace-building, international relations and law, global poverty and development, and the politics of sustainability and environmental decline. Because globalisation transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries, our MA takes an interdisciplinary approach to challenge conventional political and international relations approaches.
There are two core modules: Globalisation and Global Politics, and Conflict, Security and Human Rights. You can also select two optional modules to focus on an area of particular interest, for example human rights and humanitarian intervention, global environmental politics, the Middle East, conflict resolution, genocide, international relations theory, the nature of warfare, and global ethics.
On the Globalisation: Politics, Conflict and Human Rights MA, you will:
The programme is founded on the notion that politics, conflict and human rights must now be understood in the context of contemporary globalisation.
Globalisation and Global Politics
This module begins by examining a range of approaches to globalisation and global politics before exploring the processes, institutions and ideologies that are widely considered to be driving them. For example, economic globalisation is studied in relation to the financial crisis of 2008 and wider debates about global economic disorder. In particular, the emphasis is on fostering an informed understanding of contemporary globalisation through study of critical theories, debates about power, patterns of global poverty and inequality, and development responses.
In relation to claims about a shift in global power, the rise of China and its implications for the Asia-Pacific Region and the rest of the world are explored. At an institutional level, the Human Rights Council, the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights are examined. The politics of global sustainability is considered in relation to the formation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, the politics of a transnational/global movement is investigated through the study of La Via Campesina.
Conflict, Security and Human Rights
This module examines contemporary conflict, security and human rights debates in relation to globalisation and the evolution of global politics. Areas and issues examined include: the relationship between global security and international relations theory; conflict resolution theory and the prospects of conflict resolution in Syria; state building and peace-building in Somalia; and a global NGO (Amnesty International) dedicated to monitoring conflict and human rights abuses.
Environmental security is considered within the context of global environmental decline, focusing in particular on Moscow’s apparent resource-based approach to international relations. As for human rights, the major theories and critiques are examined, with specific reference to humanitarian intervention and the emergence of the concept of human security. In this vein, the politics of movement under contemporary globalisation is explored by studying the Geneva Convention and the rights of refugees.
This MA is relevant to careers in the public sector, teaching, the media, the legal profession, business, journalism, management and human resources, as well as to further research. You may also seek work in development, charities, non-governmental organisations and the environment, as well as the European Union and the United Nations.