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Conflict, in its many forms, has been a permanent feature of human society. While not all conflict is destructive, the violent conduct of conflict has caused innumerable deaths and indescribable pain and suffering. It is this kind of deadly conflict that International Conflict Analysis addresses. It tries to understand its causes, to explain its effects and to describe its dynamics in order to prepare actors, be they state governments, international organisations or individuals, to better manage conflict peacefully, or to prevent it in the first place.
This degree examines the major theories and leading practices of conflict and conflict resolution in international affairs, supplementing theory with detailed case studies. Topics include risk analysis, negotiation, mediation, conference
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A first or upper-second class UK honours degree, or its equivalent, in a relevant subject. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website
For detailed information see our Tuition Fees web pages Please see the university website for further information on fees for this course.
I studied as part of the School of Politics & IR at undergraduate level and was therefore already aware of how strong the School was in terms of academic lecturers, student participation and general organisation. The reason for choosing the International Conflict Analysis programme itself was simple: it offered a wide range of modules that covered almost everything that interested me, from Philosophy and Methodology to Human Rights and International Security. It was a struggle to pick my six modules for the year because I was genuinely interested in seven or eight.
In my opinion the most valuable thing I have come away with from the programme is the ability to think critically and ask questions. People rarely ask ‘why?’ You soon find that at undergraduate level you are often spoon-fed information and (usually) little is asked of you in terms of challenging what others think. The idea of challenging the ‘norm’ has run through the heart of the course this year and has been at the core of every module I have studied; students are encouraged to ask questions and actively debate. Discussions at the start of the year that were driven by lecturers become student-led and people actively seek engagement. It has been fantastic and quite liberating.
I can’t define one, single aspect of this course as the ‘best’; the people I have met this year have been fantastic and the lecturers have often gone out of their way to help when it’s needed. The library services and facilities have been invaluable and the buzz around campus is always refreshing when deadlines are tight.
I would definitely recommend the programme to others. This year has been the most intellectually stimulating year of my life, by far. The good thing about International Conflict Analysis, despite what you might think from the programme title, is that you can go almost anywhere with it. It’s both challenging and enjoyable and you’ll rarely find it boring or monotonous.
What attracted you to BSIS?
Following my undergraduate studies, I was interested in pursuing a Master’s qualification, which is highly sought after by employers, particularly if you wish to develop a career in the international relations field. Having previously lived and worked in Brussels, I knew I liked the city and it would offer me good social and professional networking opportunities. BSIS is a good-sized school with a great reputation. Studying here will also enable me to complete my Master’s degree in one year compared with two or three years in the US, reducing my costs considerably.
What have you particularly enjoyed?
I enjoy the diversity of the student body and the fact that the academic staff are invested in and committed to the students. They take pride in their own work in that they not only have a passion for teaching but also for pursuing their research and professional interests in their specilist fields – there’s a great balance!
I also like being pushed to think critically and to have the opportunity to look at issues from different perspectives, which will prove beneficial as I continue in my career.
What advice would you offer to potential students of BSIS?
Regardless of your age, background or work commitments, studying at BSIS is an achievable goal. Consider all the fields of study offered here. You can take different classes and then narrow your area of interest once you are here – whatever you learn will apply to whichever field of international studies you wish to pursue.
While I was doing my BA in Political Science at Doshisha University in Japan, I was selected as an exchange student for the University of Sheffield, where I spent one academic year in 2013. During my stay in Sheffield, I particularly enjoyed the module “War and Peace in East Asia” by Professor Hugo Dobson; which brought me back to the original point where I became interested in Political Science.
Based on my year at the University of Sheffield, I chose MA Peace and Conflict Studies. I was certain that this would be the perfect programme for me, not only to enrich my educational background, but also to succeed in building professional career due to the prestigious classes and the mandatory internship.
To date, my favourite module is “Conflict Resolution in World Politics” by Professor Feargal Cochrane. The classes are fascinatingly accelerated by his warm character, and introduce new theories as well as means for conflict resolutions. As I would like to write about bringing peace in conflict areas for my master’s thesis and the class is right to the point, I enjoy the module very much.
The modules I take this term have both lectures and seminars, and we are introduced to concepts of weekly topics from readings as well as additional knowledge in lectures, while we have the opportunity to actively interchange our opinions with other students in seminars. As a non-native English speaker, I occasionally have difficulties in following classes. However, there are always supports and helps for this. The Skills Hub is one of the places where you can get assistance for your studies. Similarly, professors here are helpful and friendly, which allows me to comfortably ask any academic questions.
After completing my first year at the University of Kent, we are required to do a subject-related internship until the next academic year starts. Then, the next academic year is going to be in Germany. This is something that I have never done and therefore greatly excites me. I believe that all these new experiences, as well as academic knowledge that I have gain from this specific programme, contribute to adding more value on me and to enrich my professional horizons.
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