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MSc in International Conflict and Co-operation

Course Description


The MSc combines core modules in International Conflict and Cooperation and International Organisation in Semester 1 with a research methods course. In Semester 2, research methods continues and students take two option modules from a range of choices that focus on the Middle East, Africa, Migration and Resource Conflicts amongst others.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time
- Duration: Full time - MSc-12 months; PG Diploma-9 months; PG Certificate-3 months Part time - MSc-27 months; PG Diploma-21 months; PG Certificate-9 months
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Andrew Glencros

Course objectives

The course looks at the dynamics of international conflict and cooperation in light of major developments such as the end of the Cold War, the 9/11 terror attacks and the Arab Spring. The course takes a thematic approach to conflict resolution and the role of international organisations to focus on the role of conflict prevention and management in specific geographical areas in addition to the development and regulation of conflict in relation to factors such as natural resources and migration.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The MSc contains core modules related to international conflict and cooperation as well as a range of options modules to explore issues in more depth. It also features a research skills module.

Delivery and assessment

Modules will typically be delivered in the evenings by lecture and seminar, although the emphasis will be on student participation and discussion, workshop sessions, as well as a variety of formal and informal presentations. Assessment is by presentations, essays and the dissertation.


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the vast majority of the outputs submitted by the History and Politics staff were graded as international quality and a significant proportion was of ‘World-leading’ quality. All staff in History and Politics were assessed, an indicator of how central research is to our activity.

Career opportunities

The MSc in International Conflict and Cooperation is a gateway to employment in government agencies, the NGO sector and international organisations as well as into PhD study, research and academia. The course provides a background in conflict study, the role of international organisations and a thematic and geographical focus on distinct areas and problems as well as analysis of solutions. The academic skills aspects of the course also provide a background to undertake further research.


Our students learn a variety of skills to enhance their attractiveness to employers such as presentation skills, the ability to undertake research, analysis of complex data, writing skills, team work and communication, in addition to a variety of knowledge associated with international politics in relation to global issues, international organisations, concepts and theories.

Visit the MSc in International Conflict and Co-operation page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Helen Batchelor

In my third year as a Stirling undergraduate, I took a module on social movements which started my passion for politics; focusing on international relations and human rights, rather than domestic politics.

The flexibility of the Stirling system enabled me to change my degree to international politics and choose courses that really excited me and the level of support and encouragement offered by the Department staff was unbelievable.

They encouraged me to take this particular MSc in order to develop my interests in child soldiers and strengthen my knowledge of the situations involving their use. The Programme’s flexibility allowed me to focus on specific areas that interested me, such as African politics.

Looking to the future, the MSc has provided two main benefits. The first is that it has It has allowed me to further develop my interests in child soldiers and provided me with the skills to pursue this at PhD level. The second is that it offers an in-depth understanding of the role of international organisations and is therefore an ideal stepping stone for anyone wishing to work for an NGO or an institution such as the EU.

(Student Profile)

Kirsty McKay

Having previously studied at Stirling and thoroughly enjoyed it, coming back here to do a Master’s was the obvious choice. Having been able to live overseas after finishing an honours degree in History, I had developed an interest in public health in developing countries, particularly HIV transmission. I was looking specifically for a course that would afford me the flexibility to study something I was interested in academically and to combine that with a personal interest.

I emailed the course Director at Stirling and wasn’t surprised by the warm reception my enquiry received. I had approached other Universities and had been passed from pillar to post – a reminder to me of the advantage of a smaller university, where staff and students can interact.

I thoroughly enjoyed studying within the History and Politics department and for my degree dissertation I combined the issues of HIV transmission and conflict. While the subject matter was harrowing, I received invaluable support, guidance and encouragement from staff to produce a strong piece of work that would be of interest to prospective employers.

The course structure, including presentations, report writing and briefing papers, certainly served as a refresher and helped me to hone skills that I now use on an almost daily basis within my current position.

I work in Community Safety as a National Training Officer and while I am currently based in Scotland, I hope that the skills and the experiences I acquired at Stirling will help me to work overseas in the future.

Would I recommend this course and/or Stirling University? Yes – without a doubt.


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £4,500; Overseas £11,900

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Recipient: University of Stirling

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