L2K609 Defence, Development and Diplomacy MSc Postgraduate Taught 2019
With conflicts becoming either increasingly drawn-out, asymmetric wars of attrition or normalise into states of no peace – no war, our understanding of conflict and conflict intervention is shifting. Conflicts are rarely determined by military victory, diplomacy or long-term development, but require securing populations through a comprehensive approach that sees to their political, and economic, as well as their security-related needs. Their outcome will be determined by how well the different arms of government and civil society, both locally and internationally, can work together and how well they understand each others' perspectives.
This interdisciplinary and custom designed MSc offers the unique opportunity to look at conflict, conflict intervention and post-conflict reconstruction through the lenses of defence, development and diplomacy.
The MSc is designed for graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind, and for practitioners looking to enhance their practical skills while placing these within a broader theoretical perspective.
Five core modules worth 75 credits plus a Dissertation worth 60 credits plus three optional modules to the value of 45 credits.
- Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict: Evolving Actors, Factors and Paradigms
- Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace
- Conflict Intervention: International Law, Counter-Insurgency and Conflict Diplomacy
- Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Stabilisation, Development and State-Building
- Capstone Exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation (in MSc-specific roles)
Optional module in previous years have included:
- Religion, Culture and Conflict
- Conflict Mediation
- Conflict Sensitive Programme Management
- Re-thinking Counter Terrorism
- Conflict Analysis
- Urban Violence - Urban Peacebuilding
- International Negotiation as Instrument in Conflict Management
- Defence Engagement
- Policing Post-Conflict Cities.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Course Learning and Teaching
At the beginning of the academic year, you will go through two-day induction events in which you are informed about the University, the School, the MSc courses and the facilities available for your learning.
The 180 credits one-year MSc degree course is divided into five core and three optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, you will have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and you will spend the remaining time writing the dissertation.
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 delivered over two full days, through a mixture of lectures, Q&A sessions, seminar discussions, and role plays.
Formative assessment is given on seminar contributions, role plays, and formative essays. You will have the opportunity to meet your lecturers to discuss marks and other issues arising from their course performance. You will also have the opportunity to attend ‘essay surgeries’ in which you can discuss the structure and content of essays early in the course.
You can also meet module coordinators or programme coordinators during your weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When you are working on your dissertation during the latter half of the year, you are required to attend two 4-hour workshops. In addition, you have the opportunity to meet your assigned supervisor for an average of 6 meetings. You also have access to the MSc Programme Director and the School’s Director of Taught Postgraduate Studies whenever there is a need.
SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. Students are also fully integrated into the Durham Global Security Institute, which delivers this MSc course and hosts guest lectures and seminars throughout the year. These events provide opportunities to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies, and in conflict, peace and security studies.
Throughout the course you can contact the Careers and Enterprise Centre at the University to get advice on available job prospects and assistance on applying for these.
Subject requirements, level and grade
UK 2.1 Bachelor degree, or equivalent. The degree should be in the field of social sciences, but we will actively consider significant relevant experience in lieu of this requirement.
Two satisfactory academic references. In cases of applicants who have significant relevant experience, one work-related reference and one academic reference would be considered appropriate.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£11,550.00 per year|
|Home Student||£11,550.00 per year|
|Island Student||£11,550.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£20,790.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
School of Government and International Affairs
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.
For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
Postgraduate VisitsPGVI or
School of Government and International Affairs
Durham’s School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA) combines a long tradition of expertise in a wide range of fields in politics, political theory, political economy, and international relations with a depth of specialisms in regional expertise – Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and the wider Muslim world. The SGIA provides an exceptional environment for learning, training and research.
71% of the department’s research is either Internationally Excellent’ (3*) or World Leading (4*) – the top two categories in REF 2014.
|L2K909||Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (MSc)|
|L2K407||Politics and International Relations (Political Theory) (MA)|
|L2T109||Global Politics (MSc)|
|L2T207||International Relations (MA)|
|L2KA07||Research Methods (Politics, International Relations, Security) (MA)|