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Durham Global Security Institute

MSc Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

The focus of governments and humanitarian NGOs has progressively shifted towards conflict prevention and building sustainable peace. Yet to prevent conflict or to build a secure and inclusive state and society after conflict involves a complex set of skills straddling conflict analysis, conflict mediation and negotiation, peace processes, state stabilisation, post-conflict reconstruction, peace building and early warning.

This inter-disciplinary, custom-designed MSc offers the opportunity to develop operational and vocational skills for conflict prevention and peacebuilding within the context of the latest theories on conflict and conflict prevention. Students will acquire the analytical skills to map conflict dynamics, design conflict sensitive projects and develop early warning mechanisms, enabling them to better predict, and so avoid, the outbreak of violent conflicts. They will also gain the skills necessary to assess and evaluate the impact and outcomes of interventions.

The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their existing skills, as well as graduates with a career in conflict prevention, conflict mediation, or post-conflict reconstruction in mind. It is particularly aimed at those seeking to work or already working in the (I)NGO sector, governmental departments or inter-governmental organisations.

While rooted in peace and conflict studies, the MSc draws on strategic and security studies as well as development studies, enabling much needed cross-fertilisation between these traditionally divergent perspectives. It draws on real-life case studies as well as interactive role plays, and exposes students to both cutting-edge academic developments and the latest practitioner experience, with a particular focus on bottom-up approaches.

Courses are taught by a mixture of academics and practitioners, and cover both critical and problem-solving approaches. Conflict dynamics are analysed drawing on multiple disciplines, including security studies, peace studies, anthropology, law, archaeology, history and political theory. Modules include both traditional, term-long modules and short, usually more skills-oriented continuing professional development courses as well as fieldtrips (e.g. fieldtrips have been organised to Nepal, Kenya, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Kosovo).

Further details are available about the 5 core modules; the 3 optional modules; and the research dissertation, or work-related equivalent on a particular topic selected by the student.

“I chose the Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Master because of its interdisciplinary character, topics and the combination between theory and practice. During the course I have had the opportunity to meet very many interesting scholars, practitioners and very intelligent and diverse fellow students, from different cultural and academic backgrounds. The course gave me insight in things I had only read about in books before by confronting us with people who have actually been in the field, and by taking us there ourselves through the study trip and fieldwork opportunities for our dissertations. I have learned to look at conflict situations from new perspectives, something I hope to use in future employment in order to help create a more peaceful world.”

Marit Jansen, 2014/15

L2K909 Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding MSc Postgraduate Taught  2018

Essentials

Essentials

Degree MSc
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time)
Start Date 02/10/2018
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website www.durham.ac.uk/sgia
Email sgia.pgadmissions@durham.ac.uk
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 5656
Download Download as a PDF

Course Summary

Course Summary

Description

Course Structure

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.

Core Modules

  • Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict: Evolving Actors, Factors and Paradigms
  • Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace
  • Responses: Peace Processes and Political Negotiation
  • Recovery and Reconstruction: Consolidating Peace after Violence
  • Capstone Exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation (in MSc-specific roles)
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

  • Religion, Culture and Conflict
  • Conflict Mediation
  • Fieldtrip
  • Conflict Sensitive Programme Management
  • Re-thinking Counter Terrorism
  • Urban Violence - Urban Peacebuilding
  • International Negotiation as Instrument in Conflict Management
  • Policing Post-Conflict Cities
  • Defence Engagement 
  • Conflict Analysis.

Course Detail

Course Detail

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.

Learning and Teaching

Course Learning and Teaching

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.

Apply

Admissions Process

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.

IELTS 7.0 (with no component under 6.5) or equivalent scores in an alternative accepted English language test. Details of alternative accepted tests and the requirements for your subject and level of study can be found here. In some cases, English language proficiency can also be evidenced in other ways. You can find further information regarding this, here.  

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.

How to apply

Full details of how to apply for a postgraduate programme at Durham University can be found here.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply

Fees and Funding

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

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance

Open Days and Visits

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Overseas Visit Schedule

www.durham.ac.uk/international/office/meetus

Postgraduate Visits

PGVI or

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit/