MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy
The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their skills in the context of broader theoretical models, as well as graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind.
The intensive professional workshops are open to practitioners who are not on the MSc programmes as Continuing Professional Development courses, enhancing students' opportunities for networking and learning from other practitioners' perspectives.
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. past fieldtrips were organised to Labanon, Napal, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Kosovo).
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.
Learning and Teaching
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
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
Postgraduate Prospectus 2018
Interested in postgraduate study? Click to register and download our 2018 prospectus.