5 Top Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies in the UK

The field of peace and conflict studies has grown remarkably over the last seven decades since the first programme was offered in 1948 at Indiana’s Manchester College. The programme, which started shortly after World War II, has impressively expanded from its former narrow specializations to areas such as human rights, justice, individual rights, and well-being, gender issues, as well as intersections between peace and socioeconomic development. Today, peace scholars consider many factors: how food security impacts on peace, the relationship between inequality, poverty, and peace, as well as how media impacts on democracy across the globe. The field of peace studies has become so multidisciplinary to the extent that virtually anyone interested in global peace, would find a place in the field, irrespective of academic background. This article explores top five master’s degrees in peace studies in the UK.

The University of Manchester’s MA in Peace and Conflict Studies

Programme Information: Manchester University, founded in 1824, is not only one of the leading universities in the United Kingdom, but it is also one of the leading institutions in the world. The university has a global reputation for education and innovation which resonates across the world. One of the standout programmes offered by the university is the Master of Arts degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. The MA offers specialist training in critical approaches to peace and conflict studies. The programme incorporates field trips and on-campus conferences and seminars with an enviable list of great visiting speakers throughout the year.

The programme critically addresses the conceptualization of peace and the implementation of peacebuilding projects by global, regional, national and local actors, including the UN, the International Financial Institutions, development agencies and donors, INGOs, and local organisations in conflict-affected environments.

Admission Requirements:

  • UK 2:1 (Hons) degree (or international equivalent) in any subject.
  • ELTS – overall score of 7, including 7 in writing with no further component score below 6.5
  • TOEFL IBT 103 with 28 in writing and no further score below 25 in each section.

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University of Dublin’s MPhil in Race, Ethnicity, and Conflict

Programme Information: The MPhil in Race, Ethnicity, and Conflict offered by the University of Dublin is one of the most unique postgraduate degrees offered in peace and conflict studies globally. Established in 1997, the programmes combine a focus on race-critical theory, population movement, conflict, and resistance, making it arguably one of the most comprehensive master’s programmes in peace studies. Offered as a one-year course, the MPhil examines techniques used by states and international agencies to manage peoples and conflict, their social and cultural impact and the responses they elicit.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates should have an Honors Bachelor degree (preferably upper-second class honors or equivalent, GPA of at least 3.2) in one of the social sciences or a degree that includes social science as a component. However, consideration will also be given to applicants with other relevant academic qualifications, work experience in the fields of population movement or conflict and/or publications that demonstrate analytical skills. Applicants seeking admission in this category may, where practicable, be called for interview. In all cases, the quality of the candidate’s statement of interest and their academic references are important and will be taken into account as part of the admission process. All applicants whose first language is not English or who have not been educated through the medium of English will need to present evidence of English language competency.

University of Bradford’s Master of Advanced Practice in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution

Programme Information: The University of Bradford’s MA in advanced practice in peacebuilding and conflict resolution draws on over 40 years of experience as a leading centre of peace research and education. The programme is structured in a way to help students recognise the strengths and limitations of different approaches to intervention by equipping them to consider critical questions surrounding efforts to build peace in different contexts. Students in the programme develop and demonstrate knowledge and recognised competencies essential to effective, ethically-aware practice within conflict engagement and practice.

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants should have an undergraduate qualification at 2:2 or above (or equivalent).
  • Relevant professional or voluntary experience would be desirable.
  • IELTS 6.0. Candidates who do not meet the IELTS requirement can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course.

The University of St. Andrew’s MLitt in Peace and Conflict Studies

Programme Information: The University of St. Andrews is one of the UK oldest and leading universities. Founded in 1413, the university has been consistently rated amongst the top 150 global universities. The university’s MLitt in Peace and Conflict Studies explores the foundations of peace and conflict theory, as well as the broader challenges that arise in areas of peacebuilding, peace processes, reconciliation, and post-conflict reconstruction. Students admitted into the programme have the opportunity to choose two optional modules from exciting courses such as terrorism and liberal democracy, conflict and peace in post-communist Eurasia, religion and international politics, identity and collective violence, political economy of conflict, gender and terrorism: explores gender as a tool for the construction and maintenance of power, the evolution of United Nations peacekeeping, political order and violence in the Middle East, political philosophy and world Order, conflicts, Security and democracy in the greater Caucasus, etc.

Admission Requirements:

  • A strong 2.1 Honours degree (or international equivalent).
  • English language proficiency.
  • The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

King’s College London’s MA in International Conflict Studies

Programme Information: King’s College London’s MA in International Conflict Studies combines cutting-edge developments in the study of conflict and security with the skills of rigorous and reflective research. The programme prides itself as one of the few in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon. Its multidisciplinary approach means that all aspects of war and conflict, and the broad remit of international relations are researched and/or taught. The department has an excellent reputation as a graduate training institution and is recognised by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council as a training institution for war studies.

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree with a high 2:1 honour (i.e. an overall average of at least 65% across all years of study) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subjects.
  • A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained
  • Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
  • Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application (This is optional).

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