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Peace and Conflict Studies in Nigerian Universities: Where to study

The number of universities in Nigeria has grown remarkably over the last two decades. From a handful of tertiary institutions (most of them regional) shortly after independence in 1960, the number of universities in the country has grown to 40 federal universities, 44 state universities, and 68 private universities. There are also a host of polytechnics and specialized colleges offering degrees in certain fields. The focus of this article is to highlight universities in Nigeria offering courses in peace and conflict studies.

University of Ibadan’s Peace and Conflict Studies Programme

Programme Information: The University of Ibadan (UI) is the oldest university in Nigeria. Located about 120km from Nigeria’s commercial capital city of Lagos, the university prides itself as one of the best in Nigeria, and on the continent of Africa. In September 2016, it became the first Nigerian university to make the top 1000 in Times Higher Education rankings. Prior to that, it had always made the top African 10 in Webometrics Rankings.

The University of Ibadan’s Peace and Conflict Studies programme is housed in the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS). The goal of the IPSS is to bridge the existing gap between theory and practice of security studies and peacebuilding at the national, continental and global levels. The teaching and learning methods employed are often supplemented with invited lecturers and simulation exercises delivered by seasoned conflict and disaster risk management practitioners across the globe.

Programme Requirements:

The institute offers M.A, MPhil and Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies. The Institute also offers professional masters in peacebuilding and development, as well as professional masters in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Candidates with strong first degrees in the humanities and social sciences are encouraged to apply for the institute’s master’s studies, while candidates for Ph.D. are typically expected to possess a master’s degree in peace and conflict studies or very related fields.

University of Ilorin’s Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies

Programme Information: The University of Ilorin, also known as Unilorin, was established in 1975 as part of the then military government’s Third National Development Plan which aimed at providing more opportunities for Nigerians aspiring to acquire university education, and to generate high-level manpower to match the growing economy. Sited on a landmass of over 5000 hectares, the university is one of the most stable and consistently innovative universities in Nigeria.

The Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies of the University of Ilorin was established in 2008 with the technical support of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) to make a contribution to the production of the needed manpower for promoting sustainable development and managing conflicts in Africa and far beyond. The Centre offers MA and Ph.D. degree courses in Peace and Development Studies. Historically, the Centre is the second to provide mainstream training in Peace Studies at the doctoral level in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The specific objectives of the Centre include the following:

  1. To make the University of Ilorin a global center of excellence for peace and development research and documentation.
  2. To train world-class manpower in the fields of peace, development and strategic studies.
  3. To provide practical skills training in peacemaking, peacebuilding and preventive diplomacy to students and field practitioners.

Programme Requirements:

The MA Peace and Security Studies programme are open to candidates with a first degree in any field with a minimum of Second Class Lower. Candidates must also have at least a credit in the English Language at Secondary School level. Experience in Security sector management for not less than 10 years is compulsory for all candidates.

All candidates for the Ph. D programme is expected to have scored a minimum of 60% in their Master’s degrees in Peace and Conflict Studies from a recognized University or the Centre’s Peace and Development Studies. They are also expected to have at least a credit in English Language at the Secondary/High School level.

University of Jos’ Centre for Conflict Management and Peace Studies

Programme Information: The University of Jos, situated in Nigeria’s temperate state of Plateau in the Northcentral region was established in November 1971 as a satellite campus of the University of Ibadan. It became a separate institution in October of 1975 and has grown to be one of Nigeria’s most reputable institutions.

Since 2003 the Centre for Conflict Management and Peace Studies has provided training to peace practitioners and has supported scholars studying peace and conflict locally, nationally within Nigeria, and internationally across Africa and beyond. The Centre offers post-graduate diplomas and Master’s degrees in peace and conflict studies and provides resources to the local community for understanding conflict management through its library. The Centre is affiliated with the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) and Bradford University, UK.

Programme Requirements:

The MA programme is open to candidates with a first degree in any field with a minimum of second class lower. Candidates must also have at least a credit in English Language at Secondary School level.

Afe Babalola University’s Peace and Conflict Studies Programmes

Programme Information: Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) was established in 2009 as a non-profit private university by lawyer and philanthropist, Aare Afe Babalola. Situated in Ado-Ekiti, in Ekiti State, Southwest Nigeria, the university has six colleges—sciences, law, engineering, social and management sciences, medicine, and health sciences, as well as postgraduate studies.

The University prides itself as the only conventional Nigerian University offering both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in peace and conflict studies. Most universities offering peace and conflict studies, offer them at postgraduate levels. ABUAD offers Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies, as well as Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Science degree in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Programme Requirements:

Candidates for the undergraduate programme are required to possess five credits including English, mathematics and any 3 arts, social sciences, or science subjects. Candidates must also have a minimum score recommended by the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) and also meet the post-UTME examination requirements conducted by the university.

The criteria for admission into the PGD programme in Peace and Conflict Studies is as follows:

  1. Candidates must satisfy the matriculation requirements of the University including English
  2. A minimum of 3rdClass Bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies or a related discipline awarded by an approved and accredited University.
  • HND and/or professional qualifications cognate to Peace and Conflict Studies from a recognized institution with not less than upper credit.

University of Port Harcourt’s Centre for Conflict and Gender Studies

Programme Information: The University of Port Harcourt (also referred to as UniPort) is situated in Port Harcourt, the capital city of Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers State. The university was established in 1975 as University College, Port Harcourt, and was accorded full University status in 1977.

The mission of the Centre for Conflict and Gender Studies at the University of Port Harcourt is to apply relevant skills and competences toward evidence-based policy research in peace, conflict and gender studies; to achieve sustainable peace and development, to equip male and female populations with knowledge of economic, social, political and cultural problems that hinder human development at the community, national and international fronts. The Centre conducts research, which provides useful evidence-based information for tackling conflict, especially those affecting the immediate environment and neighboring states in the South-South region of the country.  It has the potential to become a leading institution in the subfields of Peace and Conflict and Gender Studies in Africa. The Centre then is poised to make relevant contributions via teaching, research and community service, so as to help address development challenges in a developing economy where many citizens suffer severe security threats posed by violent conflicts, poverty, illiteracy, violence, human trafficking and gender inequality.

The Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Peace and Conflict Studies is designed to run for 12 calendar months minimum and 24 calendar months maximum in modules. Delivery of course contents is designed through lectures, group work, case studies, critical reading, discussion, circles and self-assessment and so on.

Programme Requirements:

To be eligible for admission into the programme, candidates must possess a first degree (B.Sc. B.Ed., B.A.) from any recognized university. Preference will, however, be given to candidates who have degrees in related fields of study, and to those who work in the peace and conflict sector. In exceptional cases, candidates without first degrees, but who have attended high professional institutions and who have demonstrable practical experience in peacekeeping operations and other peacebuilding activities, may be considered for admission.