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Peace and Conflict Courses

Take free online courses on Peace and Conflict Studies offered by the world’s leading universities. Learn about humanitarian response to conflict and disaster, resilience in children exposed to war and how religion relates to conflict and peace. All courses are free to audit. You can choose to purchase a verified certificate for an extra fee. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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Peace and conflict are defined differently by different people and also sometimes vary according to the context. Most commonly peace is the concept of harmony, societal friendship, and the absence of unrest. Whereas, conflict may indicate the presence of a difference of opinions, violence and unrest. Peace and conflict studies are fields in social science that identify such situations and behaviors while developing mechanisms to address them.

Following are 25 courses that will help social science students, policymakers, healthcare professionals progress in their roles that help in maintaining peace and resolving conflicts.

Religion, Conflict and Peace

This online course is aimed at any individual who would like to understand how religions function in contemporary world affairs. The course is being offered to students by Harvard University and can be completed in approximately 8 weeks. In this role, students will understand the roles that religion plays in promoting as well as mitigating violence. The focus will be on countries like Brazil, Egypt, France, Israel, and a few more. Students will understand in-depth about the different types of conflicts and the role that these have on civic life, education and commerce.

Religion and Conflict

This course is meant for undergraduate students who are interested in learning about the relationship between religion and conflict from a social perspective. The course is being offered by the University of Groningen and can be completed in about 6 weeks. In this course, students will learn several topics like definitions, history, and cases of religion and conflict. Students will also understand the link between religion and conflict along with religion and peacebuilding.

Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster

This online course about conflict and humanitarian response seeks to educate students about the humanitarian field to be able to recognize and analyze emerging challenges in the humanitarian field. The course is being offered to students by Harvard University and can be completed in approximately 5 weeks. In this course, students will evaluate the principles that guide humanitarian responses to conflict and disaster and will understand how these principles were framed. Students will test their applicability and the challenges behind these principles. The course will be interactive where students will solve case studies covering responses in different regions along with Harvard faculty, practitioners, and also other students.

Negotiation Skills: Negotiate and resolve conflict

This beginner’s course about conflict resolution talks about conflict at work and organizational politics. The course is being offered to students by Macquarie University and can be completed in approximately 15 hours. In this course, students will evaluate conflict theories and will learn how to apply them to situations at work. Students will also learn in-depth about the negotiation process which will include the negotiation theory and concept of forces in the negotiation. Post completion of this course, students will be better able to respond to and mitigate multiparty or one on one conflicts.

Mediation and conflict resolution

This online course will help students better understand the workplace and international conflict resolution by helping them know about mediation in detail. The course is being offered by ESSEC Business School and can be completed in approximately 12 hours. The course will help students understand what mediation is and when should it be used. Students will also learn about the different types of mediation, challenges faced by mediators, strategies of mediation along with the dos and don’ts. The prerequisite to complete this course is the Fundamentals of Negotiation which can be acquired through another course named Negotiation Fundamentals by the same Institute.

Applications of Everyday Leadership

This course is a part of the Strategic leadership and Management Specialisation being offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The course can be completed in approximately 15 hours. In this course, students will learn several topics that include feedback, negotiation, coaching, and conflict management which will help students work effectively with others in an organizational setting. Post completion of the course students will be able to manage conflict, lead change, and effectively negotiate with others.

Types of Conflict

This online course about conflict will help students look at conflict in a positive light. The course is being offered by the University of California and can be completed in approximately 7 hours. The course is also a part of the Conflict Management Specialization. In this course, students will learn about the different types of conflicts and understand the positive aspects. Through examples, students will also learn of the different positive ways to deal with conflict.

Conflict Resolution Skills

This online course is also a part of the Conflict Management Specialization being offered by the University of California and can be completed in approximately 6 hours. The course will help students develop the skills required to resolve conflict positively. Post completion of the course, students will learn appropriate communication tactics that can be used while dealing with conflict and also create a practical plan for managing conflict. Skills that will be gained through this course include listening skills, communication, collaboration and management.

Conflict Management Project

This course is a capstone project which is the last part of the Conflict Management Specialization by the University of California. The timeline for this project is approximately 6 hours. The project requires students to create a well organized, complete case study and apply all the learnings from the previous courses of the specialization to it. Students will be required to evaluate key organizational issues, roles, power, and significance of every player in the conflict and also develop communication skills needed for effectively managing the conflict.

Conflict Management Specialization

This specialization about conflict management will help students acquire the skills required to turn conflict into collaboration. The specialization is being offered by the University of California and can be completed in 4 months. In this course, students will learn how to address conflict constructively thereby strengthening their relationships at work and in their personal lives. Students will be able to understand the factors influencing the different conflicts in the global society to be able to manage them. The specialization ends with a capstone project that will help students apply learnings from the courses to a practical case study,

Global Health, Conflict and Violence

This course is meant for global health professionals and undergraduates as well as postgraduates in healthcare and global health and development studies. The course is being offered by the University of Bergen. In this course, students will understand the role of medical peace work and healthcare workers in situations of conflict. Through animated stories conflict zones, responses to nuclear explosions and health effects of climate change will be illustrated. Students will also learn about the different forms of violence, its hierarchies, and levels of violence through this course.

Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution Specialization

This specialization comprises of 4 courses and will help students become a successful negotiator and conflict manager. The specialization is being offered by ESSEC Business School and can be completed in approximately 5 months. The topics of the courses include Negotiation Fundamentals, International and Cross-Cultural, Mediation and Conflict Resolution. The specialization ends with a capstone project.

When Disaster Meets Conflict

This intermediate online course on conflict management is meant for practitioners in Disaster Management but can also be opted by other interested students. The course is being offered to students by the Erasmus University Rotterdam and can be completed in approximately 9 hours. In this course, students will understand the complications of disaster management in conflict settings. Students will understand the challenges, hard choices, and ethical dilemmas faced by humanitarian actors in conflict settings. In the course, students will also learn about humanitarian aid, disaster risk reduction, and disaster response in different situations with varying levels of conflict.

Addressing Violence Through Patient Care

This course is relevant to healthcare professionals and people with some experience in healthcare. The course is being offered by the University of Bergen and can be completed in 3 weeks. The course will help students understand how conflict, violence, and peace are related to health and the role that healthcare professionals play in such scenarios. In the course, students will learn how to recognize and respond appropriately to different forms of violence and torture through case studies. They will also learn many concepts in medical peace like the hierarchies, forms, and levels of violence along with the risks and limitations of medical peace work.

Buddhism: Diamond Sutra and World Peace

This course on conflict, peace, and Buddhism is aimed at anyone with an interest in Buddhism and wants to understand the relationship between religion and war. The course is being offered by the HKU School of Professional and Consulting Education and can be completed in approximately 7 weeks. In this course, students will be introduced to The Diamond Sutra and will also understand the core ideas of Conditioned and Unconditioned Phenomena in it. Students will also understand the dark side of human nature, the sources of conflicts, and how all religions are searching for the Truth.

Security, Terrorism and Counterterrorism

This online course will be of interest to anyone studying security, terrorism, and counter-terrorism. The course is being offered by Murdoch University and can be completed in 4 weeks. In this course, students will be introduced to the concepts of security, its threats, and how the definition of security differs according to the context. Students will learn about conflict, its drivers, terrorism, and its characteristics along with the different instruments of security.

International Cyber Conflicts

This online course on cyber conflicts will prepare students in terms of international cyber conflicts to be able to deal with them better. The course is being offered by the State University of New York and can be completed in about 7 hours. In this course, students will learn about the different types of cyber threats and issues, internet infrastructure, and several international efforts to address cybercrime and espionage. Students will also learn how to apply different psychological and political theories in the analysis of international issues related to cybersecurity.

Requirements Specifications: Goals and Conflict Analysis

This course is a part of the Requirements Engineering: Secure Software Specifications Specialization by the University of Colorado and can be completed in approximately 17 hours. In this course on Requirements Goal Development and Language Analysis, students will begin with writing goals and then identify use, misuse and abuse cases. Students will also learn how to handle group meetings, different conflicts that might arise, and how to handle them while also learning about the process of negotiation and handling uncertainties.

High Conflict in Law: Personality Disorders and Disputes

This online course will be helpful for anyone who might encounter high-conflict behaviors and would like to learn about conflict resolution in business or legal settings like lawyers, managers, HR professionals, administrators, health and medicinal practitioners. The course is being offered by the University of New Castle, Australia, and can be completed in 3 weeks. Through real-life case studies, students will learn about three main personality disorders and their relationship to high-conflict situations. They will also understand how to manage conflicts in legal and business disputes.

Conflict Management for College Students

This course is ideal for college students and anyone who wishes to learn how to effectively manage conflict. The course is being offered by Colorado State University and can be completed at one’s own pace. In this course, students will understand the common situations that college students face during their higher education in different situations and how to deal with them. Students will understand the importance of communication in conflict situations, common escalation points, and also how to look at conflict as an opportunity for growth.

Intercultural Communication and Conflict Resolution

This online course is a part of the Conflict Management Specialization by the University of California and can be completed in approximately 7 hours. In this course, students will understand how the process of communication gets complicated when people from different cultures are involved. Several topics like communication styles, strategies, and well orientations, stereotypes, and generalizations will be explored. Post completion of the course students will be able to explain the dimensions of intercultural interactions that add to the conflict and also understand the dynamics of intercultural interactions.

Environmental Challenges: Scarcity and Conflict in the Natural Environment

This is a CPD certified course that is suitable for anyone with an interest in conflict and environmental decision making. The course is being offered by the University of Leeds and can be completed in 2 weeks. In this course, students will be introduced to Ken Boulding and Amartya Sen. They will understand the difference between ‘cowboy’ and ‘spaceman’ economy while also understanding how the demand for certain natural resources has led to conflict in different regions. Students will also learn about water peace and water wars and also how conflict can lead to increased economic vulnerability of civilian populations.

Conflict Transformation

This course will help students understand how conflict transformation differs from conflict resolution and prevention. The course is being offered by Emory University and can be completed in 17 hours. In this course, students will learn how to look at conflict transformation as a mechanism for change and how different tools can help them engage in conflict constructively. The course will also cover strategies to deal with conflict and mediation as well as circle processes.

Teamwork Skills: Communicating Effectively in Groups

This beginner’s course is meant for anyone working in organizations that work in group settings. The course is being offered by the University of Colorado Boulder and can be completed by students in approximately 12 hours. The course will teach students to make better decisions, think creatively, innovate, and manage conflict while working with difficult group members. Students will learn about diversity, identity, gender, the importance of choosing the right words, and how to conduct the process of negotiation.

Social Psychology

This course is meant for anyone interested to learn about psychology and completion of this course will also help them access free membership in the Social Psychology Network. The course is being offered by the Wesleyan University and can be completed by students in approximately 38 hours. During this course, students will be introduced to classic and contemporary psychology along with decision making, group behavior, personal attraction, and factors that promote health and well being. In different modules, different topics will be discussed that will help people answer several questions in terms of other human beings. Obedience, conformity, social perceptions, self-presentation, group behavior are some of the topics that will be discussed.

The language of instruction for all the courses is English. Students can audit the courses for free but in order to avail a certificate a fee may be required. Financial aid may also be available for eligible students for certain courses.