Taught course

Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

Durham University · School of Government and International Affairs

Entry requirements

  • 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.

Months of entry


Course content

While negotiated agreements may spell the official end of conflict, repeated failures to secure long-lasting peace around the globe call attention to the need for more encompassing approaches to peacebuilding. Attuned to social as well as political needs, conflict prevention as well as pro-active peacebuilding, new forms of intervention are calling for practices that take local perspectives seriously, that look to hitherto unrepresented social actors such as the youth and women as necessary agents in the quest for peace, and that account for wide-ranging effects of conflict and peace initiatives in areas that are traditionally deprioritised such as health and the environment, to help prevent adversities before they happen.

This interdisciplinary and custom designed MSc offers the unique opportunity to look at conflict prevention and peacebuilding through the lenses of human security, social justice, and people’s diplomacy. Integrated into the MSc structure are opportunities to develop operational and vocational skills in humanitarian intervention, conflict mediation, everyday negotiation, conflict sensitive programme design, the use of peace indicators, participatory approaches to peacebuilding, and gender-sensitive approaches to security.

The MSc is designed for graduates with a career in government, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs, humanitarian organisations, or academia in mind, and for practitioners looking to enhance their practical skills while placing these within a broader theoretical perspective.

The MSc will provide you 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. You 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.

Core modules:

  • Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict
  • Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace
  • Peace Processes and Everyday Political Negotiation
  • Consolidating Peace after Violence
  • Capstone Exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation
  • Dissertation

Examples of optional modules:

  • Transitory Lives: Migration Research and Advocacy
  • Conflict Mediation
  • Fieldtrip
  • Gender, Security, and Post-conflict Reconstruction
  • Contemporary Challenges in UN Peacekeeping
  • Conflict Analysis
  • Urban Violence - Urban Peacebuilding
  • Capturing and Counting Peace and Conflict.
  • Participatory Approaches to Peace and Development
  • Conflict Sensitive Programme Management
  • Curating Human Remains.

Information for international students

Scholarships available for 2022 entry will be determined in September 2021. Over 60 scholarships are available, each year. Some scholarships are awarded to more than one person. For further information see the course listing.

Fees and funding

UK students
£14,000.00 per year
International students
£24,300.00 per year


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

School of Government & International Affairs