Taught course

Peacebuilding and Mediation

University of St Andrews · School of International Relations

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours degree in Political Science, International Relations, Social Sciences, Anthropology, Geography, History, Sociology, English, Comparative Literature, or other relevant disciplines. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

Peacebuilding and Mediation critically explores the relationship between formal and official peacebuilding and mediation initiatives and informal, unofficial, and community-based efforts.

This course is offered as either an MLitt or MPhil:

  • The MLitt is a one-year programme involving two semesters of taught modules followed by a dissertation.
  • The MPhil is a two-year programme. In the first year, students complete the same components of the MLitt. In the second year, they complete one semester abroad at a partner institute in Europe and one semester on a practical placement. You can apply directly to the MPhil programme, or you may have the opportunity to progress from the MLitt to the MPhil.

The MLitt and MPhil in Peacebuilding and Mediation are run by the School of International Relations. The programmes showcase the School’s world-leading research strengths in the broad field of peace and conflict studies, including in peacebuilding and mediation of conflict.

In this course, you will:

  • analyse bottom-up and top-down approaches to conflict mediation
  • conceptualise peace and its relationship to violence
  • analyse relationships between formal institutions of peacebuilding and parallel informal or unofficial processes
  • identify key actors involved in peacebuilding and mediation efforts
  • engage with bottom-up approaches to building peace
  • explore feminist and decolonial critiques of formal peace processes
  • critically engage with temporalities and spaces of peace and violence.


  • The focus of this programme on peacebuilding and mediation ensures that the study of conflict focuses not only on violence, its actors, and modalities, but also on the different insights deriving from critical engagement with processes of peace.
  • The programme is strongly influenced by postcolonial, feminist and critical theory.
  • The programme locates and analyses both global and more local cases of peacebuilding and mediation, building on Scottish strengths of community-based mediation, conflict resolution, and peace promotion.
  • All students receive mediation training in the first semester of study, and can obtain an accredited certificate in mediation. Students have further opportunities to complete continuous professional development in mediation and to participate in practice mediation sessions towards their potential registration as mediators with Scottish Mediation.
  • Within the two-year MPhil, the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at one of Europe’s leading peace research institutes and peace studies programmes, and the opportunity to complete a research practice work placement

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances. Find out more about the scholarships and postgraduate loans available.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MLitt
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0)1334 46 1944