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MSc Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding 


The focus of governments and humanitarian NGOs has progressively shifted towards conflict prevention and building sustainable peace. Yet to prevent conflict or to build a secure and inclusive state and society after conflict involves a complex set of skills straddling conflict analysis, conflict mediation and negotiation, peace processes, state stabilisation, post-conflict reconstruction, peace building and early warning. 

This inter-disciplinary, custom-designed MSc offers the opportunity to develop operational and vocational skills for conflict prevention and peacebuilding within the context of the latest theories on conflict and conflict prevention. Students will acquire the analytical skills to map conflict dynamics, design conflict sensitive projects and develop early warning mechanisms, enabling them to better predict, and so avoid, the outbreak of violent conflicts. They will also gain the skills necessary to assess and evaluate the impact and outcomes of interventions. 

The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their existing skills, as well as graduates with a career in conflict prevention, conflict mediation, or post-conflict reconstruction in mind. It is particularly aimed at those seeking to work or already working in the (I)NGO sector, governmental departments or inter-governmental organisations. 

While rooted in peace and conflict studies, the MSc draws on strategic and security studies as well as development studies, enabling much needed cross-fertilisation between these traditionally divergent perspectives. It draws on real-life case studies as well as interactive role plays, and exposes students to both cutting-edge academic developments and the latest practitioner experience, with a particular focus on bottom-up approaches. 

Courses are taught by a mixture of academics and practitioners and cover both critical and problem-solving approaches. Conflict dynamics are analysed drawing on multiple disciplines, including security studies, peace studies, anthropology, law, archaeology, history and political theory. Modules include both traditional, term-long modules and short, usually more skills-oriented continuing professional development courses as well as fieldtrips (e.g. fieldtrips have been organised to Nepal, Kenya, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Kosovo). 

 Find out more: L2K909 - MSc Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding 


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Capstone exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation

During a conflict, would you know what urgent actions need to be tackled? Here, the Durham Global Security Institute, based within the School of Government and International Affairs, gives students the opportunity to put their learning into action during their Capstone Humanitarian Intervention Simulation.

More about our courses L2K609 and L2K909
During the course I have had the opportunity to meet very many interesting scholars, practitioners and very intelligent and diverse fellow students, from different cultural and academic backgrounds. The course gave me insight in things I had only read about in books before by confronting us with people who have actually been in the field, and by taking us there ourselves through the study trip and fieldwork opportunities for our dissertations.

Marit Jansen
MSc Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding