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Peace & Reconciliation Studies Master in Arts

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  • Objectives
    The aim of the MA in Peace and Reconciliation Studies is to enable students to develop the knowledge and skill base necessary to understand the linkages between the different levels of destructive conflict in the world, to understand the theory and practice of peace-making and peace-building at the various levels, and to evaluate alternative modes of action and intervention in the attempt to transform violent and destructive conflict along non-violent and constructive channels. In this regard it should be noted that the focus of the programme is far wider than ‘war’.
  • Academic Title
    Peace & Reconciliation Studies Master in Arts
  • Course description
    On average more than half a million people a year are killed by weapons of one kind or another – many thousands more are injured, forced to flee and to live in fear. At the same time research indicates that in 2003 there were 36 armed conflicts taking place in the world – a slight reduction on previous years.

    But whilst there has been a decline in the number of recognised armed conflicts, there is evidence that people in many parts of the world are experiencing increased levels of fear and insecurity. This reminds us that destructive conflict does not just occur at the inter-state and intra-state level, it takes place in the different domains of everyday life. Violence is not just something that is ‘over there’, it is endemic within our own societies, communities and groups, and to achieve peace at these levels also involves the pursuit of reconciliation.

    Reasons to choose Peace & Reconciliation Studies MA degree

    This programme offers a detailed introduction to the concepts and practices of peace studies, conflict transformation and related areas.  It has been running successfully since 2000, and enjoys a lively mix of students and staff from many different backgrounds.

    Future prospects

    Career prospects are varied, and often challenging.  Many graduates have gone on to work for development or human rights agencies in different countries, working with issues directly related to conflict and post-conflict situations.  Others move on to PhD programmes.  A postgraduate qualification in peace studies is increasingly recognised as a useful asset by employers in fields like politics, journalism, aid and development.

    Course content

    The MA in Peace and Reconciliation Studies is offered on either a full-time or part-time basis, according to the circumstances of individual students. Normally a full-time student should complete the course within one academic year, whilst part-time students take two years. The academic year begins in October.

    Students are required to take four double modules and two single modules before proceeding to the preparation of a dissertation. Three of the double modules are mandatory. They deal with the central concerns of the course.

        * Key Issues in Peace and Reconciliation Studies focuses on the central concepts and theoretical approaches that inform the study of peace and reconciliation.
        * Theory and Practice of Conflict Transformation focuses on how violent or damaging conflicts at the inter-personal and inter-group levels can be transformed into constructive processes of personal and social change.
        * Comparative Peace Processes focuses on protracted social and regional conflicts within a comparative framework, enabling the student to examine the relationship between types of conflict, forms of peace settlement, and the main dilemmas of promoting reconciliation during the ‘post-peace settlement’ phase in societies and regions emerging out of destructive conflict.

    We also offer an optional double module:

        * Religion, Peace and Conflict focuses on the relationship between change at the individual ‘micro’ level and the 'macro' level of structural transformation, aiming in particular to enable students to evaluate different ways of envisaging the creation of a world without war that emphasise the primacy of ‘inner’ change.

    If they wish students may choose their optional module from a range offered on other MA courses within the School.  The following modules have been approved for the Peace and Reconciliation Studies postgraduate programme:

        * International Human Rights Law
        * Human Rights in Europe
        * Peace-Keeping in Africa
        * Development Strategies and Experience
        * Gender and Development
        * The Politics of India and Pakistan

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