Peace and Conflict Studies MA
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1. Key issues and debates related to the theories of peace and practices of peacebuilding. Students will show familiarity with different theoretical approaches, practical problems and an appreciation of the diversity of policies at international, regional, national and sub-national levels.
2. The range of social science topics which influence peacebuilding (including political, historical, anthropological understandings of peace and related programming). Students will become familiar with the methodological and normative underpinnings of these disciplines and their concomitant effect on peacebuilding
3. The analytical and policy literature concerning the related issues of peacebuilding, including international governance structures, the concept of statebuilding, foreign policy analysis and the role of key actors and institutions including the state, multilateral and bilateral agencies, international and domestic NGOs as well as the military and other security actors.
4. An understanding of local approaches to peacebuilding, including an awareness of the problems and critiques associated with `bottom up' approaches.
5. The development of a range of academic and professional/transferrable skills through both independent and group-based work6. A detailed understanding of a specific conceptual and/or policy-related area of peacebuilding along with implications and limitations of research findings on this subject, and of how to produce an original piece of academic research. Delivered via the dissertation module.6. A detailed understanding of a specific conceptual and/or policy-related area of peacebuilding along with implications and limitations of research findings on this subject, and of how to produce an original piece of academic research. Delivered via the dissertation module.
The Institute is developing a novel configuration for research and teaching which will uniquely associate practitioners, non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners, theoreticians, policy makers and analysts in sustained intellectual engagement. Combining a targeted programme of research with the provision of timely analysis on current emergencies and conflicts, the institute will seek to develop new methodologies in the emerging field of humanitarian and conflict response research.
Additional voluntary workshops and events throughout the year further enhance study including:
- The evidence of objects, a trip to the Imperial War Museum North
- Other Case Briefings (eg. Cyprus, Arab Uprisings)
- Policy Sessions: UN system and INGOs (Professor Dan Smith, International Alert)
- Manchester Peace Walk
- Working with Governments (Professor Dan Smith, International Alert)
- Regular `Leading Voices' workshops, with key thinkers in the field
Students studying this programme will also benefit from possible additional activities, such as:
- Student organised trips to London ( International Alert), New York ( UN/IPA) and Brussels
- Case Study Internships
- Attendance at annual Peacebuilding conference and potential participation in student panels.
Teaching and learning
This MA will be influenced and informed by the research of both staff and post graduate research students at the institute including research projects on:
- Political space in the aid industry
- Local/hybrid approaches to peacebuilding
- The contribution of BRICS nations to peace and security programming
- Critical peace studies
- The role of the state in peace and security programming
- Ethnographic approaches to understanding violence
- Refugees and internally displaced persons
- The political economy of conflict
- Performance in conflict and disaster zones
- Historical analyses of aid
Coursework and assessment
- Research essays (3000 words +)
- The running of group workshops
- Reflective journals/learning logs
- Contribution to group discussion boards (electronically)
- Oral presentations
- Literature reviews/research design
Course content for year 1
Peace and Social Agency, Security and Intervention: Theories and Practices
This module will introduce students to key theories and concepts related to the study of peace, security and conflict. It will expose students to key debates related to these topics (both conceptual and practical) and provide students with an appreciation of the diversity of relevant policies at the international, regional, national and sub-national levels. It will provide them with an analytical tool box which can be used to explore issues related to peacebuilding in theory and practice-tools which can be used in this module, other modules on the degree and in their professional lives.
Practical approaches to studying conflict-affected societies
This module explores issues of epistemology, positionality and research methods associated with field research in peacebuilding environments. This unit will involve a compulsory fieldtrip that is intended to challenge the notion of a conventional fieldtrip and to expose students to the practical and ethical dilemmas of field research.
Anthropology of Violence and Reconstruction
Reconstruction & Development (IDPM)
Dissertation (12 000 - 15 000 words) (60 Credits)
Optional Modules: Students to choose 60 credits from the following:
Responding to Illegal Economies & Political Violence (15 Credits)
Humanitarian and Conflict Response: Inquiries (15 Credits)
History of Humanitarian Aid (15 or 30 Credits)
Global Health (15 Credits)
Conflict Analysis (IDPM) (15 Credits)
Ethics in World Politics (Politics) (15 Credits)
Security Studies (Politics) (15 Credits)
Human Rights in World Politics (15 Credits)
Performance Theory and Practice (Drama) (30 Credits)*please note that this is an indicative list and course modules may vary from year to year.
Scholarships and bursaries
MA students at the HCRI are actively included in the Institute's research programme, participating in the institute's research seminars and master classes.Along with the computer and library facilities offered by the university and the school (including the School's new Graduate School), the HCRI also has a dedicated MA study space which includes a range of reading materials as well as a space for students to undertake independent study, or to hold group meetings.