Our MA in Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding will introduce you to the key challenges faced when security and development issues converge, and what this means for the reconstruction of war-affected societies. This course is ideal if you are interested in exploring the complexities of conflict and peacebuilding around the world.
By bridging themes of conflict, liberal styles of governance and aid policy, you will analyse the ways in which security, development and humanitarian agents adapt to instability. You will also examine the significance of globalisation for the emergence of internal conflict, and for the development of trans-border economics and the political dynamics they may support. Furthermore, this programme gives you the opportunity to study regionally differentiated responses to conflict in, for example Africa and Afghanistan, and to discuss issues relating to humanitarian conditionality, containment and the role of international organisations and NGOs.
Our academics are widely recognised as leading experts in their field. The teaching on this programme is research-led and informed by our Centre for Global Security Challenges, which comprises 60 experts from around the University of Leeds focusing on six research themes – environment, health, gender, conflict, terrorism, and order. Your learning will also benefit from the cutting-edge research which takes place within our Centre for Global Development and the Leeds University Centre for African Studies, both leading research centres for addressing the politics of global challenges.
The programme directly addresses the increasing merger of development and security issues and the need to politically and socially reconstruct war-affected societies. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge required for employment in the expanding field of humanitarian intervention and social reconstruction as well as practitioners wishing to study relevant issues in more depth. You will benefit from a programme that occupies a bridging position within politics and international studies and, through the wide range of optional modules, draws upon the department's rich diversity of approach and experience.
This programme features research-led teaching in the crosscutting, dynamic fields of conflict, peacekeeping, development and security, and is directly informed by the innovative research that occurs in the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, recognised internationally for its work on atrocity prevention, the versatile Centre for Global Security Challenges, and the interdisciplinary Centre for Development Studies.
Our research culture is one of open academic enquiry, which embraces normative and empirical approaches in the study of conflict, development and security.
This programme offers you case study expertise on political and social reconstruction from war-affected societies across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, allowing you to explore the depth and breadth of development, peacekeeping, and security issues.
The compulsory and optional modules studied will give you the opportunity to:
take part in cutting-edge academic inquiry with a distinct policy relevance
study in an intellectually vigorous environment
participate in a dynamic research atmosphere
broaden your understanding of complex political emergencies
pursue a career in the humanitarian or social reconstruction sector.
The two compulsory taught modules examine the economic and political elements of contemporary internal and regionalised conflict. You will look at humanitarian, developmental and security policy responses and investigate the organisational adaptations that are emerging among state and non-state actors in relation to such instability.
You will also look at peacekeeping theory and practice in the contemporary world.
You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.
The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance
Civil War and Intrastate Conflict
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
You will study 60 credits from the below modules:
Africa in the Contemporary World
Education in Emergencies
Gender, Globalisation and Development
European Defence and Security Analysis
The Rise of China
Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
Theories and Concepts in Global Political Economy
Capitalism in Practice
Popular Culture: World politics, Society and Culture
The Responsibility to Protect
International Relations and the Environment
Ethics and Politics of Migration and Citizenship
Learning and teaching
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include lectures, lively seminar discussions, online learning and guided weekly readings. We expect you to participate fully in taught sessions and to study independently, developing your skills and preparing for lectures and seminars. You will also be able to benefit from an impressive range of research talks and seminars led by outside speakers or colleagues from within the department and University.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Within modules, assessment consists primarily of assessed essays. At the end of your studies, a 12,000-word dissertation will allow you to pursue your own research interest under close supervision by one of our expert colleagues.
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you will need include:
Original or certified copies of your transcripts
Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language).
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
This programme provides you with ideal preparation for a career in the international political arena, equipping you with critical thinking, research and communication skills and in-depth knowledge sought after by employers.
Recent graduates have gone on to work in the UK and overseas in charities, non-governmental organisations, think tanks and beyond. Organisations graduates have gone on to include the Home Office; Hudson Institute; Macmillan; The Mines Advisory Group; and the Delegation of the European Union to Uganda, amongst others. Many also pursue further study by commencing PhD research.
The School of Politics and International Studies has a dedicated Careers Consultant who is on-hand throughout the year to support and advise you in regards to your career. The School also arranges a number of guest speaker events where you are able to engage with prospective employers, and hear from leading figures in the field.
In addition to the School-specific careers support, you will also have access to the University’s award-winning Careers Centre. The Careers Centre offers one-to-one appointments, advice on starting your own business, careers events, mentoring schemes and support with your CV, applications and interviews.