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Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding MA

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Peace Studies Conflict Management (Business)

Course type


Course Summary

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.

Course content

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.

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.

Career opportunities

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.


This module will explore the nature, causes and impact of civil war and intrastate armed conflict in the 21st century. The emphasis will be upon the political, social and institutional factors that are relevant to this violence, and broader patterns of armed conflict ? including possible future conflict patterns. The module will consider the methodologies of understanding and framing intrastate violence, focussing upon the tensions between mainstream empirical approaches and the ?critical? challenge to this. The module will also explore debates about so-called ?state failure? and ?new wars?, and the changing nature of armed conflict. These debates will be illustrated throughout the module with reference to a wide range of contemporary cases, including Liberia, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and the rise of the ?Islamic State?. The module will conclude by considering international efforts to prevent, manage, contain and resolve intrastate armed conflict.

Tuition fees

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Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or a non-UK equivalent in a social science, humanities, or other related discipline. Relevant experience will also be taken into account.

Department profile

The School of Politics and International Studies at Leeds brings together research and study in key areas of politics, international relations, global development and security. Our range of high-quality programmes are informed by cutting-edge research and relevant to professional contexts worldwide. As an academic community our shared vision is to investigate, understand, and help shape the ‘politics of global challenges’ to have a real impact...more

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