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MSc Conflict Resolution

Why we're great

  • We’re the best in Britain for political science research – ranked first since national league tables began.
  • You have unrivalled one-to-one access to the best minds in conflict resolution.
  • We are the only UK political science department to receive the prestigious Regius Professorship.

Course options2017-18

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Government
Fee (Home/EU): £7,200
Fee (International): £15,450
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Duration: 2 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Government
Fee (Home/EU): £3,600
Fee (International): £7,725
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk
Live chat

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About the course

We’re world leaders in political science, asking difficult questions to find important answers. How do you put an end to armed conflict? What are the benefits and consequences of intervention? What role do non-governmental organisations play in the prevention and resolution of conflict? Is immigration linked to terrorism? Does climate change affect transnational migration patterns?

Our course helps you understand the evolving field of conflict resolution, exploring the causes and effects of destructive conflict across the world, and scrutinising the theory and practice of how it can be managed peacefully. You learn advanced quantitative skills to build upon your statistical background. Consider our MA Conflict Resolution if you don’t have a strong background in statistics.

You have access to leading conflict resolution experts in our Michael Nicholson Centre for Conflict and Cooperation and the opportunity to collaborate on research. We also host popular talks with our experts, and with prestigious external speakers, helping you develop a deeper knowledge of conflict resolution.

We provide you with a framework for understanding conflict resolution in inter- and intra-state issues, focusing on topics including:

  • Mediation, negotiation, and collaborative problem solving
  • Using conflict data sets and drawing geographical maps
  • International development and human rights
  • International relations and security studies
  • Global and comparative politics

You have the option of studying an extracurricular module on non-violent movements, offered in collaboration with Slobdan Djinovic and Srdja Popovic of the Centre for Nonviolent Action and Strategies in Belgrade. This exciting module, previously offered at many US universities including Colorado College, Harvard University and New York University, has never been offered anywhere else in Europe.

Our dynamic, interdisciplinary approach combines traditional methods with contemporary theory and practices of non-violent movements. We encourage you to experience the practical as well as the theoretical application of these topics through examining real case studies of international conflict.

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began. We’re also ranked among the top 50 departments on the planet according to the QS World Rankings 2017.

I studied conflict resolution as I experienced the Liberian civil war, and immigrating to Norway as a child, I’ve shaped my view on the world and politics. I know the detrimental effects of war and I wanted to study something that is relatable and important. Our department is one of the best for political research. The research and teaching of academic staff is excellent. They emphasise on skills needed in the workplace and help us be employable. In future, I want to be a diplomat for Norway.

Sarah Sakor, MSc Conflict Resolution.

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in conflict resolution. You benefit from staff expertise in both conflict studies and international relations, with conflict and cooperation forming a core part of our Department of Government.

Our key teaching staff for this course are

Specialist facilities

  • Access some of the best minds in conflict resolution through our Michael Nicholson Centre for Conflict and Cooperation. It's scientific approach to the study of conflict emphasises rigorous formal theory and the development of systematic data and statistical methods for evaluating theory
  • Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
  • Make use of web-assisted learning, simulations, and challenging role-playing exercises
  • ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
  • Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
  • We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
  • A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

This course will prepare you for a career in areas such as non-governmental organisations, international and national government, or the private sector.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:

  • The Civil Service
  • Local government
  • The World Bank
  • The United Nations
  • NATO
  • YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at:

  • University of Oxford
  • University College London
  • Mannheim, Germany
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Duke University, USA
  • William Marsh Rice University, USA
  • University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

One Masters not enough for you?

We offer a number of postgraduate taught double degrees with our international partners. You work for two Masters degrees, one at Essex and another at a prestigious university across the globe, gaining them both in a shorter time than studying them separately. This unique opportunity gives you a competitive edge when applying for jobs or prepares you for PhD study.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

Your dissertation gives you an opportunity for independent learning on a topic of your choice, with one-to-one supervision from a member of staff. You write a dissertation of up to 10,000 words, which is due at the end of the summer.

In this module you focus on conflict resolution in inter- and intra-state issues. You gain experience in the practical as well as in the theoretical aspects of negotiation and mediation, exploring the applicability of various tools and techniques in problem-solving real cases of international conflict, and making use of negotiation and mediation techniques in role playing exercises and other types of simulations.

Master the quantitative methods which are essential to test hypotheses. You study hypotheses testing, hypotheses testing using Least Squares, and some classic violations of the Gauss-Markov conditions, before continuing to learn some more advanced models ubiquitous in political science.

This module provides you with a graduate-level introduction to both foundational and contemporary international relations research. The emphasis will be on evaluating arguments, understanding the development of the field, and identifying unresolved questions.

The field of security studies has become increasingly important over the last decade. While old conflicts are reigniting and new ones are emerging, scholars and decision-makers debate about changes to the concepts of security, the redundancy of military force, and the centrality of the state in order to face these ever-important issues.

Master the explanatory and practical value of negotiation style, strategies and tactics in the context of theories of international relations.

How has colonialism created human rights problems, now and in the past? And what part did mandates for free markets, industrialism and state sovereignty play? Study thinkers like Cesaire, Fanon, Arendt, Agamben and Taussig. Discuss specific international situations like Palestine, forced removal of Aboriginal children and the war on terror.

Teaching

  • Our experts focus on conflicts across the world. Our systematic research of conflict studies is combined with strong regional expertise so you gain an advanced understanding of either the politics of a geographical area or an aspect of the discipline
  • This course includes both compulsory and optional modules, so the course can be tailored to fit your interests and aspirations
  • Learn through discussion and problem-solving
  • Lab sessions allow you to improve your technical research skills
  • We encourage students to attend national conferences to meet researchers and discuss their work

Assessment

  • Your coursework comes in the form of essays, simulations, presentations and in-class tests

Dissertation

  • You are given guidance on how to prepare a Masters dissertation by our Graduate Director in the spring term
  • We link you with an appropriate supervisor at the earliest opportunity

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A degree with an overall high 2:2.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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