Postgraduate Course

MA Conflict Resolution

MA Conflict Resolution

Overview

The details
Conflict Resolution
October 2022
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
Government

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 don’t need a statistical background to study this course – we’ll introduce you to research methods and teach you how use them throughout your studies. Our MSc Conflict Resolution is ideal if you have a statistical background and want to learn advanced quantitative skills.

You have access to leading conflict resolution experts in our Michael Nicholson Centre for Conflict and Cooperationand 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 30 departments for Politics in the world (QS World Rankings by Subject, 2020).

With this course you also have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner institutions and achieve a dual award, which means you’ll receive two Masters degrees in two years. Find out more on our dual award webpage.

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.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

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 work with the University’s Careers Services 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 dual awards 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.

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.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2.2 degree in Political Science, International Relations, International Studies, American Studies, United States Politics, Economics, Finance or Statistics.

OR

A 2.2 degree in any subject which includes study in two relevant modules. Relevant modules include, but are not limited to:

  • Comparative Political Systems
  • Constitutional Democracy
  • Contemporary World Affairs
  • Current Affairs
  • Democratic Theory
  • Econometrics
  • European Integration/Dynamics of Integration
  • Foreign Policy/Comparative Foreign Policy
  • Game Theory
  • Governmental Processes/Systems
  • Human Rights
  • Ideology and Political Analysis
  • International Economics Law
  • International Economics Relations
  • International Trade/Business Law
  • International Law
  • International Public Relations
  • International Security
  • Law of Armed Conflict
  • Micro/Macro Economics
  • Peace Studies
  • Philosophy(MA Political Theory only)
  • Political Conflict
  • Political Decision Making
  • Political Economy
  • Political Sociology
  • Public Administration
  • Public International Law
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Security Studies
  • Strategic Studies
  • Terrorism
  • Theories of Development

We will also consider applicants with a 2.2 degree in an unrelated subject and have at least six months relevant work experience such as working with a NGO.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

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.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Conflict Resolution
(30 CREDITS)

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.

View Conflict Resolution on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE WITH OPTIONS

GV900-7-FY OR GV903-7-FY
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Social Sciences option(s) from list
(40 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Government option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: CORE

MA Dissertation
(60 CREDITS)

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.

View MA Dissertation on our Module Directory

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

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,200

International fee

£19,740

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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.

2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, October 23, 2021
  • Saturday, November 13, 2021

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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