Location: Canterbury and University of Marburg
You gain advanced knowledge in peace and conflict research, designed to help you understand the causes of violent conflict and to explain its effects and dynamics. As befits the complexity of violent conflict, the programme is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on insights from politics and international relations, sociology and psychology. It examines the major theories and leading practices of conflict and conflict resolution, supplementing theory with detailed case studies. Topics typically covered within the programme include risk analysis, negotiation, mediation, conference diplomacy, twin-track diplomacy, third-party intervention, peace-keeping, peace-making, and coercive diplomacy.
The programme draws on the large pool of expertise in the field of conflict analysis at Kent and Marburg, concentrated in the Centre for Conflict Studies at Marburg and the Conflict Analysis Research Centre at Kent, both leading research centres in the field.
You develop your high-end analytical skills, along with more practical capabilities in areas such as mediation. Valuable skills are gained from dedicated research exercises such as conflict simulations, while you learn additional practical skills from an internship that is usually undertaken between the first and second years of study. Overall, the programme provides you with an outstanding basis from which to pursue a variety of careers, including in government, international organisations, NGOs, media, business, and consultancy and research.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- key historical and theoretical issues in international and domestic conflict and the study of war and peace, together with familiarity with appropriate bibliographical sources
- how to apply general theoretical and conceptual frameworks to the analysis of specific conflicts
- the nature and distribution of power in the international systems, problems of political order and the social, economic, historical and cultural context within which actors operate
- the different kinds of actors on the international scene, their respective interests and influence in conflict situations
- key theoretical problems in war and peace
- current political challenges to international peace and security and possible strategies to address them
- the changing role of the state in the context of globalisation and regional integration and the implications for international peace and security
- how to design and conduct a research project demonstrating awareness of epistemological and methodological principles
- how to carry out an independent research project and write in a scholarly manner demonstrating familiarity with academic conventions.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- general research skills, especially bibliographic and computing skills
- the ability to gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources
- the ability to identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems
- the ability to develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
- the ability to reflect on, and manage, your own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback from your peers and staff to enhance your performance and personal skills
- manage your own learning self-critically.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- an advanced understanding the nature and significance of conflict as a human condition
- the ability to critically apply concepts, theories and methods used in the study of conflict to the analysis of political events, ideas, institutions and practices
- the ability to critically evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events
- the ability to collect, analyse and present information about conflict and political events
- an awareness of the epistemological issues relevant to research in the social sciences, including the major theoretical and epistemological debates in the social sciences, as they bear on international conflict analysis.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- communication: the ability to communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing (including, where appropriate, the use of IT), organise information clearly and coherently, use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical or numerical information
- information technology: produce written documents, undertake online research, communicate using email, process information using databases
- working with others: define and review the work of others, work co-operatively on group tasks, understand how groups function, collaborate with others and contribute effectively to the achievement of common goals
- improving own learning: explore your strengths and weaknesses, time-management skills, review your working environment (especially the student-staff relationship), develop autonomy in learning, work independently, demonstrating initiative and self-organisation
- important research management skills include the setting of appropriate timescales for different stages of the research, with clear starting and finishing dates (through a dissertation), presentation of a clear statement of the purposes and expected results of the research, and developing appropriate means of estimating and monitoring resources and use of time
- problem-solving: identify and define problems, explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.
This programme aims to:
- provide a programme that will attract, and meet the needs of, those seeking to prepare for careers in fields concerned with international conflicts and those with a general intellectual interest in international conflict analysis
- provide you with a research-active teaching environment which gives you a good grounding in the study of international and domestic conflict and war, co-operation and peace
- examine how state, non-state and supra-national actors behave and interact in conflict situations
- ensure that you acquire a solid knowledge of theories of the causes and dynamics of different kinds of conflict and the means to overcome them
- ensure that students who specialise in regional conflicts acquire an advanced understanding of the historical, cultural, social and institutional context of the area to be studied
- prepare you for various careers in jobs related to international conflict analysis as well as for career changes in the spirit of lifelong learning
- develop your general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills)
- provide an opportunity to study abroad in a different academic environment
- contribute to your learning experience by offering you the opportunity to approach the study of international conflict analysis from a different intellectual and cultural tradition
- enable you to apply your knowledge and skills while interning with organisations working on peace and conflict-related issues.