Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy - MA

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Our teaching plans for autumn 2021 Entry requirements Modular structure Where this course can take you How to apply

Why study this course?

This master’s degree in Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy is designed to give you all the knowledge and skills you need to begin a successful career in the field of conflict transformation and resolution.

You’ll examine conflict and diplomacy theory, learn from practitioners’ expertise, and gain skills in analysis and conflict resolution techniques. Our course prepares you for work in mediation practice, foreign aid, journalism, foreign offices, international bodies such as the United Nations (UN) or the public sector.

More about this course

Our Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy MA course is taught by industry-leading specialists in politics and international relations who have been internationally recognised for their work. On top of this, you’ll benefit from direct teaching by experienced practitioners from International Alert, a leading non-governmental organisation (NGO) that manages conflict resolution issues all around the world.

By examining theoretical and conceptual debates you’ll learn about the nature and origin of political conflict, plus specialist techniques that practitioners use to transform and resolve conflict.

Our degree doesn’t just set you up for an exciting career in conflict resolution, it can also be a stepping stone to doctoral study in related fields, politics or international relations.


You will be assessed through coursework and a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. The dissertation forms a key element of your master's degree. It allows you to pursue a topic of your choosing in depth and is to be completed over the summer study period.

Fees and key information

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Our teaching plans for autumn 2021

We are planning to return to our usual ways of teaching this autumn including on-campus activities for your course. However, it's still unclear what the government requirements on social distancing and other restrictions might be, so please keep an eye on our Covid-19 pages for further updates as we get closer to the start of the autumn term.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum of a lower second class (2.2) honours degree in a relevant discipline such as politics, international relations, international development, or social and behavioural sciences 

Applications are also welcome from those who have experience in conflict resolution or who possess relevant professional qualifications. 

If you have an undergraduate degree in a non-related subject, you may also be considered with a supporting statement on a case-by-case basis. 

Accelerated study

Students can be accepted on the basis of relevant education and experience. Accredited prior learning can also be accepted for modules in a relevant subject.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2021/22 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    This module aims to provide students with an understanding of:

    • The key concepts, approaches and paradigms of Conflict Transformation
    • The political, social and psychological dynamics behind conflicts
    • Crucial issues related to conflicts, such as identity, race, gender and power
    • The major strategies and mechanisms available for managing, resolving and transforming conflicts
    • The application of Conflict Transformation theories and approaches to real-world conflicts

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module aims to:

    • Examine a range of approaches to the cessation of contemporary conflicts and the conditions that may be necessary for peace
    • Focus upon both the domestic and international actors involved in these processes
    • Provide students with an understanding of relevant theories and empirical material for comparative analysis
    • Explore the differing ways in which particular conflicts tend to be viewed by participants, external commentators and public policy-makers

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday evening
    • autumn semester - Monday evening

    The module aims to:

    • Allow students the opportunity to engage in a major piece of independent research in Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy
    • Enable students to apply the knowledge and analytical techniques they have gained from studying Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy to a topic of their choice
    • Develop their research, analytical and time-management skills
    • Apply and develop their skills in writing up their findings in dissertation form

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Diplomacy has never been more important than it is today. Whether it involves communicating states’ interests with clarity and precision in an era which seems prone to disputes and misunderstandings, or the building of international networks of states, civil society actors and international organisations to tackle pressing global problems, diplomacy has a vital role in maintaining international order in an increasingly fractious and turbulent world.

    This module explores the practice of contemporary diplomacy. It examines how states and other international actors engage in the central diplomatic practices of communication, negotiation and representation in the 21st century in order to resolve international crises, address global issues and to pursue their interests. It explores how traditional diplomatic institutions and practices are evolving in response to global change, how new forms of diplomatic interaction are emerging, and how the old and new forms of diplomacy co-exist, whether in tension with each other or through the development of new synergies.

    The module combines both academic and practical dimensions of diplomacy, exploring debates concerning the changing nature of diplomacy and some of its central characteristics (e.g., should it be conducted in secret?), with opportunities to develop and reflect upon key skills, such as how to effectively communicate and negotiate. It will help to prepare students seeking careers in international affairs.

    The module aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of how diplomacy operates in contemporary international contexts. Students will have opportunities to reflect upon and develop their negotiation and communication skills over the course of the module.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module will allow students to investigate the complex issue of violence through a multidisciplinary approach. Indicative topics include serious youth violence, murder, football hooliganism and violence in the home. The module will be structured to identify and explain violent behaviour both in the West and the Global South. These will then be tied to the wider criminological field and possible prevention strategies will be considered.

    There is a negotiated element to the module, allowing students to focus on topics specific to their own interests.

    The module will incorporate a ‘Flipped-Learning approach’. Active student involvement in the module is thus imperative to make it as successful and enjoyable as possible. Students are expected to attend and contribute to all seminar sessions, and attendance will be monitored. Sessions will require student preparation, including the reading of academic journal articles.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Explore the prevalence of and trends in violence in the UK and globally

    2. Identify and assess violent crimes

    3. Recognize and contextualize various types of violence

    4. Use various theories within the field of Criminology and Sociology to explain violent behaviour

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday evening

    History and Theory of Human Rights critically engages contemporary scholarship and debate about the political history and moral and political theory of human rights. It follows recent analyses of the mediaeval, Enlightenment and American histories of rights doctrine, paying especial attention to Immanuel Kant’s moral universalism, to the realism of his doctrine of right, and to his importance for contemporary liberalism and rights theory. It explores issues of historical relativism and cultural particularity in various ways but especially through analysis of UNESCO’s famous human rights symposium and of Alasdair MacIntyre’s infamously realist critique. The historical context and significance of Jacques Maritain’s theorisation of human rights is evaluated, in relation to the formation Europe’s human rights regime and to non-European traditions, and so too is John Rawls’ retheorisation of moral and political rights-based liberalisms. Contemporary academic debate about human rights focusses on the rival claims advanced by historians and moral theorists for the superiority of their respective approaches. Historians, led by Samuel Moyn, have recently had the best of this, although John Tasioulas has long promised a rebuttal. Participants in the module scrutinize such debate and engage in the intellectually demanding task of evaluating rival theories..

    Module aims

    To provide a historical and critical introduction to ideas, theories and arguments about human rights.
    To evaluate political, social, legal and economic institutions and actions by ethical criteria.
    To explore ethical ideas and to articulate such ideas in the construction of logical arguments.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday evening

    This module examines the theory and institutionalized practice of human rights and the significance of human rights politics for the structure of the changing world order, and of domestic politics for both rights and order. It contextualises, analyses, evaluates and applies various conceptions of human rights that are operative within international relations, and in relation to academic paradigms used to explain international relations. Attention is paid to the transformation of state sovereignty by human rights discourse and practice. The relation of human rights to the international order is questioned in the context of the history and philosophy of human rights, liberalism and its critics and opponents, and institutions and systems of international governance and conflict. Conversely, ideas of realism and constructivism in international relations are questioned by liberal claims for human rights. The globalization and recent reverses of human rights are critically analysed. Students ae encouraged to explore particular cases of international order or conflict and of human rights’ observance or abuse in a way that is sustained and rigorous.

    Module aims

    1 This module contextualises, analyses, evaluates and applies various conceptions of human rights that are operative within international relations, and within the study of international relations.
    2 Three subjects in particular are addressed:
    i the causes of, and reasons for, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the broader development of human rights as a universalizing, globalizing, Westernizing and institutionalizing force in relations between states;
    ii the variety of particular states, domestic and foreign policies, other political actors, cultures, and motivating ideologies with which human rights has come into conflict;
    iii the transformation of state sovereignty by human rights discourse and practice. These subjects are problematized in the context of the history and philosophy of human rights, liberalism and its critics and opponents, and institutions and systems of international governance and conflict.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will explore the concept of security as it is understood in international relations discipline. What has been the rationale for the development of a distinct concept of ‘human security’? What are the implications of the concept of human security for our understanding of security in the international system? It will then examine the application of the concept to substantive problems and policy areas. These include the impact of environmental degradation, mass population movement, human trafficking and international crime. Finally, it will assess the impact of the concept on the strategies and policies of international organisations and states.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday evening

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of (a) the practical reality of international law (b) the essentials of the existing international legal order and (c) the main politically effective alternatives to (b) proposed since 1945.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    • Enables students to evaluate differing interpretations of the political importance of religious actors in international relations
    • Educates students about doctrines and organizational methods of major religious currents insofar as these are relevant to international relations
    • Informs students about Transnational Religious Actors and their role in international relations

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    By the end of the module students will

    1. Appreciate what is at stake in security, both as a theoretical concept and as an ontological category.
    2. Gain an understanding of how the concept of security has been rearticulated and challenged in our contemporary context through an engagement with some of the most pressing issues of our day.
    3. Be able to question the ethical dimensions of the Westphalian order based on notions of sovereignty and narrow State interests and determine whether theories highlighting human emancipation need to be strengthened.
    4. Be able to demonstrate a good grasp of public policy, especially the processes and structures of decision-making in the area of international security.
    5. Be able to examine the contemporary themes in international security, such as the legacy of the Cold War, the impact of terrorism, the proliferation of dangerous weapons, the rise of great powers and the impact of globalisation.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    This module explores the relationship between the state and terrorism and considers how the nation state has been the perpetrator and a motivating factor behind terrorist acts, as well as considering other reasons behind such acts of violence. Students will consider the role of the state as a protector of its citizens has been challenged by its own actions and by terrorist organisations including groups such as ISIS.
    The module goes on to outline contemporary terrorist tactics and reviews the impact on national and international responses to terrorism

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Where this course can take you

We ensure you’re prepared for a range of roles in conflict resolution. Successful graduates could go on to become mediation or conflict resolution practitioners, aid workers or conflict reporters, or work in foreign offices, embassies, the diplomatic services or for international bodies such as the UN.

You’ll also be prepared for further academic study and research in peace and conflict resolution, or other related fields such as politics and international relations.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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