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Durham University

Defence, Development and Diplomacy

With conflicts becoming either increasingly drawn-out, asymmetric wars of attrition or normalise into states of no peace - no war, our understanding of conflict and conflict intervention is shifting. Conflicts are rarely determined by military victory, diplomacy or long-term development, but require securing populations through a comprehensive approach that sees to their political, and economic, as well as their security-related needs. Their outcome will be determined by how well the different arms of government and civil society, both locally and internationally, can work together and how well they understand each others' perspectives. This interdisciplinary and custom designed MSc offers the unique opportunity to look at conflict, conflict intervention and post-conflict reconstruction through the lenses of defence, development and diplomacy. The MSc is designed for graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind, and for practitioners looking to enhance their practical skills while placing these within a broader theoretical perspective.

Entry requirements

MSc: UK 2.1 Bachelor degree, or equivalent. The degree should be in the field of social sciences, but we will actively consider significant relevant experience in lieu of this requirement. Two satisfactory academic references. In cases of applicants who have significant relevant experience, one work-related reference and one academic reference would be considered appropriate.

Course modules

Five core modules worth 75 credits plus a Dissertation worth 60 credits plus three optional modules to the value of 45 credits. Core Modules: Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict: Evolving Actors, Factors and Paradigms; Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace; Conflict Intervention: International Law, Counter-Insurgency and Conflict Diplomacy; Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Stabilisation, Development and State-Building; Capstone Exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation (in MSc-specific roles); Dissertation. Optional Modules: Optional module in previous years have included: Religion, Culture and Conflict; Conflict Mediation; Fieldtrip; Conflict Sensitive Programme Management; Re-thinking Counter Terrorism; Conflict Analysis; Urban Violence - Urban Peacebuilding; International Negotiation as Instrument in Conflict Management; Defence Engagement; Policing Post-Conflict Cities.

Assessment methods

Formative assessment is given on seminar contributions, role plays, and formative essays. You will have the opportunity to meet your lecturers to discuss marks and other issues arising from their course performance. You will also have the opportunity to attend 'essay surgeries' in which you can discuss the structure and content of essays early in the course. You will also produce a dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time October 2019 20,790 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MSc Full-time October 2019 11,550 per Year 1 (England) 1 Years
MSc Full-time October 2019 11,550 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 Years
MSc Full-time October 2019 11,550 per Year 1 (EU) 1 Years
MSc Full-time October 2019 11,550 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 Years
MSc Full-time October 2019 11,550 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Durham University DH1 3LG North East

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