University of Sussex

University of Sussex

Conflict, Security and Development

The challenges posed by civil wars, genocides, famines and other humanitarian crises show that security and development are closely linked today. Successful development and conflict resolution require the provision of security. Conversely, lack of development can breed insecurity and violence. This course analyses the complex relationships that lie at the heart of this development-security nexus in the global south, focusing on: The extent to which destructive cycles of insecurity and violence affect the possibility of development for large sections of the world's population; the difficulties that aid agencies, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), governments and international organisations encounter when trying to negotiate these spirals of violence and insecurity - be it through armed intervention, the provision of aid, the sponsoring of peace-building processes, or assisting states in post-conflict reconstruction; the question of whether underdevelopment in the global south can be said to constitute a security threat by facilitating the international spread of terrorist and criminal networks. The course includes an optional fieldtrip to Brussels, Belgium. A research placement allows you to gain experience in an area of work relating to your subject of study and to acquire practical skills in preparation for a professional career. Research placements run over a 12-week period in the summer term and vacation. If you take a research placement, you have the opportunity to write a dissertation based on your experience.

Entry requirements

A 1st- or upper 2nd-Class undergraduate Honours degree (or equivalent), preferably in a humanities or social sciences subject. Relevant degrees include political science, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, sociology, and area studies. A degree in the social sciences or humanities does not constitute a strict requirement and applicants with degrees in other disciplines will be given due consideration. Relevant work and voluntary experience will also be considered, particularly in cases where candidates fall short of the academic requirement.

Course modules

Autumn term: Conflict, security and development; new security challenges. Spring term: You choose 2 from: East Asia in the international system; foreign policy analysis; governing global capitalism; human rights in international relations; irregular warfare; peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction; queer international relations; reading foucault in international relations (IR); religions, cultures and civilisations in international relations; rethinking imperialism; Russian foreign and security policy; science, technology and war; terror, security and the state; the global politics of disease and biosecurity; the Middle East in global order; the political economy of development; the political economy of global finance; the political economy of the environment. You also take a research methods and professional skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops, including one that prepares you for your dissertation. Summer term: You carry out work on your MA dissertation under the supervision of a member of faculty. There is also a dissertation with a placement option.

Assessment methods

Conflict, security and development is assessed by a 5000-word term paper; new security challenges is assessed by an unseen paper; assessment of the spring-term options is by 5000-word term papers. You will also write a 10000-word dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MA Part-time October 2016 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sussex House Brighton BN1 9RH South East

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Key information

Telephone number: 
01273 877686