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Peacebuilding and Mediation Masters Programmes at the University of St Andrews

PCDN Global

March 21, 2021
This is a sponsored post on PCDN

The University of St Andrews is offering two new Peacebuilding and Mediation Masters programmes, allowing you to study this innovative, contemporary field at one of the UK’s most renowned universities.

These programmes will critically explore the relationship between official peacebuilding and mediation initiatives and unofficial, community-based efforts.

Designed to be explicitly feminist, anti-racist and decolonial throughout, the curriculum at St Andrews remains true to the idea that peacebuilding is already happening in communities through local actors, rather than requiring external input to begin. Students will learn from both academic and practitioner-situated knowledge.

Offered as a one-year MLitt and a two-year MPhill Masters programme, you will:

  • Analyse bottom-up and top-down approaches to conflict mediation
  • Conceptualise peace and its relationship to violence
  • Analyse relationships between formal institutions of peacebuilding and parallel informal or unofficial processes
  • Identify key actors involved in peacebuilding and mediation efforts
  • Engage with bottom-up approaches to building peace
  • Explore feminist and decolonial critiques of formal peace processes
  • Critically engage with temporalities and spaces of peace and violence.

These programmes have been created to meet the needs of those working in the industry as both practitioners and researchers, as well as for recent graduates from diverse academic backgrounds looking to gain specialised knowledge and experience.

One-year and two-year programmes

The one-year programme will focus on teaching and contains a short research project. Dedicating time to critical approaches to peacebuilding and mediation, with optional topics including African political thought, critical security studies, gender and terrorism, nationalism and ethnic conflict, political economy of conflict, and terrorism and liberal democracy.

After the taught component, one-year students will focus on a dissertation supervised by an expert in their field.

Those on the two-year programme will follow the taught component of the one-year programme for the first year. In year two, students will complete a semester abroad on a peace studies programme at another European university. Students will also develop research practice skills through a compulsory semester placement with UK academics or local or international NGOs working at the cutting edge of peacebuilding and mediation practice.

Why the University of St Andrews?

The University of St Andrews is one of the UK’s most internationally recognised and renowned universities. It is a research-intensive institution, which allows for the latest themes and research to feed directly into teaching, whilst also offering students the opportunity to work with world-leading researchers and practitioners.

Taught through the School of International Relations and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, these programmes capitalise on the international recognition of St Andrews and Scotland as centres for peacebuilding studies.  The curriculum incorporates innovative community-based, Scottish, and global case studies of peacebuilding and mediation that critically engage with diverse peace actors, methods, and contexts.

This approach is truly interdisciplinary (the core teaching team range from backgrounds in International Relations, Sociology, Social Anthropology, History, and the Arts), offering opportunities for a diverse array of students.

Find out more

The teaching team welcome any enquiries about the programmes. You can contact the programme coordinator, Dr Jaremey McMullin ([email protected]) to discuss which option would suit you best.

Full course descriptions:

You can also join an upcoming online Masters event by booking on the University website.

All applications are made online, and any questions about applying to or studying at St Andrews can be directed to the University’s Admissions team ([email protected]).


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