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INCORE: Courses: MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies with Early Years

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Now Accepting Applications for 2016/2017

The Programme

This programme is located within INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute). INCORE is in an active research and practice Centre, you can expect to learn from Faculty with practical and theoretical skills. Its location in Northern Ireland provides excellent opportunities for experiential learning in a society coming out of violent conflict. However, the geographical scope of INCORE’s work in research, policy, and practice is both local and global.

The programme is offered in association with Early Years, which is the largest organization in Northern Ireland for Young Children. It has extensive experience of collaborative work at the international level and it will provide experts from around the world to contribute to the teaching of the online specialist module on Young Children and Peacebuilding.


The programme stresses the development of skills relevant to graduates who want to go on to be practitioners, researchers and policymakers in the peace and conflict field with particular reference to Early Years.

This is a linked Postgraduate Diploma/MSc that is offered in both full-time and part-time mode. It is offered in collaboration with Early Years, which is the largest organisation in Northern Ireland for young children. Only the first semester of this programme will involve classroom based teaching. Semester two is offered fully online.

This Masters Programme will build upon participants' understanding of the origins, context and changing nature of conflict by providing a particular focus on child development issues and the impact of conflict on young children, their families and communities. It will also highlight a range of successful early childhood peacebuilding interventions and provide participants with the knowledge and skills to adopt a child rights based approach to programme and policy development. It also aims to develop leadership and capacity in participants in order to advocate for children’s rights and promote peace and social justice through programs working for young children.


Ulster University Magee Campus
Ulster University, Magee Campus

The INCORE MSc. in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies offers the student a unique opportunity to undertake a graduate programme characterized by academic excellence within the context of a vibrant and culturally rich society emerging from conflict.

The INCORE MSc. in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies in Early Years offers the student a unique opportunity to undertake a graduate programme characterized by academic excellence within the context of a vibrant and culturally rich society emerging from conflict.

Students in the programme have access to leading academics and practitioners working both to address the causes and consequences of conflict locally and internationally, and to promote better peacemaking and peacebuilding strategies.  INCORE is honoured to host the Honorary Professor of Peace Studies, currently held by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, John Hume. Professor Hume’s tenure has been notable for an array of high-profile Peace Lectures given on the Magee Campus by prominent global policymakers involved in peace and conflict issues. These include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, former EU Commission President Romano Prodi and the Irish President Mary McAleese.


Students of an interdisciplinary programme such as the MSc. in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies with Early Years are well placed to follow a number of distinct career opportunities, based on their specific interests and core strengths. The past decades have seen increased demand for well-trained individuals to work on the myriad of peace and conflict issues. The knowledge and capacities developed by INCORE peace and conflict studies students are transferrable across sectors and regions, making their skill set mobile and flexible within a globalised job market. One of the aims of the programme is to develop leadership and capacity in supporting organizations and global and regional networks in order to advocate for children's rights and to promote peace and social justice.

This programme is aimed, in particular, at individuals who wish to specialise in the effects of conflict on young children and the development of effective programmes to enhance practice and outcomes for young children or are professionals who are already working in community based organisations, early years organisations or research and academia who wish to deepen their knowledge of conflict and its impact on young children. It is envisaged that graduates from the Masters who are not already employed in this sector would progress into early years related settings or service providers or seek employment in children related non-governmental organisations such as: Save the Children; UNICEF; Plan International and War Child. In Northern Ireland, career opportunities exist in such organisations as: Children in Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People; Early Years; Early years and pre-school settings; Action for Children; National Children's Bureau; NSPCC; Children's Law Centre; Department of Education; and the Education and Training Inspectorate.

Course Structure

All students enter the MSc programme at the Postgraduate Diploma stage. In semester one, which is offered on the Magee Campus, students take four 15 point modules. Three are compulsory and one can be taken from a list of options as set out below. Semester two consists of two compulsory 30 point modules that are offered through distance learning only.

Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma students are eligible to enter the MSc stage.

Semester One (Year 1):

    • Foundations of Peace and Conflict Studies
    • Research Methods 1
    • Peacebuilding in Divided Societies

Choice of one of the following. (not all optional modules may run in any given year)::

  • Northern Ireland Conflict
  • Psychosocial Approaches

Semester Two (Year 1):

  • Peace and Conflict Research in Divided Societies
  • Young Children and Peacebuilding

Semester Three: (MSc only, Year 1)

  • Dissertation


Full time: PgDip – two semesters; MSc – one calendar year.

If a full time student will take one 4-5 hour class one day a week in Semester 1 and one fully online module in Semester 2.

Daytime classes with the part-time mode taught alongside full-time programme in semester one.

Fully online modules in semester two.

The programme will be supplemented with seminars and lectures by visiting academics and practitioners

How to Apply

For more information on the PgDip/MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies and to answer any queries on enrolment, contact the Course Director, Dr. Stephen Ryan (s.ryan@ulster.ac.uk), Magee Campus, University of Ulster or telephone on +44 (0)28 71375246

For additional information on the PgDip/MSc in Peace and Conflict Studies and to view prospectus (Note this is 2015/2016 prospectus as the course remains the same, new prospectus coming in January 2016), click here.

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Online Prospectus | Apply

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