MSc Peace and Conflict

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

This programme uses comparative political science models and methods to analyse patterns of conflict and settlement, with a focus on internal violent conflicts, past and present.
  • This course allows analysis of the different ways that religion, ethnicity and inequality combine to generate violence. 
  • Specialist resources in the study of theories of ethnicity, identity, conflict; comparative ethnic conflict; Northern Ireland, Western Europe and relevant cognate specialisms in civic republicanism, justice and human rights, international security, European politics, and development studies.
  • Includes additional research components and is particularly suitable if you want a career in research or academia..

Careers & Employability

Graduates work with international bodies, non-governmental organisations and state agencies in roles such as: government social researchers, diplomatic advisors and public affair consultants.
Recent graduates of UCD School of Politics & International Relations now work in:

  • United Nations
  • World Trade Organisation
  • IMF
  • European Commission
  • Asia Development Bank

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The applicants should have earned an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject  such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law/international law etc. with at least Upper Second Class Honours, or its equivalent (an overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher in the American system). Relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.

The understanding of issues concerning peace and conflict is vital to the broader understanding of issues of war, peace and conflict resolution in the world.  This programme develops that understanding on the part of students and familiarises them with cutting edge debates on the issues from various parts of the world. The vision of this programme is to nurture people capable of constructively intervening on these debates - either as practicitooners or as academic/policy specialists.

  • Enhance students' abilities to undertake research/policy analysis
  • Enhance students' capacities for critical thinking vis-à-vis ethnic identity
  • Allow students participate in debates around nationalism and ethnic conflict
  • Develop oral presentation skills
  • Enhance group work skills
  • Develop methodological research expertise
  • To impart a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the causes, and issues arising around, all aspects of nationalism and ethnic conflict

View All Modules Here

The MSc Peace and Conflict is a 90-credit programme. Full time students must take three 10-credit modules in the autumn trimester, and three 10-credit modules in the spring trimester. Students must also submit a thesis worth 30-credits that will be written during the summer trimester.

SPIRe part time programmes run for 2 years and students normally do 1 - 2 modules per semester. The final 30-credit module is completed during the second year of the programme. 

Please note that our part-time programmes run during the day and are not timetabled in the evenings or at weekends.

Core and Option Modules for MSc Peace and Conflict 

These are the current modules for 2024/25 but are subject to change. Each of the following modules carries 10 credits unless otherwise specified. 

Core Modules

  • POL40950 Introduction to Statistics (Autumn)
  • POL41980 Peace & Conflict Studies (Autumn)
  • POL41640 Qualitative Research Methods for Politics (Spring)

Core Option Modules (Choose 1)

  • POL40610 EU Foreign, Security, and Defence Policy (Spring)
  • POL41720 Gender Peace and Security (Spring)
  • POL42060 International Security (Spring)

Option Modules (Choose 2)


  • AMST40030 Media and US Foreign Policy
  • GS40100 Gender, Conflict-related Harm & Transitional Justice
  • POL40050 Theories of International Relations
  • POL40140 Theories of Global Justice
  • POL40160 Comparative Public Policy
  • POL40540 Comparative European Politics
  • POL41020 Politics of Human Rights
  • POL41510 Politics and Change in the Middle East and North Africa
  • POL42040 Gender & the Political System
  • POL42570 Connected_Politics 1 (5-Credits) (NEW)
  • POL42540 Applied Data Wrangling and Visualisation (5-Credits) (NEW)


  • GS40120 Gender: Global Concepts
  • POL40100 Politics of Development
  • POL40370 International Political Economy
  • POL40970 Politics of European Governance
  • POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
  • POL41720 Gender Peace and Security
  • POL41860 Governance, Politics and Development
  • POL41910 Political Violence (NEW)
  • POL42050 Quantitative Text Analysis
  • POL42060 International Security
  • POL42340 Programming for Social Scientists
  • POL42430 IR Theory: Conflict and Identity (NEW)
  • POL42350 Connected_Politics 2
  • SOC40620 Nationalism and Social Change

Summer Trimester Core Module

Important - POL42570 & POL42540 must be taken together. 


MSc Peace and Conflict (W408) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MSc Peace and Conflict (W409) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 6420
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

SPIRe operates a Graduate Scholarship programme, which opens on May 1st. To access details, see SPIRe Graduate Scholarship Scheme. Please note that not all programmes are eligible for this Scholarship, please check the T&C's carefully when they become available.

  • A primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1). 2H1 is equivalent to 60 per cent, B minus or 3.08 GPA - in American system: B or 3.00 GPA.
  • Your application will be considered on its individual merits and relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.
  • English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 6.5, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C). Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement. Click here for further info.
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD’s International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information:
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Ines Meyer

I chose to study the MSc Peace and Conflict at UCD because it offers an interdisciplinary perspective to understanding conflict through the lens of gender, psychology, human rights, and political economy.

The students in this programme come from all over the world and bring diverse experiences and perspectives into the classroom. The close interaction with my classmates and professors also shaped how I understand conflict-related harm, and the prospects of working towards a more peaceful society.

I decided to follow the research-oriented MSc-track to get a deeper understanding of the various methods to analyse conflict dynamics. I specialised in conflict psychology taught by Dr Stephanie Dornschneider-Elkink and gender, harm, and transitional justice, taught by Prof Aisling Swaine. Both have an extensive working experience in conflict-affected regions and provide us with invaluable insights into their personal experiences.

Moreover, I received the SPIRe postgraduate scholarship, which allowed me to focus on my studies and gain hands-on teaching experience as a tutor. Furthermore, UCD has many student associations, events, and its own Centre for Peace and Conflict research (CPCR) which give students opportunities to engage and connect with people from different programmes. Ultimately, the MSc Peace and Conflict prepares us for various careers in research institutions, NGOs, government agencies or international organisations.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Peace and Conflict FT (W408)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Peace and Conflict PT (W409)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

A comphrensive FAQ can be found here