MA 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.
  • Over 150 years of experience in political studies and a world-renowned faculty drawn from many countries.

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 MA 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 or pursue an Internship instead.

    Core and Option Modules for MA Peace and Conflict (credits in parentheses)

    Please note these are subject to change



    Autumn Trimester

    Spring Trimester

    Core Modules

    POL41930 Psychology of Conflict in the Middle East (10)

    POL42330 Research Design (10)


    POL41980 Peace & Conflict Studies (10)


    Option Modules

    AMST40030 Media and US Foreign Policy (10)

    LAW41310 Asylum and Refugee Law (10)

    POL40050 Theories of Internat.Relations (10)

    POL40100 Politics of Development (10)

    POL40140 International Political Theory (10)

    POL40950 Introduction to Statistics (10)

    POL40970 Politics European Governance (10)

    POL41020 Politics of Human Rights (10)

    POL41650 Global Political Econ ofEurope (10)

    POL41800 Theories of Int'l Rels Stream2 (10)

    POL41860 Governance, Pol, Dev 10cr (10)

    POL41910 Political Violence (10)

    POL42040 Gender & the Political System (10)

    POL42340 Programming for Soc Scientists (10)

    GS40100 Gender, Harm and Justice (10)

    POL40160 Comparative Public Policy (10)

    POL40370 International Political Econom (10)

    POL40540 Comparative European Politics (10)

    POL40610 EU Foreign and Security Policy (10)

    POL41030 Theory of Human Rights (10)

    POL41640 Qual Research Methods for Pol (10)

    POL41720 Gender, Peace, and Security (10)

    POL41780 The Politics of Inequality (10)

    POL41870 Econ & Policy Analysis 1 10cr (10)

    POL42000 Political Theory and the EU (10)

    POL42050 Quantitative Text Analysis (10)

    POL42060 International Security (10)

    POL42070 Politics of (mis-)information (10)

    SOC40620 Nationalism and Social Change (10)



    Summer Trimester

    POL42300 SPIRe Internship (30)


    POL42310 Thesis (30)

    MA Peace and Conflict (W410) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 8525
    nonEU    fee per year - € 19900

    MA Peace and Conflict (W411) Part Time
    EU          fee per year - € 5600
    nonEU    fee per year - € 9950

    ***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. To access details, see SPIRe Graduate Scholarship Scheme.

    A primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) 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. 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

    Graduate Profile
    Takashi Asakawa,Japan,

    Lectures in previously named "Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict" not only introduce you to what debates have been crucially discussed in each academic area, but also offer you numerous approaches to understanding the themes and questions posed, all with the warm assistance of the lecturers. I like the teaching style in UCD as it highlighted for me the significance of theory. Without that, I would not have been able to know what ‘research’ truly means.

    The following entry routes are available:

    MA Peace and Conflict FT (W410)
    1 Years
    Full Time
    Rolling *
    MA Peace and Conflict PT (W411)
    2 Years
    Part Time

    Q1.  As a full-time student, how many lectures am I supposed to attend each week?

    A1. The structure of full time and part-time programmes is the same, the timetable also. Both FT and PT programmes are 90 credits. Modules normally run from Monday to Friday between(09:00 – 18:00).

    Your timetable would depend on your module choices.

    Full-time programmes:

    Autumn Trimester – 3 full 10 credit modules = 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.

    Spring Trimester – 3 full 10 credit modules = 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.

    Summer Trimester - Thesis or Internship 30 credit module

    Part-time programmes:

    Part-time students take a total of 90 credits also but over the two-year duration of the part-time course. It is advisable for part-time students to take core modules in their first year, with the exception of Research Design. Module choice is more flexible for part-time students.

    Part-time students take the Thesis or Internship 30 credit module in their 2nd year of study

    Q2.  How is a module run?

    A2.  Our modules are delivered in two-hour lecture sessions every week for 12 weeks. The majority of lectures take place between 09:00 and 18:00, Monday-Friday.

    One or two modules (trimester I and II) may be run from 18:00 - 20:00 depending on the current academic year timetable.

    Q3.  How is the part-time course run?

    A3.  A part-time student will spread the workload over two years. See Q1.

    Q4.  Are there any modules offered in the evenings or at weekends?

    A4.  We have no plans to offer modules on weekends, however, we may offer a few modules from 18:00 - 20:00 every semester. We do not currently run any weekend or evening masters programmes.

    Q5.  Can an MA/MSc be studied online?

    A5. Currently, you cannot study any of our Master’s degrees online and must be present in-person in Dublin to attend class. The exception to this is the MSc Sustainable Development, which is online only.

    Q6.  What are the differences between an MA and MSc degree?

    A6. Some courses have the option of either an MA or MSc version of the same programme

    Students opting for the MSc variation of the programme will, in addition, take core modules in research methods and statistics. This will provide a solid understanding of doing research and critically evaluating claims made by academics and other researchers. Those considering further study at PhD level or a career in research, policy analysis or journalism should certainly consider the MSc variant.

    The MA track is broader and allows you to choose to complete a dissertation or apply for an internship to develop your professional skills in the field.

    There are exceptions to this, so take a close look at your chosen programme structure and the core/optional modules offered.

    Q7.  Is the timetable available?

    A7.  Yes, please see here for the current timetables for all MA/MSc/MEconSc and Grad Dip programmes.

    Q8.  Are there any Scholarships?

    A8.  Yes there is the SPIRe Masters Scholarship, This page is updated regularly for information on how to apply and when applications open.

    Q9.  Is there any further information for International Students?

    A9. There is a lot of information available for international students on the UCD Global site:

    If you are an international student and are seeking further information, you should get in touch with your Global Centre.  The Global Centre is determined by the origin of the student.

    If you have already applied, please quote your Application Number when you do. Here is a list of our UCD Global Centres and their contact information:

    Asia Pacific: 

    Middle East & North Africa: 


    Latin America: 

    North America: 

    South Asia:

    ROW & Africa:

  can also be used for more general queries related to registration, accommodation etc.

    Q10.  Do I have to pay the application fee?

    A10.  Yes. The application fee must be paid before the UCD Application System will allow us to review it.

    Q11.  What is an academic reference?

    A11.  Your reference should come from a lecturer of your undergraduate degree at your previous/current university. It should include a history of academic grades and why you should be recommended for the programme. It should be signed and on headed paper. You need to upload this to your application, SPIRe does not contact your references directly.

    Q12.  Do I need two references?

    A12.  No. We only require one reference. 

    Q13.  My referee doesn’t want me to view the reference, but the UCD online application system asks me to upload a copy. What can I do?

    A13.  You may ask them to send the reference by email to The email must be sent from a professional email account (e.g.,, and not from a personal email account.

    Q14.  I finished my undergraduate degree a long time ago and it is difficult to contact my lecturer. What can I do?

    A14.  We primarily require an academic reference. However, we may accept a reference from your current/recent employer as an exception provided the programme coordinator is willing to accept this.

    Q15.  Can I upload a personal statement, a letter of motivation or my CV (resume) as an additional document?

    A15.  Yes, you can. As part of the admission process, most emphasis is placed on applicants’ academic transcripts and references. Relevant work/life experiences will also be taken into account.