Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPCS) University of Otago, New Zealand

Posted: July 5, 2014 in News and Views

Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPCS)

University of Otago, New Zealand


This taught Masters programme provides advanced qualifications in Peace and Conflict studies, development and peace building.

The field of Peace and Conflict Studies addresses some of the most enduring and intractable problems confronting humanity. It is primarily concerned with an analysis of the origins and nature of violent conflict within and between societies and their nonviolent transformation.

Course details

The MPCS requires two semesters of full-time study or its equivalent in part-time study. Students may enrol to begin in the first semester (February) or second semester (July). The MPCS entails a structured programme of coursework along with either a piece of supervised research or a work placement and associated report. PEAC501 and PEAC502 are compulsory papers. Students select PEAC590 or PEAC595 plus 2 other elective papers.

PEAC501: Theories of Peace and Conflict

A core course introducing students to the central problematics of peace and conflict studies. It explores a range of theoretical explanations for peace and armed conflict.

PEAC502: Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory

An advanced introduction to the analysis of conflict and conflict resolution theory. In particular, the paper focuses on the conflict resolution process.

PEAC503: Conflict Resolution Practice

Includes an exploration of the history of peaceful conflict resolution in Aotearoa New Zealand and the application of conflict resolution principles to specific case studies.

PEAC504: Development and Peacebuilding

Students will develop knowledge of and insight into understandings of development and peace, and the roles of the state, market and civil society in development and peacebuilding.

PEAC505: Peace Education

An introduction to the field of Peace Education including violence in education, the differences betweeen educating for peace and educating for war, the role of peace education in the promotion of human rights, and practical matters concerning teaching for peace.

PEAC506: Special Topic

PEAC507: Critical Terrorism Studies

An advanced introduction to the new field of Critical Terrorism Studies and the analysis of contemporary security issues from a Peace and Conflict Studies perspective.

PEAC590: Dissertation

Students write a research thesis of no more than 10,000-15,000 words on a subject of their own choosing, based on primary sources.

PEAC595: Practicum and Research Report

The course will provide students with an opportunity to work on conflict-related issues with civil society, non-governmental or official government organisations in New Zealand or overseas, and produce an analytic dissertation on their experience.

Admission to the programme

Typically, Peace and Conflict students will have an undergraduate degree in any one of a wide range of disciplines, such as law, education, psychology or politics. A minimum grade of B+ or higher over the final year is normally required but relevant practical experience may also be considered where this minimum is not met.


The University of Otago offers scholarships to assist with the costs of the coursework Masters. Details can be found on the University of Otago website.

Further information

For inquiries or registrations of interest please email:

The Administrator

National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies


or see

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