Masters in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation programs are designed for those interested in careers in mediation, conflict resolution, or international development. These programs prepare students to work with individuals, groups, and communities affected by violent conflict. Students learn about the causes of violence, the dynamics of conflict, and the principles and practices of peacebuilding. They also gain skills in communication, negotiation, project management, and research. Graduates of these programs often go on to work for NGOs, government agencies, or international organizations. Here are our top picks:
The University of Winchester in Winchester, England, United Kingdom, offers a Master of Arts degree program in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding. The program is offered entirely online but students are invited to participate in peacebuilding projects and nonprofit work while completing their studies. All students take the following classes: Research Methods and Skills;
Understanding the Nature and Causes of Conflict; Religion and Peacebuilding; Theories and Dynamics of Reconciliation; and Consultancy. With full-time study, the entire program can be completed in 12 months. The university also offers a part-time version of the program that lasts for roughly 24 months.
The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, offers a master’s degree program in Sustainable Peacebuilding. Every student in this multi-disciplinary program takes the following classes: The Politics and Policy of Sustainability; Complex Human-Environmental Interactions; Preparing for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Social Change; Holistic Peacebuilding Practice; Project Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding; and Reflective Practice in Sustainable Peacebuilding. In addition, students select a number of elective courses related to their specific interests. All courses are in person, offered on campus and taught in English. The program lasts for 24 months and involves full-time study.
The University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom, offers a Master of Science degree in Post-Conflict Justice and Peacebuilding. Students begin the program by taking two courses: Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science and Advanced Social Theory. Elective courses are also chosen in consultation with an advisor to deepen students’ knowledge of the topic. Along with coursework, students are responsible for conducting independent research on a topic related to the theoretical, conceptual and empirical dimensions of post-conflict justice and peacebuilding. This research becomes the foundation for a master’s dissertation that students complete at the end of the program. Most students complete all of the degree requirements with two years of full-time study.
Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England, United Kingdom, offers a master’s degree program in Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding. All courses are offered online, making it ideal for remote learning students as well as for individuals who are currently working full time. To meet the needs of employed adults, the program involves part-time coursework. Among the required courses are: From Conflict Sensitivity to Conflict Transformation; Culture-Sensitivity in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings; Leadership, Team and Self-management in Conflict Settings;
Humanitarian and Peacebuilding Programmes in Urban Conflicts; and Protection of Civilians in Conflict and Post-conflict Settings. Typically, students finish all of the coursework within 30 months.
Umea University in Umea, Sweden, offers a Master of Science degree in Crisis Management and Peacebuilding. This program is offered as a one-year and a two-year course of study. The one-year program is intended for students who wish to enter the workforce after earning their degree, while the two-year program is ideal for those hoping to pursue doctoral degrees. Both programs involve coursework with classes including Crisis Management in Comparative Perspective, Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences, and Quantitative Research Methods for the Social Science, and Global and Regional Governance. Students in the two-year program also complete a master’s level thesis based on independent research and have the opportunity to participate in internship and study abroad placements.