M.A. in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security

School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London, is offering a new MA in CONFLICT, DISPLACEMENT AND HUMAN SECURITY

Programme content

The proposed programme offers an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the relationship between conflict, displacement and human insecurity. Distinctive features of the programme are its focus on conflict and displacement, its people-centred approach, and its emphasis on human security that combines both human rights and human development. The proposed programme approaches development as an important security strategy and considers displacement a measure of human security.

Conflict, displacement and human security

• adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the conflict, generalised violence and social inequality in contemporary global contexts
• examines the complex intersections of global, regional and local structures and their linkages to the changing character of conflict
• encourages independent critical approaches to contemporary theories of conflicts, human rights and human security
• examines global and local dimensions of conflict, displacement and development
• adopts people-centred approaches to security
• views displacement as a lived experience
• considers links between theoretical and applied/policy issues in conflict, displacement and development

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have a first class or upper second-class honours degree in a cognate area of study or comparable professional/research experience. Under special circumstances applicants without a relevant first degree but with substantial professional experience may be considered. These candidates will be interviewed as part of the admission process.

Students that apply to enter stages of the programme may be admitted through normal Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes, or through an approved articulation agreement. Therefore, such applicants must be able to demonstrate and evidence that they have the required learning outcomes as listed in the modules for which they are seeking exemption.

In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6 (or equivalent) is required. International qualifications will be checked for appropriate matriculation to UK Higher Education postgraduate programmes.

Programme structure

The programme consists of two core taught modules, choice of two options and a dissertation.

Learning environment

The Programme is taught using a combination of methods and approaches to teaching and learning: lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials. Classroom, face-to-face teaching is supported by the use of the UEL Plus virtual learning environment. In seminars, group work is encouraged.


All assessment is by coursework: essays, reports, presentations, research proposal, and dissertation. All modules are assessed. The final award takes account of all modules marks.

Relevance to work/profession

The programme is especially relevant to employment in the fields of conflict management and resolution, humanitarian assistance and displacement, human rights and development initiatives. It has general relevance to non-governmental as well as government sector employment both in developing and developed countries.

Dissertation/project work

All modules give opportunities for group work. Dissertations provide the opportunity for focused independent research. Projects, including the dissertation, may draw extensively on work experience.

Added value

The programme equips students with key transferable skills. By the end of the programme students should have acquired:

• advanced critical and evaluative abilities;
• research management skills;
• capabilities to design and deliver substantial written reports;
• capabilities to design and execute social research projects;
• high levels of competence in library and bibliographical research;
• skills in data collection and analysis;
• enhanced abilities in verbal presentation;
• familiarity with means of dissemination and mobilising research findings;
• advanced abilities to collaborate in research groups and teams.

Your future career

The Programme prepares students for employment in the fields of development, humanitarian assistance, displacement and human rights, and specifically in conflict management and assistance, project development and implementation, human rights advocacy and practice. The programme also develops skills appropriate for further academic research in conflict, displacement, development and human rights fields, as well as in associated areas of social and political theory.

How we support you

All students will benefit from work in small groups, from an active tutorial system, from training in research methods, and from access to a range of learning resources available at UEL, including a dedicated archive on refugee and displacement issues.

As the proposed Programme is fundamentally research-oriented, it engages students as producers of knowledge and active members of the research community. We support students to master critical thinking and assessment of complex and intersecting issues in relation to conflict, development and human security, ranging from critical analysis of social theory and concepts to developing critical assessment of relevant policies, as well as development and other interventions. We support students to work and learn independently, creatively, and systematically in order to acquire knowledge and develop analytical thinking. We support students to develop a demonstrable respect for evidence, research and scholarship as it relates to the specific case studies, regions or development and other interventions.

Bonus factors

All students will benefit from access to seminars, workshops and conferences organised by the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, the Centre for Social Change (under validation), the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging and other University-wide Centres and Groups.

They also benefit from access to the Refugee Archive at UEL.

As an optional extra, students may be involved in internships with local and international organisations and agencies working in the fields of displacement, conflict, conflict resolution, human rights, humanitarian assistance, and development.

Procedure for Admission

Applicants should normally hold a first class or upper second class honours degree. This degree should be in a relevant field of study. Applicants holding an honours degree in a field of study which is not of obvious relevance may also be considered. Applicants who are not graduates but who have relevant research or professional experience may also be considered. Applicants are requested to supply two academic or other appropriate references – these should be submitted at the point of application.

For further information on admission procedures and applying for the programme please contact Diane Ball, the programme administrator, on +44(0)20 8223 2770, or d.m.ball@uel.ac.uk

Programme Leaders:
Maja Korac-Sanderson
Giorgia Dona

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