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University of Otago
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Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPCS)

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Otago


The Master of Peace and Conflict Studies is an inter-disciplinary programme providing students with an advanced qualification in peace and conflict studies, development and peacebuilding. Drawing upon national and international expertise in the field, this programme will position graduates for a wide range of career options in the public and private sectors as academic researchers and as practitioners and policy makers in fields such as conflict analysis and resolution, peace-building, and post-conflict transformation.

This programme (which replaces the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) in Peace and Conflict Studies) combines theory and practice with a solid research component and is regionally focused on Asia and the Pacific.

Structure of the Programme

The programme of study shall consist of two core papers and two elective papers, worth 120 points, together with a 60 point research dissertation, or 60 point practicum and research project:

PEAC 501 Theories of Peace and Conflict (30 points)

PEAC 502 Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory (30 points)

PEAC 590 Research Dissertation (60 points) or PEAC 595 Practicum and Research Report (60 points)

and two of

PEAC 503 Conflict Resolution Practice (30 points)

PEAC 504 Development and Peace-building (30 points)

PEAC 505 Peace Education (30 points)

PEAC 506 Special Topic (30 points)

PEAC 507 Critical Terrorism Studies (30 points)

PEAC 508 Psychology of Peace and Conflict (30 points)

Total 180 points

Entry criteria

a. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

b. Every applicant must either

i. be a graduate, or

ii. have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

c. In considering an applicant’s qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study that was followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant’s performance in the programme. 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.

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 90 with a minimum writing score of 21
  • Paper-based TOEFL - score of 587 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Minimum of 176
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • University of Otago Language Centre ‘English for Otago’, English for Postgraduate Academic Purposes (EPAP) - Grade C or higher
  • University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Postgraduate Studies (EPPS) with a B Grade
  • University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) - Successful completion of the certificate with a B Grade

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