postgraduate program

Postgraduate MA program in Peace and Conflict Studies

The interdisciplinary and well established master program “Peace and Conflict Studies” (“Friedens- und Konfliktforschung” accurately translates into: “Peace and Conflict Research”) in Marburg has been set up in 2004/2005. Since then it has developed continuosly to adapt to the changing demands for students in this field. The commission which selects students to enroll from a total of about 350 applications each year down to a ~35 person cohorte usually favours interdiscipliarity with an emphasis on international experience and social competence of the applicants. This usually results in a range of different approaches of students to the questions of peace, conflict and war. This multiperspectival approach is one of the greatest enrichments to everyone’s experience. As seminars are usually small, time and space for broad discussions of these issues is available.

The program consists of ten modules. This year the program has been changed again which is not yet reflected in this compilation. Updates will follow soon:

The introductory module sets the frame of theories, methods and approaches of Peace and Conflict Studies. The additional seminars and tutorials broaden the lecture contents and supplement the (potential) experience of students who have prior experience in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Module 2 is a module about methods and theories of conflict regulation (not solution!). It is seconded by a seminar on international (humanitarian/criminal) law  as well as seminars on mediation and conflict simulations.

Module 3 is called “methods of conflict analysis” and introduces the variety of different approaches to study a conflict. Students will have to try writing their own analysis.

Module 4 is the English-language module on social psychology and intergroup conflicts. It also introduces research methods of social psychology. This seminar and module is the only module to be held in English by default.

Module 5 is the international internship to be absolved in this course. Students usually choose to intern in the summer break (which is shorter than in the international 3-term-academic-year-system!). More information under: Internship ideas

Module 6 is a lecture and a seminar on international violent conflicts in the world society and approaches large scale conflicts in the global forum. It usually also has a historical approach.

Module 7 is a two semester (one academic year) research seminar where students are required to conduct their own research project and write a small thesis about it.

Module 8 is the export module bloc. Here, students can choose from a variety of offers at different faculties of the University of Marburg, as well as beyond.

Module 9 is a collection of different seminars on a range of specialisations students can choose from. Each student is asked to take two offers from two different specialisations.

The dissertation in Module 10 is the final thesis to be written in this 2-year programme. Topics can be chosen individually and will have to be debated with the supervisors. Generally, the German system does NOT appoint you a supervisor, you will have to look for one (and her/his seconding second corrector) on your own.

This is the short overview of this 2-year program. It needs to be emphasised that the wide variety of choices and thematic as well as regional specialisations are a major bonus of this program. The whole field is rather approached broadly and can individually be studied in depth instead of a general focus by default of the program itself.