University of Leeds logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 7.7k / Year (International)
  • Foreign: $ 7.7k / Year (International)
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English

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    The ability to critically assess linkages between developmental challenges and threats to security is of ever-growing importance in the context of ongoing political and academic debates on issues such as the changing nature of irregular (terrorism, insurgency) and regular forms of conflict (war), the question of the legality, morality, and practicality of humanitarian intervention and the role of aid as an instrument of conflict resolution.

    Many complex political emergencies across the developing world can only be properly understood and addressed by those who have a robust understanding of the theoretical dimensions and empirical manifestations of security and developmental challenges.

    MA Conflict, Development and Security addresses the merger of development and security issues, and its implications for analysing the reconstruction of war-affected societies.

    It bridges the themes of conflict, aid policy and liberal styles of governance. You will analyse the ways in which developmental and humanitarian agents adapt to instability. You will also examine the significance of globalisation for the emergence of internal conflict, and the development of trans-border economies and the political dynamics they support.

    You will have the opportunity to study the regionally differentiated responses to conflict in, for example, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, Latin America, and the Middle East and to discuss issues relating to humanitarian conditionality, containment, and the role of IGOS and NGOs.

    In analysing the relationship between aid and politics in 'new' wars, this inter-disciplinary programme draws upon the department's rich diversity of approach and experience.

    The unique set of skills and thematic and regional expertise you will gain as part of this programme will likely improve your employability across a range of professional contexts.

    Career possibilitiesOur alumni have pursued a range of exciting and high-profile careers within academia and think tanks (including teaching and research positions at universities in the UK, US, Europe, and Africa), the public sector in the UK (Border Agency), Europe (External Action Service), Africa (Police), as well as globally operating consultancy and publishing firms, transnational civil society organisations (particularly in the field of humanitarian aid) and the United Nations.

    MA Conflict, Development, and Security offers you ... * cutting-edge academic inquiry with a distinct policy relevance
    * an interdisciplinary approach with a wide range of optional modules.

    If you want to ...

    * study in an intellectually vigorous environment
    * participate in a dynamic research atmosphere
    * broaden your understanding of complex political emergencies
    * pursue a career in the humanitarian or social reconstruction sector

    ... then consider MA Conflict, Development, and Security.

    Compulsory ModulesThere are two compulsory modules.

    Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance examines the economic and political elements of contemporary internal and regionalised conflict. You will examine humanitarian, developmental and security policy responses and investigate the organisational adaptations that are emerging among state and non-state actors in relation to such instability.

    Conflict, Development, and Security Dissertation leads you through the process of developing a deeper understanding of a particular topic in politics through independent research and the preparation of an extended piece of writing. You agree a research topic with your supervisor and write a 12,000 word dissertation that demonstrates your research skills, your ability to assess information, and appraise relevant concepts and theories.

    Optional ModulesYou also study between three and five of the following optional modules.

    * Africa in the Contemporary World
    * American Foreign Policy
    * Contemporary International Security
    * Counterterrorism
    * Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
    * Democracy and Development
    * European Defence and Security Analysis
    * Gender, Globalisation and Development
    * Global Justice
    * Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity
    * International Political Economy
    * International Relations and the Environment
    * Insurgency
    * Policing Post-Conflict Cities
    * Political Economy of Resources and Development
    * Research Methods
    * Terrorism
    * The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
    * The Rise of China

    Please note module options may be subject to change.

    Programme structureAs a full-time student, you will attend two 2-hour sessions (combining lectures and seminar discussion) per week over the eleven weeks of the semester. As a part-time student, you will attend one 2-hour session (combining lectures and seminar discussion) per week over the eleven weeks of the semester.

    In addition, you will benefit from extensive opportunities to interact with students and staff by attending our impressive range of research talks and seminars led by outside speakers or colleagues from within our department and University

    Teaching and learning

    You will achieve your learning objectives through a combination of introductory lectures by our expert staff, lively seminar discussions, guided weekly readings as well as the completion of a piece of independent research in the form of essays of varying length under close supervision of your module leader.


    Within modules, assessment consists exclusively of assessed essays. At the end of your studies, a 12,000 word dissertation will allow you to pursue your own research interest under close supervision by one of our expert colleagues

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    If you wish to apply for one of our MA programmes you should normally hold a good honours degree (upper second class or first class) in a Social Science discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification. Suitable degree subjects for specific programmes are as follows: * MA Global Development and pathways: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area e.g. development studies, sociology, social policy, geography. * MA Politics and pathways: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area e.g. politics, history, economics. * MA International Relations, MA Conflict Development and Security and MA Security, Terrorism and Insurgency: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area, e.g. history, international relations, security studies.Applicants with 2.2s and/or a degree in a non relevant subject may be considered, taking into consideration full transcripts, references and any relevant work/voluntary experience.Language requirements Successful completion of a postgraduate degree demands facility in English. It is a requirement that essays and dissertations be well-written. Prospective and intending students whose first language is not English will need to ensure that their linguistic proficiency is adequate. They may need to undertake some language training in the University or elsewhere.The School has a minimum requirement: * TOEFL score on the internet-based test: 92, with minimum scores of 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 23 in speaking and 22 in writing. * A minimum IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with at least 6 in all components. * PTE Academic score of at least 64 with not less than 60 in listening, reading, speaking and writing.Applicants should note that the requirement for MA Politics (Parliamentary) is a minimum of 8.0 average, with at least 7.5 in all components.Important information about language testsNew British government regulations state that an ... * IELTS * TOEFL iBT * or PET Academic... test score must be less than two years old when the University of Leeds issues a Certificate of Approved Study (CAS) to an international student that has been offered a place on a postgraduate taught programme.An international student requires a CAS in order to obtain a British student visa.What this means for youWhen you apply to one of our postgraduate courses, you must ensure that your English Language Test score will be less than two years old when we make a decision on your application. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 CAE score: (read more) Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever. 60 (Grade C) TOEFL iBT® test: 92 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.
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