[skip to content]

Department of Development Studies

War to Peace Transitions (MSc RID)

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Term 2

This course is only available to students enrolled on the MSc Research for International Development programme.

This course is a seminar-based course with no lectures. It is, therefore, aimed at students with a high degree of commitment to independent work. Students make detailed presentations in collaboration in a small group and discussion, with the intervention of teachers, develops around these presentations.

The course aims to provide students with a knowledge of the main issues and debates in the burgeoning literature on conflict resolution, peace building, DDR programmes (disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration), and post-conflict reconstruction. The course encourages a critical perspective on the literature, on the local, national and regional politics of war to peace transitions, and on international interventions (which, for example, are often influenced by what has been tagged the ‘liberal peace’ perspective).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the historical continuities between earlier and contemporary war to peace transitions;
  • An ability to critically engage with current literature and policy debates on war to peace transitions;
  • The ability to relate the literature and policy debates to detailed case studies of various war to peace transitions;
  • Critical analytical capabilities, through the intensive seminar mode and improved presentation skills.


Teaching takes place through a weekly 2 hour seminar – there are no lectures.

Scope and syllabus

This 15 CATS credits course will be delivered alongside the parallel course 'War to Peace Transitions', worth 22.5 CATS credits. Students will have the opportunity to attend all lectures and tutorials, however the assessed component will be approximately 75% of the 22.5 CATS credits syllabus. Material delivered in the lectures and tutorials which is NOT examinable will equate to two of the ten weeks of the course, and will be identified by the course convenor and communicated to students at the start the course.

Method of assessment

50% examination and 50% coursework. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of no more than 5000 words, worth 50%. Resubmission of coursework deadlines apply.