SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

MSc Violence, Conflict & Development

duration:
One calendar year (full-time). Two years(part-time, daytime only) We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
£10,470
Overseas fees:
£17,895

This is a Band 3 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2016 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Relevant work experience may also be considered.

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Start of programme: September intake only

Who is this programme for?:

The Violence, Conflict and Development programme attracts applicants with a variety of academic and working backgrounds. We welcome those who have worked in the field of development and/or conflict, but we also welcome applications from students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in the major themes of the programme and a strong first degree, preferably in a social science.

The degree has been developed to meet the needs of people working, or hoping to work, in international agencies, humanitarian organisations, and NGOs.

As the pioneering programme of its kind internationally, this MSc programme develops detailed empirical knowledge and analytical skills for understanding the complex linkages between violent conflict and development, both historically and today. It enables students to explore these linkages both within specific country and regional contexts and in the context of global interdependencies and the ways these affect peace, war, and non-war violence.

The programme introduces students to competing analytical approaches. It is multi-disciplinary though shaped by a particular interest in political economy. It encourages deep case study knowledge. And it offers students the ability to tailor their choice of optional courses and dissertation research to their own interests.

The MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development draws on the exceptional expertise at SOAS in different disciplinary understanding of development challenges and processes as well as the strong commitment among all teaching staff to area expertise. Staff teaching on this programme are research active and have a range of links to international organisations.

The programme is of interest for development practitioners, activists, and students with a scholarly interest in the patterns of violence internationally, in how violence affects development, and in how the uneven processes of development themselves may both generate violence and generate mechanisms for containing violence.

Highlights include: 
  • Zoe's Blog! A convenor's-eye view of the MSc Violence, Conflict and Development programme
  • Exploration of the long history of theories of human violence 
  • Relationships between violence and long-run historical change
  • The concept of a continuum of violence 
  • The relevance of historical and more recent evidence that the process of structural change involved in ‘development’ is inherently conflictual and often violent 
  • To what extent democratisation is a mechanism for securing perpetual peace 
  • The challenges of understanding gender based violence 
  • Whether abundant natural resources, or high levels of inequality, or clear markers of religious or ethnic difference are clear sources of violent conflict 
  • How highly localised violent conflicts are connected to processes of global economic development
  • The challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and ‘war to peace transitions’ 
  • The role of NGOs in causes of, dynamics of, and responses to conflict 
  • Explaining the prevalence of high levels of non-war violence 
  • Explanations of the political economy of – and alternative perspectives on – terrorism

Students can draw on SOAS's unique expertise to specialise further in particular regions or topics. Please see  Postgraduate modules for details on core and optional modules.

Convenors

Structure

Overview

There are four main components to this degree: three taught modules and a 10,000 word dissertation. All students take a core module, Political Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development. They then select one of three ‘development’ modules: Political Economy of Development; Theory, Policy and Practice of Development; or Anthropology of Development. Through these modules, students build their analytical skills and their knowledge of the main issues and debates in Development Studies. A distinctive feature of the core module is that students put together a group case study presentation.

Specialisation

Students also take optional modules (one full unit module or two half-unit modules). By tying these to their individual dissertation topic, students design their degree to suit their own interests and career development goals.

Students should be aware that not all optional modules may run in a given year. Modules at other institutions are not part of the approved programme structure.

Core Modules

All students take Violence, Conflict and Development. Then select either Political Economy of Development or Theory, Policy and Practice of Development or Anthropology of Development. The dissertation is compulsory.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Political economy of violence, conflict and development 15PDSC003 1 Unit Full Year
Political economy of development 15PDSC002 1 Unit Full Year
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 1 Unit Full Year
Anthropology of Development 15PANC090 1 Unit Full Year
Dissertation in Development Studies 15PDSC999 1 Unit Full Year
Non-Assessed Courses

All MSc students in Development Studies are eligible to attend the one-term , non-assessed module, Economics for Beginners,which introduces students to basic concepts in microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics, and statistics and econometrics.

Optional Modules - Development Studies

Students may choose optional modules (one full module or two half modules) from the list below. Please check to ensure that any module in which you have a special interest is running in the year that you wish to study. In addition, access to relevant modules in other departments may be negotiated subject to the agreement of both Convenors.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 0.5 Unit Term 2
Aid and development 15PDSH027 0.5 Unit Term 1
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 0.5 Unit Term 2
Development practice 15PDSH013 0.5 Unit Term 2
Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Extractive Industries, Energy, Biofuels and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 0.5 Unit Term 2
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Fundamentals of research methods for Development Studies 15PDSH017 0.5 Unit Term 1
Gender and development 15PDSH010 0.5 Unit Term 1
Global commodity chains, production networks and informal work 15PDSH024 0.5 Unit Term 1
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 0.5 Unit Term 2
Issues in forced migration 15PDSH015 0.5 Unit Term 1
Marxist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH053 0.5 Unit Term 2
Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 0.5 Unit Term 1
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 0.5 Unit Term 2
Problems of development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 0.5 Unit Term 2
Security 15PDSH020 0.5 Unit Term 1
The working poor and development 15PDSH030 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Understanding economic migration: Theories, Patterns and Policies 15PDSH032 0.5 Unit Term 2
War to peace transitions 15PDSH018 0.5 Unit Term 2
Water and development:conflict and governance 15PDSH049 0.5 Unit Term 2
Open Options in Other Departments
Economics Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Economic development in Africa 15PECC203 1 Unit Full Year
Economic dynamics of the Asia-Pacific region 15PECC334 1 Unit Full Year
Economic problems and policies in modern China 15PECC035 1 Unit Full Year
The political economy of development in Africa 15PECH004 0.5 Unit Term 1
Politics and International Studies Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Government and politics in Africa 15PPOC205 1 Unit Full Year
Government and politics of modern South Asia 15PPOC003 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Politics of Globalisation and Development in Asia and Africa 15PPOC017 1 Unit Full Year
Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations 15PPOC252 1 Unit Full Year
School of Law
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Alternative Dispute Resolution 15PLAC104 1 Unit Full Year
Human Rights in The Developing World 15PLAC111 1 Unit Full Year
International Protection of Human Rights 15PLAC119 1 Unit Full Year
Justice, Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Post Conflict Societies 15PLAC123 1 Unit Full Year
Water Law: Justice and Governance 15PLAH044 0.5 Unit Term 1
Anthropology and Sociology Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Therapy and Culture 15PANH027 0.5 Unit Term 1
History Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Environmental History of Asia 15PHIH023 0.5 Unit Term 2
South Asia Department
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya 15PSAC291 1 Unit Full Year
Imagining Pakistan: culture, politics, gender (MA) 15PSAC313 1 Unit Full Year
Study of Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Religions and Development 15PSRH049 0.5 Unit Term 1

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Materials

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Teaching & Learning

Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

Lectures

Most modules involve a two hour lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 3 tuition fee.

The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,470 £17,895 £5,235 £8,948 £3,490 £5,965
Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-12 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-01-29 17:00

Santander Taught Master’s Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-22 17:00

The Cultures of Resistance Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

The Prospect Burma - Hla Pe Memorial Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2016-02-24 17:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

Employment

MSc Violence, Conflict & Development postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek. These include analytical skills, presentation skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate. Graduates from MsC Violence, Conflict & Development have gone on to work in a range of different organisations, including Development and Human Rights Organisations, and many have continuted in the field of research.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

ActionAid
Amnesty International
BBC World Service
British Overseas Network for Development NGOs
Department for International Development
Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Finland
European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
Fairtrade International
Foundation Rwanda
Immigration Advisory Service
Institute for Human Development
Institute for Public Policy Research
International Land Coalition (ILC)
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Landmine Action
Mekong Economics Ltd
NATO
Overseas Development Institute
Save the Children
The Climate Group
The Japan Foundation
The World Bank
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations
UNICEF Libya Response Team
World Health Organization

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Regional Project Development Intern For Africa
Emergencies Programme Manager
International Mobilisation Coordinator
Development Officer
Broadcasting Journalist
Humanitarian Policy Advisor
East and Central Africa Projects Manager
Horn of Africa Analyst
Global Policy Consultant
Operational Support Officer
Senior Project Manager
Development Economist
Journalist
Defense Policy and Strategy Analyst
Director Counter Extremism and Deradicalization
Political Researcher
International Programmes Officer
Ethical Trade Executive
Education Coordinator
Community Investment Coordinator
Women and Peace building Specialist
Programme Analyst

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

Being at SOAS is a privilege I have greatly appreciated academically as well as socially. It really is a gem that surfaces unheard voices and unseen faces.

Nuren Sherali Parpia

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    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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