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 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£10,995
Overseas fees:
£18,790

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. 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

2017 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.

Convenors

Structure

Overview

Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.

All students take core modules, ‘Political Economy of Violence, Conflict & Development’ and a ‘Dissertation in Development Studies’. They then choose EITHER ‘Political Economy of Development’ OR ‘Theory, Policy and Practice of Development. Through these modules, students build their analytical skills and knowledge of the main issues and debates in Development Studies.

Specialisation

Students also take option modules, allowing them to specialise in particular areas of development and possibly using them to develop a dissertation in a related theme. By tying optional modules to their individual dissertation topic, students tailor their degree to suit their own interests and career development goals.

Please note that not all option modules may run every year.  Modules at other institutions (intercollegiate) are not part of the approved programme structure.

Part-time Study

Students can take this programme part-time over 2 or 3 years. Students usually complete their core modules in Year 1 and their option modules and dissertation in subsequent years.

Core Modules

Students take the following TWO core modules:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Political economy of violence, conflict and development 15PDSC003 30 Full Year
Dissertation in Development Studies 15PDSC999 60 Full Year
Optional Core Modules

Students then choose ONE of the following modules:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Political economy of development 15PDSC002 30 Full Year
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 30 Full Year
Anthropology of Development 15PANC090 30 Full Year
Option Modules

Students choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List 1 and 30 credits from List 2 below:

(1) Option Modules in the Department of Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 1
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 15 Term 1
Battlefields of Method: Approaches to International Development Research 15PDSC008 30 Full Year
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 15 Term 2
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 2
Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Extractive Industries, Energy, Biofuels and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 15 Term 2
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Fundamentals of research methods for Development Studies 15PDSH017 15 Term 1
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Issues in Forced Migration 15PDSH015 15 Term 2
Marxist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH053 15 Term 2
Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 15 Term 1
Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 15 Term 2
Security 15PDSH020 15 Term 1
The working poor and development 15PDSH030 15 Term 2
Understanding Economic Migration: Theories, Patterns and Policies 15PDSH032 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
War to Peace Transitions 15PDSH018 15 Term 2
Water and Development:Conflict and Governance 15PDSH049 15 Term 2
(2) Open Options in other Departments

Please copy the following link into your browser: https://www.soas.ac.uk/students/modulesignup/pg-open-options/

Non-Assessed Course

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

 

This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

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 either a 1 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial, or a 2 hour seminar.  Some modules are assessed by 100% coursework and others by both coursework and examination.


In addition, a third of the degree is given over to writing a supervised 10,000 word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Pre Entry Reading

Cramer, C. (2006). Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing. Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries. London, Hurst & co.

Duffield, M. (2007). Development, Security and Unending War. Cambridge, Polity.

Goodhand, J. (2006). Aiding Peace? The Role of NGOs in Armed Conflict. Rugby, ITDG Publishing.

Keen, D. (2008). Complex Emergencies. Cambridge, Polity Press.

Marriage, Z. (2013). Formal Peace and Informal War. Security and Development in Congo. London and New York, Routledge.

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.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. 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
£10,995 £18,790 £5,498 £9,395 £3,665 £6,263

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

The best thing about studying Anthropology is that it makes you look at things from a different perspective – things that you consider ‘normal’ are not necessarily so

Selja Ryoppy

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Find out more

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