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The programme offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the study and practice of reconciliation and peacebuilding, with the work and experience of St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace informing its design. Drawing on insights from subject areas including psychology, religious studies and the arts, students are encouraged to examine key ideas and theoretical frameworks in the study of reconciliation in a wide variety of different contexts.

Students are supported in identifying and understanding the root causes of conflict, and in critically assessing a range of methods and practices which have the potential to turn violent and destructive conflict into positive and sustainable outcomes. Students are encouraged to reflect on the pivotal relationship between theory and practice and to consider a variety of factors which impact upon the effectiveness of peacebuilding and reconciliation activities.

Students have the opportunity to become involved with peacebuilding projects and organisations throughout the duration of the programme.


Graduates pursue careers working in the fields of international development, conflict management, peacebuilding and international relations. This work is often on international and local Non-Governmental Organisations and government, civil service and peacekeeping institutions such as the United Nations and European Union.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

There are opportunities for students to take part in voluntary work placements or carry out a pre-determined piece of work for a relevant organisation.

Field trips

Students have the opportunity to get involved with peacebuilding projects and organisations throughout the duration of the programme.

Learning and teaching

Start date: September

Distance learning available: MA Reconciliation and Peacebuilding is offered as distance learning only

Teaching takes place: Evenings

The programme is taught by a team of highly qualified and enthusiastic staff including internationally renowned scholars working in the areas of reconciliation and peacebuilding. The programme is delivered through a combination of distance and blended learning. Participation in practical modules requires intensive periods of attendance. All students have access to dedicated tutors and can converse with other students through the University's Learning Network and online forums.


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester


Types of assessment include portfolios, presentations, reflective journals, practical work, essays and reports. There are no examinations. For the final assessment students have the option of completing a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words; undertaking a consultancy placement with an organisation working in the field, or participating in and reflecting on a practical peacebuilding project.

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening or by contacting our teaching staff.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


Normally a first, second-class Honours degree in a related subject or professional experience in the area of study. The study of conflict resolution and peacebuilding requires the exploration of a wide range of themes and issues which cut across most subject areas, and draws on a range of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The course considers most subject areas from previous higher education suitable. It is important that applicants can demonstrate some knowledge and experience of studying and engaging with contemporary issues, global themes and challenges and articulate a personal and professional motivation for engaging in peacebuilding and reconciliation work.

There are additional entry requirements for Distance Learning programmes - please view the Distance Learning Policy online at

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Personal Computing Requirements

Due to the Distance Learning deliverance of the course, there are minimum personal computing requirements. Please see the Distance Learning Policy.    

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Evenings.


Year 1: Level 7

Modules Credits

Major Project 60

You can choose either Consultancy or the Major Project module

The ‘Major Project’ module will is one of three options which constitute the final assessment element of the MA programme. Students may only select this module subject to the approval of the Programme Leader. Guided by tutors students will be expected to plan and implement a peacebuilding/community reconciliation project in a pre-agreed location or context. Students can undertake projects in small groups if preferred although a project can be undertaken alone. In both cases written submissions will expected to be the individual student’s own work and will be marked separately. Students will also be encouraged to form working partnerships with relevant organisations and communities. The evaluation of the project (30% of total mark) will be carried out assessed through a dialogical process of exploration between students and supervisor, with the intention that a mark for the project will be arrived at through a process of self and peer reflection.
It is possible that this module may have ethical implications and this aspect should be discussed with tutors before any work is undertaken. Students should also make themselves familiar with ‘The University Research and Knowledge Exchange Ethics Policy’.

Consultancy 60

You can choose either the Major Project module or Consultancy

The Consultancy module offers an alternative to the more traditional dissertation pathway, and provides students with an excellent opportunity to gain vital experience of undertaking a commissioned critical report on a subject or issue in the area of peacebuilding/community reconciliation. The student will be required to carry out a consultancy according to the terms negotiated with the commissioning agency and the supervisor. This option is intended for those students who are seeking to engage in this area of work professionally as soon as possible upon graduating from the programme rather than pursuing an academic career, requiring the successful completion of a dissertation. A student can only select the Consultancy option with the prior consent of the Programme Leader, following consultations with the programme team. Consent will only be given in a case where the team are confident that the student is capable of fulfilling the professional expectations of the commissioning agency. This module may also have ethical implications and this aspect should therefore be discussed with tutors before any work is undertaken. Students should also make themselves familiar with ‘The University Research and Knowledge Exchange Ethics Policy’.

Independent Study 60

In 15-20,000 words, candidates must argue and discuss with a full critical method a stated proposition which is to be presented and defended by demonstration of appropriate materials and the proper use of evidence. The proposition must be one which relates to the subject matter of the Programme and which permits the demonstration of independent research, study and reflection.

Theories and Dynamics of Reconciliation 20

This module offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the study and practice of reconciliation. Drawing on insight into reconciliation from a number of disciplines, such as psychology, religious studies, and arts, students are encouraged to examine key ideas, frameworks, and understandings of reconciliation and tackle the principal dilemmas of reconciliation practice. Students will become familiar with the work of leading practitioners and thinkers such as John Paul Lederach and Miroslav Wolf, with particular emphasis on how they draw on Christian theology.  The module will explore a range of practical examples and case studies of reconciliation and relationship building processes at interpersonal, community, and international levels and consider the range of contexts and factors which impact upon and shape any given reconciliation process. Throughout students will be encouraged to draw on their own experiences of experiencing difference, division and relationship building, and reflect on how this informs their own ideas and views about reconciliation methods and techniques, and their motivation for studying this subject.

Religion and Peacebuilding 20

In recent years religion has received much negative attention, being associated with a range of repressive and violent ideologies, and often linked with terrorism and conflict.  However at the same time there has been increasing recognition by scholars and peace practitioners of the substantial resources for peace most religions possess.  There are numerous examples of faith- based organisations, religious communities, and religiously inspired individuals contributing positively to pre and post conflict peace processes, and increasing the effectiveness and sustainability of peacebuilding work particularly at grassroots level. In this module students will be learn about the history of religious peacebuilding, not only as an academic area of study but also the long tradition of religious actors on the ground contributing positively to peace processes. Key concepts in religious peacebuilding will be introduced, and students will be encouraged to critically evaluate religious sources for building peace and the roles religious actors can play to make peacebuilding interventions more effective and sustainable. The concept of ‘Peacebuilding’ encompasses a wide range of interventions proven to either prevent the start or resumption of violent conflict, and students will be encouraged to consider the role religious actors might play in broader structural conflict interventions, such as state building, the strengthening of civil society, education, development work tackling poverty and social and economic injustices, as well as the processes of personal reconciliation vital to rebuilding resilient societies after a period of conflict.

Understanding the Nature and Causes of Conflict 20

Conflict, and the potential for conflict, is a condition which has existed throughout human history. Conflict can take many forms; a breakdown in personal relationships, social tensions, structural oppression and discrimination, religious extremism, antagonism or indifference towards the planet, and intranational and international violence are just some of the ways conflict can be expressed. In today’s world the contexts and causes of conflict are ever more complex. It is increasingly acknowledged by academics, peace practitioners and policy makers alike that effective and sustainable conflict interventions require a comprehensive understanding of the origins and dynamics of conflict.
This module will draw on a range of theories and disciplines to examine: definitions and understandings of conflict; the causes and dynamics of conflict; phases and levels of conflict; and the effectiveness of a range of interventions. The variances between academic and practitioners understandings and analysis of conflict will be examined. Furthermore, the phenomenon of conflict will be explored in relation to issues such as politics, economics, culture, and religion, and case studies will be used to ground the theoretical and conceptual understandings in historical and contemporary examples.

Research Methods and Skills 20

In addition to developing the particular knowledge relating to given field of investigation, postgraduate students need both to reflect on the nature of that discipline, to identify its place in the range of human areas of intellectual investigation, to identify particular methods and skills relevant to their disciple from a wide range of methods and skills, to develop those skills and to begin their implementation in a significant and agreed topic of research. Students also use information technology to create bibliographies, make appropriate use of online resources, and to access research materials; they explore appropriate modes of research-topic identification, hypothesis formation, and methodology selection; they practice techniques for moving from note taking, and data-collection to the outlining, sectioning, writing-up and presentation of the research project materials.

Optional Credits

Year 1 Optional Modules
  • The Practice of Reconciliation 2: Skills for working with divided groups
  • Multiple Perspectives on Reconciliation
  • Building Networks of Peace
  • Multi-faith Cooperation on Peacebuilding
  • Religion and Development
  • Interreligious Dialogue and Intercultural Theology
  • Religion and Globalisation
  • Religion in the Contemporary West
  • Theology, Religion and Ethics
  • Management Responses to Global Issues

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Full-time entry | £6,500
Part-time entry | £3,250 p/a

Total Cost | £6,500

International Students

Full-time entry | £6,500
Part-time entry | £3,250 p/a

Total Cost | £6,500


As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


Field Trip

There is one optional practical module, usually run in April, which requires 4 days attendance at the University. Students are required to cover the costs of travel to and from the University and accommodation for the nights they attend. University accommodation may be available and can be booked by students at a reasonable cost. Costs vary depending on student's location. For a night in university accommodation, the cost is approximately £35 per night.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years
Typical offer
Normally a first or second-class Honours degree
Distance learning