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  • Identify and understand the root causes of conflict
  • Critically assess strategies which can turn conflict into positive and sustainable outcomes
  • Participate in practical peacebuilding projects throughout the course

The Reconciliation programmes at Winchester draw on insights from a range of academic disciplines, case studies, and cultural and faith traditions from around the world. They give you 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 their design.

Drawing on insights from subject areas including psychology, religious studies and the arts, you examine key ideas and theoretical frameworks in the study of reconciliation in a wide variety of different contexts. We discuss and 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. You also have the opportunity to become involved with peacebuilding projects and organisations throughout the duration of the programme.

Study core modules including Research Methods and Skills, Understanding the Nature and Causes of Conflict, Theories and Dynamics of Reconciliation, and The Practice of Reconciliation. Supplement these with options including Skills for working with divided groups, Building Networks of Peace, Multi-faith Cooperation on Peacebuilding, Religion and Globalisation, and Theology, Religion and Ethics. You also complete a final assessment, for which you have the option of writing a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words; undertaking a consultancy placement with an organisation working in the field; or participating in and reflecting on a practical peacebuilding project.

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


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

Learning and teaching

The programme is taught by a team of highly qualified and enthusiastic staff who include 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.

Distance learning available 

Majority of programme

Teaching takes place



Taught elements of the course take place on campus in 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 on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or 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 or second-class Honours degree 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. It is important that applicants can demonstrate some knowledge and experience of studying and engaging with contemporary issues, and 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 www.winchester.ac.uk/publicdocuments

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent.

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

International students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can email International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 1962 827023 

Applications need to be submitted before the 31 May 2019. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information see our How to Apply section.

Visit us

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

Additional requirements

Personal Computing Requirements 

Note - these requirements are reviewed annually by ITS and the Head of Technology Enhanced Learning. They were last updated in February 2016. Any currently enrolled student who has concerns should contact their Programme Leader in the first instance.

Any computer or mobile device purchased within the last 5 years should be sufficient. If in doubt, or for older devices, the following minimum specifications will ensure that a workstation performs to a reasonable standard:

Operating System: Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 | Mac OS X
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster | 2 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
Memory (RAM): 2GB | 2GB
Hard Disk: 80GB* | 80GB*
Optical Drive (DVD/CD-ROM or Writer)**: Optional | Optional
Sound***:  Yes | Yes

* Considerably more disk space will be needed to store large amounts of personal files.
** May be required to install additional software if supplied on DVD/CD-ROM and can be an externally attachable one, e.g. USB
*** Required if the programme requires media which has sound. Most modern computers and mobile devices have integrated sound.

Computer Hardware Explained

a) Processor
This is the main component which will determine the speed of the computer. Intel processors are currently labeled Core i3, i5 and i7 with the latter being the most powerful and most expensive. Other brands such as AMD have equivalent models.

b) Memory (RAM)
This component is also very important to the overall performance of a PC. RAM stores files related to the operating system and programs which are running while the computer is turned on. Every program requires a certain amount of memory to run, so if too many programs or large files are run at the same time, the computer may run out of memory and begin running very slowly.

c) Hard Disk
Hard disk is the permanent means of storage and is where all the files such as Docs, Music, Pictures and the Operating System files are stored. It is important to have enough hard disk space to serve your storage needs. If a hard disk becomes very full it can negatively impact the overall computer performance.
For further advice on specification when purchasing a new computer, seek guidance from your preferred reseller.

d) Screen
When buying a new computer a screen size of at least 17” is recommended but sizes these days are routinely far larger and in wide screen format. Screen size for mobile devices such as laptops and tablets will generally be smaller than 17” but should be selected at a sufficient size for comfortable use.

e) Printer
There are currently no printer specific requirements for Distance Learning programmes.

Mobile Devices and Tablets

This heading covers the increasingly popular Smart Phone and Tablet devices such as the iPhone/iPad, Android, or Windows-based phone/tablet devices. Most of the University online systems work on these mobile devices. However we do not guarantee that all systems will be problem free. There is also a dedicated and fully supported University app available, UoW mobile app, which contains useful information and services and is available on Apple App Store, Google Play as well as a browser based version.

Workstation Health & Safety

From a health and safety point of view, staff and students are advised to use a conventional workstation for long periods of study rather than laptops and mobile communication devices. As these more portable devices have become more popular there has been a corresponding increase in the number of people suffering from upper limb disorders and back problems. Please refer to the Health & Safety pages on the Intranet of Setup Help Guides and Workstation Exercises.

Computer Software requirements

a) Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, or Mac OS X are recommended and supported by our services. We are unable to support Linux or other less mainstream operating systems.

b) Other Software
The following software will be required for distance learning:

  • i) Microsoft Word or an equivalent word processor which can save documents in the format .doc or .docx.
  • ii) Other Microsoft Office products such as Excel or PowerPoint may be required by some courses
  • iii) Access to an email service - the Unimail email system is provided by the University through the Microsoft Office 365 service.
  • iv) A supported web browser - Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 11 or above) or the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari.
  • v) Free downloads such as Adobe Reader may be required to open online material
  • vi) A form of Malware/Virus Protection
  • vii) Adobe Flash Player

From time to time Microsoft offer deals to University staff and students. Details of any currently available deals will be posted on the Intranet by ITS.

Internet Connection

Distance learning programmes all require extensive access to online resources. As such, a broadband connection of at least 1Mbps is recommended. Higher speed services would be advantageous due to the reduced load times for online resources. A dial up connection is not recommended.

Electronic submissions for assessment

These should be word-processed documents in Microsoft Word format (either .doc or .docx). Students can submit assignments prepared using a Mac, running their preferred word processor and a standard web browser, as long as they submit work in one of these formats.

Computer Security and Disaster Recovery

Keeping the PC secure and ensuring coursework can be recovered in the event of a disaster is extremely important. Computer and printer failure cannot be used as a reason to be granted an extended deadline for an assignment.

To try and ensure the PC is kept as secure as possible staff and students should:

a) Use strong virus protection:

  • i) Microsoft offer Security Essentials for Windows 7, which is free for home use, if there is no other protection in place. Windows 8 and 10 come with Windows Defender already installed but you may wish to choose a different solution for your protection.
  • ii) Ensure the virus protection is kept up to date
  • iii) Run scans for viruses at least once per month

b) Use strong passwords:

  • i) Use numbers
  • ii) Upper and lower case letters
  • iii) Do not use common words or names
  • iv) Do not use the same password for everything

c) Be aware when using the computer that most threats can be eliminated by taking the following precautions:

  • i) Take care what links you click on in emails and online
  • ii) Be careful what email attachments you open
  • iii) Be careful where you browse on the internet
  • iv) Be careful what you say yes to when a dialogue box appears
  • v) McAfee SiteAdvisor is a free download which can help you to determine where it is safe to browse

d) Make sure the operating system and software is kept up to date using services such as Windows Update

e) Use a Firewall: Windows has a firewall built in which is more than adequate in most cases.

It is very important that work can be recovered in the event of a PC based disaster, the following can help:

  • a) Save your work regularly
  • b) Save your work in versions, especially large assignments to minimise loss of work in the event of a file corruption
  • c) Backup your work regularly to CD, Memory Stick or using an online service such as Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive which is part of your Office 365 services as a student. You could also email assignment backups to yourself
  • d) Make sure you have your computer's recovery disk available in case it needs reinstalling as a result of failure

For more information, please see the Distance Learning Policy

Year 1 (Level 7)

Modules Credits

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.

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.

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.

The Practice of Reconciliation 1: Dialogue and Building 20

This module explores the essential skills, tools, processes and frameworks required for the practice of relationship building in divided situations; with the work and experience of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace informing its design and delivery.  The scope of the module ranges from social and group contexts to the interpersonal and inner aspects of relation building, examining personal responses to difference and disagreement, communication skills, and group dynamics and processes. Students will learn basic skills required for relationship building work at personal, interpersonal and group levels, and engage with a range of tools and process options including dialogue models, group facilitation, narrative and storytelling techniques. They will consider the strengths and limitations of each, the influence of structural dimensions on the dynamics of difference, and the challenges of making choices that are contextually appropriate. Students will also be encouraged to develop skills of reflective practice.

In the event that the student group is too small to facilitate the effective practice of group working skills St Ethelburga’s staff will ensure students are given the opportunity to work with existing groups at St Ethelburga’s.

Assignments in this module may have ethical implications and should, therefore, be discussed with tutors before being 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’.

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’.

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.

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 www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
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.


Printing and Binding

We are proud to offer free printing for all students to ensure that printing costs are not a potential financial barrier to student success. The University of Winchester and Winchester Student Union are champions of sustainability and therefore ask that all students consider the environment and print fairly. Students may be required to pay for the costs of dissertation binding. Indicative cost is £1.50-£3.


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 page.

Students studying MA Reconciliation or MA Reconciliation and Peacebuilding may be eligible for a bursary.

Key course details

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