International Peacebuilding Security & Development Practice

Integrating negotiation skills with an analysis of wider conflict and development issues, it provides participants with critical insight into the spectrum of international conflict intervention. This includes theory, strategies and practices which range from addressing resource conflict and the use of negotiation tools in the wake of Climate Change, to the role of governments, business and civil society in participatory peace processes. It explores issues around gender and conflict, racism and human rights; and it addresses security concerns which arise from poverty, exploitation and global economic crises. Drawing on insights from peace education, human security and community development processes, it challenges top-down imposed solutions and examines what’s involved in participatory, community-led processes of change.

It draws together insights and analysis from different conflict and development situations, as well as from diverse experiences and perspectives on peace and security. Through it, participants develop the understanding, knowledge and skills they need to play an active and leadership role in peacebuilding, security and development in a variety of situations.

The main theme of the programme is an integrated and comprehensive approach to the nexus of peacebuilding, security and development. With increased awareness of the importance of these interlinkages has come increased demands on national and international institutions to respond in a holistic way. When responding to conflict, security actors are required to have a better understanding and greater skills in engaging with communities, institutions and organisations at the local level, while development practitioners recognise a skills-deficit with respect to conflict resolution and mediation. They need to understand and engage with representatives of multifaceted agencies and communities, particularly when anticipating or responding to the consequences of complex crises.

The PG Diploma in International Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice offers participants a unique learning opportunity to engage deeply with these issues and to develop the skills they need to address them. It draws on a range of experienced lecturers, who have extensive experience in development, peacekeeping/ peace making or security in international settings.

Through this postgraduate programme, participants will develop:

Their understanding of violent conflict and its impact on human security and development.

Insight into the processes involved in realising integrated and comprehensive responses to peacebuilding and development in complex contexts.

Analytical and problem-solving skills, along with innovative and creative solutions, which can be applied in the resolution of a wide range of violent conflicts.

Ability to negotiate and to engage people in participatory development processes which enable people to reach agreement.

Knowledge of international institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to interventions in violent conflict.

Research skills which they can apply to the interconnected fields of international peacebuilding, security and development practice.

Subjects taught

60 ECTS credits are required to complete the PG Diploma in International Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice. Learners must complete four compulsory taught modules (35 credits in total) – Introduction to Peace Processes and Conflict Intervention; Theory and Practice of Mediation, Negotiation and Dialogue in Peace-building; Conflict, Development and Security; Research Methods, as well as one of Introduction to Development Theory and Practice or 10 credits) or Contemporary Global Issues, Challenges and Responses (10 credits). They can also choose from a number of elective modules to make up the remaining 15 taught credits. These address subjects such as Participatory Development and Leadership, The Environment and Development, Managing Development Organisations, and Gender, Identity and Inclusion.

Delivery Options

A flexible approach to delivery is offered with students studying through a combination of on-campus delivery and online learning. Please note that is not possible to complete the full PG Diploma programme entirely online. Some modules require on-campus attendance.

A flexible approach to on-campus delivery is also taken with some courses offered through 2.5 hour taught classes over 8-10 weeks, and others offered through more concentrated blocks of time, depending on timetable requirements and arrangements.

Online learning is structured to allow learners to study at their own pace over a semester and it includes some face-to-face interaction as well as structured materials and discussions online.

Learning Approach

The Department of International Development applies a learner-centred, participatory and flexible approach to learning. This combined with the diverse groups of full- and part-time learners, including a significant number of international students, creates a unique learning environment that builds on both the diverse array of experiences of participants and on the knowledge and experience of academic staff.

Course Duration: 1 year full-time.

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree (2.2 or higher) in a development related discipline (e.g. Agricultural Science, Anthropology, Economics, Education, Engineering, Geography, Health-related discipline, Nutrition, Rural Development, Sociology or other Social Science etc.) or a recognised international equivalent. Those with a professional background in work-related to international development are particularly welcome to apply. In exceptional cases, applicants without a primary degree may be considered on the strength of their professional work experience, other qualifications and completion of a qualifying essay.

Minimum English language requirements:

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants.

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

Application dates

Closing Date : 30 June 2024


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Post Course Info

The PG Diploma in International Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice prepares learners to work in conflict resolution, negotiation, development, and humanitarian related fields either overseas or in Ireland.

This programme gives graduates knowledge, skills and competencies to work in:

- International Development and Peacebuilding NGOs
- Security Organisations
- International Organisations such as UN, EU and World Bank
- Government Agencies and Departments

The programme is appropriate for early career professionals as well as those already working in security management, humanitarian work, peace education, youth and community work or policy analysis who wish to ‘upskill’ and to integrate an international conflict, security and development dimension to their practice.

Envisaged roles include:

- Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
- Peacebuilding Policy Officer and Advocate
- Political Affairs Officer
- Peace education practitioner
- Project Manager
- Learning and Policy Officer
- Safety and Security Manager
- Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Officer
- Conflict and Humanitarian Advocate

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended,Full time

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