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International Security & Conflict Studies

Dublin City University's graduate programme in international governance has three separate MA degree programmes:

MA in International Security and Conflict Studies (Full-time and Part-time)

MA in International Relations (Full-time and Part-time)

MA in Development Full-time and Part-time. mixed Mode)

There are no longer clear distinctions between regional or domestic civil conflicts and issues of global security. Most conflicts have an international dimension and global insecurity has local as well as international causes. This programme explores the causes of conflict, the role of powerful states and the broader international community, the changing role of peace-keeping, European security, terrorism, and conflict resolution processes.

It is anticipated that the class will be made up of a mix of recent graduates and those with some relevant work experience and also a mix of Irish and international students. This will add an element of diversity as well as providing important discussion points.

To provide an in-depth knowledge of the political, social, economic, historical, and cultural contexts of the international security system and its institutions, including international security organisations and the law of armed conflict.

To understand fully the manner in which states, civil society actors and individuals interact with such formal institutions/structures in order to resolve and manage conflict and respond to security threats.

To detail specific aspects of international security in the contemporary world (including peace-keeping and peace-making interventions, terrorism, failed states, human security, etc.).

To provide the opportunity to undertake interdisciplinary options such as language studies and communication studies.

To appreciate both qualitative (e.g. comparative and case study approaches) and quantitative (i.e. statistical) research methods which will enable you to use one or both of these approaches in the completion of your dissertation.

The graduate programme is highly regarded in Ireland and internationally and provides a challenging and innovative learning environment.

The course will develop your interest in the pressures giving rise to and created by the intersection of globalising forces with the maintenance of national and international security.

The advanced knowledge and skills you acquire are much sought after by government, research, the national or international non-governmental (NGO)/non-profit sector, and the inter-governmental (IGO) sector.

Your knowledge and skills will open doors to further postgraduate studies in Conflict Studies, International Relations, Peace Studies, Politics/Political Science, Security Studies, Strategic Studies, Terrorism Studies.

International Students
Students who have completed the Pre-Masters International Foundation Programme (IFP), are guaranteed a place on their target programme in DCU. Visit for further details.

Further Information
For further information on these programmes see the website of the School of Law and Government:

External Speakers Programme
The MA Programme features seminars and presentations by guest speakers with particular experience and expertise, be it as politicians, officials, academics or diplomats, in foreign policy and international relations. The intention is to facilitate the exploration of key issues in international relations in an informal, interactive environment. Amongst previous guest speakers in DCU have been:

Pat Cox (former President of the European Parliament);

Gareth Evans, (member of High Level Panel on UN Reform);

Judge Maureen Clark (Judge of the International Criminal Court);

Sandy Thurman (CEO International AIDS Trust and President Clinton's National AIDS Policy Director);

John Bruton (former Taoiseach and now EU ambassador to the USA),

Dr. Thandika Mkandawire (Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development);

Peter Sutherland (former Director General of the WTO);

Justin Kilcullen (Director, Trócaire);

Conor Lenihan TD (Minister of State for Development cooperation);

Dr Garret FitzGerald MRIA (former Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs) ·

Tom Arnold (CEO Concern World wide);

Lt. Gen. David Stapleton (Chief of Staff, Defence Forces)

and numerous other diplomats, military officers, visiting academics and leaders of development NGOs.

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements
The programme is suitable both for recent graduates in any discipline and for those with some years' work experience in international organisations, in development, in government, in business or in education. Persons accepted for the MA programme will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent, although appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may be accepted as equivalent to an honours degree in accordance with the relevant regulations of the University.

Applicants will be ranked by prior academic achievement, their work experience where relevant, and their stated reasons for wishing to take the programme. In respect of the latter, applicants are asked to include a 200-word statement outlining

a) Why they wish to take this programme,

b) What in their record and experience makes them suitable for the MA programme, and

c) The impact which they expect the MA would have on their future careers.

Applicants who are awaiting their degree results should indicate both the level of award expected, and their undergraduate record to date. Some applicants may be called for interview.

Our MA programmes have been heavily over-subscribed in recent years. We therefore encourage people to apply all the programmes they are interested in, in order of preference. This will increase you chances of an offer. Our on-line application system allows you rank three separate programmes.

Applicants who are awaiting their degree results should indicate both the level of award expected, and their undergraduate record to date. Some applicants may be called for interview. The closing date for receipt of applications is below, though we recommend that international students apply early and we will make some decisions on international applications at an earlier date where this is necessary to allow applicants secure funding or visas.

International Applications
International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

Careers or further progression

Graduates work for development agencies and NGOs such as Tró caire, Goal, Amnesty International, Concern and Oxfam. Our graduates also work in a variety of government departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of An Taoiseach and Department of Justice, as well as international organisations including the European Union and United Nations. Many also work for major multinational organisations, financial services companies, in the media and in international business.

Further enquiries

Diarmuid Torney
t: +353 (01) 7006468

Application date

How to Apply and Closing Dates
Make an Application
EU Applicants
Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( by 31st July 2017.

Non-EU Applicants
Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( by 10th July 2017.

Applying through the Postgraduate Applications Centre

To apply for the programme ( use the PAC code DC629 for the full-time programme and DC630 for the part-time programme.

Queries on completed applications should be forwarded to

Enrolment and start dates

Commencement Date: September 2017.

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