International Security & Conflict Studies

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 and consequences.

The MA in International Security and Conflict Studies explores the causes of conflict, the roles played by powerful states and the broader international community in conflict and security, the changing role of peacekeeping, terrorism and radicalisation, and conflict resolution processes.


Why Do This Programme?

•Gain 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.

•Understand specific aspects of international security in the contemporary world, including peacekeeping and peace-making interventions, terrorism, failed states and human security.

•Open doors to further postgraduate studies in Conflict Studies, International Relations, Peace Studies, Politics/Political Science, Security Studies, Strategic Studies and Terrorism

•Learn through interactive, hands-on teaching methods in small group settings, and get a head start on your career through relationships with colleagues from varied backgrounds and specialisms.

Programme Structure and Content
This MA can be completed in one year on a full-time basis, or in two years on a part-time basis.

As a full-time student, you'll take three core modules in Semester 1, along with a research methodology class. In Semester 2, you'll take three modules from a range of thematic- and region-focused options. You may also take a language as one of your options. A 20,000 word dissertation is due in September.

If you're a part-time student, you'll complete all modules (three core modules, a research methodology class, and three optional modules) over the course of two years, taking one or two modules per semester. A 20,000 word dissertation is due in September of Year 2.

The programme features seminars and presentations by guest speakers—including politicians, officials, academics and diplomats—that prompt you to explore key issues in international politics, security, and development, as well as to build connections to key practitioners.

Programme Aims and Objectives

•Link theory, policy and practice.

•Offer high quality academic training in international security.

•Give participants a critical understanding of different theories of and frameworks for security and conflict studies.

•Enhance the practical skills of participants in the areas of research, communication, policy analysis, and programme and project management.

•Develop participants' interests in the pressures giving rise to and created by the intersection of globalising forces with the maintenance of national and international security.


Why Choose DCU?

•The School of Law and Government is Ireland's leading academic department for the study of international development, environment and conflict studies.

•DCU is a young, innovative university with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research consistently rated in the 'Top 50 under 50' by the QS World University Rankings.

•This MA is highly regarded in Ireland and internationally and provides a challenging and innovative learning environment.

•Gain in-depth knowledge of the fields of international development, environmental change and management, and conflict and security studies, and how they combine to shape contemporary world politics.

•Get a head start in your career as you build relationships and contacts with colleagues, specialists and policy makers from a variety of backgrounds.

•Open doors to further postgraduate studies in International Development, Environmental Studies, Political Science and International Relations, and Security Studies.

Programme Chairperson: Dr. Diarmuid Torney
Tel: +353 (0)1 700 6468

Entry requirements


General Entry Requirements

For admission to the MA in International Security & Conflict programme, successful applicants will have -

•A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent, OR

•Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.

•International candidates who are non-native speakers of English 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 Trócaire, 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
+353 (01) 700 6053

Enrolment and start dates

Commencement of Programme
The programme commences in September 2019.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!