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Conflict & Development

This certificate presents a framework for looking at the origins of all kinds of conflict – from civil wars to community disturbances – and introduces the theory, policy and practice of intervention. It explores the nature of development from an international perspective, and is relevant to work in a wide range of contexts, including humanitarian or military agencies, post-war support operations, and conflict resolution around gender, class or ethnicity.

Key features of the course
• Offers a wide-ranging, critical review of development management as a discipline
• Explores the contexts in which development takes place
• Analyses the complex ways in which conflict is generated and the range of skills that contribute to good interventions.

This certificate is part of a progressive programme of courses that also includes the Postgraduate Certificate in Development Management (C48), Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights and Development (C96), Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and MSc in Development Management (F11).

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent), or have experience in this field. If you are a non-graduate we suggest that you contact us for advice before registering on your first module.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.


Minimum - 6 months.

Most students study this qualification in one year, by studying the two six-month modules in succession. The minimum time to complete is six months (by studying the two modules at the same time starting in May); we do not recommend this, but it might suit you if you have no other major time commitments during that period. There is no maximum time to complete but we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available.

Number of credits

60 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
This qualification extends the competences of practitioners working in a variety of conflict situations, who are required to fashion interventions that at worst ‘do no harm’, at best contribute to a just and lasting resolution of the conflict and the establishment of good relations. It nurtures an awareness of the discipline, integrity and sensitivity required in such interventions.

The modules which make up this certificate offer an historical and interdisciplinary approach for understanding the roots of conflict and a set of skills to do with forming good judgments, making good decisions, building good relationships, negotiating good agreements. This certificate therefore offers lessons for managers working not just in overt conflict situations but in complex, contested contexts more generally.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

We recommend that you study Development: context and practice (T877) first, particularly if you are new to this subject.

To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules

Credits Next start
Development: context and practice (T877) 30 01 May 2017
Conflict and development (T879) 30 01 May 2017

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules TU871, TU875, TUXX871, TUXX875

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict and Development entitling you to use the letters PG Cert Conf Dev (Open) after your name.

You can continue your studies and add 60 credits to your postgraduate certificate to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and a further 60 credits to obtain an MSc in Development Management (F11).

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!