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Conflict Transformation and Social Justice (MA)

MA | Postgraduate Taught

Conflict Transformation and Social Justice

Entry year
Entry requirements
1 year (Full Time)
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
30 (Full Time)
30 (Part Time)
This course is now closed to applications for September 2021. If you are interested in September 2022 entry, please register your interest.
  • Overview

    This is a unique and innovative interdisciplinary programme taught through subject areas that include law, anthropology, English, history, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociology and the creative arts. Module choice within the programme will permit you to build your own personalised portfolio of knowledge and learning within the area of conflict transformation and social justice. You will be taught by academics and practitioners whose expertise is both national and global and who offer research-led teaching in areas of conflict such as South/ Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Southern Europe, South America and Northern Ireland.

    Queens University offers the only global MA programme on Conflict Transformation and Social Justice.

    Conflict Transformation and Social Justice highlights

    Queen’s was ranked 3rd out of 199 universities worldwide and 2nd out of 44 UK universities for our Graduate School.

    Career Development

    • Queen’s is ranked in the top 140 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020).

    World Class Facilities

    • Established in 2016, The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice is an international center of excellence at Queen’s University Belfast. The Institute fosters collaborations across a range of subject areas which allow the Faculty to address some of the key global challenges faced in seeking to achieve fairness, security, prosperity, social harmony and progress. A flagship for interdisciplinary research in areas of major societal challenge, the Mitchell Institute brings together excellent researchers from a wide range of disciplines to tackle some of the greatest global issues of our age.

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • You will be taught by staff with research profiles of international standing, and wide ranges of interest in conflict transformation and social justice. You will have annual masterclasses with visiting world-leading researchers, diplomats and/or practitioners. Queen’s is ranked 14th in the UK for research quality (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020). Queen’s is ranked in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellent (Times Higher Education, 2019).

    Student Experience

    • Location of Belfast: globally-significant locale for conflict and peace research; access to institutions, community projects, case studies for students' own work.
 An MA actively facilitating study and research that combines cultural and creative aspects of conflict transformation and social justice together with their socio-legal, institutional and inter-state contexts.
 The only MA in the field to be interdisciplinary across all the humanities and social sciences in order to offer a fully rounded and multilevel analysis of the subject whilst offering optional modules for specialisation.
 Teaching in advanced research methods, with particular emphasis on methodologies appropriate for research in the fields of conflict transformation, social justice and societies in transition.
 Opportunities to conduct new empirical research in the field.
Opportunities to complete assignments with direct policy relevance.
    • Queen’s currently has over 3,000 international students from 85 different countries. Queen’s is ranked 22nd in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020). Queen’s was ranked 2nd out of 199 universities worldwide for satisfaction with social facilities.
    • 11% of the Queen’s student population are international students. Queen’s is ranked 1st in the UK for entrepreneurial impact (Octopus Ventures, 2019).
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) basis. Students must complete two core modules (40 CATS points), four optional modules (80 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).

    The MA is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).

    Exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules.

    Course DetailsStudents will study and critically examine the key conceptual, moral, legal, political and cultural issues that relate to conflict, conflict transformation and social justice. This may relate to the fields of politics, law, sociology, history, anthropology, English, drama and psychology.
    ModulesStudents are required to complete two compulsory taught modules as well as the triple weighted dissertation (60 CATS):

    Global Concepts and Practices of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice (20 CATS);

    Approaches to Research Design (20 CATS).

    In addition to the compulsory modules, students take 60 CATS points of optional modules from the Institute and from existing programmes delivered by the following Schools: Social Sciences, Education and Social Work; History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics; Arts, English and Language; Law and Management.

    There are also several bespoke Conflict Transformation and Social Justice elective modules covering issues of community divisons, the legacy of conflict, religion and peacebuilding etc.

    People teaching you

    Dr Fiona Murphy

    Contact email:

    Teaching Times

    Morning / Afternoon / Evening

    Career Prospects

    Our MA will equip you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a range of careers in the private, public and voluntary sectors, domestically and internationally, including working in peacebuilding organisations, charities, international development agencies, journalism, social and community work, dispute resolution, counselling, policing, politics and policy development, law, teaching, religious ministry, research, and doctoral study/academia.

    Employment after the Course
    Our MA can help you gain the skills and knowledge that can lead to meaningful work in range of fields, all over the world.

    You may follow in the footsteps of some of our alumni, who are building careers in restorative justice, equality advocacy, international diplomacy (embassy work), the United Nations, Law school and doctoral programmes, policing, peacebuilding organisations, and organisations working with victims of human trafficking.

    Our MA can also be useful as an aspect of continuing professional development for those already working in careers in social and community work, politics and policy making, teaching, policing, religious ministry, the victims sector, and journalism.

    Professional Opportunities
    The study and employability skills associated with the MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice include:
    • Group work
    • Independent learning
    • The collection and analysis of information
    • Research skills
    • Problem solving
    • Communication skills: oral, written and presentation skills
    • Working under time constraints and to deadline

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:


    You will be part of a community of learners within the Institute who are dedicated to understanding conflict and its transformation. Class time includes plenty of opportunity for discussion. You will have annual masterclasses with world-leading experts and be able to attend the numerous public lectures organised by the Institute. You will also meet your lecturers and classmates at monthly brown-bag lunches and other informal events.

    Some students may avail of the opportunity to participate in voluntary, non-assessed placements with local peacebuilding organisations.

    Personal Development

    This course offers you a unique opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary degree in conflict transformation and social justice at a world-class university situated in the midst of a society transitioning from conflict. You will build your own personalised portfolio of learning, and be taught by academics and practitioners whose expertise is both national and global and who offer research-led teaching in areas of conflict such as south/south-east Asia, the Middle East, southern Europe, South America and Northern Ireland.


    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

    • Examination
    • Continuous assessment

    Written feedback is provided on all assessed work. Students also receive oral feedback in the classroom and in one-to-one meetings with lecturers.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    Normally at least a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in an Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences discipline or another cognate subject area.

    Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may be admitted if they hold a Master's degree, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, or if they have 3 years' relevant working experience in the field of conflict transformation, youth work, social justice or related experience in community engagement or public service delivery.

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £6,450
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £6,450
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £7,250
    EU Other 3 £17,700
    International £17,700

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

    Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

    Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

    If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

    Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

    There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    Conflict Transformation and Social Justice costs

    There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

    How do I fund my study?

    The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

    A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

    More information on funding options and financial assistance.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    When to Apply

    The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
    Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    Download a prospectus