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MA Post-war Recovery Studies

Explore the challenges faced by conflict-affected societies, and learn how to bring solutions to war-torn communities.

Year of entry: 2019
Show year of entry: 2020


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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With leading international experts you’ll explore how to bring solution-based approaches to conflict-affected societies.

You'll learn how cutting-edge research is being developed and how to apply major theories of post-war reconstruction to current global challenges.

You'll develop specialist knowledge in the complexities of post-war recovery and gain a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. As the course progresses you'll develop your own specialist areas of interest relating to humanitarian aid, peace-building and post-war reconstruction. You'll gain real-world experience from a field trip to a post-war region and a work experience placement with a local, national or international organisation.

There are very few courses that have the same ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This course attracts a rich and diverse student base and - coupled with the expertise of its academics - students are given the best opportunity to debate the challenges of post-conflict recovery.
Laura, MA Post-War Recovery Studies

Leading research

We're ranked eighth in the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework results

Internationally acclaimed academics

You'll be taught by researchers who are actively involved in groundbreaking research projects in peace building, aid and post-war reconstruction

Course content

You'll study 180 credits in total. The course consists of:

  • four core modules (20 credits each)
  • one option module (20 credits)
  • field trip (20 credits)
  • independent research dissertation (60 credits)
  • work placement


Core modules

Option modules

You'll choose one option module:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


You'll write a 13,000-word dissertation based on an original research project. Although the dissertation officially starts in the Spring Term, you should begin discussing dissertation ideas as early as possible in the year.

You'll work independently to develop a plan, with support and guidance from a personal academic supervisor. Your work placement is an excellent opportunity to undertake research in the field. You'll write up your dissertation between May and September.

Your dissertation is a major factor in the selection of the Guido Galli award, which is given to each year's most outstanding student. All students who produce outstanding dissertations are given an opportunity to turn their dissertation into a published article, under the guidance of faculty staff.


You'll undertake a six- to eight-week work placement with a local, national or international organisation, working on a particular aspect of post-war recovery, humanitarian action, or development.

You are advised to budget around £2000 for the work placement, although the specific amount will vary depending on what you choose to do. The costs normally include flights, accommodation, food, and other expenses. You may be able to arrange for your host organisation to cover some of the costs, such as help with accommodation and transport to/from the airport, for example.
Please note that these costs are an estimate - the amount you pay will vary each year.


You'll undertake a field trip to a post-war region, led by experienced staff. You'll gain first hand, ground-level understandings of recovery and reconstruction in the aftermath of war. You'll develop the methodological, logistical and ethical skills and sensibilities required to work in conflict-affected settings.

The field trip enables you to connect theory with practice in a complex and politically volatile environment, giving you well-rounded experience to take into the workplace. Previous students have been to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka, while more recent trips have focused on Kosovo.

The field trip takes place during the Autumn Term and will cost between £1,250-£1,500. You will pay this in one lump sum in January. The payment covers flights, accommodation, coach travel, and breakfast and dinner each day.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the relationship between peace and conflict, specifically the complex political, economic, and social challenges of post-war recovery at a local, national, and international level.
  • Critically engage with the theory of post-war recovery, including concepts like peacebuilding, statebuilding, and humanitarianism, and how these are applied in practice in order to identify gaps and improve existing practice.
  • Design and undertake advanced research which addresses and rises to the significant political, ethical, logistical, and methodological challenges of research in conflict-affected environments.
  • Effectively communicate analytical and reasoned arguments that show awareness of multiple narratives and understandings of conflict, and engage with both theoretical and empirical material in verbal and written forms. 
  • Research and work safely, ethically, and effectively in complex and unpredictable conflict-affected environments.
  • Work collaboratively with peers as part of a research team, and demonstrate the inter-cultural awareness, mindfulness, patience, and sensitivity to opinions different to their own required when working on contentious conflict issues and engaging with stakeholders in conflict-affected environments.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £9,370£17,370
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

This course has costs over and above the tuition fees.

Field trip

The trip to a post-war country will cost between £1,250-£1,500. You will pay this in one lump sum in January. The payment covers flights, accommodation, coach travel, and breakfast and dinner each day.

Work placement

You are advised to budget around £2000 for the work placement, although the specific amount will vary depending on what you choose to do. The costs normally include flights, accommodation, food, and other expenses. You may be able to arrange for your host organisation to cover some of the costs, such as help with accommodation and transport to/from the airport, for example.

Please note that these costs are an estimate - the amount you pay will vary each year.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Departmental scholarships

We have a number of scholarships and funding opportunities available. Find out about postgraduate funding.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

Our teaching is based on a multidisciplinary and analytical approach to the long-term challenges to post-war recovery. We'll introduce you to the core theoretical approaches in conflict and peace studies.

A core part of this teaching relies on in-depth critical discussion of contemporary case studies, many of which draw on our academics' experience in the field. We also welcome frequent guest lecturers: often high-level professionals in national and international organisations.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Politics on Campus West. A large proportion of your teaching will take place in the University library and the Spring Lane building, with some teaching taking place in other locations on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Most of your assessments will take the form of written essays and reports:

  • A 4,000-word essay for each taught module;
  • A 1,500-word written report and a 20-minute oral report following your work placement;
  • A 5,000-word report based on your field trip experiences, focussing on a particular aspect of post-war recovery;
  • A 13,000-word dissertation based on an original research project.

Throughout the course you'll also complete formative assignments including presentations and literature reviews. You'll receive feedback on these to guide your development, but the marks don't count towards your final grade.

Careers and skills

Our graduates have gone on to leading roles in governmental and non-governmental organisations and charities, working in areas affected by conflict around the world. Their work spans the post-war recovery spectrum, from organising emergency education provision to overseeing land-mine removal.

Others use the skills they have developed in a broad range of industries from disaster relief to business consultancy. Many go on to further study at York and other leading universities.

Career opportunities

  • Central or local government
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Community and voluntary organisations
  • Social enterprise
  • Universities
  • Accountancy and banking firms
  • Law firms
  • Media companies
  • International and global development organisations

Transferable skills

  • Reflective independent learning
  • The ability to research, source and examine information thoroughly
  • The capacity to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments
  • Excellent written and oratory skills
  • Intellectual independence and autonomy
  • Teamworking skills
  • A flexible and open-minded approach to work

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer

We typically ask for a degree at 2:1 or above. You must also include a written work sample with your application.

We are willing to consider applicants with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate professional experience. Additional information may be requested.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want to enquire informally about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact us.

If you earned your Bachelors degree outside of the UK, you should check that it is equivalent to a 2:1. Our country-specific pages can help you to find out.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English may need to satisfy language requirements:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all requirements

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Rebecca Engel

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Department of Politics

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