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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.

2017/18 entry


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2017 (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

Internationally acclaimed academics

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

Course content


You'll be taught by world renowned academics, policy makers and practitioners on five classroom-based modules. You'll have access to support from academic staff throughout the year.

Field trip

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 and Afghanistan, while more recent trips have focused on Northern Ireland, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka.

Work placement

You'll also 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.


Core modules

Research in Conflict-affected Environments addresses the political, ethical, logistical and methodological challenges of conducting research in post-war contexts. You'll develop the awareness and skills needed to conduct fieldwork in a safe and ethical manner.

Theory and Practice of Post-war Recovery provides a broad introduction to the leading theoretical approaches, key concepts and core issues in post-war recovery, statebuilding, peacebuilding and stabilisation.

Planning and Managing Recovery Programmes introduces the issues, dilemmas and practical components of running and evaluating projects and programmes in conflict-affected contexts.

Understanding Conflict and Responses to Conflict explores armed conflict, war, and violence. You'll critically engage with theories and debates on the nature of war and peace, and gain an understanding of the complex and fluid nature of the relationship between the two.

Optional modules

You'll choose one optional module:

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


You'll write a 16-18,000 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.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2017/18

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)
Field trip and placement costs are not included.
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation. Field trip and placement costs are not included.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee

Additional costs

This course has costs over and above the tuition fees. 
Field trip
The trip to a post-war country will cost around £1,100. You will pay this in one lump sum in October.  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 accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Our teaching is based on a multi-disciplinary 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. Most of your teaching will take place in the nearby Spring Lane building

Course location

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, focusing 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 Grade

You should have, or be about to complete, a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification.

We will consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules or appropriate professional experience. If you are applying with a lower qualification, you must include an example of your written work with your application.

If you earned your undergraduate 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: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • CAE (before January 2015): 65, with 'Good' in Writing
  • CPE (before January 2015): C
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all requirements

Postgraduate English language requirements 2017/18


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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