Master of Science in Conflict and Development Studies

The Master in Conflict and Development Studies allows you to gain insight into the broader thinking about conflict and development-related issues, and how to analyse these in a critical manner. You also learn to analyse policy interventions by governments and (inter)national organisations in this domain. The programme structure allows you to choose to put an emphasis on a more policy-oriented or a more academically oriented approach.

Master's Programme
1 year 60 credits
Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
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About the programme
Programme summary
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After graduation


In our current globalised world, conflict and development are closely intertwined. Disentangling the complexities of these conflict and development processes demands a critical stance and an interdisciplinary approach, combining insights from various academic disciplines such as political science, anthropology, development studies and sociology.

The Master in Conflict and Development Studies allows you to gain insight into the broader thinking about conflict and development-related issues, and how to analyse these in a critical manner. Grounded in fieldwork, the Master in Conflict and Development Studies wants to provide a timely and in-depth understanding of the interrelations between conflict and development.

Fieldwork as a method is used to understand processes of conflict and development better, and to formulate potential recommendations. This focus on fieldwork is especially valuable for those interested in pursuing a career in professional development aid, in the Global South as well as in the Global North (asylum centers, intercultural and interreligious questions…). Located in the heart of Europe, the one-year master programme also allows an international body of students to connect to both research and policy-making in this growing field.

For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your prior education, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


The Master in Conflict and Development Studies is an intensive full-year programme. Our students are offered a set of introductory course units to become acquainted with the politics of conflict and development. These course units do not merely offer an introduction to ongoing debates, but start from a critical reading of influential authors in the field. They provide the conceptual and theoretical groundwork necessary to engage in more specific debates in the second semester.

Elective course units are aimed at deepening your understanding of research-related or policy-oriented questions, as well as being able to deepen your area-specific knowledge. These course units will take the form of research seminars or more direct policy applications. This will allow you to customise your own programme according to your academic and professional interests.

The course unit 'Methodology and Fieldwork Practice' will teach you about methodology and research design, and prepare students for doing their own fieldwork, whether in the Global South or in Europe.

The final part of the programme is the Master's dissertation, in which you will develop your own research project in collaboration with a supervisor. These projects are interdisciplinary by nature, and aim towards a critical understanding of your research question. Many of these dissertations will be based on fieldwork, but students can also opt for a dissertation based on scholarly literature.

If you want to combine your Master’s degree with a Teacher’s degree, then there is the option of taking a Master's Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: 'Educatieve master') instead of the above described master. The Master's Programme in Teaching, however, is a Dutch-taught programme. More information can be found on

Labour Market

Employability of our graduates situates itself in various fields, but primarily in the field of international development aid, national or international governments, on a European level, in UN-organisations such as UNDP, UNESCO, FAO and the non-governmental field (national or international development, ngos, peace institutions, information and research centers, such as 11.11.11., Oxfam, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Peace Information Service…). 

This study programme, however, does not limit itself to the traditional field of international development aid, but also has a value for professions with a focus on the Global South in Europe (asylum centers, organisations that focus on intercultural/interreligious matters, refugee organisations…). Your individual employment options depend on your (Master's) degree, your potential terrain or research experience, and your language skills.