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The course offers a unique opportunity to study peace and conflict with a focus on early years in a vibrant society emerging from a violent past.


Study Peace and Conflict Studies with Early Years at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

This is a linked Postgraduate Diploma/MSc that is offered in both full-time and part-time mode. It is offered in collaboration with Early Years, which is the largest organisation in Northern Ireland for young children. Only the first semester of this programme will involve classroom based teaching. Semester two is offered fully online.

This master's programme will build upon participants' understanding of the origins, context and changing nature of conflict by providing a particular focus on child development issues and the impact of conflict on young children, their families and communities. It will also highlight a range of successful early childhood peacebuilding interventions and provide participants with the knowledge and skills to adopt a child rights based approach to programme and policy development. It also aims to develop leadership and capacity in participants in order to advocate for children’s rights and promote peace and social justice through programs working for young children.

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About this course

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This programme is located within INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute). INCORE is in an active research and practice Centre, you can expect to learn from Faculty with practical and theoretical skills. Its location in Northern Ireland provides excellent opportunities for experiential learning in a society coming out of violent conflict. However, the geographical scope of INCORE’s work in research, policy, and practice is both local and global.

The programme is offered in association with Early Years, which is the largest organization in Northern Ireland for Young Children. It has extensive experience of collaborative work at the international level and it will provide experts from around the world to contribute to the teaching of the online specialist module on Young Children and Peacebuilding.


Full time: PgDip – two semesters; MSc – one calendar year.

If a full time student will take one 4-5 hour class one day a week in Semester 1 and one fully online module in Semester 2.

Daytime classes with the part-time mode taught alongside full-time programme in semester one.

Fully online modules in semester two.

The programme will be supplemented with seminars and lectures by visiting academics and practitioners.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

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Entry Requirements

Normally a first degree with a 2:2 classification or higher for entry to the MSc though applications can also be considered from students without such a degree who have extensive practical experience in relevant areas.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

This programme is aimed, in particular, at individuals who wish to specialise in the effects of conflict on young children and the development of effective programmes to enhance practice and outcomes for young children or are professionals who are already working in community based organisations, early years organisations or research and academia who wish to deepen their knowledge of conflict and its impact on young children. It is envisaged that graduates from the Masters who are not already employed in this sector would progress into early years related settings or service providers or seek employment in children related non-governmental organisations such as: Save the Children; UNICEF; Plan International and War Child. In Northern Ireland, career opportunities exist in such organisations as: Children in Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People; Early Years; Early years and pre-school settings; Action for Children; National Children's Bureau; NSPCC; Children's Law Centre; Department of Education; and the Education and Training Inspectorate.


Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The Agnes Finnegan Peace Prize is awarded for the best academic performance.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees. 

Please contact the course team for more information.


Faculty Office

+44 (0) 28 71 675 442

Course Director

Dr. Stephen Ryan or +44(0)28 7167 5246