Media, Peace and Conflict Studies

Academic Year 2014-2015


1.    Objectives

This MA programme is designed to enable students coming from diverse cultures and academic backgrounds to develop skills to manage the many complex ways in which media interact with conflict, peace and security. New reflections about media coverage of conflict at international and local levels are introduced, and students are challenged to think critically on issues such as objectivity, neutrality and ethics in news reporting and news-gathering. In this programme students discuss the role of free, responsible media in preventing violent conflict and creating peaceful spaces in societies, by looking at all different kinds of media and the latest technologies.

2.    Focus

Courses in this MA programme are taught by UPEACE resident faculty and visiting professors, who are prominent professionals and scholars in media affairs, both at the theoretical as well as the practical level.

The focus of the program will be the discussion of the background of the media (who is doing what and why?), the responsibilities and challenges of the different actors (including the audience) and how the media are (or are not) contributing to peace and conflict. Latest developments both on politics and the media landscape will influence the courses, which means that all courses will include current media discussions.

Students enrolling in this programme are expected to have some professional experience in media and related matters, because the MA provides them with limited practical journalism training.  The courses focus on the role(s) of media, and ICTs, in the areas of peace, conflict, and security; therefore, though a first degree in any discipline is acceptable, a degree in the social sciences or humanities is an advantage, especially in communication or journalism-related areas. All courses are taught in English. Thus, a high level of fluency is expected, while competence in a second language is an advantage.

3.    Main courses

This 40-credit program is trying to build a bridge between the different views of and on the media, which means that one focus lies on looking behind the daily media work. One can only fully understand the different media processes and actions by knowing how the people in different media outlets work. Therefore, the program tries to give a balance between actual media work and theory. Discussing both will be one of the most important tools during the year.

All courses seem to be equally challenging and interesting. Following the courses for the Academic Year 2014-2015:

    • UPM 6001 UPEACE Foundation Course (3 Credits) – UPEACE Resident Faculty
    • DIL 6062 Workshop on Negotiation Skills (1 Credit) – Prof. Siniša Vukovic
    • MPS 6039 Peace Journalism and War Reporting (An Introduction) (3 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber and Prof. Ross Ryan
    • PCS 6008 Research Methodology (3 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber and Prof. Virginia Cawagas
    • MPS 6022 Ethical Media Production and Peace (3 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber and Prof. Eva Testor
    • MPS 6035 The Role of the Media and Communication in Conflict Prevention and Peace Building (3 Credits) – Prof. Alvaro Sierra
    • ELECTIVES (3 Credits) Participants can choose an elective course offered by the January UPEACE Institute  –  UPEACE Resident Faculty and Visiting Faculty
    • MPS 6030 The Role of the Media in the Rwandan Genocide (2 Credits) –     Prof. Gerald Caplan
    • MPS 6040 Media, Terrorism and Insurgency (3 Credits) – Prof.  TBC
    • MPS 6041 Social Media, Power PR and Peace (2 Credits) – Prof.  Sebastian Plasschaert
    • PEP 6080 Language, Media and Peace (2 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber
    • PCS 6010 Critical Approaches to Peace and Conflict Studies (3 Credits) – Prof. Wolfgang Dietrich
    • MPS 6014 Working in Conflict Areas – Field Training (3 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber, Prof. Ross Ryan and Prof. Jasper van Koppen
    • ELECTIVES (1 Credit) Participants can choose an elective course offered by UPEACE different programmes – UPEACE Resident Faculty
    • UPE PCS 6003 Contemporary Challenges to Peace (1 Credit) – Student-led Conference
    • MPS 7000 Graduation Project (8 Credits)

For complete course descriptions, course calendar, and information about the professors, please follow the link

4.    Exit Profile

Students who have completed the MA in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies have gone on to work in communications, post-conflict assistance, and peace building through international organizations such as the UN, national governments or non-governmental organizations, as well as in the media and academia. They also have the skills to do media monitoring and content analysis with a media watchdog.

5.    Alumni

Former media students work in many different fields, here are some examples:

    • Dominic Pkalya is a National Project Manager at UNDP Kenya/NDMA;
    • Erin Peck is the Program Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute;
    • Ledet Teka works as National Reporting Officer at the UNOCHA- AU Liaison Office;
    • Sandra Sharman is not only an independent filmmaker but also works with UNESCO in Montevideo;
    • Suriya Begum Urmi has a position as a lecturer at Dhaka University;
    • David Kriegleder works as a reporter for ORF (Austrian National Broadcasting)