Media, Peace and Conflict Studies
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.
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 41-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. Regarding what was said above, some of the main courses are:
Ethical Media Production and Peace, The Role of the Media & Communication in Conflict Prevention & Peace Building, New Media Tools for Change, Communication for Peace and certainly the infamous course on Working in Conflict Areas – Field Training.
The required courses are:
- PCS 6000 Foundation in Peace and Conflict Studies (3 credits) – UPEACE Faculty
- PCS 6008 Research Methodology (3 credits) – UPEACE Faculty
- PCS 6007 Introduction into the Field (3 credits) – UPEACE Faculty
- MPS 6022 Ethical Media Production and Peace (3 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber and Prof. Ross Ryan
- MPS 6034 Storytelling or Seduction? International Communication: Theory and Practice (3 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber and Prof. Julia Hoffmann
- MPS 6035 The Role of the Media and Communication in Conflict Prevention and Peace Building (3 Credits) – Prof. Alvaro Sierra
- MPS 6036 New Media Tools for Change (3 Credits) – Prof. Tatiana Philiptchenko and Ingmar Zahorsky
- 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. Victoria Fontan
- Possibility to choose:
- IPS 6047 Theatre and reconciliation (3 Credits) – Prof. Frédérique Lecomte
- DIL 6019 Safety of journalists and the issue of Impunity: a human rights approach (1 Credit) – Prof. Ona Flores
- MPS 6037 Communication for Peace (2 Credits) – Prof. Julia Hoffmann and Prof. Daniela Ingruber
- MPS 6038 Working in Conflict Areas – Field Training (2 Credits) – Prof. Daniela Ingruber and Prof. Ross Ryan
- UPE DIL 6023 Contemporary Challenges to Peace – Conference (1 credit)
- MPS 7000 Graduation Project (8 Credits)
For complete course descriptions, course calendar, and information about the professors, please follow the link http://www.upeace.org/calendar
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.
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)