Doctoral Programme

The Charter of the University, Art. 15.2. gives the power to the University to grant Doctoral Degrees in the area of “Irenology, which shall comprise the study of peace, education for peace and human rights”.

In accordance with the Mandate, the UPEACE designed the Full-time (Research) Doctorate, as a research degree that develops professionals’ research expertise in their chosen area of interest, leading to careers in teaching and in research-related institutions and requires residency at UPeace. Thus, the Full-time (Research) Doctorate at the UPeace primarily prepares students for work in an academic/educational setting.

The Part-time (Professional) Doctorate is conceived of as a doctorate with a particular focus on applied research (or research done for professional purposes). The Part-time (Professional) Doctorate may be aimed at those pursuing primarily professional rather than academic careers. However, the Part-time (Professional) Doctorate is at the same level as the Full-time (Research) Doctorate, and both demand the same level of academic rigor.  Both degrees require to pay tuition fees annually for a minimum of three years.  The Full-time (Research) Doctorate cannot be registered at Upeace more than a maximum of 5 years, and the Part-time (Professional) for 6 years.

Why a PhD Programme at UPEACE?

After many years of educational efforts providing graduate education at Master level, the academic community within the UPEACE is ready to continue its work reaching the next level    and re-open admissions to the Doctoral Program. . The idea when it was opened in 2012  was to establish a Ph.D. Program within the UPEACE which recognizes two important elements: First, the University has the human resources to embark into the process of monitoring and creating an innovative knowledge in the area of peace studies. Second, the University has solid roots in its current students, alumni, faculty to immediately start and provide to the world community an ambitious program as a Ph.D.

The main objective for the UPEACE is to transmit a fundamental message to the international academic community.  Peace Studies at UPEACE comprises a variety of areas, from Environment, Development, Gender Studies, Peace Education, International Peace Studies, Media, Responsible Management and International Law and Human Rights.   

The creation of a Ph.D. within the premises of the UPEACE campus  represents a structural change  that  has increased the academic opportunities currently limited by the impact of the master programs. It represents a window of new horizons to prepare our own new academic generations that may also reduce the number of visiting professor in our programs.

Area of Interest of Study

UPEACE already offers a broad range of coursework and educational research opportunities, with specializations in the following regular M.A. programs:

  • Environment, Development and Peace (with specialization in Climate Change Policy, Environment Security and Governance, Sustainable Food Systems, and Sustainable Natural Resource Management)
  • Gender and Peace Building
  • International Law (with specializations in Human Rights and International Settlement of Disputes)
  • International Peace Studies
    • Media, Peace and Conflict Studies
    • Peace Education
    • Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development

The official name of the Doctoral Degree will follow the model already established by the Master Programmes. Therefore, the title formally will be: “Doctoral Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies”.

Additionally, UPEACE offers Joint Master’s Degree Programs in collaboration with the following institutions:

• Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines (Asia Leaders Programme)

• American University’s School of International Service, Washington, D.C., USA (Specialization in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development)

• Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea (Specialization in International Law and Human Rights; Media, Peace and Conflict Studies, or Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development)

• International University of Monaco (Specialization in Sustainable Peace through Sport)

Interaction between these institutions and UPEACE could represent the completion of dual/joint degrees or the opportunity for our research students to visit and work during a semester in these institutions. 

 

Programme Validation Criteria

 

a. Eligibility and Student Entry Profile

The UPEACE Doctoral Degree Programme is offered in two options: (1) the Full-time (Research) Doctorate and (2) the Part-time (Professional) Doctorate. The minimum academic level of the student entering the Doctoral Programme is possession of a Master of Arts degree or equivalent.

Candidates will be requested to submit a proposal in line with the areas of interest outlined by resident faculty (see the section 4, UPEACE Resident Faculty with Doctoral degrees). A selection board composed of the Doctoral Committee members will recommend a candidate to the Rector and Dean of Academic Affairs before the candidate is admitted to the programme.

Candidates can submit a proposal to the Coordinator of the Doctoral Programme.  The selection board will review the proposals and admit candidates to the doctorate programme based on the quality of the proposal and the experience, motivation and potential of the candidates.

 

b. Student exit profile

Upon successful graduation from the UPEACE Doctoral Programme, students will be prepared for university teaching, research, or advanced positions in Peace and Conflict Studies-related professional fields. Specifically, students will have developed a sophisticated understanding of research practices and methodologies, will have internalized sound scholarly values and academic integrity, and will be able to develop a record of published research and conference presentations.

 

c. Objectives of the programme

The vision, goals, substance and pedagogy of the programme are in consonance with the University for Peace mission “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.”

 

d. Minimum-maximum number of students

In order to maintain a balance between research Ph.D. candidates and resident faculty, the number of doctoral candidates may be limited: to ensure quality education, each primary doctoral supervisor may have one candidate in principle, but not more than 3 candidates at any given time.

 

e. Overall Programme Management

The program will be governed by two primary bodies:

  • The Doctoral Committee, comprised of one Ph.D. holding faculty member from each academic department on the UPEACE campus (approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs); and
  • The Doctoral Advisory Board, composed of all Ph.D. holding faculty in residence at UPEACE at a given time. The Doctoral Committee is responsible for day-to-day program administration while the Advisory Board oversees the programme as a whole and authorizes changes in its structure.

Both bodies are under the administration of the Dean of Academic Affairs.

 

Structure of the programme

Both doctorates require successful completion of the following components as mandatory:

a) Core Courses (12 credits): 4 weeks at UPEACE HQ Campus

  •  Gender, Peace Building and Human Security
  •  Peace and Conflict Studies:  Theoretical & Conceptual Foundations
  •  Advanced Research Methodology
  •  UN Foundation Course or Pedagogy and Curriculum Design.

 

b. Accomplishment of Research (Doctoral Dissertation) Proposal

During their first year, students will develop a robust proposal (10-20 pages) for their subsequent dissertation research, detailing their research question, comprehensive review of relevant academic literature, methodology, and timeline for execution, based on the initial proposal required for admission to the doctoral program. Upon approval of this proposal by the dissertation committee and successful completion of the candidacy exam, the candidate will advance to status of ABD (All But Dissertation). Except in special circumstances the proposal must be submitted by the end of the candidate’s first year or no later than by the middle of the second year. In the case of the Part-Time students, usually the proposal must be submitted by the end of the candidate’s second year. This proposal must be submitted to the Research Ethics Committee for approval.

 

c. Candidacy Examination

The candidacy is an oral examination normally held within 1.5 years (for full-time students) of the commencement of the program. Candidates will defend a written proposal for their dissertation research before their supervising committee (composed of the Supervisor, as the Chair, and two other professors who are best able to guide the candidate in his/her research topic).

The proposal will include the following elements:

  • A detailed conceptual and theoretical framework for the research problem
  • A comprehensive review of related literature
  •  The proposed research methodology
  •  A statement of research ethics
  •  The significance of conducting the research.

The candidate will, at a minimum, be expected to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in at least two substantive areas (their major and at least one minor area of study) in addition to demonstrating methodological proficiency. It is, of course, expected that the student will develop additional competencies beyond these minimal requirements. Except in special circumstances the examination may be completed by the mid  of the candidate’s second year in the program. For Part-time (Professional) Doctorate, it will completed by the end of the second year.

 

d. Doctoral Dissertation

Every candidate shall present a written dissertation embodying the results of his or her research. A final oral examination will be conducted on the concept and methodology related to the dissertation. An external reader will also be appointed to provide an independent evaluation of the dissertation, and this evaluation will be taken into account during the final examination.

 

Expected Timeline and Progression

 

Full-time (Research) Doctorate:

The Full-time doctorate programme is designed to be completed in 3 academic years (normative time) as follows:

The First Year:
      •  Interact with the supervisor(s) and scholars.
      • Complete 4 core courses for a duration of four weeks on  the UPEACE HQ campus (as outlined in Section 7A)
      • Up to 9 credits of online courses as suggested by the primary supervisor if necessary.
      • Accomplish the research (doctoral dissertation) proposal and approved by the supervisor.
      • Study to prepare for the candidacy examination.

The United Nations-mandated University for Peace has the policy of mainstreaming gender within all courses.   

The objective of the proposal is to narrow down the general research interest to a specific doctoral dissertation. Further, the student is expected to construct a literature review that presents the critique surrounding the theme. Although the dissertation statement could change and be subject to modification as the student progresses, the literature review is the preliminary phase, setting the foundation for subsequent, more specialized research. Moreover, the student is required to determine the methodology to implement the research proposal. This stage also requires finalizing a timeframe for the specific research to be conducted.  The supervisor(s) are responsible for facilitating the progression of the student. Should progression of the student is not made, the supervisor must report the justification to the doctoral programme Committee through the coordinator no later than the three months before the candidacy examination expected (i.e. after one year of the registration).

The Second Year:
      • Interact with the supervisor(s) and scholars
      • Take the candidacy examination
      • Conduct data collection (e.g. field research)
      • Conduct data analyses
      • Start writing up the results.

Before the mid of the second year, the student is required to fainalise any revisions and to submit the proposal, again approved by the supervisor. Thereafter, the supervisor is entitled to send the proposal to the Doctoral Programme through the coordinator, so that the Doctoral Committee and the Supervising Committee can assess the proposal and set the candidacy examination for the student. The student is required to pass the candidacy examination no later than the middle of the second year, and the supervisor(s) are responsible for ensuring that the student is taking the examination on time. 

The Third Year:
      • Interact with the supervisor(s) and other scholars
      • Finalise the writing of dissertation
      • Study to prepare for the Final Examination (Final Dissertation Defence).

The third year is for the completion of the written doctoral dissertation and preparation for Final Dissertation Defence.  Upon completion of the dissertation and successful defence, approval by the Doctoral Advisory Board, the candidate will be granted a Doctoral (Ph.D.) Degree.

The additional year, e.g. the fourth year, may be granted at the discretion of the Rector, the Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Doctoral Committee and the Advisory Board in consultation with the candidate’s primary advisor. However, this shall be approved as an exceptional case, and additional payment of the tuition fees may be required.

 

Part-time (Professional) Doctorate:

The Part-time (Professional) doctorate programme is designed to be completed in 4 academic years as follows:

The First and Second Year:
      • Interact with the supervisor(s) and scholars.
      • Complete 4 core courses for a duration of four weeks on  the UPEACE HQ campus (see 7A):
      • Up to 9 credits of online courses as suggested by the primary supervisor if necessary.
      • Accomplish the research (doctoral dissertation) proposal.
      • Study to prepare for the candidacy examination.

The United Nations-mandated University for Peace has the policy of mainstreaming gender within all courses.   

 

The Third Year:
      • Interact with the supervisor(s) and other scholars
      • Take the candidacy examination
      • Conduct data collection (e.g. field research)
      • Conduct data analyses
      • Start writing up the results.
The Final Year:
      • Interact with the supervisor(s) and scholars
      • Finalise the writing of dissertation
      • Study to prepare for the Final Examination (Final Dissertation Defence).

Upon completion of the dissertation and successful defence, approval by the Doctoral Advisory Board, the candidate will be granted a Doctoral (Ph.D.) Degree.

The additional year may be granted for the Part-time doctorate, at the discretion of the Rector, the Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Doctoral Committee and the Advisory Board in consultation with the candidate’s primary advisor.  However, this is approved as an exceptional case, and additional payment of the tuition fees may be required. If approved, the duration of the leave will not count against the total time allowed for the degree being sought. Only one leave of absence is allowed. Readmission following an approved leave of absence is automatic, as long as the original conditions of the leave have been honoured. The maximum duration of a leave is normally not more than 2 years.

 

Adequate faculty

All resident UPEACE faculty possessing either a Ph.D. or the highest equivalent terminal degree in their respective field will be available to serve on doctoral and supervising committees.  Committees will be composed of at least three (3) members. The primary supervisor for the Research Doctorate must be resident UPEACE faculty. Resident faculty, visiting and/or external faculty possessing similar qualifications may serve as the other two committee members. The Professional Doctorate in particular may be primarily supervised by doctoral possessing sufficient qualifications based in other UPEACE offices, such as Addis Ababa. There will always be a resident faculty member as supervisor or co-supervisor

 

Examination regulations

 

a. Candidacy Examination:

The candidate must complete a comprehensive examination on material related to their area of study. The examination will not be limited to the scope of the specific research proposal but will include general aspects of conflict studies as well as methodological questions related to the research and the field.  The examination board will be composed of the members of the UPEACE Doctoral Committee and/or the Supervising Committee, jointly with the candidate’s primary supervisor. The examination board will be chaired by the representative of the Department/Faculty that the research is focused on.

b. Final Examination (Final Dissertation Defence):

The final dissertation should consist of a substantial and original piece of innovative research related to the field of Peace and Conflict Studies.  The dissertation must be a minimum of 80,000 words. The dissertation may be written in any official language of the United Nations depending on approval by the UPEACE Doctoral Committee and the dissertation supervisor. In making this decision, the Committee will take into account the following topics:  the nature of research and the language proficiency of the specific committee members who will evaluate the dissertation.

The Final Dissertation Defence will be a public presentation before a Panel of three members appointed by the Doctoral Committee. The distribution of the panel must be as follows: 1) a UPEACE resident faculty member appointed by the Doctoral Committee; 2) an academic specialist in the field from outside of UPEACE resident faculty; and 3) the primary supervisor. Decision will be reached by majority.

The UPEACE general grading system based on a 10-point scale will be used for the Doctoral Examination. The minimum passing grade is 7.0.  At its discretion, the Examination Panel may suggest to the Doctoral Committee that a given dissertation be given an “honorific mention.”

c. Learning resources available/required

This programme will support access to academic texts and journal databases adequate for students to be able to conduct thorough literature reviews in their respective fields. While the UPEACE library already possesses most of the necessary resources, purchase of access to additional journal databases may be required to meet this need.

d. Research Fellowship / Practice

UPEACE will encourage candidates enrolled in the Doctoral Program to go abroad to conduct field research. The research experience outside campus and the exposure to other academic environments are key elements in the design of the UPEACE Doctoral Programme. Consequently, UPEACE is working to provide to students registered in the program with a network of institutions to choose from for external affiliation.

The first groups of institutions belong to the circle of affiliated institutions to UPEACE in Bogota, Belgrade, Seoul, Montevideo, and The Hague. The second group comprises partner institutions in Manila and Addis Abba. The third groups are institutions that UPEACE is negotiating partnership agreements for the Doctorate stages.

e. Programme evaluation

The programme will be evaluated every two years by the UPEACE Doctoral Programme Advisory Board (composed of all Ph.D. holding faculty members in residence at UPEACE at a given time). Every four years, the programme will be audited by an external evaluator noted for their contributions to the field of Peace and Conflict Studies.

Opportunities

Academic departments can only open a position or offer stipend if funds are available.  For instance, in the first year of the programme, the Full-time candidate may be enrolled as a student, and may combine work as a teaching assistant. After passing the candidacy exam, the doctorate candidates may combine their research and dissertation with a teaching load, such as super vision of master’s graduation projects, developing and teaching one online course.  Again, this is subjected to availability of funds.

Application of this guideline

In principle, this guideline is applied to manage the UPEACE doctoral programme.  However, any unprecedented event or emergency shall be flexibly handled as a case-by-case basis.

 

 

You can download here the complete Doctoral Programme Guideline.

 For information about the Doctoral Programme at UPEACE, please write to doctorate@upeace.org.