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MA Peace & Development Studies

  1. Introduction

The programme is to provide mainstream training in Peace Studies at the Masters level in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The CPSS realises the need to have capable hands to serve humanity as scholars and practitioners in the fields of Conflict Management and Peace-building, Peace and Development Journalism, Peace and Environment Studies as well as Security and Strategic Studies. The Centre immerses these areas in a carefully designed inter-disciplinary programme that consists of Core and Elective courses for each of the specializations. Each student is expected to select courses towards deepening her/his expertise in any of the following four academic areas of specialization:

  1. Conflict Management and Peace building (CMP)
  2. Security and Strategic Studies (SSS)
  3. Peace and Environment Studies (PES)
  4. Peace and Development Journalism (PDJ)


  1. Philosophy

The programme is premised on the conviction that peaceful means of managing conflict can be found and the search for sustainable peace takes theoretical and experimental approaches so as to train students who will stand out as excellent scholars and practitioners capable of shaping a better world.


  1. Aim and Objectives

The overall aim of the M.A. in Peace and Development programme is to make the University of Ilorin a global Centre of Excellence in Peace, Security, Development studies as well as Development research and documentation.



  1. delivering grounded research-led degree-awarding programme in a conducive atmosphere that enhances learning and stimulates independent thinking among our students;
  2. training manpower in the field of Peace, Security and Development Studies by providing students with theoretical and practical skills in all spheres of Peace Processes, Conflict Management, Security and Strategic Studies and Preventive Diplomacy;
  3. being among the leading Centres of Excellence in the field of Peace, Security and Development Studies in the world;
  4. initiating and sustain interactions and collaborations with our immediate community and the world at large; and
  5. attracting the best students from around the world to benefit and contribute to the learning environment.


  1. Admission Requirements
  1. Candidates must have at least a Credit in English Language and Mathematics in ‘a’ level result and meet all other requirements set by the Postgraduate School of the University of Ilorin.
  2. The M.A. in Peace and Development Studies programme is open to candidates with a first degree in any field with a minimum of Second Class (lower Division).
  3. Experience in Peace Practice and Conflict Management and in the Security Sector will be an added advantage.
  1. Duration of the Programme
  1. The Full-time programme shall run for a minimum of 18 calendar months and a maximum of 24 calendar.
  2. The Part-time programme shall run for a minimum of 24 calendar months and a maximum of 36 calendar months.
  1. List of Courses Available



Course Code

Course Title

No. of Credits



PDS 801

Concepts in Peace and Development Studies




PDS 802

Principles, Strategies and Skills of Conflict Management




PDS 803

Research Methods in Peace Studies




PDS 804

Communication in Peace and Conflict Management




PDS 805

Philosophical and Theological Bases of Peace




PDS 806

African Traditional Approaches to Conflict Management




PDS 807

Media, Conflict Management and Peace-building




PDS 808

Women in Peace and Conflict




PDS 809

Managing Diversity and Fault Line Conflicts




PDS 810

Arms Proliferation, Control and Disarmament




PDS 811

Peace Support Operations




PDS 812

African Security Analyses




PDS 813

Multi-Track Diplomacy in Peace-Building




PDS 814

Peace and Conflict-Sensitive Journalism




PDS 815

Strategies and Challenges of Sustainable Development




PDS 816

Governance and Conflicts in Africa




PDS 817

War and the Media




PDS 818

Environmental Management and Human Security




PDS 819

International Humanitarian Law




PDS 820

Advanced Seminar




PDS 821

Disaster and Refugee Management




PDS 822

Conventional and Unconventional Warfare




PDS 823

Strategic Studies




PDS 824

Globalization and Regional Integration 




PDS 825

Alternative Dispute Resolution & Arbitration Law




PDS 826

Psychology and Emotional Intelligence




PDS 840





  1.        Detailed Course Description

PDS 801:  Concepts in Peace and Development Studies                      2 Credits

Concepts, theories and perspectives of peace. lack of development advances with theoretical and empirical contexts. Issues relating to peace and conflict impact assessment (PCIA) and conflict-sensitive development planning. Two- way nexus of peace and development: seminars, local and global case-studies.  30h (T); C


PDS 802:  Principles, Strategies and Skills of Conflict Management               3 Credits        

Conflict management: theory and practice based on insights from local and global perspectives. Issues of conflict prevention. Management. Resolution and transformation. Skills of coordinating peace processes. Theoretical, ethical, logistical and administrative steps for planning interventions in conflict situations. 45h (T); C


PDS 803: Research Methods in Peace Studies             3 Credits

Design research plans: preventing, managing, resolving and transforming conflicts. Details of security and development research: policy making on restoration of peace, enhancement of peace and peace-building as the case. Drawing on research approaches from other relevant disciplines. 45h (T); C


PDS 804: Communication in Peace and Conflict Management           2 Credits                    

Role of communication in all genres of conflict management and peace- building. Case-studies to contextually analyse the misuse of communication and media leading to avoidable conflicts. Best practices of how to prevent and manage conflict through communication from micro to macro contexts.                                                                30h (T); C


PDS 805: Philosophical and Theological Bases of Peace          2 Credits

Different philosophies of peace in the main theological traditions: perspectives of the two leading world faith: Islam and Christianity. Centrality and commonality of peace: leading philosophers from the two faiths. Drawing out points of convergence and divergence.  30h (T); C


PDS 806: African Traditional Approaches to Conflict Management               2 Credits

Traditional methods of conflict resolution, management and transformation in Africa: conflict settlement traditions in palaces, age grade systems, gender- specific approaches to managing conflicts. Traditional approaches as complement to modern systems in conflict resolution, promotion of sustainable development.      30h (T); E


PDS 807: Media, Conflict Management and Peace-building               2 Credits 

Crucial position of the media in peace and war time. Role of the media in specific conflict and war situations. Seminars: exploring options available in instances where the media played negative role by inhibiting peace processes.   30h (T); E


PDS 808: Women in Peace and Conflict                      2 Credits

Dearth of resources on active roles played by women in Africa: promoting peace, advocating for justice, non-violent resistance of tyranny and injustice. Non-compliance of states with treaties and conventions on inclusion of women in peace processes: specific conflict and post-conflict communities.                                                                        30h (T); E


PDS 809: Managing Diversity and Fault Line Conflicts          2 Credits

Diversity of identities: erupting fault lines of violence putting many plural communities on the edge. Nature of identity conflicts: policy and community-based approaches for managing religious and ethnic conflicts in cross-cultural societies. Case studies from different parts of Africa.

                                                                                    30h (T); E


PDS 810: Arms Proliferation, Control and Disarmament       2 Credits

Tendency of state and non-state actors to access instruments of coercion. Motivations for arms proliferation: dimensions, categories and consequences. Impact of small arms proliferation on development. Success and failure of demobilisation, disarmament, reinsertion and reintegration in post-conflict and transiting states.                           30h (T); E



PDS811: Peace Support Operations                            2 Credits

Concept, theory and practice of peace support operations in its historical and contemporary perspectives: classical or traditional peacekeeping, peace enforcement, multi-dimensional civilian peacekeeping and management of humanitarian emergencies. Case studies from different parts of the world.                                                        30h (T); E


PDS 812: African Security Analyses                           2 Credits

Management of the security sector: policing in a democracy, security sector reforms, and the involvement of civilians in crime detection and management. Concentration on theorising the influence of Africa in global strategic calculus, extra-African Security proposals and responses of African states to these proposals.                              30h (T); E


PDS 813: Multi-Track Diplomacy in Peace-Building   2 Credits

Role of non-state actors in enhancing positive peace and conflict prevention. Challenges confronting the evolution of cooperation between actors in track one: government and other tracks are examined. Students to locate a place for themselves in the nine tracks in order to graduate as active agents of positive peace.                                             30h (T); E


PDS 814: Peace and Conflict-Sensitive Journalism     2 Credits

Journalists reporting conflicts and its implications for peace and security. Journalists operation in conflict zones. Empowerment practices and potential journalists on the ethics and praxis of peace: development journalism.                                                                     30h (T); E


PDS 815: Strategies and Challenges of Sustainable Development       2 Credits

Development initiatives and projects in relation to conflict prevention, peace- building and reconciliation. Issues of peace and conflict impact assessment. Conflict-related development analysis (CDA). People, problem and processes (PPP). Conflict sensitive development (CSD). Exposing students to different theories and strategies in development studies.                                                                 30h (T); E


PDS 816: Governance and Conflicts in Africa 2 Credits

Closer examination and comparison of lack or ineffective governance in Africa. Theories and forms of governance: role of good governance in the promotion of peace with case studies. Respect for the rule of law and the promotion of popular political participation through electoral processes.

                                                                                    30h (T); E


PDS 817: War and the Media                                      2 Credits

Historical approach and examines the role of the media through different periods of war. Media challenges and choices made affecting inter-group relations during and after wars. Specific case studies: new modes of engagements between parties in conflict.

                                                                                    30h (T); E


PDS 818: Environmental Management and Human Security              2 Credits

Anthropocentric activities and state actions affecting safety and sustainability of the environment. Treaties, conventions, agreements, environmental laws: identifying problems associated with their implementation while giving students a multi-dimensional understanding of the environment and its relatedness to human security. 30h (T); E


PDS 819: International Humanitarian Law                2 Credits

Treaties, conventions and other legal documents regulating the role of third- parties in conflicts and disputants themselves: state and non-state actors. Different types and forms of humanitarian interventions during cold and post- cold war. Comparative understanding of the dynamics of humanitarian law.                                                           30h (T); E


PDS 820: Advanced Seminar                                      1 Credit

All registered students for the Master degree in Peace and Development Studies are expected to present a seminar on approved topics by the Board of Studies of the Centre.                                        15h (R); C


PDS 821: Disaster and Refugee Management             2 Credits

Management of natural and man-made disasters, refugee crises. Classification of disaster preparedness, disaster mitigation, coordination and evaluation. Role of national and international agencies in disaster and refugee management.                                                             30h (T); E


PDS 822: Conventional and Unconventional Warfare  2 Credits

Historical and contemporaneous approaches towards tracing the changes and continuities of conventional and unconventional warfare. Implications of insurgency and counter-insurgency for the rise of warlords, mercenaries, militias and war crimes. Forms of unconventional and asymmetric warfare since the end of the cold war. 30h (T); E


PDS 823: Strategic Studies                                          2 Credits

Intellectual and policy questions regarding the use of force, peace and security. Internal defence and security, international security, military strategies, terrorism, climate change, regional and sub-regional security architecture, global health diplomacy, space and technology policies, cyber security and reduction of global inequalities and vulnerabilities.

                        30h (T); C


PDS 824: Globalisation and Regional Integration       2 Credits

Contending perspectives on globalisation and regional integration vis-a-vis their implications for regional peace, security, development and cooperation. Forms of nationalism: how different regions move from nationalism to regional integration. Successes and failures recorded and their implications for peace and security.                  30h (T); E


PDS 825: Alternative Dispute Resolution and Arbitration law            2 Credits

Nature of alternative dispute resolution processes: mediation, conciliation, negotiation, arbitration and their effects on securing peace in the society. International arbitration. Participation in the one-week retreat on ADR is a condition for graduation. Sharpening students' practical skills in alternative dispute resolution.                                                 30h (T); C


PDS 826: Psychology and Emotional Intelligence        2 Credits

Self-mastery and self-regard, honesty, integrity and trust, emotional self- awareness, management of emotions, dealing with anger and pain, handling criticisms, coping with failure, stress management and self-actualisation.                                                                30h (T); E


PDS 840: Dissertation                                                 5 Credits

Working with a faculty advisor, students enrolled into the centre for peace and strategic studies design projects that integrate the knowledge and skills acquired during their training. 15,000 word research to demonstrate the students ability to inculcate field experience, discussions, and methods learnt in their projects on approved topic.             225h (T); C

  1.   Graduation Requirements

To obtain the Master degree in Peace and Development Studies, a student is expected to have:

  1. registered for a minimum of 32 Credits and a maximum of 34 Credits made up of 22 Core credits from Core courses, 8 Credits from required courses and a minimum of 4 Credits from Elective courses as stipulated in the programme brochure;
  2.         passed a minimum of 32 Credits including Core and required courses as stipulated in the programme brochure;
  3.        presented a seminar paper to an approved panel; and
  4.        presented a dissertation in his/her area of specialisation.


The required courses for M.A. in Peace and Development studies students are pre-determined depending on their areas of specialisation. Students are also encouraged to participate in Seminars in related fields in other Departments of the University.