Module code: POLM032

Module Overview

The module examines armed conflict, civil war in particular, and international peacebuilding interventions. It draws on the multidisciplinary literature in Conflict and Peace Studies. Throughout the course students will become familiar with key actors, policies and institutions involved in conflict and post-conflict environments.

Module provider


Module Leader

KITCHEN Nicholas (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 3

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 15

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

POLM033 International Intervention

Module content

The module is structured in two parts. The first part analyses the causes and dynamics of civil wars, including identity and political explanations as well as dynamics of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Building on this, the second part critically analyses war to peace transitions, starting with conflict resolution and peace processes and then turning to different dimensions of international peacebuilding: politics, security, justice, and economics.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework POLICY PAPER (2500 WORDS) 70
Coursework SIMULATION REPORT (1000 words) 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply their theoretical and empirical knowledge to practical aspects of international security. The first assessment is an authentic assessment that mimics professional life, that enables students to identify a specific policy problem related to conflict and peace-building and to write a policy paper to a relevant actor, as agreed in advance with the module leader, enabling students to conduct research, develop actionable policy options, and construct a reasoned argument in support of a particular course. The second assessment allows students to reflect on their preparation for and performance in a practical simulation peace negotiation exercise undertaken in class. The purpose of the simulation is to enhance resilience and resourcefulness, sustainable thinking, various digital skills and illustrate real-life work environment in international relations. Hence the assessment strategy is closely aligned to the module aims and learning outcomes as specified above.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Policy paper (2500 words) 

  • Simulation Report (1000 words)

Formative feedback will be provided in a number of occasions throughout the module.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the field of Conflict and Peace Studies
  • Provide students with an in-depth understanding of causes and dynamics of armed conflict, peace processes after civil wars, and peacebuilding in post-conflict settings.
  • Develop students' ability to critically analyse issues of power between international intervenors, domestic institutions and local communities

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critical analysis of cases, from a range of ideological and philosophical perspectives K
002 Capacity to compare and contrast cases, concepts, and policies KCT
003 Good assessment of validity and reliability of theoretical literature KC
004 Develop research, writing and debating skills. PT
005 Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

  • Lectures

  • Seminars

  • Enquiry based learning

  • Group exercises

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POLM032

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations (International Intervention) MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.