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The University of Edinburgh: Conflict, Security and Development

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Social and Political Science
Study type Taught


Programme Description The MSc Conflict, Security, and Development programme focuses on the intersection of conflict, security and development, both conceptually and in practice. It critically explores the notion that security is a precondition for development and that development leads to security. This ‘security-development nexus’ has become a central theme in the way development programmes are designed and implemented, particularly those focused on the Global South. Yet there are many important debates and unsettled questions about the linkages between conflict, security and development. For example, what is the role of poverty in conflict? How does this framing of development affect our understanding of issues such as inequality, democracy and justice? How do everyday imaginations of security interact with high-level security politics?

The programme explores the connections between conflict, security, and development from an interdisciplinary perspective based in the social sciences. We take a global view of the topic with a particular emphasis on Africa, drawing on the unique interdisciplinary expertise of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre of African Studies, which hosts the programme.

Programme Structure

The programme is available on a full-time basis over one year or on a part-time basis over two years. There is flexibility to allow you to pursue the knowledge and skills most relevant to you.

Compulsory courses: There are three compulsory courses, which all students are required to take:

  • Conflict, Security, and Development

  • Politics and Theories of International Development

  • Peace and Conflict in Africa

Optional courses: A variety of designated course options allow students to develop specialised profiles as development professionals, for example:

  • Resource Politics and Development

  • Policing and Punishment: Global Perspectives

  • Displacement and Development

  • Pursuing Justice After Violence

Up to 20 credits from courses outside the listed optional courses are permitted with approval from the Programme Director.

Master of Science - MSc (PG)

Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

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