Course Overview

The Master of Science Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies is designed to provide graduate level education for students. Consistent with the philosophy and mission of the Centre, the Program aims to take a regional lead in providing support for peacemaking and conflict prevention schemes on the ground. Therefore, the programme is designed for students interested in the study of conflict affected areas and constructive ways to create peace. The programme addresses inequality, violence, security, and instability, as well as all levels of contributing factors to peace and conflict, from the individual to global issues.

The programme prepares graduates for a professional career as an analyst or researcher in both the private and public sectors, nationally and internationally. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to solve problems independently, deal with the threats posed by violent extremism and the ability to monitor and critically evaluate the development of knowledge within peace and conflict research. The programme focuses not only on the study of conflict but primarily on its transformation and on the conditions for peaceful change. How violent conflicts, ethnic and religious discrimination and human rights violations produce forced displacement, and how different actors can respond to these crisis situations.

Students will learn about the preconditions for conflict resolution and sustainable peace in local as well as in international and global contexts. Special emphasis is given to various tools and phases of conflict transformation - peacebuilding, mediation, reconciliation and dialogue. More than just the study of conflict dynamics, the emphasis of the programme lies on the transformation of violent conflicts to achieve sustainable peace. Upon completion of the programme, students will have acquired a thorough understanding of advanced issues in peace and conflict research in order to be able to critically examine, assess and analyse the origin, dynamics and resolution of armed conflicts on a scientific basis.


The programme aims to train professionals and expert and to enhance the capability of civil society to contribute to sustainable/holistic peace by empowering students with the knowledge, research and practical skills needed to contribute to nonviolent peacebuilding efforts which requires combining rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship with concrete application. The program will provide scholars and practitioners alike with the tools needed to understand conflict and contribute to its peaceful resolution through analysis of the origins and nature of violent conflict within and between societies and think critically and creatively using theory as well as practical application to current trends.


Train students and experts that will facilitate peaceful, tolerant, stable and a progressive society in the northeast sub-region, Nigeria and West Africa at large.


To promote research and facilitate capacity building, training in Peace and Conflict Studies, good governance and development for preventing, mitigating, and resolving conflicts through exchange of ideas and experiences.

Aims & Objectives

The Academic degree programme is best suited for individuals aiming to step into careers as practitioners. The program educates, trains, and empowers students to enter roles as agents of peaceful change at community, institutional, and systemic levels.

The objectives of the programme therefore are to:

  1. Equip students theoretically and practically to generate critical issues in Peace and conflict studies
  2. Arm them with adequate theoretical insights to understand communication related development in the society.
  3. Present students with an analytical perspective that will enable them to define objective parameters as well as the perceptual and psychological context of conflicts
  4. Provide students with standard techniques and instruments requisite in conducting researches on current problems in peace studies.
  5. Deepen reflective, critical thinking and analytical skills needed to understand local, national and global peace issues;
  6. Develop skills in research necessary to prepare to contribute relevant scholarship to the peace field;
  7. Avail students with broad based knowledge of the peace studies terrain and to enable them proffer relevant suggestions and recommendations into the policy making process in the sector.
  8. Equip students with the right skills to enable them become community and institutional leaders and politicians in the peace movements for communities, institutions and organizations.
  9. Train students to become informed and active peace makers in inter-personal, inter-group, inter-faith, inter-regional, continental and international relations in peace building.
  10. To prepare students to creatively and skillfully become pillars of dialogue, freedom, respect for human rights, justice and democracy contributing towards developing a culture of peace and non-violence at all levels of society.

Nomenclature of the Degree

The nomenclature of the degree is Master of Science (M.Sc.) Peace and Conflict Studies.

Entry Requirements

The requirements for the M.Sc. programme are in accordance with the general regulations governing postgraduate studies of the University of Maiduguri. Applicants seeking admission must:

  1. possess First Class, Second Class Upper or Second Class Lower degree in Arts and Social Sciences. Applicants whose background other than Arts and Social Sciences or related field such as Sociology, Political Science, History, Law and public Administration from the University of Maiduguri or any other University recognised by the University with a CGPA of 2.40 or 50% Weighted Average Mark may be considered.
  2. a minimum of Five Ordinary Level Credits in relevant subjects, including English Language and Mathematics in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) or its equivalent.


The duration for M.Sc. Programme is two years, a minimum of 4 (four) semesters and a maximum of 6 (six) semesters. The duration of the M.Sc. Programme shall be for a minimum of four semesters. Further extension shall be subject to the general guidelines governing postgraduate studies. In all, a candidate is required to pass forty (52 Units) to qualify for graduation.

Course Structrue

The M.Sc. programme shall be a full time programme including coursework and research. The courses offered under the programme have an interdisciplinary focus and the areas of specializations available are:

  1. Peace and Conflict Studies (International Conflict and Management)
  2. Peace and Conflict Studies (Internal Conflict and Management)
  3. Peace and Conflict Studies (Gender Based Violence)
  4. Peace and Conflict Studies (Human Security)

At the end of the programme these areas of specialization shall be reflected in the award of the student’s degree.

Compulsory Courses (M.Sc. Programme)

Candidate must register and pass all the following compulsory courses (27 Units) :

S/No. Course Code Course Title Units Semester
1. PCS 801 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies 3 1st
2. PCS 802 Principles and Philosophy of Peace and Conflict 3 2nd
3. PCS 803 Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies 3 1st
4. PCS 804 Practical Skills in Conflict Management 3 2nd
5. PCS 805 Seminar on Understanding Ethnic Conflicts and violence 3 1st
6. PCS 811 Religion, Peace and Conflict 3 1st
7. PCS 826 Poverty, Underdevelopment and Conflict 3 2nd
8. PCS 828 Gender and Peacebuilding 3 2nd
9. PCS 830 African Approaches to Conflict Management 3 1st
10. PCS 899 Dissertation 10 1st & 2nd

Optional Courses

Candidate must register and pass a minimum of five courses (15 Units) from the following electives :

S/No. Course Code Course Title Units Semester
1. PCS 806 Seminar on Global Environmental Issues 3 2nd
2. PCS 807 Conflict Sensitive Development 3 1st
3. PCS 808 Seminar on International Conflict Bargaining 3 2nd
4. PCS 809 War Crimes and War Guilt 3 1st
5. PCS 810 Post-Conflict Peace-Building 3 2nd
6. PCS 812 Environmental Security and Conflict 3 2
7. PCS 813 Environment Ethics and Politics 3 1st
8. PCS 814 Introduction to Human Security 3 2nd
9. PCS 815 Historical Foundations, Conceptual and Theoretical Issues in Border Studies 3 1st
10. PCS 816 Social Movements in Africa 3 2nd
11. PCS 817 Border Security and Management 3 1st
12. PCS 818 African Border Politics 3 2nd
13. PCS 819 Legal Aspects of International Boundaries 3 1st
14. PCS 820 Borderlands’ Challenges, Regional Cooperation and Development 3 2nd
15. PCS 821 Global Refugee Regime 3 1st
16. PCS 822 Languages and Communication in Peace and Conflict Studies 3 2nd
17. PCS 823 Media Diversity and Conflict Reporting 3 1st
18. PCS 824 Introduction to French Language 3 2nd
19. PCS 825 Problems of Peacemaking and Peacekeeping 3 1st
20. PCS 827 Democracy and Human Rights 3 1st
21. PCS 829 Ethics in Peace and Conflict 3 1st


  1. Compulsory Courses: = 09 (27 Units)
  2. Optional Courses: = 05 (15 Units)
  3. Dissertation: = (10 Units)

TOTAL = 52 Units

PCS 801: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (3 Units)

Key foundational concepts such as concepts of peace peacebuilding, post-conflict development, conflict analysis, management, transformation, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, conflict sensitive development and so forth in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies with a view to familiarizing them with meanings as well as every day and contextual usages. Also to be examined are terminologies relating to Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADRs). Thus, the course is more or less an introductory course for students who need to get themselves acquainted with terminologies and meanings in Peace and Conflict Studies

PCS 802: Principles and Philosophy of Peace and Conflict (3 Units)

Explores the development of conflict management and conflict resolution theory and examines the challenges it faces to transform 21st century conflict non-violently. It gives an overview of the key techniques of conflict management and resolution in diverse forms of conflict contexts including their effectiveness and limitations. Particular attention is devoted to the role of third parties.

PCS 803: Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies (3 Units)

Methodological skills in conducting research and the art of writing in the field of Peace and Conflict. Issues bordering on Research design, sampling procedure, methods of data collection and analyses theoretical and conceptual frameworks as analytical tools, research instruments in both qualitative and quantitative methods.

PCS 804: Practical Skills in Conflict Management (3 Units)

Practical skills on how to manage, resolve and transform conflicts. Strategies for designing third party interventions and doing facilitative, negotiation and mediation works. The roles of international agencies and local NGOs

PCS 805: Seminar on Understanding Ethnic Conflicts and violence (3 Units)

Ethical and philosophical issues in peaceful co-existence, conflict and violence driven by ethnic identity and agitations across the ages. It addresses, in addition, the impact of ethnic identity and nationalism on political choices that they make, and discusses the theories that have been used to explain motivations and actions of ethnic groups in economic as well as socio-political contexts. The course also extends to capture case studies of global ethnic conflicts and their management styles.

PCS 806: Seminar on Global Environmental Issues (3 Units)

International political processes that have developed in response to international environmental problems. It includes global issues (e.g ozone depletion and global warming); those that impact large areas of the world (e.g pollution); and those that are directly tied to industrial development and globalization.

PCS 807: Conflict Sensitive Development (3 Units)

The process and methodology of programme and project design in civil society and development partnership. Attention is on aspects that have to do with conflict-sensitivity issues in, design, budget, collaborative action, monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting.

PCS 808: Seminar on International Conflict Bargaining (3 Units)

Various diplomatic and third-party interventions to de-escalate conflicts among and within nations in the international environment. It also examines strategic moves made by local intervenous regional organization, private individuals and the United Nations in providing platforms for negotiation and conflict resolution among nations. Also to be discussed are theories of conflict including Marxist, psychoanalytic and functionalist theories games theory, balance of power and terror, regional conflicts and security as well as the emergent challenges of weapons proliferation, transnational crime and terrorism on the world stage.

PCS 809: War Crime and War Guilt (3 Units)

International mechanism for detection and sanction of crimes in the context of war including Genocide Crimes against Humanity, Crimes against the Peace, the use of Child Soldiers, Sex slavery, the use of Human Shield, Systematic Rape and so on.

PCS 810: Post-Conflict Peace-Building (3 Units)

The tasks and challenges of building peace in societies devastated by high-intensity internal conflicts and warfare. In addition, the tasks and challenges of crisis management, disarmament demobilization and reintegration in post-conflict societies, as well as the structuring of peace agreements, power-sharing arrangements, and transitions from war to peace in a number of African countries.

PCS 811: Religions, Peace and Conflict (3 Units)

Issues of religion and religious conflicts can no longer be localized. Apart from the fact that religions are universal phenomena, religious conflicts are today shaping world politics internationally. The crises in the Middle East, the tension between the West and Arab nations, conflicts in Nigeria, the Sudan and several African countries have a lot to do with religion. On the other hand, religion can also be an instrument of peace. Therefore, a global understanding of the discourse on religion is necessary.

PCS 812: Environmental Scarcity and Conflict (3 Units)

Problems relating to the use of space in both urban and rural settings; sanitation, noise pollution, environmental degradation, oil spillage, dumping of industrial waste, nomads and farmers, etc. The course also examines the effects of desertification, erosion etc, and how the dynamics generate conflict.

PCS 813 Environment Ethics and Politics (3 Units)

Competing theoretical models and ideas in the field of ecology and environmental ethics, as well as a range of ethical viewpoints and political discourses in relation to sustainability, biodiversity, corporate responsibility and environmental liability.

PCS 814: Introduction to Human Security (3 Units)

Challenges but compliments the state-centric conception of “security”. A wide range of discourse bordering on definitions, critiques and counter-critiques across a wide range of academic and developments on human security and its relationship to emergence of conflict and the consolidation of peace.

PCS 815: Historical Foundations, Conceptual and Theoretical Issues in Border Studies (3 Units)

Foundational concepts in Boundaries and Borderland studies with a view to familiarizing them with their meanings as well as every day and contextual usages. An exploration of the history of boundaries as well as borderlands especially as it concerns African balkanization via the Berlin Conference. Explanation of the European origin of boundaries as well as imperialist imposition of boundaries on modern African States.

PCS 816: Social Movements in Africa (3 Units)

The history, context and development of social movements propelled by different groups that stand in opposition or in alterity to officialdom and the state. It also examines the role of revolutionary movements such as the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, MPLA of Angola, ZANU-in Zimbabwe, Mau-Mau of Kenya and Polisiro movement of Saharawi Democratic Republic including contemporary developments in the Magreb and North Africa. It also examines Abba Women riot, the Niger Delta Struggle and other social movements in West Africa.

PCS 817: Border Security and Management (3 Units)

Borders are often associated with transnational crimes such as smuggling, arms trafficking, human trafficking, narcotics and money laundering activities. An examination of the intricacies of such transnational organized crimes. Studies profiling, detection of fake documentation: passports and travel documents, under-invoicing, tracking of vehicle, cars, human traffic, forensic and laboratory examination, financial and cyber-crime etc. Emerging trend of security and management of border facilities. The various institutional frameworks for border management, agencies responsible for management of borders, policy response to management of borders, regional approaches to borderland management, state-centric versus open border approach, lead management approach to border and global best practices/smarts borders. It would involve understanding government policies, roles of security agents such as the Customs, immigration the Police and border communities.

PCS 818: African Border Politics (3 Units)

Border politics in Africa and the integration of African at continental and regional level. Issues connected to different colonial experiences, for instance francophone-Anglophone rivalry, politics of integration and abolition of work permits. African Union, ECOWAS borderland policies, delimitation and demarcation, dispute settlements and problems of integration. Also, to be discussed are issues relating to inter-African trade and movement of persons, goods, and capital and services.

PCS 819: Legal Aspects of International Boundaries (3 Units)

Issues and disputes of boundaries in international law as well as in Africa. Focus on challenges of cross-border initiatives and regional integration of community laws owned legal institutions. It discusses the rivalry between international and municipal laws. Issues relating to treaties and bi-literal agreements will be examined as well as harmonized legal regime/ framework. In addition, the course also exposes students to human rights issues and abuses.

PCS 820: Borderlands’ Challenges, Regional Cooperation and Development (3 Units)

Introduction to the dynamics of borderlands in the context of alternative development strategy. Thorough discourse of borders as avenue for cooperation and development, development of borderland, infrastructural upgrades and other issues that will lead to further cooperation. Key agencies like national boundary commissions, bi-literal commissions, INGOs and other joint development initiatives will be examined. The course also takes a look at the cultural, religious and social angles to development as well as how priority should be given to border community development and their participation in management of border environment.

PCS 821: Global Refugee Regime (3 Units)

A detailed analysis of the causes, patterns, nature and consequences of the refugee regime as a result of global conflicts. Particular attention will be given to refugee issues and problems in Africa. Analyses of the nature, causes, patterns, texture in contemporary conflict theatres. A focus on how the re-drawing of national, ethnic and cultural boundaries condition of refugee flows; how the incidence of displacement impacts on vulnerable groups in conflict societies. And the prospects associated, with the response of the international community to large scale refugee problems.

PCS 822 Language and Communication in Peace and Conflict Studies (3 Units)

The nexus between language, communication and conflict. Through the use of cases studies, an exploration of how language usage and differences, stereotypes, perception, verbal as well as non-verbal aspects of communication impact social relationships is undertaken and how these could be improved in potential and actual conflict contexts through the mastery of conflict-sensitive communication.

PCS 823: Media Diversity and Conflict Reporting (3 Units)

Targets at journalists and media professionals. Exploratory review of the role of the media in reporting local, national and international conflicts and its impacts on escalation and de-escalation dynamics in conflict and peacemaking processes. Students will be equipped with skills to do conflict-sensitive analysis and reportage of events with a view to building peace.

PCS 824: Introduction to French Language (3 Units)

An introduction to French language and vocabulary. One of the fundamental requirements of the United Nations is that people are able to speak some international languages. French is a choice because it is the lingua-franca of most Africa States.

PCS 825: Problems of Peacemaking and Peacekeeping (3 Units)

Challenges associated with peacekeeping initiatives around the world. Emphasis is placed on the roles and missions of multilateral organization such as the United Nations, African Union, Union, ECOWAS and Civil Society actors. Thorough examination practice of peace support operations in its historical and contemporary perspectives. Issues bordering on classical or traditional peacekeeping, peace enforcement multi-dimensional and civilian peacekeeping. Case studies are taken from different parts of the world.

PCS 826 Poverty, Underdevelopment and Conflict (3 Units)

The world over, and especially Africa, conflicts are intrinsically associated with issues of poverty and underdevelopment. The course is therefore designed to expose the students on the nexus between poverty and underdevelopment on one hand and conflict on the other. Case studies should include four African countries including Nigeria.

PCS 827: Democracy and Human Rights (3 Units)

Emphasizes on democracy and its attributes- right to life, right to education, right to housing, right to labour and a just wage, right to a fair trial, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of the press, etc.

PCS 828: Gender and Peacebuilding (3 Units)

Violence and war is considered an affair for men while women and children constitute the bulk of victims. This course offer insights into questions of power, control, competition, and models of development that acknowledges women as legitimate and active participants in the process of restoring normalcy to societies ravaged by conflict by mainstreaming their experience and abilities in situations where key decisions and policies concerning peace are taken.

PCS 829: Ethics in Peace and Conflict (3 Units)

The relationship between ethics and conflicts, and conflicts, and ethics and peace using ethical theories such as utilitarianism, hedonism, pacifism, conservatism, liberalism, and welfarism in the context of peacemaking, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and conflict management will be explored. Reference is made to specific religious and secular ethical teachings like thorough-going pacifism, justification of war, absolute peace and subjective peace in the context of Nigeria.

PCS 830: African Approaches to Conflict Management (3 Units)

An examination of different traditional approaches and mechanisms of handling conflicts across the five zones of Africa. Particular attention will be placed on peace traditions and conflict resolution mechanism, embedded in cultural practices. Issues to be covered include conflict settlement traditions in various institutions and among different age grade systems, gender specific groups etc, the course will x-ray the differences/similarities with western approaches. An appraisal of selected studies drawn from different ethnic groups relating to the dynamics of different models of conflict management as practiced in Africa will also be carried out.

PCS 899 Dissertation (10 Units)

This is a programme of individual research bearing on each student's field of specialization. The focus of the student's research is expected to be on generating new ideas on the processes and resolution of conflicts.