Course Overview

The curriculum provides a wide range of approaches to the fundamental issues of human conflict such as the Boko Haram insurgency which the country has been battling with since its outbreak in 2009. The insurgency became a regional security threat by affecting Nigeria’s neighbouring countries such as Niger, Cameroun and Chad Republics. Other forms of conflict and security challenges facing the country includes farmers-herders conflict, ethno-religious conflict, hate speech and agitations and gender based violence, to mention but few.

The Ph.D. programme focuses on national, regional and global security and sustainable peace. It will prepare post-graduate students to work in several humanitarian agencies and to be sensitive to issues of peace and conflict resolution. It sets the ground for professional training in peace building, including scholarly and policy research.

Furthermore, it offers them opportunities for a wide range of employment in academics/teaching, public service and in non-governmental organizations, civil societies, diplomacy, and conflict transformation or conflict resolution.


The philosophy of the programme is the promotion of peace and conflict studies with a view to achieving security and good governance that will lead to a meaningful and sustainable development in Nigeria and African countries.


To have a peaceful Nigeria that is free of violent conflict, tolerant and viable for development of the African continent, through knowledge production and dissemination in the field of peace and conflict studies.


To conduct academic research in peace and conflict studies, and facilitate capacity building and training in peace, security, good governance and development.

Aims & Objectives

The proposed Ph.D. programme in Peace and Conflict Studies is designed to meet some of the most urgent needs of Nigeria’s and contemporary Africa in the area of armed conflict, ethno-religious conflicts, Boko Haram insurgency, humanitarian crises and intervention to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and conflict resolution and management. The Programme seeks to offer in-depth understanding and know1edge about problems thrown up by those phenomena as well as appropriate policies and action measures for linking relief work, development and conflict resolution. In addition training of personnel in the area of peace studies for both academia and governmental and nongovernmental agencies are imperative.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  1. equip students theoretically and practically to generate critical issues in Peace and conflict studies
  2. build self-sustaining capacity for responding to resolution and reconciliation needs.
  3. contribute to students’ growth in the overall field of peace and conflict transformation through writing, publishing and the use of other non-formal means of communication.
  4. train students to acquire a critical thinking on the aspect of existing knowledge and theory in the field of peace and conflict transformation which will enable them to contribute positively to development.
  5. handle conflict at all levels, including the interpersonal, with increased sensitivity and resourcefulness and taking the opportunities for positive change.
  6. provide an academic basis for rigorous interdisciplinary research in the area of conflict, peacemaking and peace building.
  7. provide students with standard techniques and instruments requisite in conducting researches on current problems in peace studies.
  8. 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.

Nomenclature of the Degree

The nomenclature of the degree is Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Peace and Conflict Studies

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict studies are in accordance with the general regulations governing postgraduate studies of the University of Maiduguri. Applicants seeking admission must:

  1. Have a good M.Sc. /M.A./LLM degree in Social Sciences, Arts, Law and related fields of humanities with a CGPA of at least 3.50 on the 5.0 point scale.
  2. Satisfy the Centre in the admission interview.
  3. Candidate with a good M. Phil Degree has an added advantage.
  4. Possess First Class, Second Class Upper Division or Second Class Lower Division degree in related disciplines. Applicants whose background other than Arts and Social Sciences or Arts or related fields such as Law, Public Administration, Education from the University of Maiduguri or any other University recognised by the University and with a CGPA of 3.50 or 50% Weighted Average Mark may be considered.
  5. Have 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 of the Ph.D. Programme shall be for a minimum of six semesters. Further extension shall be subject to the general guidelines governing postgraduate studies. The Ph.D. programme shall be a full time programme including coursework and research.

Course Structrue

The Ph.D. degree programme in Peace and Conflict Studies shall consist of Course Work, Seminars, Thesis Writing, and Defence. Candidate must take and pass a total of fifty-one (51 Units). Candidate must take and pass compulsory twenty-four (24 Units) of 900 level courses This is in addition to the twelve (12 Units) of the Ph.D. Thesis.

It is compulsory for all Ph.D. candidates to be at the Centre during the one year course work period for continuous academic interaction. The coursework shall be administered and examined in the first and second semesters. Doctorate (Ph.D.) programmes should primarily be by course work and research. A doctoral (Ph.D.) thesis of 12 credit unit must be compulsorily defended before a panel of examiners.

  1. Students will specialize in Peace and Conflict Studies
  2. Extension of programme duration shall be granted for not more than two semesters on the recommendation of the Director and approval by the Dean of Post Graduate Studies.

Compulsory Courses (Ph.D. Programme)

Candidate must register and pass all the following compulsory courses (36 Units):

S/No. Course Code Course Title Units Semester
1. PCS 901 Advanced Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies 3 1st
2. PCS 902 History of African Conflicts and Political Institutions 3 2nd
3. PCS 903 African Traditions and Structures on Peace building 3 1st
4. PCS 904 Anthropology of War and Peace in the Lake Chad Region of Africa 3 2nd
5. PCS 923 Seminar 1 6 1st
6. PCS 924 Seminar 2 6 2nd
7. PCS 999 Thesis 12 1st & 2nd

Optional Courses

Candidate must register and pass five optional courses (15 Units):

S/No. Course Code Course Title Units Semester
1. PCS 905 Comparative Peace Processes in the Lake Chad Region of Africa 3 1st
2. PCS 906 Negotiations and Mediation for Peace: African and Western Approaches 3 2nd
3. PCS 907 Religion, Violence, and Peace: Patterns across Time and Tradition 3 1st
4. PCS 908 Security and Conflict Prevention 3 2nd
5. PCS 909 Conflict Analysis and Conflict Prevention 3 1st
6. PCS 910 International Humanitarian Law 3 2nd
7. PCS 911 Peace and Conflict Management Research 3 1st
8. PCS 912 Refugee Law 3 2nd
9. PCS 913 Gender, Peace and Conflict Transformation 3 1st
10. PCS 914 Children and the Vulnerable Groups in Conflict Areas 3 2nd
11. PCS 915 Economics and War in Africa 3 1st
12. PCS 916 Politics, the state and Human Rights 3 2nd
13. PCS 917 Religion, Fundamentalism, and Nationalism 3 1st
14. PCS 918 Post-war Reconstruction and Post-war Human Relations 3 2nd
15. PCS 919 Research Paper 3 1st
16. PCS 920 Peace-building and Social Justice 3 2nd
17. PCS 921 Ethics of War and Peace 3 1st
18. PCS 922 Human Rights Law 3 2nd


  1. Compulsory courses = 4 (12 Units)
  2. Optional Course = 5 (15 Units)
  3. Thesis = (12 Units)
  4. Seminars = (12 Units)

TOTAL = 51 Units

It is compulsory for all Ph.D. candidates to be at the centre during the one-year course work period for continuous academic interaction.

PCS 901: Advanced Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies (3 Units)

Basic concepts in research method; Research sources and materials i.e. primary sources, such as official publications, speeches memoirs - secondary sources, such as books, articles, periodicals, newspaper; Emphasis on social research methodologies such as survey and field research, questionnaire design, content and textual analyses, analysis of existing data, focus group, individual and group observation (including participatory observation) etc.; Data collection and data analysis and reporting; Ethical issues in social research, covering such topics as voluntary participation, anonymity and confidentiality and the need to adhere to professional code of ethics; fundamentals of analyzing research data. (SPSS and STATA)

PCS 902: History of African Conflicts and Political Institutions (3 Units)

Violent conflict is neither new in, nor restricted to, Africa. But particularly since the end of the Cold War, violent intra-state conflicts have occurred in swift succession in Africa with disastrous impacts on every aspect of life on the continent. These conflicts have been characterized, among other things, by the dramatically high ratio of civilian rather than military casualties, widespread population displacement, and the deliberate use of child soldiers. The resolution of these conflicts have been protracted and less decisive, resulting in long periods of “no war, no peace.” This course will introduce students to various aspects of conflicts in contemporary Africa.

PCS 903: African Traditions and Structures on Peace building (3 Units)

Humanity in the world comes from a vast diversity of cultures. These cultures add some value to their particular philosophies, thinking and approach to their particular concerns. The course suggests that there is something very particular to the African traditions, and structures for peace building. It looks at different traditions including the example of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo and the different forms of peace building used by Traditional kingdoms and systems in Africa. It looks at other traditional systems including blood pacts that solved conflicts and rituals of peace that helped in peace building.

PCS 904: Anthropology of War and Peace in the Lake Chad Region of Africa (3 Units)

The course aims at acquainting students with techniques of political decision-making and problem solving in culturally divided societies. It discusses ethnic relations in regional conflict affecting areas of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Libya. It makes an analysis of the structural conditions that spawn conflict, the actors who seek certain geopolitical outcomes, and the discursive formations that support these strategic designs. It tries to analyse the origin of identity wars as coming from anthropological ideologies framed by people. An example is taken from the introduction of the anthropological application of the term “race” in describing the relationship between Hausa and Yoruba in Nigeria, a stereotype that was soon to be acquired by the local elite as the ideological foundation of the First and Second Republics.

PCS 905: Comparative Peace Processes in the Lake Chad Region of Africa (3 Units)

The course looks at challenges of the number of Peace processes that have taken place in the Great Lakes region. A study will be made on the peace talks done for Nigeria (Peace Accord During civil war), The chad civil war peace processes among other Students will be able to make analysis of what peace processes have contributed to the region; how people conceive them and how best peace talks can be made to be realistic and beneficial. It considers personalities who stand to benefit from peace processes, mostly the elite, with little regard to the local population.

PCS 906: Negotiations and Mediation for Peace: African and Western Approaches (3 Units)

This course introduces students to the significance of culture in resolving conflict within and between cultural groups. It is designed to allow students to develop an advanced and critical understanding of African approaches to conflict resolution. It makes an extensive use of case studies in order to encourage students to reflect on the ways in which African approaches relate to theories and practices in the field of conflict resolution, and to explore their potential in the prevention, management and resolution of contemporary conflicts in Africa.

PCS 907: Religion, Violence, and Peace: Patterns across Time and Tradition (3 Units)

The complex relationship between religion, violence, and peace is a central problem that bridges the boundaries of academic disciplines, historical periods, and global cultures. In recent years it has taken centre stage in a number of academic disciplines including history, anthropology, political science, and of course, religious studies. While some scholars have argued that religion has been “hijacked” by violence, others have asserted that religion is inherently violent. Still others have moved for a more nuanced argument by positing that religion, conflict, and violence are interwoven across history and cultures. They have stressed that religions sometimes nurture their identities by being in conflict with dominant cultures, and that this conflict is not necessarily always violent, but can produce enormous benefits. But are conflict and violence necessary components of religion? Can religion be a resource for peace? We shall explore this question and the viewpoints and arguments that inform it.

PCS 908: Security and Conflict Prevention (3 Units)

The course advances issue of security and conflict prevention from a range of different perspectives. It begins by examining the nature of, and theories around international conflict and security and efforts made to address it. It investigates a wide range of tools employed in the management of conflict: from peacekeeping to preventive diplomacy; from negotiations to post-conflict peace building, and explore the strengths and weaknesses thereof. Special attention is devoted to situating conflict analysis within national and international policy on security and development more broadly. It will specifically address security issues that lead to displacement Internally Displaced People’s camps, refugees and other displaced persons. By the end of the course, students will be expected to have a clear understanding, both theoretically and empirically, of the nature, causes, and consequences of contemporary conflict. They will also be expected to have grasped the issues pertaining to prevention of conflict and provision of security.

PCS 909: Conflict Analysis and Conflict Prevention (3 Units)

The course considers Conflict Analysis and Resolution approaches to design, implement, and evaluate holistic cross-sectoral conflict-sensitive initiatives in areas of potential violence and post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization contexts. It covers elements of cultural diversity, understanding and awareness; creative ways of approaching issues of diversity, identity, worldviews, and territory; considers individuals, organizations, communities and nations.

PCS 910: International Humanitarian Law (3 Units)

The course introduces students to the science of international relations, security and diplomacy; international perspectives on peace and conflict transformation; international cooperation and its limits; interactions amongst sovereign states and non-state actors; theories of international relations; the key perspectives in international relations theory; the nature and limits of the key international institutions [the UN, NATO, OECD, AU, and the EU]. A study of the methods and means of warfare regulated by international law; humanitarian law in the historical development of restraints in armed conflict; the protections afforded by the 1949 Geneva Conventions; the 1977 Protocols to combatants and non-combatants, including civilians, POWs, the wounded and the sick; the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross; the ability of international law to bring to trial alleged war criminals.

PCS 911: Peace and Conflict Management Research (3 Units)

Peace research is relatively new. However, due to the increment of destructive conflicts, the importance of peace research is growing. As such, peace research is needed to direct public policy and intervention approaches in order to appropriately prevent, manage and resolve violent conflicts.

PCS 912: Refugee Law (3 Units)

With the increase of armed conflicts, more and more people are forced to flee their homes for safer places. While some go outside the borders of their countries of origin, others flee to another region within the same country. These are refugees and internally displaced persons, respectively, and this module centres on their protection. Refugee law is the branch of international law which deals with the rights and protection of refugees. It is related to, but distinct from, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, which deal respectively with human rights in general, and the conduct of war in particular. Refugee law encompasses customary law, peremptory norms, and international legal instruments. The only international instrument is the UN Convention, with an optional Protocol, while various regional bodies have instruments applying only to member states. Countries also have national laws on the protection of refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers.

PCS 913: Gender, Peace and Conflict Transformation (3 Units)

The course explores critical analysis of factors that contribute towards a culture of peace; the dynamics of diversity related conflicts, with emphasis on gender and ethnic conflict at the community level. It familiarizes students with the identity, roles, characteristics and relationships that men and women face, which are socially constructed and shared among people. The constructions create prejudices, stereotypes and different expectations about men and women, whereby gender violence, embedded within deep structures and cultures hinders, the full development of human beings and creates injustice and inequality at different levels: individual, local, national, and international. The approach this course will take is based on a peace paradigm, which argues that men and women have common problems that they can solve together, for the mutual benefit of both parties.

PCS 914: Children and the Vulnerable Groups in Conflict Areas (3 Units)

The wounds inflicted by armed conflict on children – physical injury, gender-based violence, psychosocial distress – are affronts to every impulse that inspired the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Armed conflict affects all aspects of child development – physical, mental and emotional. The course is designed to provide students with knowledge of how to deal with people of special needs especially women and children in violent areas in order to enhance the professional preparedness in dealing with conflicting societies in and after conflict. The course familiarizes students with the specific needs, human rights, potentials and situations of women and children during armed conflict, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building. It also provides guidance on how peacekeepers should conduct themselves in a mission area in order to respect women’s and children’s rights.

PCS 915: Economics and War in Africa (3 Units)

Africa is known as a continent with immeasurable natural resources and untapped wealth yet most Africans have not fully benefited from these resources due to a number of reasons. Civil wars and inter-state conflicts have undermined the development process in many African countries. While the root causes of these armed conflicts are many and complex, various analysts and observers believe that several actors have benefited economically from these regrettable conflicts. This course, therefore, attempts to establish the link between resources and prolonged armed conflicts in Africa so that comprehensive and lasting solutions to these conflicts could be found.

PCS 916: Politics, the State and Human Rights (3 Units)

There is universal consensus that all human beings are at all times entitled to certain basic rights. These include certain civil liberties and political rights, the most fundamental of which is the right to life and physical safely. Protection of these rights and freedoms guarantees a degree of decency and humane treatment. However, oftentimes, the state deliberately abuses these rights and thus its citizens. The course tries to define human rights within the limits of the state and its politics and critically analyses the states definitions.

PCS 917: Religion, Fundamentalism, and Nationalism (3 Units)

There may be a feeling that religious faith is fading, yet religion is now a powerful tool towards achieving a political goal. In that regard, political religion is growing, at an alarming rate. The Mungiki activities in Kenya, the September 11 attacks in US, and the various religious wars raging on today, are examples of how religion is being used by believers as a socio-political force. This course explores the causes of the mobilization of religious movements, the role that other social and political actors, such as the state, play in this mobilization and how the movements interpret the world for their constituents.

PCS 918: Post-war Reconstruction and Post-war Human Relations (3 Units)

Postwar situations are often very sensitive periods especially when the perpetrators of war are to live side by side with their victims. In such situations, it is important that people secure and learn how best they can live together in the same space. Moreover, after a long period of social and material destruction because of regional destabilisation and civil war, countries have to confront both their material rehabilitation and their social reconstruction. Since in most cases the majority of the population affected by the war is rural, traditional institutions are essential in bringing back balance, harmony, and social stability.

PCS 919: Research Paper (3 Units)

The goal of the research paper is to offer the student the opportunity to research in the area of peace studies and conflict. The research will be a practical work done by the student attached to a field study. The method to be used is the one of Action Research where both the student and the community are involved into finding solutions to the research problem. The student will be asked to arrange workshops with his/her respondent where the supervisor will have to attend.

PCS 920: Peace-Building and Social Justice (3 Units)

Examines the role of peace-building in short term crisis intervention and longer-term conflict transformation processes. Social justice is addressed at the systems level as it impacts the achievement of sustainable reconciliation. Crisis management in conflict settings, the root causes of conflict and its prevention are explored.

PCS 921: Ethics of War and Peace (3 Units)

War, peace and non-violence are guided by values. When these values are observed, the end product is peace. This course explores the challenges that affect human beings living under tensions of love and hate. It assesses the issue that while humans love, they get into communality with others and live in order. While they hate, they become prisoners of violence and war. The tension between love/hate, peace/war, and order/disorder prompts us to make a study in the why people wage wars and solutions for peace. Ethics war and peace is rooted in international law and the just war tradition. International law and just war traditions provide a suitable framework for resolving moral issues concerning when and how to wage war today and, in the time, to come.

PCS 922: Human Rights Law (3 Units)

This course is intended to offer some general insight in international human rights law. On the basis of theoretical lectures and of the study of some cases and materials, especially judgments of the Court of Human Rights, an attempt is made to come to a critical reflection on the rights of the individual, in their relationship to the rights of other individuals and the interests of society. International protection mechanisms are also discussed. Human rights are protected by law at the local and the national level. The rule of law demands that government actors as well as private citizens be subject to the constitution and human rights laws. It is through human rights laws that the law seeks to protect the basic human dignity of all members of society.

PCS 923: Seminar 1 (3 Units)

Students are expected to research on topical area in a field of Peace and Conflict Studies other than their preferred area of specialization under the guidance of an assigned staff. The seminar is expected to be presented to the panel of Centre’s Ph. D. Examiners and assessed accordingly.

PCS 924: Seminar 2 (3 Units)

Students are expected to research on another aspect of their approved topic in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies other than their preferred area of specialization under the guidance of an assigned staff. The seminar is expected to be presented to the panel of Centre’s Doctoral Studies examiners and assessed accordingly.

PCS 999 Thesis (12 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 of Peace and Conflict resolution.