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MSc International Conflict and Cooperation

By taking our MSc, you’ll have the chance to address a variety of challenges facing states and international organisations today. Interact with policymakers and potential employers on the study trip to Brussels or Geneva.

International Conflict and Cooperation

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 27 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

Delivered by our experienced practitioners and leading scholars, our Masters degree in International Conflict and Cooperation prepares you to address a variety of challenges facing states and international organisations today. This course looks at the dynamics of international conflict and cooperation in light of major events such as the end of the Cold War, the 9/11 terror attacks and the Arab Spring.

We take a thematic approach to conflict resolution and the role of international organisations in order to focus on conflict prevention and management in specific geographical areas. The course also explores the development and regulation of conflict in relation to factors like natural resources and migration.

Contemporary dilemmas surrounding the politics of climate change negotiations, civil war, human rights, international terrorism and humanitarian intervention provide some of the raw material for this MSc, which are studied in-depth over the course of the academic year.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    This course will help you to develop the transferrable skills that employers are looking for. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

    • read and use texts and other source materials critically and empathetically
    • appreciate the complexity and diversity of situations, events and mentalities
    • recognise there are ways of testing statements, and that there are rules of evidence that require integrity and maturity
    • reflect critically on the nature and theoretical underpinnings of the discipline
    • organise an argument, be self-disciplined and be intellectually independent
    • express yourself orally and in writing with coherence, clarity and fluency
    • gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information
    • analyse and solve problems
    • use ICT effectively for information retrieval and presentation skills
    • exercise self-discipline, self-direction and initiative
    • work with others, and have respect for others’ reasoned views
    • work collaboratively and participate effectively in group discussions
    • show empathy and imaginative insight
    • prepare for further academic research such as a PhD
    Expand your horizons

    This MSc course provides opportunities for you to meet key figures involved in international organisations to help you understand what a career in an International Organisation or NGO would involve. The MSc seminar series, as well as the visits to international organisations, also facilitate contact between students and potential employers. We aim to put you in touch with the voluntary sector. Volunteering not only provides work experience and networking opportunities in a relevant field, but it also allows you to exhibit a range of general skills that you’ll have acquired at university, including researching, report-writing and conducting presentations.

  • Study abroad

    As part of our focus on employability, there’s a study trip to Brussels or Geneva that will give you the opportunity to interact with policymakers and potential employers.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 100% of our research impact in History was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

The MSc contains core modules related to International Conflict and Cooperation, as well as a range of optional modules designed to help you explore issues in more depth. It also features a research skills module.



The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    Modules will typically be delivered in the evenings by lecture and seminar - although emphasis will be placed on student participation and discussion, workshop sessions and a variety of both formal and informal presentations.

  • Assessment

    Assessment is conducted via presentations, essays and your dissertation.

  • Classroom hours

    The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.


    International Conflict and Cooperation Analysis


    MON, 18:00 - 20:00

    Researching International Politics


    TUE, 18:00 – 19:00 (3 weeks)

    International Organisations


    TUE, 18:00 – 20:00

    Option Modules:

    Humanitarian Studies 


    MON, 18:00 – 20:00

    Approaches to International Politics


    THU, 18:00 - 20:00

    Option Modules:

    Climate Change, Human Security and Resource Conflicts


    TUE, 18:00 – 20:00

  • Course director
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding
    University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course, or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

    Other sources of funding

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

The MSc International Conflict and Cooperation is a gateway to employment in government agencies, the NGO sector and international organisations – as well as into PhD study, research and academia. The course provides a background in conflict study, the role of international organisations and a thematic and geographical focus on distinct areas and problems, as well as analysis of solutions. The academic skills aspects of the course also provide a background to undertake further research.

Your future career

This course is designed to meet the needs of both current and future practitioners, as well as those intending to further their knowledge on a specific subject by pursuing a research degree after the completion of their MSc thesis. Upon completion of this course, graduates may expect to find employment in organisations such as:

  • Governmental (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and respective ministries in other countries)
  • Inter-governmental (European Union, NATO, United Nations, North American Free Trade Agreement, World Trade Organisation)
  • Non-governmental (Amnesty International, Red Cross, Human Rights Watch)

Since the International Conflict and Cooperation course began in 2007, our students have followed a range of post-MSc careers. Many have used it as a means to pursue further postgraduate study in this field, with a group of graduates going on to pursue PhD study at a range of universities. Other graduates have launched successful careers in the NGO sector, public affairs and political research.

  • Employability skills

    We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes that employers look for. In the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, we have a dedicated Employability and Skills Officer.

    The University of Stirling’s Career and Employability Service also works in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your university experience, and are ready for the employment market.

The Programme’s flexibility allowed me to focus on specific areas that interested me, such as African politics.
Helen Batchelor
MSc International Conflict and Cooperation
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I thoroughly enjoyed studying within the History and Politics department and for my degree dissertation I combined the issues of HIV transmission and conflict.
Kirsty McKay
MSc International Conflict and Cooperation
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