International Conflict and Cooperation (MSc)

MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


The MSc in International Conflict and Cooperation prepares students to address the variety of challenges facing states, civil society actors, and international organizations today. Contemporary dilemmas surrounding the politics of climate change negotiations, civil war, human rights, international terrorism, and humanitarian intervention provide some of the raw material of the MSc that is studied in depth over the course of the academic year.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a taught postgraduate degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: Full time - MSc-12 months; PG Diploma-9 months; PG Certificate-3 months Part time - MSc-27 months; PG Diploma-21 months; PG Certificate-9 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Matias Margulis
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Matias Margulis

Division of History and Politics
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK

  1. You will be taught a range of core and options modules in key areas of international conflict and cooperation.
  2. You will develop a range of research skills that enhance further study and employability.
  3. Teaching is delivered by experienced practitioners and leading scholars.
  4. You will experience a study trip to international organisations to network with policymakers and practitioners.

Course objectives

The course looks at the dynamics of international conflict and cooperation in light of major developments such as the end of the Cold War, the 9/11 terror attacks and the Arab Spring. The course takes a thematic approach to conflict resolution and the role of international organisations to focus on the role of conflict prevention and management in specific geographical areas in addition to the development and regulation of conflict in relation to factors such as natural resources and migration.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.  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 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

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

Fees and costs

2017/18 Overseas £13,050
2017/18 Home/EU £4,600


2018/19 Overseas £13,650
2018/19 Home/EU To be confirmed

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

Information on possible sources of funding

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. Further information on the scholarships.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The MSc contains core modules related to international conflict and cooperation as well as a range of options modules to explore issues in more depth. It also features a research skills module.

Delivery and assessment

Modules will typically be delivered in the evenings by lecture and seminar, although the emphasis will be on student participation and discussion, workshop sessions, as well as a variety of formal and informal presentations. Assessment is by presentations, essays and the dissertation.


Academic Year 2017/18

Full Time  


ICCPP01 International Conflict and Cooperation Analysis

ICCPP02 International Organisations

ICCPP21 Approaches to International Politics


ICCPP22 Researching International Politics




ICCPP04 Dissertation

Part Time


*Either one or two of:

ICCPP01 International Conflict and Cooperation Analysis

ICCPP02 International Organisations

ICCPP21 Approaches to International Politics


Either one or two options modules.



*Either one or two of:

ICCPP01 International Conflict and Cooperation Analysis

ICCPP02 International Organisations

ICCPP21 Approaches to International Politics


ICCPP22 Researching International Politics

Either one or two options modules.


ICCPP04 Dissertation

* Students may take one module in semester 1 and two modules in semester 3, or two modules in semester 1 and one module in semester 3.

Option modules –

ICCPP10 Climate Change, Human Security and Resource Conflicts

ICCPP23 Politics and Law of Global Policy Spaces

ICCPP24 Humanitarian Studies

This listing is based on the current curriculum and changes may be made to the course in response to new curriculum developments and innovations. The module information is currently linking to the 2016/17 module listing and the information for 2017/18 will be made available on 21st April 2017. 

Recommended reading

Ramsbotham, Woodhouse and Miall (2011), Contemporary Conflict Resolution, Polity, 3rd edition.

Kelly-Kate Pease (2007), International Organizations: Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-first Century, Pearson.

Modes of study

MSc: 12 months (180 credits)
Diploma: nine months (120 credits)
Certificate: three months (60 credits)

MSc: 27 months (six semesters, 180 credits)
Diploma: 21 months (four semesters, 120 credits)
Certificate: nine months (two semesters, 60 credits)

Study method

Part-time; Full-time

Example timetable

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

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



International Conflict and Cooperation Analysis



MON, 18:00 - 20:00

International Organisations



TUE, 18:00 – 21:30 (5 wks)

Approaches to International Politics



Delivered online


Researching International Politics



TUE, 18:00 – 19:00

Half-day workshop 13:00 – 18:00


Option Modules:

Climate Change, Human Security & Resource Conflicts


TUE, 19:00 – 21:00


Politics & Law of Global Policy Spaces


THU, 18:00 – 20:00


Humanitarian Studies



MON, 18:00 – 20:00


Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the vast majority of the outputs submitted by the History and Politics staff were graded as international quality and a significant proportion was of ‘World-leading’ quality. All staff in History and Politics were assessed, an indicator of how central research is to our activity.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Our students

"I really enjoyed my Master's year pursuing the International Conflict and Cooperation degree. The modules were always interesting and topical. I received excellent and personalized guidance from my instructors and the campus is absolutely beautiful. When you add the bespoke simulations and workshops on diplomacy and negotiating skills, and our group field trip to Brussels, I felt that I learned so much during my year at the University of Stirling.”

Mimosa Hedberg,  MSc in International Conflict and Cooperation (2016)



"Having previously studied at Stirling and thoroughly enjoyed it, coming back here to do a Master’s was the obvious choice. Having been able to live overseas after finishing an honours degree in History, I had developed an interest in public health in developing countries, particularly HIV transmission. I was looking specifically for a course that would afford me the flexibility to study something I was interested in academically and to combine that with a personal interest.

Kirsty McKay

I emailed the Course Director at Stirling and wasn’t surprised by the warm reception my enquiry received. I had approached other Universities and had been passed from pillar to post – a reminder to me of the advantage of a smaller university, where staff and students can interact.

I thoroughly enjoyed studying within the History and Politics department and for my degree dissertation I combined the issues of HIV transmission and conflict. While the subject matter was harrowing, I received invaluable support, guidance and encouragement from staff to produce a strong piece of work that would be of interest to prospective employers.

The course structure, including presentations, report writing and briefing papers, certainly served as a refresher and helped me to hone skills that I now use on an almost daily basis within my current position.

I work in Community Safety as a National Training Officer and while I am currently based in Scotland, I hope that the skills and the experiences I acquired at Stirling will help me to work overseas in the future.

Would I recommend this course and/or the University of Stirling? Yes – without a doubt."

          Kirsty McKay, MSc in International Conflict and Cooperation (2010) 


Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The MSc in 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.

Skills you can develop through this course

  • 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 which require integrity and maturity
  • reflect critically on the nature and theoretical underpinnings of the discipline
  • marshal an argument, be self-disciplined and independent intellectually
  • express themselves orally and in writing with coherence, clarity and fluency
  • gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information
  • analyse and solve problems
  • use effectively ICT, 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

Chances to expand your horizons

The MSc course seeks to provide opportunities for students to meet key figures involved in international organisations as a means to understand what a career in an International Organisation or NGO would involve. The MSc seminar series, as well as the visits to international organisations, are also intended to facilitate contacts between students and potential employers. The course also tries to put students in touch with the voluntary sector. Volunteering not only provides work experience and networking opportunities in a relevant field, it allows students to exhibit a range of general skills that they acquired at university including­ researching, report-writing and presentations. 

Where are our graduates now?

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. On completing the course, graduates may expect to find employment in organisations that are governmental (FCO, MoD and the respective ministries in other countries), inter-governmental (EU, NATO, UN, NAFTA, WTO) and non-governmental (Amnesty International, Red Cross, Human Rights Watch).

Since the International Conflict and Cooperation course began in 2007, students have followed a range of post-MSc careers. The largest group especially evident in 2007 and 2010 ­ were those who used the MSc as a means to pursue further postgraduate study in this field, with a group of graduates from the course going on to pursue PhD study at a range of universities. Other graduates have pursued careers in the NGO sector, public affairs and political research.


Our students learn a variety of skills to enhance their attractiveness to employers such as presentation skills, the ability to undertake research, analysis of complex data, writing skills, team work and communication, in addition to a variety of knowledge associated with international politics in relation to global issues, international organisations, concepts and theories.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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