Education, Peacebuilding and Conflict (X4600E)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

In recent years, the nature of the relationship between education, conflict and peacebuilding has risen up the international development agenda.

In this module, you critically explore the relationship between education and conflict in low income countries. You problematise the complex and multidirectional ways that education and conflict affect each other, and the role that education can potentially play in both the production and prevention of violent armed conflict.

You cover the delivery of education in conflict and post-conflict settings, thematic issues related to, for example, education for refugees, child soldiers and other marginalised groups - and critically analyse the policies, politics and practices of international organisations operating in these contexts.

Your studies in this module are grounded both in theory and empirical evidence on the complex issues involved in the delivery of education in conflict-affected contexts, and involve a combination of lectures, participatory group work and presentations.

Your lectures for this module may be structured as follows:

  • Education, conflict and peacebuilding

    In this introductory lecture, you're introduced to the module, and begin by tracing the rise of interest in the field of education, conflict and peacebuilding both as a field of research and practice. You locate the emergence of the field in relation to post-World War II political, economic and social developments. You trace the events, agencies and relationships that have contributed to the rise in interest in conflict and education that has occurred since 2000. In seminars, you also discuss and examine key readings.

  • The multiple faces of education and conflict

    In this lecture, you focus on the multiple ways that education and conflict intersect and relate to each other. Your studies highlight the way education can be both a catalyst for war and peace. You explore illustrative examples of the different ways that education - as a practice, as an institution, and as a basic social service - can strengthen sustainable peacebuilding processes, as well as undermine them. In seminars, you also discuss and examine key readings.

  • The global governance of education in conflict contexts

    In this lecture, you explore the different agencies and actors involved in the global governance and delivery of education in conflict-affected contexts - from major UN organisations, such as UNICEF, to bi-lateral agencies, such as DFID, international NGOs like Save the Children, nation and regional governments and grassroots social movements. Your studies highlight the different logics and drivers for engagement, the differing priorities and the tensions and contradictions therein. In seminars, you also discuss and examine key readings.

Other seminar topics in this module may include:

  • the role of teachers in conflict and peacebuilding
  • the delivery of education in times of war
  • refugee education
  • youth, education and conflict
  • education and post-conflict reconstruction
  • education and reconciliation in post-conflict contexts
  • gender, education and peacebuilding
  • attacks on education - motivations and mechanisms of protection
  • education as counterinsurgency - the use of education as a weapon of war
  • conclusions and course wrap-up.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.