Award Type and NFQ level : POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA (9)

CAO/PAC code : MH60N

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 30 June 2024

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The Postgraduate Diploma in Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice offers a rewarding learning experience for those who wish to work in development and peacebuilding in conflict or post-conflict contexts.

Integrating negotiation skills with an analysis of wider conflict and development issues, it provides participants with critical insight into the spectrum of international conflict intervention. This includes theory, strategies and practices which range from addressing resource conflict and the use of negotiation tools in the wake of climate change, to the role of governments, business and civil society in participatory peace processes. It explores issues around gender and conflict, racism and human rights; and it addresses security concerns which arise from poverty, exploitation and global economic crises. Drawing on insights from peace education, human security and community development processes, it challenges top-down imposed solutions and examines what’s involved in participatory, community-led processes of change.

It draws together insights and analysis from different conflict and development situations, as well as from diverse experiences and perspectives on peace and security. Through it, participants develop the understanding, knowledge and skills they need to play an active and leadership role in peacebuilding, security and development in a variety of situations.

The main theme of the programme is an integrated and comprehensive approach to the nexus of peacebuilding, security and development. With increased awareness of the importance of these interlinkages has come increased demands on national and international institutions to respond in a holistic way. When responding to conflict, security actors are required to have a better understanding and greater skills in engaging with communities, institutions and organisations at the local level, while development practitioners recognise a skills-deficit with respect to conflict resolution and mediation. They need to understand and engage with representatives of multifaceted agencies and communities, particularly when anticipating or responding to the consequences of complex crises.

The PG Diploma in International Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice offers participants a unique learning opportunity to engage deeply with these issues and to develop the skills they need to address them. It draws on a range of experienced lecturers, who have extensive experience in development, peacekeeping/ peace making or security in international settings.

Through this postgraduate programme, participants will develop:

  • Their understanding of violent conflict and its impact on human security and development.
  • Insight into the processes involved in realising integrated and comprehensive responses to peacebuilding and development in complex contexts.                                           
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills, along with innovative and creative solutions, which can be applied in the resolution of a wide range of violent conflicts.                                           
  • Ability to negotiate and to engage people in participatory development processes which enable people to reach agreement.                             
  • Knowledge of international institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to interventions in violent conflict.
  • Research skills which they can apply to the interconnected fields of international peacebuilding, security and development practice.

Undergraduate degree, NFQ Level 8 (or equivalent) honours degree, 2.2 or higher in a development related discipline (e.g. agricultural science, anthropology, economics, education, engineering, geography, health-related discipline, nutrition, rural development, sociology or other social science etc.) or a recognised international equivalent. Those with a professional background in work-related to international development are particularly welcome to apply. In exceptional cases, applicants without a primary degree may be considered on the strength of their professional work experience, other qualifications and completion of a qualifying essay.

Minimum English language requirements:

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants.

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

60 ECTS credits are required to complete the PG Diploma in International Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice.  Learners must complete four compulsory taught modules (35 credits in total) – Introduction to Peace Processes and Conflict Intervention; Theory and Practice of Mediation, Negotiation and Dialogue in Peace-building; Conflict, Development and Security; Research Methods, as well as one of Introduction to Development Theory and Practice or 10 credits) or Contemporary Global Issues, Challenges and Responses (10 credits). They can also choose from a number of elective modules to make up the remaining 15 taught credits. These address subjects such as participatory development and leadership, The environment and development, managing development organisations, and gender, identity and inclusion. 

Delivery Options

A flexible approach to delivery is offered with students studying through a combination of on-campus delivery and online learning.  Please note that is not possible to complete the full PG Diploma programme entirely online. Some modules require on-campus attendance. 

A flexible approach to on-campus delivery is also taken with some courses offered through 2.5 hour taught classes over 8-10 weeks, and others offered through more concentrated blocks of time, depending on timetable requirements and arrangements. 

Online learning is structured to allow learners to study at their own pace over a semester and it includes some face-to-face interaction as well as structured materials and discussions online.

Learning Approach

The Department of International Development applies a learner-centred, participatory and flexible approach to learning. This combined with the diverse groups of full- and part-time learners, including a significant number of international students, creates a unique learning environment that builds on both the diverse array of experiences of participants and on the knowledge and experience of academic staff.

Course Duration: 1 year full-time

Course Duration: 1 year full-time

The PG Diploma in International Peacebuilding, Security and Development Practice prepares learners to work in conflict resolution, negotiation, development, and humanitarian related fields either overseas or in Ireland. 

This programme gives graduates knowledge, skills and competencies to work in:

  • international development and peacebuilding NGOs
  • security organisations
  • international organisations such as UN, EU and World Bank
  • government agencies and departments,

The programme is appropriate for early career professionals as well as those already working in security management, humanitarian work, peace education, youth and community work or policy analysis who wish to ‘upskill’ and to integrate an international conflict, security and development dimension to their practice. 

Envisaged roles include:

  • monitoring and evaluation officer
  • peacebuilding policy officer and advocate
  • political affairs officer
  • peace education practitioner
  • project manager
  • learning and policy officer
  • safety and security manager
  • disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration officer
  • conflict and humanitarian advocate.


 The following information should be uploaded to PAC:

* Online PAC application form

* Personal statement of your academic and professional goals (SEE BELOW)

* Names and contact details of two referees who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you.  The reference letters should be included with the other documents uploaded (see note below).

* Official transcripts of degrees not earned at Maynooth University**

* A copy of your birth certificate or valid passport (non-Maynooth University students only)

* English language certificate (if English is not your first language).

**Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. A certified copy is a photocopy of a document that has been stamped and verified by one of the following: a lawyer or solicitor; a local embassy or consulate official; commissioner for oaths or member of judiciary; a British Council official; a university dean or registrar.

Writing the Personal Statement of Academic and Professional Goals (500 words)

All applicants should provide a personal statement (around 500 words) of your academic and professional goals. Your personal statement should include the following: a brief description of any aspects of your work or other experience which you feel are relevant to the programme; your general research interests in the field of international development and/or ideas for a thesis project; your professional/career goals and how the degree in International Development will help you achieve them.

Arranging for letters of recommendation

You must make prior arrangements with two referees to write letters of recommendation on your behalf; these should be academic references, or if you do not have recent academic experience, then some other type of professional reference; personal character references are not appropriate. In your application, provide the names and contact details (preferably emails) of these two referees,

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