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University for Peace MA in International Peace Studies with Specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies
University for Peace

MA in International Peace Studies with Specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies

Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica

11 Months


Full time

31 May 2024

Nov 2024

USD 19,500 / per year *

Blended, On-Campus

* fees may be paid via online credit card payment or international wire transfers to our bank location in Costa Rica in USD only. American Express and Discover cards not accepted


Is it for you?

Are you interested in learning about processes of peacebuilding and conflict transformation from local and international perspectives?

Do you want to become an informed peace and contact practitioner equipped with the skills and tools to help transform conflicts and build peace?

Do you want to spend a year studying in an academically challenging environment at a global university with students and faculty members drawn from every corner of the world?


The Master of Arts Degree in International Peace Studies (IPS) provides an interdisciplinary and critical analysis of the causes and consequences of a wide range of contemporary conflicts and violence that impact global, international, and human security. Topics to be explored include armed conflictsviolent extremism(de)militarization, economic, social, and gender injustices, cultural and religious identity conflicts, and competition over environmental resources. An in-depth understanding of conflict transformation approaches, peacebuilding, and peace processes in response to these issues are built.

All students enrolled under this program will take most of the courses within the International Peace Studies program, however, this specialization will include 12 credits focused specifically on Media, Peace, and Conflict Studies.

Please find below, a brief description of the courses that will be offered under the IPS-MPCS Specialization:

  • Introduction to Media and Peace (3 credits) (Dr. Mauricio Vieira – Brazil). This introductory course provides an overview of how media has come to be currently understood and studied, and how that research intersects and interrelates with peace and conflict studies. Through case study analyses of contemporary armed conflicts and peacebuilding efforts, participants gain knowledge and insights into how media practices, structures, and messaging can contribute to conflict escalation and violence, as well as contribute to conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Students will be able to:
      1. Critically analyze existing research and theoretical frameworks
      2. Perform their own qualitative and/or quantitative research
      3. Facilitate a workshop or class
      4. Evaluate media messaging for their contributions to the peaceful resolution or escalation of conflict
  • Global Structures and Cultures, Media and Conflict (3 credits) (Dr. Christopher Tulloch – United Kingdom): This course addresses political-economic and socio-cultural inequities in the structures that govern media in today’s globalized world, form obstacles to peace, and fuel conflict in and between societies. Beginning from the influential and still-relevant debate surrounding the New World Information and Communication Order (1980) of the UN General Assembly, this course describes the continuities and changes in the political and economic structures that underlie global media today and offers a critical analysis of how such inequities sustain conflict and violence. Adopting an explicitly inclusive and international perspective, this course seeks to create an understanding of what role news media and journalism have traditionally played in reporting and representing conflict in ways that have been detrimental to peace-related goals of the international community.
  • Gender and the Media (3 credits) (Dr. Heather Kertyzia - Canada): This course aims at furthering an understanding of how gender is constructed and represented across a variety of media. It seeks to enable students to delve into the idea of representation and situate gendered representations in their historicity and current social context. The course will focus on a variety of media including electronic, print, and social media, and examine these in relation to gender.
  • Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age (3 credits) (Dr. Mariateresa Garrido - Venezuela): Technological developments increase the speed of social changes, requiring the reinterpretation and adaption of international norms. In the past decade, the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has transformed the way in which we exercise the right to freedom of expression. This course discusses this reality and provides students with the necessary skills to understand the role of ICT and media in the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. The course starts with the understanding of the ICT, its importance for the current social organization, and the rules governing its use. Then, it continues with the study of each of the elements that integrate the right to freedom of expression and discusses the legal structures at global and regional levels which affect Media production, dissemination, content, and audiences around the world. Throughout the course, students will consider the simultaneous protection of competing rights and the difficulties derived from the uses of new technologies. Each class is designed to provide students with the tools needed to identify states’ obligations, how they can be fulfilled in the digital era, and how these legal structures affecting Media can be understood as contributing to or creating obstacles to peace around the world. Therefore, by the end of this course, students will have the basic skills needed to promote and guarantee the exercise of the right to freedom of expression in the digital age.

    Besides taking these specialized courses, students are encouraged to deepen their understanding of their subject of interest in their graduation project (which could have several modalities: thesis, capstone project, or internship).



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