Frequently Asked Questions

International Master’s Degree in Conflictology

  1. What is the price or cost of the degree?
  2. I cannot pay the tuition fees, how can I do?
  3. Do I qualify for the discount for citizens from Least Developed Countries?
  4. Can I pay in installments?
  5. Am I eligible for a scholarship?
  6. I have paid for UNITAR courses in the past, can I get a discount?
  7. I have completed courses at the Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI), can I receive a discount or be exempted from taking similar courses?
  8. I have completed courses on peace and conflict at other universities or training centres, can I be exempted from similar courses included in the Master’s degree?
  9. I completed UNITAR PTP courses, can I be exempted from taking them again? 
  10. What is the difference between a Master’s degree and a Postgraduate Certificate?
  11. Is the Master’s degree recognised by other universities?
  12. Is the Master’s degree recognised by the United Nations?
  13. Where will the course sit?
  14. How are the courses organised?
  15. Are there deadlines or is it flexible?
  16. Who are the teachers and facilitators?
  17. What courses must be completed to receive the Master’s degree?
  18. What are the technical requirements?
  19. Who is eligible?
  20. I do not have experience in a peace operation, is this degree for me?
  21. What should I put in my application?
  22. I have not yet received my undergraduate/Bachelor degree, can I still apply?
  23. Will I get a job at the United Nations once I graduate?
  24. I cannot find the answer to my question, who can I contact?

1. What is the price or cost of the degree?

UNITAR has adopted a pricing system designed to provide access to its activities to individuals with limited resources while ensuring the financial viability of the programme. In this regard, UNITAR offers three categories of prices:

1. Normal price: The ‘normal price’ applies to all applicants who do not meet the criteria to receive a LCD tuition fees discount or a UNV price. As of March 2014, it amounts to US$11,400 and may change depending on the exchange rate. It applies to United Nations staff and staff of international organisations.

2. Discounted price for citizens from Least Developed Countries (LDC): The discount is available to some applicants from LCD countries but is not automatically applied. The following persons are not eligible for discounted tuition fees:

  • Individuals with dual nationalities one of which is not from a LDC;
  • UN staff (this does not include UNVs) and staff from international organisations;
  • Individuals with the means to afford the normal tuition fees.

The applicable tuition fees are decided by the Selection Committee. Applicants may be asked to submit additional documents to justify their status including their UN index number, proof of income, etc. As of March 2014, the discount is of US$2,000, putting the tuition fees at US$9,400. Fees may change depending on the exchange rate.

3. United Nations Volunteer (UNV) price: Tuition fees for UNVs reflect their contribution to the work of the United Nations as well as their financial situation. It is the lowest price available for all fee paying applicants. As of March 2014, the price for UNVs is US$8,400.

Also, discounts may be available for participants who previously took courses with the UNITAR Peacekeeping training Programme (see answer to questions 6-9).

2. I cannot pay the tuition fees, how can I do?

Scholarships covering parts or all of the fees may be available to outstanding candidates from developing countries on a very competitive basis. If you want to be considered for a scholarship, you must tick the relevant box during the pre-registration process.

Discounts may be available for candidates from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to cover parts of the fees. Once the discount of US$ 2,000 has been applied, fees will amount to US$ 9,400.

If you do not get a scholarship and cannot pay LDC tuition fees, UNITAR can send you a recommendation letter to support you in your search for external funding from potential donors. We suggest that you contact foundations, trusts, companies and embassies. UNITAR does not have a list of potential donors and you should do your own research to secure external funding. Registration on the degree will only be officially confirmed upon payment of the fees.  Application must be made after the deadline for the payment of the tuition fees/first instalment

3. Do I qualify for the discount for citizens from Least Developed Countries?

The discounted tuition fees are available to some applicants from LCDcountries but are not automatically applied. The following persons are not eligible for the discount:

  • Individuals with dual nationalities one of which is not from a LDC;
  • UN staff and staff from international organisations;
  • Individuals with the means to afford the normal tuition fees.

The list of Least develop Countries is available here.

The tuition fees to be paid by the applicant are decided by the Selection Committee in line with the criteria set herein. Applicants may be asked to submit additional documents to justify their status including their UN index number, proof of income, etc. As of March 2014, the discount is of US$2,000, putting the tuition fees at US$9,400. Fees may change depending on the exchange rate.

4. Can I pay in installments?

Any applicant may request to pay tuition fees in instalments. UNITAR provides the possibility to pay in three instalments over a period of 10 months. If the applicant fails to pay any of these instalments, his or her registration on the programme will be suspended until the instalment has been received. In all cases, no certificate, diploma or degree will be delivered by UNITAR or UOC until all fees have been paid.

In 2014, the full cost of the Master’s degree is US$11,400. The first instalment of US$6,000 is due before the start of the programme, the second payment of US$3,000 is due approximately five months later and the third payment of US$2,400 is due approximately ten months from the date of the first instalment.

For recipients of a tuition fees discount for LDCs, the first instalment of US$ 6,000 is due before the start of the programme, the second payment of US$2,000 is due approximately five months later and the third payment of US$1,400 is due approximately ten months from the date of the first instalment.

For United Nations Volunteers, the first instalment of US$ 5,500 is due before the start of the programme, the second payment of US$1,500 is due approximately five months later and the third payment of US$1,400 is due approximately ten months from the date of the first instalment.

5. Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Scholarships covering parts or all of the fees may be available to outstanding candidates from developing countries on a very competitive basis. If you want to be considered for a scholarship, you must tick the relevant box during the pre-registration process. UNITAR actively searches for funds to sponsor the tuition fees of qualified applicants. The terms and conditions associated with the award will be agreed by UNITAR and the donor on a bilateral basis. In case a donors does not wish to apply specific criteria, UNITAR will select applicants based on the following criteria:

  • Likelihood to implement activities related to peace and conflict management in a conflict or post-conflict context;
  • Citizenship of a developing country;
  • Low financial resources;
  • Active demand by the applicant;
  • No previous studies at the graduate level;
  • Years of relevant professional experience;
  • Academic excellence at the high school and undergraduate levels.

In case of equal qualifications, female applicants and applicants from LDCs will be considered preferably.

6. I have paid for UNITAR courses in the past, can I get a discount?

Former participants who have paid for UNITAR courses delivered by the Peacekeeping Training Programme and which are now part of the International Master’s degree in Conflictology may receive a discount equal to the tuition fees paid up to a maximum of US$1,000. The discount may not bring the cost of tuition fees lower than the price applied to United Nations Volunteers. In such cases, the UNV fees will apply. The courses which give way to a discount include Introduction to Peace Operations, Understanding Conflict and Conflict Analysis, Conflict Resolution, Human Security in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and History of United Nations Peace Operations.Courses delivered by other UNITAR programmes may not be considered for discounts or exemptions.

United Nations Volunteers, scholarship recipients and citizens from Least Developed Countrieswho previously completed UNITAR PTP courses delivered by the Peacekeeping Training Programme which are now part of the Master’s degree are not eligible for a discount for these courses. However, they may be exempted from taking the courses again as long as they received a certificate of completion.

7. I have completed courses at the Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI), can I receive a discount or be exempted from taking similar courses?

The Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI) is independent from UNITAR since 2008 and the content of its courses is not aligned with the learning objectives of the degrees jointly delivered by UNITAR and UOC. As a result, you cannot be exempted from taking UNITAR and UOC courses and no discount or fee reduction may be claimed.

8. I have completed courses on peace and conflict at other universities or training centres, can I be exempted from similar courses included in the Master’s degree?

UNITAR does not accredit courses taken by applicants and participants in other institutions besides the Open University of Catalonia. As a result, applicants will not be exempted from taking UNITAR or UOC courses on the basis that they have previously completed similar courses. Likewise, they may not receive a discount for the tuition fees.

9. I completed UNITAR PTP courses, can I be exempted from taking them again?

If you successfully completed courses delivered by the UNITAR Peacekeeping Training Programme in face-to-face or online mode, you may be exempted from taking them again. This only applies to courses which are formally included in the Master’s degree (Introduction to Peace Operations; Understanding Conflict and Conflict Analysis; Conflict Resolution; Human Security in the Practice of Peace Operations; Human Security in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding; History of United Nations Peace Operations). It does not apply to other UNITAR PTP courses. Contact us at conflictology@unitar.org for further information.

10. What is the difference between a Master’s degree and a Postgraduate Certificate?

The two degree are different. The Postgraduate Certificate is shorter and cheaper than the Master’s degree and is open to applicants who do not have an undergraduate university degree. Courses in the Postgraduate Certificate are of the same quality and standard as those in the Master’s degree. The Postgraduate Certificate is not of the same level as the Master’s degree since it is shorter and no thesis has to be written. Both are university qualifications which are accredited.

11. Is the Master’s degree recognised by other universities?

The Master’s degree is based on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) which is recognised throughout Europe and the world. There is no difference between the credits obtained in this Master’s degree and those obtained through face-to-face studies in other European universities.

12. Is the Master’s degree recognised by the United Nations?

The Master’s degree is recognised by the United Nations, including for employment purposes.

13. Where will the course sit?

The entire programme is web-based and all courses take place online. You are not required to travel, even for your graduation. All you need is a reliable internet connection.

14. How are the courses organised?

The programme is entirely web-based and no travelling is involved. It is designed to maximize learning and requires the full participation of each member. Adult education is very specific in that it entails the learner to use the knowledge they already possess and build upon it through application, reflection and feedback. The activities are interactive and require the learner to engage not only on the topic but with other participants and the facilitator. This programme does not allow the participant to sit back and be fed the knowledge. Instead it pushes the learner to maximize their own resources. UNITAR and UOC courses differ. Each UNITAR course may contain some of the following components:

  • Reflection Exercise– Adult learners bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that should be applied to their learning process. This reflection exercise gives you an opportunity to reflect on a topic, bringing your own thoughts and experiences forward. It enriches the learning environment by exposing participants to a plethora of different ideas coming from all the other participants.
  • Interactive Learning Component– This contains the structure, learning objectives and essential information for the module in an interactive format. The interactive learning component will help you to prepare and pass the assessment.
  • Lesson Narrative– It is the core element used to transfer knowledge and it contains detailed information on the subjects treated in the module. It contains everything that you need in order to conduct the activity and complete the course.
  • Activity– This enables you to apply the concepts being taught, using research, analysis and construction of your own knowledge. It also allows you to evaluate your level of comprehension of the different topics discussed.
  • Discussion Forum– The social activity is conducted in the form of a discussion forum. This forum enables you to reflect on your activity and to exchange your own thoughts and experiences for discussion with others. It facilitates the exchange of lessons learned as well as collaborative learning. The discussion forums are an integral part of the learning process.
  • Quiz or Self-Assessment– This component enables you to check your knowledge and grasp of the information provided in the course material. It is based on a series of questions about the key elements covered in the narrative.
  • Support ForumThis provides you with a space where to make queries, clarify doubts, reflect on specific issues or share ideas/experiences with other participants.
  • EvaluationThis questionnaire enables you to provide feedback and to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of each module. It is used for quality control purposes as well as to improve the course.

15. Are there deadlines or is it flexible?

In general, courses require participants to submit activities on a weekly basis and you may organise your study time in any way you want to meet the deadlines. If you go on mission, extensions may be granted by the course facilitator on a case-by-case basis. You must request the extension beforehand.

16. Who are the teachers and facilitators?

Beyond UOC and UNITAR staff, we invite experienced practitioners from our partner institutions, universities and organisations. With guest trainers and lecturers from various continents, the Master’s programme creates a stimulating balance between the theoretical and the practical and ensures that students receive cutting-edge and relevant knowledge.

17. What courses must be completed to receive the Master’s degree?

To receive the Master’s Degree in Conflictology, issued by the UOC in partnership with UNITAR, candidates must complete the following courses equivalent to 60 ECTS (1500 hours) in no more than two years:

UNITAR COURSES:

  • Introduction to Peace Operations
  • Milestones in UN Peacekeeping
  • Conflict Analysis
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Human Security in the Post-Conflict Interventions

UOC COURSES:

  • Philosophy of Peace
  • Media and Peace Building
  • Crisis Management
  • Economy and Conflict
  • Deconstructing the War
  • The Intercultural/Ethnic Conflict and the Management of Diversity
  • Family Mediation
  • Non-violence
  • Business Mediation
  • Implementation of Conflict
  • Strategy in Workplace and Commercial Conflicts
  • Business Ethics
  • Mandate Evaluation
  • Postgraduate Project 1
  • Postgraduate Project 2
  • Master Project

More information on each course can be found in our brochure.

18. What are the technical requirements?

Minimum hardware and software requirements:

Operating System:

  • Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X.

Hardware:

  • 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space.

Software:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (download for free at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
  • Adobe Flash Player (download for free at http:/get.adobe.com/flashplayer)
  • Microsoft Office (Windows or Apple version) or Open Office (download for free at http://www.openoffice.org )

Browser:

  • Internet Explorer 8 (download for free at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internetexplorer/worldwide-sites.aspx); works better with Firefox 3.6 or higher (download for free at http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox). Note JavaScript & Cookies must be enabled.

19. Who is eligible?

Each application will be reviewed by the Selection Committee of UNITAR and UOC. To gain admission on the official Master’s course, candidates must have an official university degree. This notwithstanding, UNITAR and the UOC may admit candidates with pending degrees, as long as all necessary courses for said degrees were passed. The Selection Committee will verify prior to enrolment that the courses taken were the equivalent level of a university degree and that they allow admission to postgraduate courses in the country of issue of the qualification. Candidates must be proficient in English and have reliable access to the internet.

20. I do not have experience in a peace operation, is this degree for me?

The degree is not only for United Nations peacekeepers and the target audience includes:

  • Peace operation personnel;
  • Military and police personnel;
  • Civil servants and staff of international, regional and national organisations involved in peace and security;
  • NGO representatives and humanitarian workers;
  • Indigenous people’s representatives;
  • Researchers and Academics;
  • Students;
  • Any person with responsibilities and interest in solving conflicts.

21. What should I put in my application?

  • A completed application form;
  • A cover letter/personal statement (approx. 400 words) explaining your current position and why the chosen degree would be relevant for your career. You must convince the Selection Committee that you have the relevant experience or intellectual capacities to complete the programme and that you have the potential or ability to work in the field of peace and security;
  • An essay (approx. 400 words) on a subject related to inter-state or intra-state conflicts in which you display an intermediate level of knowledge on peace and security issues, sufficient proficiency in English and an academic writing style. All your sources and citations must be referenced and plagiarism may lead to the rejection of the application;
  • Copies of your previous degrees;
  • A Curriculum Vitae of maximum 8-10 pages;
  • A copy of a current passport;
  • A letter of reference.

22. I have not yet received my undergraduate/Bachelor degree, can I still apply?

Yes, your application will be reviewed and you may be pre-registered. However, you will only be registered on the programme once we have received all copies of your certificates and you have paid the tuition fees.

23. Will I get a job at the United Nations once I graduate?

A Master’s degree is a valuable qualification that provides multiple benefits. Candidates who choose to pursue postgraduate studies in Conflictology may seek to:

  • Acquire up-to-date and advanced knowledge on issues related to peace and conflict;
  • Learn about cutting-edge methods and strategies to implement effective conflict prevention and conflict resolution programmes;
  • Develop transferable skills of interest to employers and the UN system, thus facilitating their recruitment in international or national bodies, NGOS, consultancy firms, etc...
  • Receive a degree from an accredited university to advance in their careers.

Graduating from the International Master’s degree in Conflictology will not automatically get you a job with the United Nations. However, it imparts knowledge and skills sought after by the United Nations and as such it will increase the quality of your application.

24. I cannot find the answer to my question, who can I contact?

Dr Ludwig Gelot

UNITAR Peacekeeping Training Programme

Palais de Nations • 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

E-mail: conflictology@unitar.org