What is Peace and Conflict Studies?

This program provides you with the foundation for a career that makes a difference.

Peace and Conflict Studies will help you understand how conflict occurs, and provide you with skills to contribute to conflict prevention and resolution. You will also focus on international peacekeeping, peacebuilding, principles of humanitarian protection and post-conflict governance.

Our educators are experts in indigenous politics, gender, ethics, justice, development, security and the environment. Many draw on their years of grounded experience in conflict settings.

Why choose us?

Peace and Conflict Studies will:

  • develop your skills in applying theory to practice;
  • allow you to reflect on the role of states, intergovernmental organisations, non-government organisations, non-state groups and individuals as parties to conflict, conflict resolution, and post-conflict transition;
  • build capacities for conflict analysis through study of real world conflict scenarios.

The School is recognised internationally as a leader in peace and conflict studies. We are one of only six universities to host a prestigious Rotary Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and the first in Australia to introduce peace studies. Graduates in Peace and Conflict Studies find employment within government, professional and non-government organisations.




As an undergraduate student, you can major in Peace and Conflict Studies in these programs:


Higher Degree by Research

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs at UQ include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil).  HDR students produce new knowledge and expertise that is innovative, relevant and progressive. 

Based on the written application, an assessment will be made of the level of understanding, motivation, time commitment and financial support of the applicant for the proposed program of study.

What our graduates are doing


Sean Nicolson

Hayley Channer, Master of International Studies

In 2011, I completed a Master of International Studies at the University of Queensland. Studying at the UQ was an enriching experience that put me in contact with other ambitious, energetic people who were interested in international affairs. I also had inspiring lecturers, particularly Professor Marianne Hanson who fostered my interest in nuclear non-proliferation. Dr Nicole George also challenged my assumptions of gender politics and encouraged me to objectively analyse gender and development theory. Their encouragement and support gave me new knowledge and confidence which aided me as I embarked on the beginning of my professional career.

My Master of International Studies as well as positive references from my UQ Professors put me in great stead to be offered an internship with the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) think tank in Canberra. Without my UQ degree, I would likely have been overlooked and other willing candidates accepted in my place. My internship with the AIIA gave me the skills and experience necessary to be selected to work for a defence and security think tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). After working for ASPI for three years, I then accepted a position with World Vision Australia as its Government Relations Coordinator. This role, which gave me additional contact with Government officials, as well as my previous role with a Defence think tank, led to my current appointment as an Assistant Media Adviser to the Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne. I would strongly encourage anyone considering studying at the UQ to enrol. My degree from UQ has been instrumental in my personal and professional success and I look back on my time at UQ with great fondness. 



Sean Nicolson

Sean Nicolson, Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies (ext) and minoring in Spanish)

“The University is a big, diverse and progressive place of learning, and I had opportunities here that I could not have got anywhere else. There are people from all over the world, many who are balancing both work and study and who feed these different experiences into the classroom.”

During his time here, Sean had the opportunity to study for six months in Rio de Janeiro and, in 2012, taught English in a Tibetan monastery in India as part of the Young People Without Borders program. As well as this, Sean interned with UNHCR Jordan as part of the Syrian response on a six-month internship. "Around 90 per cent of Syrian refugees reside in towns so, alongside highly skilled-colleagues and community leaders, I managed small-scale urban projects to boost services, foster inclusiveness and improve livelihoods that would benefit the whole community, not just the refugees. Due to the distances involved, there were not as many social and cultural links between locals in the south and the Syrian refugees coming from the north. This meant that sometimes the cultural differences could develop into major issues, hence we worked to foster resilient cross-community links.”

Sean is now looking to the future and has his sights firmly set on more overseas experience. “I want to work overseas in policy, project or program management, either through governments, NGOs (non governmental organisations) or international organisations,” he said.


Cody Griggers

Cody Griggers, Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies

"As the host of one of only a handful of Rotary Centre for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution, UQ’s Peace and Conflict Studies programme already came with a prestigious endorsement. As a US citizen who had worked for about a decade in Southeast Asia, I was drawn to UQ not only for its academic excellence but also its position within the Asia-Pacific region, where I knew I could have access to faculty and learning opportunities aligned with my own areas of interest"

"I loved the international mix of the UQ programme – UQ’s Peace and Conflict Studies programme draws people with such a diverse array of experiences, both personal and professional, from every corner of the globe. With the small class sizes in the programme, this meant constant debate and free-flowing exchange of ideas and perspectives that are what a graduate programme should be all about. As a US citizen, I particularly enjoyed being able to study international relations issues from a more global perspective. Also, you just can’t beat the beautiful Brisbane weather and setting, and that great Aussie casualness that meant for lots of opportunities to hang out with your professors and tutors even in social settings, discussing political philosphers or current events over a beer in the Red Room after a tutorial, or having classes outdoors in the great Brisbane sun!"

"I am currently completing almost three years with the Untied Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), supporting the Special-Representative of the Secretary-General in political engagement with Liberian counterparts as the mission prepares to hand over security responsibility to the Liberian government after over a decade of keeping the peace since Liberia’s brutal civil wars. I also worked with UNICEF in Liberia through the Ebola crisis in 2014, supporting the Liberia country office in its work to raise community awareness all across the country on how to protect themselves from the disease and stop its spread. I have recently accepted a new post with the UN Mission in South Sudan, which I expect to take up in 2015. My UQ experience provided me with not just the academic foundation I needed to thrive in the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of international security and peacekeeping, but also practical experience, both through the Applied Field Experience semester I undertook as part of my Rotary Peace Fellowship, but also through particularly relevant classes, including one actually focused on peacekeeping. My UQ professors and fellow students in my cohort remain not only some of my best friends but also my best professional resources, and I am constantly reaching out to them for collaboration and advice."