Study at the Centre for Peace and Conflict

CPACS students graduation

The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) promotes research and teaching on the causes of conflict and the conditions that affect conflict resolution and peace. The Centre offers postgraduate coursework and research degrees to students from a wide variety of disciplinary and professional backgrounds who are seeking a career in peace and conflict studies or to enhance skills they have developed in the field with a solid theoretical grounding.

With a long record of advocacy and community engagement, the Centre provides students with the opportunity to pursue a new career path and acquire a new skillset in conflict resolution, nonviolence, community mediation and advocacy. Peace and conflict studies bridges conventional fields and disciplines with a holistic approach that integrates knowledge and skills from a range of different disciplines, including international relations, international security, political economy, sociology and social policy, human rights and development studies. Students also have the option to customise their degree, complementing the core study areas within Peace and Conflict Studies with elective units of study chosen from other disciplines.

‘We have a growing global reputation as a centre of excellence in research and we welcome students from across the globe,’ said Deputy Director, Dr Wendy Lambourne, ‘Within our academic program, we emphasise a unique value-explicit, trans-disciplinary approach. We encourage you to think critically and contribute meaningfully to local and international peace building, humanitarian aid and development, human rights and social justice.’

Peace and conflict studies is a truly interdisciplinary field of study which provides students with the knowledge and practical skills for a range of careers associated with conflict resolution, international peace and security, social justice, human rights, and community and international development. For example, peace and conflict studies graduates work for the United Nations, international non-government organisations, local community organisations, universities and government departments, and as peacebuilders, community workers, diplomats, academics, conflict resolution practitioners and researchers.

On-campus coursework units are taught in 2-hour seminar or intensive week-long formats and have a focus on interactive learning. Areas of study available to students include peacebuilding, conflict resolution, reconciliation and conflict transformation; the United Nations, global politics, economics and international security; gender and development; cultures of violence, non-violence and social change; human rights, peace and justice; art, poetry, theatre and community development; the environment; the history and philosophies of peace and conflict; as well as religion, war and peace.

In addition to our on-campus program, we also offer the unique opportunity to undertake coursework degrees through a combination of supported distance learning and short trips to Sydney for intensive on-site learning.

Students can also participate in the many other activities of the Centre through seminars and special events and are given the opportunity to gain volunteer and work experience with the Centre and with other organisations in Sydney. Such activities include organising and presenting public seminars; contributing to publications including the Centre’s biannual newsletter PeaceWrites; interning with our sister organisation, the Sydney Peace Foundation, which awards the annual Sydney Peace Prize; and getting involved in research and advocacy project such as the West Papua Project and international networks such as the Global Action to Prevent War.