New Master's in Applied Conflict Transformation Studies (ACTS)

Durban University of Technology
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 30 January, 2017
Opportunity type: 

New Master's Programme in Applied Conflict Transformation Studies (ACT) to start mid-year 2017. This highly practical qualification will be offered in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe by Durban University of Technology in collaboration with the Theological College of Zimbabwe and Grace to Heal. 

Commencing in mid-2017, this highly practical qualification will be offered in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe by Durban University of Technology, in collaboration with the Theological College of Zimbabwe and Grace to Heal.

Who is it for?

The course is for men and women who want to develop the skills and wider competencies they need to build greater peace and justice in their own situations. Some participants will come from civil society, including local and international NGOs and faith-based organisations. Others may be engaged in the public sector, e.g. education, public health, the security sector or the political field. Some will already be working in the general fields of peace, human rights, and development. Others will be looking for ways to become engaged in these or related fields.
The programme

The programme is closely associated with the highly successful ACTS programme for Asia, based at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It starts with three coursework modules, each of which involves a five to ten-day residential component in Bulawayo. Completion of these modules will result in the award of a certificate issued by the Theological College of Zimbabwe.
Students who reach a required level of performance in the coursework modules will then be able to register for a master’s degree by research at Durban University of Technology. Their thesis be based on an action research project and will be supported by residential components.
Coursework modules

The first three modules expose students to the peace theories and practice and will provide a foundation for their theses.
Module 1: Introduction to Conflict Transformation: Values, Practice and Theories
Includes conflict analysis tools and skills and a range of theories of conflict transformation. Induction into methods of action research. Exploring self-awareness and reflexivity. Interpersonal skills.
Module 2: Addressing Conflict and Violence
Aims to enable participants to think how they can change themselves, their communities and their societies towards positive and sustainable peace. Strategies for bringing about change using non-violent methods, including movement building. Conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation.
Module 3: Building Sustainable Peace
Continuing focus on action research projects. The module also explores post conflict issues such as reconciliation, justice, collective memory and healing - encompassing both the personal and the public sphere. It includes designing humanitarian, development and peacebuilding programmes and initial proposals for action research.
The thesis

Students will build on the insights of action research which emerge from the coursework modules. Action research involves a rigorous, self-reflective approach that invites students to explore, understand and articulate their own perspective on the work they are engaged in, in the light of relevant theory and wider practice.
Students will spend some months producing a detailed thesis proposal before commencing their fieldwork. The thesis normally includes exploratory, intervention and evaluation phases, with a total length of around 40 000 words of text.

The minimum academic requirement is normally four years of university study or its equivalent, together with some years of relevant life and/or work experience. Good email and internet access is a necessity.
Fees: The cost of the programme will be approximately 2 000 USD, plus travel and living costs for the residential modules.
Contact details
For further enquiries and requests for application forms please contact us at

Participants in the ACTS programme in Asia say:
The ACTS programme equipped my previous approach of human rights advocacy with peacebuilding skills. Accomplishing the ACTS programme I continued my work in human rights using the new expertise. Hussain Hassrat, Afghanistan
ACTS created a venue for us to communicate and discuss relevant issues and find common ground where we can work together despite geographical distance. Hazel Lozada, Philippines.

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