Peace and Security Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: German English
Deadline: Mar 15, 2024
135 place StudyQA ranking:2236 Duration: You need IELTS certificate

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The postgraduate programme "Peace and Security Studies - MA" at Universität Hamburg is a trans- and interdisciplinary programme of two semesters' duration, combining theory-based education in the areas of peace research and security policy with a practice-orientated application of methods for research. The prime objective of the course is to provide highly qualified graduates from a national or foreign university and academically trained practitioners of a field-related vocational background with the fundamental basics of the discipline peace studies and security policy as well as providing them with the instruments applicable for differentiated research in this field. Students will be prepared for a career in academic peace research, international organisations, media or private companies, peace-keeping and monitoring, verification, development aid, mediation or arbitration, etc. The course is a joint programme of Universität Hamburg and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the Universität Hamburg (IFSH). The programme is further guided and partly implemented by a number of co-operating resident institutes of the "Cooperation Network Peace Research and Security Policy" (Kooperationsverbund Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik - KoFrieS). The intense cooperation with the various resident institutes, each concentrating on different issues in the broad field of peace research and security policy, ensures the programme's diversity. The programme is co-sponsored by the German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The instructional languages of the programme are English and German; students must be able to speak both with adequate fluency. Foreigners are welcome to apply for the course. Admission to the course is limited. A University/Institute joint committee takes responsibility for selection. The programme starts in October each year and runs through August. All students will have the possibility to carry out a period of praxis-orientated research at one of the co-operating resident institutes.

Educational organisation

The programme is organised into three elements: an introductory unit, first semester, and second semester. The introductory unit (one week) aims to illustrate basic issues in peace studies and security policy. Furthermore, the co-operating institutes of KoFrieS take the opportunity to introduce their research and teaching profiles during this time. The unit takes place at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the Universität Hamburg (IFSH) in the first half of October.
The first semester provides an intensive programme of study encompassing the following modules:
  • International Peace and Security Policy
  • International Law and Peace
  • Natural Sciences and Peace
  • Ethics and Peace
  • Economic Problems of Peace and War
Students will take obligatory lectures, additional in-depth seminars, various block seminars as well as a number of interdisciplinary courses and an intensive course at the end of the semester.
Students have the opportunity to take part in excursions to, for example, Brussels and Vienna.

The second semester focuses on a vocationally-based course and intensive practical academic work, including:
  • A minimum period of four weeks pursuing practical research at one of the programme's co-operating institutes
  • Periods of guided and independent research
  • Optional short placements and interviews
  • Participation in academic colloquia
  • The completion of the Master's thesis


There is no additional internship necessary because the second semester focuses on a praxis-based course and intensive practical academic work.

Forms of assessment

Written and oral exams in accordance with the guidelines, Master's thesis

Course objectives

Knowledge in theory and practices of peace work (conflict prevention, crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation), social and intercultural competence, interdisciplinary methods of conflict mediation
Students will be prepared for a career in academic peace research, with international organisations, the media or private companies, in peace-keeping and monitoring, verification, development aid, mediation or arbitration, etc.

Language requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must have a good working knowledge of both German and English and are required to provide appropriate evidence of their language skills. Applicants who do not hold an "Abitur" or a degree from a university in a German-speaking country are required to have passed the Goethe Institute's "Grundstufe III" examination. Candidates from outside the EU who are unable to provide suitable evidence of language abilities may be required by the Admissions Committee to take a language test as a condition of entry to the course. Arrangements for such a test may be made with a DAAD office in the applicant's country of origin or residence.
The following are accepted as evidence of appropriate English language abilities: a TOEFL score of 570 (230 on the computer-based test) with an essay score (TWE) of 4.5 or better (; a pass in the British Council's IELTS or the Cambridge Proficiency exam, or an academic degree in which English was the main language of instruction and examination.
Only native speakers of German or English are not required to provide proof of language ability in their mother tongue.

Required DSH / TestDaF


Academic requirements

Prerequisites are an interest in the field of peace studies or peace research and security policy and having gained 240 points ECTS (usually a four-year course in any discipline) in a prior university education. In case 240 points were not achieved, there is also the possibility to request additional credits for certain experience. In this case, please enclose a written request to your application. The following achievements may be counted as additional ECTS
a) Job experience relevant for the course: for this kind of professional experience of at least more than one year, a maximum of 30 credit points can be given.
b) Relevant internships connected to the course: a maximum of 20 credit points may be given. For short internships (less than one month) a maximum of five and for internships up to three months - a maximum of 10 credit points can be given. It is not allowed to gain additional credit points for internships that were part of the previous studies.
c) Advanced training or extra-curricular activities relevant for the course: a maximum of 20
credit points may be given.
Further requirements are: professional interest and scientific or practical experience related to issues of peace and/or international security and sufficient knowledge of English and German language
Prospective students from abroad are welcome to apply.
You can find the application form and further information regarding the applications if you follow the link:

Enrolment fees

There is a semester fee of 310 EUR per semester. This fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Hamburg metropolitan area.

Before the programme starts, students must make a single payment of 500 EUR to compensate for the resident institutes' costs during the students' stay.

Costs of living

We recommend that single students budget at least 800 EUR per month to meet personal expenses (accommodation, living, health insurance, books).

Job opportunities

Students who enrol in a full-time programme will generally have only limited time for part-time jobs.
As a rule, students who hold an international student visa may work for up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year. Further information on work regulations for international students at Universität Hamburg can be found here:

Funding opportunities within the university

International full-time students may apply for merit scholarships or exam grants of Universität Hamburg. For more information, please use the provided link. We also recommend contacting our colleagues in the Department of International Affairs for further guidance.

Arrival support

Students and researchers can find information on how to get started in Hamburg on the website of the PIASTA programme at the Universität Hamburg Department of International Affairs ( and on the website of the Hamburg Welcome Center (
During the International Welcome Week organised by PIASTA, you will be able to get in touch with all the important institutions and contacts which are particularly useful for international students:

Services and support for international students

The Universität Hamburg CampusCenter is the first port of call for all current and prospective students and offers information, services, and counselling. The PIASTA programme at the Universität Hamburg Department of International Affairs offers support and advice for German and international students, as well as cultural events and workshops.
For more information, refer to: and
The welcome service of the Universität Hamburg Department of International Affairs is the first contact address for international visiting researchers and others:


Accommodation is available through the "Studierendenwerk" (students' services) or on the private market. The "Studierendenwerk" provides rooms in halls of residence, most of which are single rooms with shared kitchens and showers/WCs. We strongly advise students and researchers to arrange accommodation prior to arriving in Hamburg, as demand for affordable accommodation is sometimes larger than supply.
For more information on how to find accommodation and how to plan your first steps in Hamburg, please refer to:
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Study mode:On campus Languages: German
Local:$ 1.08 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 1.08 k / Year(s)
StudyQA ranking: 335 You need IELTS certificate