This intensive two-year interdisciplinary program is for current or aspiring professionals interested in advancing their skills in the field of international humanitarian assistance, social reconstruction, capacity building, and peacebuilding. In this program, you will learn how to build sustainable peace in complex settings, both at home and across the globe. Learn to advance human security by understanding the short- and long-term needs of an affected population to create strategic plans and operational programs.
The MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding program is a two-year, interdisciplinary graduate program that responds to the increasing demand for leadership in humanitarian assistance, social reconstruction, conflict management and peacebuilding in international contexts. Peacebuilding is viewed as a broad concept which emphasises social transformation integrating short-term (development) initiatives into long-term, sustainable peace processes. The program provides working professionals, or those aspiring to work in the field, with the theoretical and practical skills necessary to help restore peace and civil society in post-conflict contexts.
A one-year Graduate Diploma in Human Security & Peacebuilding is also offered.
The majority of this program is experienced through online learning. Online courses enable you to meet the demands of work and family while studying. Using our web-based learning platform, you will access your reading materials, complete individual and group assignments, and engage with the rest of your classmates and instructors; online from anywhere. Each online course will be nine weeks in length, with a two-week break between courses.
During the course of your two-year program, you will attend two, two-week on-campus residencies. Here you’ll interact face-to-face with your instructors, cohort and team. You’ll have set class hours as well as homework and meetings outside of class hours, making this an intensive and rewarding time.
During the first year of study, all students will take the same set of courses. During the second year, students can select from the following options:
Students taking the thesis track will be required to take a second research course during their second residency.
Students taking the course-based track will be able to continue their studies online during the second year, choosing from a suite of electives designed to appeal to students in all four Humanitarian Studies’ graduate programs.
Course-based track with internship
Within the course-based track, students may choose to take a 6-credit internship. Students who choose an internship will gain field experience. This experiential learning will help students apply their theoretical knowledge by demonstrating their ability in a real-world setting and documenting their experiences.
Who it’s for
Many of our students have experience in complex emergency environments, working in either domestic or international settings within NGOs, government, and military, as well as First Nation or indigenous populations. These professionals have experience in human security and peacebuilding and are now looking to further develop their understanding of the complex interrelationship between economic, political, and social development, and human security. This program will enable them to advance their professional practice in complex conflict-related contexts.
Applicants who do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission may be assessed on the basis of both their formal education and their informal learning, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Process. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please visit our Admissions Requirements page.
Apply a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to the HSPB field of study and practice.
Examine and situate one’s own personal beliefs.
Demonstrate openness to ideas and actions.
Evaluate evidence, its sources, meanings and intentions.
Identify, select, and sort relevant information in order to be able to describe, draw inferences, synthesize and validate that information.
Identify and explain the ethical dimensions of professional conduct and practice.
Critically reflect on the impacts and consequences of decisions and resulting actions.
Articulate ideas and arguments effectively in oral and written formats.
Demonstrate competence in interpersonal and intercultural communication skills.
Critically analyze the influence of new, emergent and collaborative technologies on the HSPB field of practice.
Select and employ different communication mediums based on an assessment of situation and context.
Illustrate the use and limitations of knowledge and theory in the field to professional HSPB practice.
Identify and explain the core concepts and constructs of research.
Contribute to knowledge in the field of study or practice using systematic and recognized research design and methods.
Critically evaluate the rigour and validity of information and academic materials.
Recognize gaps in professional knowledge and seek out information to address deficiencies.
Identify, analyze and evaluate threats to human security, peacebuilding and development in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
Compare and apply an inter-disciplinary range of theories related to human security and peacebuilding.
Analyze conflict contexts to support societies and structures in their processes on conflict transformation and sustainable development.
Analyze and explain the dynamics of actors involved in human security, peacebuilding and development.
Compare and critique strategies and frameworks for advancing human security and peacebuilding in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
Evaluate the application of conflict-sensitive programming frameworks in different conflict and post-conflict contexts.
Analyze and evaluate the legal contexts, norms and values relevant to different fields of conflict management practice.
Identify and explain the ethical dimensions of professional conduct and practice.
Appraise working conditions and design strategies for self-care, safety and security.
Professional skills & practices
Generate strategic plans, operational programs, and associated projects for advancing human security, demonstrating attention to both short- and long-term needs of an affected population and surrounding communities.
Demonstrate advanced problem solving, facilitation, coordination and communication skills appropriate to complex and multi-cultural environments.
Analyze past, present, and emerging structures and institutions in a systematic manner to assess and identify capacities and needs.
Select and apply conflict-sensitive intervention frameworks and tools in an ethical and professional manner.
Select, compare and utilize stakeholder mapping tools to support the designs of interventions promoting human security and peacebuilding.
Compare and appraise tools and approaches to program and project monitoring and evaluation.
Integrate social media and media strategies into communication strategies to advance human security and peace-building goals.
Four years (or comparable) undergraduate degree in a relevant and related field*, with a minimum GPA of 'B+' (3.33/4.33), from a recognized post-secondary institution
* Relevant and related fields are defined by each program based on disciplinary and/or professional practices. Applicants are required to address how they consider their academic education to be relevant and related to their desired program of study within the personal statement questions.
Applicants who meet the degree requirement, but not the GPA requirement, will be required to have a minimum of 5 years of relevant* professional experience.
Applicants without an undergraduate degree will normally require 10 years of work experience, with a minimum of two years of relevant* professional experience in a leadership or management position**, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
All flexible admission applicants will be required to complete "Academic Writing and Critical Thinking" several weeks prior to starting the program and obtain a minimum B+ (77%).
* Each program, based on disciplinary and/or professional practices, defines what is considered relevant professional experience. Applicants are required to address how/why they consider their respective supervisory (and overall work experience) to be relevant and related to their desired program of study within the personal statement questions.
** Experience in a leadership or management position is considered on the basis of a holistic review of career progression, which demonstrates increasing competency and/or responsibility. This can include, but is not limited to, supervisory functions, signing responsibilities, contributions to organisational change and/or implementation of organisational vision and mission. Applicants are required to address how they consider their work experience to meet these requirements within the personal statement
English Language Proficiency
If English is not your primary language, please review our English Language Requirements.
HUMSIP: Internship Preparation and Career Management Skills
ITAI: Introduction to Academic Integrity
CPWB500: Foundations: Reframing Child Wellbeing in Complex Global Realities
HSPB500: Foundations of Human Security and Peacebuilding
HSPB515: Social Policy Issues: Social and Economic Insecurity
HSPB525: The Politics of Governance and Human Security
HSPB530: International Law and Global Institutions
HSPB540: Conflict in the Post-Cold War Era
HUMS551: Foundations of Research
PJMN501: Managing Complex Projects
HSPB600: Development and Human Security
HSPB615: Capacity Building: Applied Field Skills, Strategies and Processes
HUMS611: Intercultural Competence
HUMS630: Advanced Research Methods
HUMS641: Foundations of Policy and Practice in Humanitarian Action
HUMS642: Psychosocial Interventions: Managing Stress, Trauma, and Loss
HUMS643: Ethnopolitical Conflicts in the Canadian Context
HUMS651: Case Studies in Humanitarian Action: Advanced Policy and Practice
HUMS652: Adaptive Management for Complex Humanitarian Problems in the 21st Century
HUMS653: Environmental and Resource-Based Conflict Management
HUMS661: Risk and Crisis Communication
HUMS662: Professional Practice in Conflict and Change Management
HUMS671: Transdisciplinarity in Practice
HUMS672: Public Images of Justice and Fairness
HUMS673: Indigenous Perspectives on Humanitarianism
HUMS674: Glade Report Writing
HUMS691: Short Paper
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