Peace and Conflict Studies

Become a peacebuilder

Become a peacebuilder

Social conflicts can leave behind a trail of devastation that crushes all hope.

But peacebuilders can make a difference: they have the conflict management and peacebuilding skills needed to help prevent conflict, defuse violence, save lives, and rebuild shattered communities.

Learn the skills needed to become a peacebuilder with 51's Bachelor of Arts majoring or minoring in Peace and Conflict Studies, the only degree of its kind west of Manitoba. The program helps you develop a holistic understanding of the dynamics governing human conflict and peacebuilding initiatives. Through simulated exercises, core program courses — including three courses offered through the Justice Institute of British Columbia — provide you with hands-on skills in negotiation, mediation, conflict transformation, and restorative practices.

You develop a broad base of knowledge through a series of multidisciplinary courses, with a special focus on local indigenous and community content: Geography and Political Science teach you to design peacebuilding strategies based on real-life conflict scenarios; Psychology and Sociology give you insight into interpersonal relationships and social systems. Anthropology and Communications train you to communicate effectively across cultures; and Criminology and History provide you with strategies for post-conflict reconciliation to foster long-term, sustainable peace.

To apply your analysis and critical-thinking skills, you may choose to complete a capstone project or take part in field work, either locally or abroad. An innovative colloquium also offers an ongoing forum to debate peace and conflict ideas with your peers and professors.

Career Outlook for Peace and Conflict Studies

Peacebuilding is a relatively new field that is growing rapidly and is characterized by fluid career paths and varied employment opportunities.

When you graduate, you can find work in a wide array of fields, including community development, foreign affairs, international development, peacebuilding, advocacy, humanitarian relief, restorative justice, social entrepreneurship, and more. With substantial field experience and additional education, you can become a senior advisor or a freelance consultant.

To boost your job prospects in international settings, add a specialized qualification to your degree, such as a second language, logistics, urban planning, communications, accounting, nursing, agriculture, or IT. Your minor or major in Peace and Conflict Studies can also lead you to further studies in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, or in related areas such as law, policy research, international development, or public administration.