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  • MA Environmental security and peace

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MA Environmental security and peace

Main organization(s): University for Peace (UPEACE)


The Master of Arts Degree Programme in Environmental Security and Peace allows participants to analyze the impacts of environmental stress and climate change on human livelihoods, health and fulfilment of basic needs, and on the sustainability and resilience of fragile ecosystems. It also enhances their capacity to design policies that reduce the threats to peace arising from climate change, environmental degradation, and growing competition for resources.

The 40 credits programme takes place over two course semesters, between August of one year and May of the following year, followed by a 2-3 months internship or independent study project, for a total duration of 11 months. After several foundational courses in Peace and Conflict Studies, Environment Security, and Research Methods, the participants delve deeper into their specialization topics, such as Water Security, Environment Justice and Social Movements, Environmental Security Assessment, and Urban Security, among many other course opportunities (see list below).

Towards the end of the first semester, with the guidance of their academic advisor, the participants will have identified their internship or independent study topic, for which they prepare a full proposal due in the course of the second semester. The Independent Study is a comprehensive desk study research on a subject that closely matches the student's career interests.

The Internship is an opportunity for the participants to get professionally immersed into a local, non-governmental, government, or international organization and additionally serves as a spring board for accessing attractive job opportunities. The final Independent Study or Internship report marks the end of the programme.

This programme can also be followed with a specialization in Climate Change and Security (CCS).

Subject areas

The required courses are:

• Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
• Introduction to Environmental Security
• Introduction to Research Methods I and II
• Environmental Conflict Management
• Independent Study

Elective courses may include:

• Environmental Justice and Social Movements
• Water, Security and Peace
• Disaster Risk Reduction at the Local Level
• Urban Environmental Security
• Hunger, Famine and Food Security
• Environmental Security Assessment
• Human Vulnerability and Climate Change
• Environmental Conflict Management
• Environmental Governance
• Climate Change Science
• International Climate Change Governance Systems
• Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation systems
• System Thinking
• Agriculture, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
• Measuring Sustainability
• Forestry, Forests and Poverty
• San José Environmental Seminar
• Coastal Management

Target audience

Successful candidates for this programme have typically obtained high qualifications in an accredited bachelor's degree programme in the social sciences (anthropology, geography, political sciences, and similar degrees), environmental sciences, or in some combination of the above.



Geographical coverage



11 months


For more information about admission, please write to

Last updated

01 Nov 2011

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  • Type University programme
  • Level Masters
  • Location(s) Costa Rica (San José)

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