Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module SGIA43215: Field Trip

Department: Government and International Affairs

SGIA43215: Field Trip

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • to provide students with an opportunity to investigate issues ‘in the field’ concerned with conflict prevention, conflict resolution, state and peace-building processes associated with a protracted conflict within a conflict and post-conflict environment. .
  • to provide students with an opportunity to research and analyse the roles of individuals and organisations in designing and implementing peace-building and state-building processes in selected conflict affected countries.


  • Indicative module content typically includes: a mixture of academic and field based activities. An introductory session will discuss conditions, risk analysis, behaviour, and health requirements. During the study visit meetings will be held with individuals and organisations working in the areas of conflict and peace building activities, development, security, humanitarian intervention, politics, field. There will be seminars and lectures on topics including: foundations and dynamics of the conflict; conflict analysis and mapping; the current political situation; peace process; the role of humanitarian agencies in conflict resolution and peace building; peace and conflict impact assessment; early warning and rapid response.
  • Students will use learning and knowledge from Modules 1-4 and be given new information prior to the elective, depending on the location of the study visit.
  • A study visit is limited to 12 students.
  • Assessment is by Reflective Journal.
  • Students will have to pay costs for the study visit. Location of study visit to be decided depending on (a) risk assessment (b) security situation (c) staff availability (d) uptake by students.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • (depending on the location of the study visit) an advanced understanding of post-conflict recovery and reconstruction, peacebuilding, political power sharing models, state stabilisation, demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration of combatants, reconciliation and transitional justice, and peace through development
  • an understanding of how the taught elements of the MA are operationally applicable in situations of tension and conflict
  • an understanding of the methodologies used to study conflict and negotiation processes, and of the impact of our choice of methodology and conceptual framework on our understanding of conflict and negotiations, and vice versa.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • to analyse ( at an advanced level) conflicts and design approaches for conflict prevention, conflict management and conflict resolution that contribute to establishing sustainable peace
  • to engage in research projects at MA level
  • to apply subject related knowledge and advanced theoretical models to the evaluation of current local and global issues, to interpret and analyse empirical data at an advanced level and according to competing explanatory frameworks, and to recognise the impact of a chosen conceptual framework on one’s research findings
Key Skills:
  • to demonstrate an ability to construct argument critically for both oral and written presentation from different sources of material, including material delivered orally and in an article review, report or policy document.
  • to demonstrate an independent approach to learning, critical thinking and creative problem-solving.
  • to use sophisticated techniques of information retrieval and management using an array of print and digital resources.
  • to demonstrate an ability to work cooperatively and constructively in group exercises and role plays
  • to formulate complex arguments in articulate and structured English, within the discursive conventions and genres of academic writing and written to high academic standard
  • to demonstrate effective time management.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be delivered over a two week study visit. Prior to the visit, students will be inducted through a briefing session and, through self-guided learning, acquire background knowledge and understanding of the conflict are to be visited.
  • During the visit, students will learn through meetings with individuals and organisations, group discussions, reading and analysis of selected literature, and daily debriefs.
  • Students will be assessed through a Reflective Journal.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Study Visit 1 Term 3 2 weeks 80
Preparation and Reading Term 3 70
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Reflective Journal 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

To be determined depending on location of the Study Visit.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University