Utrecht University

Conflict Studies and Human Rights, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • English


Utrecht's University Master of Arts in Conflict Studies and Human Rights focuses on both the dynamics of violent conflicts and the problems associated with national and international military or humanitarian intervention by agencies such as the UN, NATO, or non-governmental organisations.

Why has ’nationalist’ violence erupted in Ukraine? Will cities become the war zones of the future? How is the term ‘human rights’ used and abused in times of violent conflict? What role did social media play in the rise and subsequent collapse of the Arab Spring? What are the ethical and political issues associated with the use of drones in zones of conflict - and what impact does this have on the subjects of surveillance? Who defines ‘evil’ and what does ‘doing good’ mean? How do ‘humanitarian wars’ affect the everyday lives of the ‘victims’ they protect?

These are just some of the pressing questions arising from the complex interconnectedness of today’s world. A solution to these questions can only be found through systematic analysis of processes of inclusion and exclusion, mobilisation, and collective violence. Addressing these topics properly demands critical reflection on the national and international policies developed to contain, manage, resolve, or transform violent conflict.


Since the end of the Cold War there has been a growing demand for experts on violent conflict. The Master’s programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights offers good preparation for careers in any sector involving conflict analysis, including the public sector, business, non-governmental and international organisations.

A growing number of specialised agencies are addressing issues of conflict management and resolution, rehabilitation, human rights and security, both from an analytical perspective and through field operations. These agencies offer a variety of specialised employment opportunities.

The use of English as the working language of the programme will be an advantage for students who will later pursue a career in an international setting. Ministries, NGOs, businesses, and municipalities are increasingly recruiting students with a degree in Conflict Studies.


Accredited by the NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Conflict, Policies And Politics
  • In-depth Case-study Analysis
  • Theories Of Violent Conflict
  • Literature Review & Research Proposal
  • Preparing Social Research
  • The Conflict-human Rights Nexus
  • Fieldwork Research Project Ma Conflict Studies
  • Internship Ma Conflict Studies
For more information please visit the programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade B):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Besides TOEFL, IELTS and CAE, also Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE - at least Grade C) is accepted as a proof of English Proficiency.

You will be considered for admission to the Master’s programme in Conflict Studies and Human Rights if you can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight, and skills:

  • A relevant Bachelor’s degree in the humanities, law, and/or one of the social sciences.
  • Knowledge of Conflict Studies and Human Rights, to be demonstrated by at least 30 EC in coursework. In your motivation letter, explain to us in a detailed and compelling way why you believe that the coursework you have completed is relevant for your application into our programme.
  • The ability to present a feasible and relevant preliminary research idea for your Master’s thesis.
  • Excellent scholarly abilities, demonstrated by an academic track record of high grades.
  • Demonstrable practical or professional experience with work or research in conflict zones is an advantage to a prospective applicant.
  • You are able to express yourself in proficient English, both orally and in written text, as evidenced by your motivation letter and/or writing sample, and the interview that is part of the selection procedure.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    15575 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15575 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2060 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

For more information about tuition fees and exemptions have a look at the programme website.

Living costs for Utrecht

  • 900 - 1450 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university.  You can begin your search for funding by reviewing the list below, which contains some of the scholarships and loans available to international students:

  • Utrecht Excellence Scholarships
  • Holland Scholarships
  • Orange Tulip Scholarships
  • Canadian student loans
  • Fulbright / NAF
  • US Federal Loans
  • Erasmus+ Master loans

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.