Study Conflict and Development Studies in Ghent

Course Content

In our current globalised world, conflict and development are closely intertwined. Disentangling these complexities of processes of conflict and development demands a critical stance and an interdisciplinary approach, with insights from various academic disciplines such as political science, anthropology, development studies and sociology. The Master in Conflict and Development Studies allows you to gain insight into the broader thinking about conflict and development related issues, and how to analyse these in a critical manner. Grounded in fieldwork, the Master in Conflict and Development Studies wants to provide a timely and in-depth understanding of the interrelations between conflict and development. Fieldwork as a method is used to better understand processes of conflict and development and to formulate potential recommendations. This focus on fieldwork is especially valuable for those with an interest in a potential career in professional development aid, as well in the Global South as in the Global North (asylum centers, intercultural and interreligious questions…). Located in the heart of Europe, the one-year master programme also allows an international body of students to connect to both research and policy-making in this growing field.

Course Structure

The Master in Conflict and Development Studies is a full-year intensive programme. A set of introductory courses will be offered to get acquainted with the politics of conflict and development. These courses do not merely offer an introduction to ongoing debates, but start from a critical reading of influential authors in the field. They provide the conceptual and theoretical groundwork necessary to engage in more specific debates in the second semester.

Optional courses are aimed at deepening your understanding on research related or policy-oriented questions, as well as be able to deepen your area-specific knowledge. These courses will take the form of research seminars or more direct policy applications. This will allow you to customise your own programme according to your academic and professional interests.

As fieldwork is a central starting point of teaching in the master's programma, the course ‘Methodology and Fieldwork Practice’ will allow for a confrontation between theory and practice, whether in the Global South or in Europe. Past fieldwork trips in the South have focused on Uganda, India, Jordan, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Morocco and Kenya, while work in Europe has focused on migration.

Read about the important changes in fieldwork here
The final part of the programme is the master's dissertation, in which you will develop your own research project in collaboration with a supervisor. These projects are by nature interdisciplinary and aim towards a critical understanding of your given research question. Many of these dissertations will be fieldwork based, but students can also opt for a literature based dissertation.

The full programme as well as information on specific courses can be found in the Ghent University course catalogue.


The Master programme grants immediate admission to:

  • Bachelor degrees in Political Science
  • Bachelor degrees in Social Sciences from VUB Brussel

For students who hold a different academic degree, admission is subject to passing a preparatory programme (57 ECTS). All courses in this programme are taught in English. This is one full time year of studying. The preparatory programme focuses on the domain-specific. You already graduated in an academic study, so you master the general academic scientific competences. The courses in the preparatory programme help you prepare for the master programme. The preparatory programme does not lead to an academic bachelor degree. It is a programme necessary to follow to gain access to a specific master.

For students with a non-academic bachelor degree, admission is subject to passing a linking programme (59 ECTS). This programme is only available in Dutch (with a few English courses). It takes one full time year to complete the linking programme.

Enrolment, tuition fees and scholarships

All information about enrolment procedures, diploma and language requirements, tuition fees and funding, both for EEA and non-EEA students can be found on the Ghent University Administration for Prospects page.

The enrolment procedure for students with a Flemish degree can be found here and the tuition fees here.

There are a very limited number of scholarships available for international students with a high standard of academic performance and/or potential. Only students admitted to the Master in Conflict and Development Studies are eligible for funding. Please note that you cannot apply directly for scholarship programs.

University life

All information about living in Ghent, housing facilities, sports facilities… can be found on the University life page.

Open Day and Afstudeerbeurs

The Open Day of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences is mainly organised to inform about the three (Dutch) bachelor programmes of our faculty (Communication Science, Sociology and Political Science). There will be no specific information sessions for Conflict and Development Studies on this day. However you are welcome to come visit the campus and talk to someone from the department. At the Afstudeerbeurs in ICC Ghent there will also be representatives of the Department of Conflict and Development Studies to talk to you about the programme. 

Open Day
When? 20 April 2024, 10 am
Where? Ufo, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, 9000 Ghent

When? Thursday 28th of March 2024, 12:00 - 18:00
Where? ICC, Ghent

Introduction Day

We welcome all students in the Conflict and Development Studies programme on our Introduction Day in September each year. Get to know each other, the department and get practical information on how to start the new academic year right. All information will be available online afterwards for those who are not able to attend. 

When? Thursday 19 September 2024
Where? Campus Ufo, Technicum 2, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Gent
For who?
All students in the preparatory, linking and/or master programme are invited. 

We are looking forward to welcoming you (back) to the University!

Who to contact?

  • International applicants can contact the Registrar's Office with questions about admission and student administration.​
  • Information about the tuition fee can be found here. Contact with questions about this.
  • International degree students are welcome to contact the International Student Advisor () before and upon arrival with practical matters.
  • Contact the Department of Conflict and Development Studies via

More information

QS label Development Studies 2022