The UN system, its Member States, as well as other key partners, all face an array of complex and interrelated challenges to global peace. Overall, the increasingly pervasive impact of many contemporary conflicts and their intractability make focusing on prevention a priority for the international community as a whole.

Preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict is a hugely ambitious task, but a more integrated, strategic and coherent approach across and beyond the UN system can achieve and sustain peace. As acknowledged by the latest round of UN reviews and echoed by the Secretary-General’s latest report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, this requires strengthening capacities to conduct sound conflict analysis and to translate such analysis into conflict-sensitive, politically savvy responses to violence and fragility. Failing to invest in adequate analytical and programming capacities means not only missing opportunities to contribute directly to sustaining peace, but also risking to impact negatively upon local peace dynamics.

The Sustaining Peace Master Programme aims to provide you with a solid understanding of the new Sustaining Peace agenda and its application in real-world settings for the prevention of outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of violent conflict.  After successful completion of the Sustaining Peace Master, you will be able to move autonomously from conflict analysis to policy formulation to policy implementation.


The Programme lasts one year, starting from January 2019, and it is structured around three pillars. 

  • Pillar One is titled “Addressing conflict to sustain peace” and it is aimed to introduce and discuss key concepts of peace and conflict studies, in order to equip you with tools for autonomous and critical conflict analysis. Upon successful completion of this pillar, you will be able to articulate key concepts and use appropriate knowledge and tools to critically analyze conflict and to recognize factors leading to the outbreak of violence or supportive of a lasting peace.
  • Pillar Two is titled “Walking the talk: The UN System and its Partners in action” and it is aimed to provide you with a solid understanding of the inner working of the UN system, with a particular focus on the Peace and Security architecture, the Development System, and the role of Country Teams (UNCTs). Upon successful completion of this pillar, you will be able to explain the role of the UN and its different partners, and to assess the challenges they face and opportunities they may seize in sustaining peace.
  • Pillar Three is a practical exercise. You will be provided with a case study and asked to critically analyze it, formulate adequate policies consistent with UN standards, and anticipate potential impacts and outcomes, re-adjusting as necessary. Upon successful completion of the exercise, you will be able to apply acquired knowledge and skill-sets in diverse contexts and design model interventions.


The Sustaining Peace Master Programme is designed for practitioners working in the areas of peace, security, development and humanitarian action, as well as in related fields from within and outside the UN system (such as military and police officers, journalists, NGO workers and other civil servants - including diplomats), seeking to develop a more holistic understanding of violent conflicts and to acquire adequate skills to comprehensively address them.

Additionally, the Master is open to students who have completed their undergraduate or postgraduate degree by 31 October 2018, young researchers and other academics interested in peace and conflict studies and in exploring working opportunities in the fields of peacebuilding, development and humanitarian action in conflict-prone or conflict-affected environments.


The Sustaining Peace Master Programme follows learner-centered design principles and engages participants with adult learning methodologies, characterized by an interactive training style and a blended, multi-disciplinary approach that fosters knowledge and experience sharing. The online adaptive learning environment allows you to interact with a flexible learning path, easily accessible at any time, from any place, and on any device.

The Sustaining Peace Master Programme will be delivered entirely online, combining tutored components with synchronous and asynchronous activities, self-paced learning and live webinars with renowned scholars and seasoned practitioners. Distance-learning activities will also include case studies (both external and UN-specific).

Your mastery of the topics covered will be assessed through written and oral tests (via VTC) meant to evaluate substantive knowledge, analytical skills as well as critical thinking and problem-solving. Quizzes and other kind of informal tests will be employed in order to provide you with adequate means of self-assessment and self-evaluation throughout the coursework.

In order to complete the coursework and to graduate, you will submit and discuss via VTC a written dissertation on a topic of choice related to the Master. The dissertation must be of between 10,000 to 12,000 words in length.


As per Italian academic grading system, ordinary examinations will be marked using a 30-point scale, with 18 being the minimum passing grade. The post-graduate certification (First Level Master) will awarded by the University of Turin upon completion of 60 university credits (ECTS) and will be marked using a 110-point scale, with 66 being the minimum for the degree to be awarded. 

In line with the Italian academic system, First Level Master programmes are intended to provide you with further specialization or higher continuing education after completion of the first cycle (Bachelor degree) but they do not give direct access to PhD programmes.


Last modified: Tuesday, 7 August 2018, 7:16 AM