The binational Master’s degree program Conflict, Memory and Peace with a duration of four semesters offers students the possibility to gain fundamental analytical and practical skills in the area of peace and conflict research. The program content is conveyed to students by theory-based peace and conflict (resolution) models, a comprehensive methods training as well as courses with a practical and research-based focus.
Furthermore, the degree program has several winning features:
One year in Germany, one year in Colombia: The binational design deepens students’ intercultural skills and language proficiency and enables mutual exchange of experiences, ideas and approaches.
Following successful completion of the degree program in Conflict, Memory and Peace, students are awarded a Master of Arts degree of the KU as well as a Magister en Conflicto, Memoria y Paz of the Universidad del Rosario (UR).
The memory component fosters a multidimensional and context-sensitive understanding of peace and conflict.
Profound research skills are acquired in relevant modules worth 40 ECTS credits. The fact that the degree program is part of UR’s institute for peace, conflict and post-conflict (JANUS) as well as KU’s Center for Latin American Studies (ZILAS) ensures that students are always up to date regarding current developments in the field of research.
Students are prepared for the professional environment by a required internship as well as practice-oriented courses (i.a. simulations and representatives of practical fields).
The program in detail
Hopes and expectations for global peace that came up after the end of the Cold War have not been fulfilled to date. Instead, the focus has increasingly shifted from wars between states to violent conflicts within the states, which have been gaining ground rapidly. The initial containment of some of these conflicts with the help of international action was futile, however, as many of them flared up again. Many “former” countries in conflict still suffer from a high level of violence. The vast part of armed conflicts nowadays is characterized by a complex parallel existence of peace processes and conflict situations. The fact that such complex conflict situations with international consequences are increasing shows that conventional approaches of peace and conflict research have reached their limits, which confronts the international community with great challenges.
Humanistic strategies and approaches with a historic background are becoming more and more relevant in this context. This adds the “memory component” to the equation of traditional approaches in peace and conflict research, which is also a core element of the MA in Conflict, Memory and Peace together with the binational design of the program.
The MA program in Conflict, Memory and Peace has a duration of 4 semesters in which 120 ECTS credits have to be completed successfully.
Basics & research skills (year 1)
The first two semesters cover the basics of peace and conflict research under involvement of the memory component. Furthermore, students will receive an introduction to the basics of international law in which transitional justice plays an important role.
Already in the second semester, students are invited to focus on their Master’s thesis in the context of a research seminar. In addition, students learn to apply qualitative methods in conflict analysis. The module Conflict Resolution & Transformation involves representatives of practical fields and ends with a practice simulation in Bogotá, in which both KU students and their peers from Universidad del Rosario participate.
Preparation for the stay abroad:
Students will be given the opportunity to take part in workshops in which they can develop their intercultural skills. The International Office and ZILAS also offer information events to prepare students for their time abroad.
Specialization, profile development & Master’s thesis (year 2)
During the second year, students will have the opportunity to develop their individual profile in required elective modules, completion of the required internship and preparation of the Master’s thesis. Students will gain deeper insight into the conflict and peace process in Colombia that has been ongoing for decades. Intensive support and advice is provided for the students’ research project, their Master’s thesis.
Required elective modules: Students must complete required elective modules worth 10 ECTS credits. They may choose these modules from the range of required elective modules offered at both universities. This allows them to take advantage of the different specialisms of the two universities when choosing which area they wish to focus on. For example, they may choose to specialize in legal topics related to transitional justice at UR, or in memory or development cooperation at the KU.
Required internship: The required internship is worth 10 ECTS credits. KU students must complete their required internship in Latin America. Specific partnerships will be maintained to make it easier for students to find internships places at desirable organizations and companies.
Master’s thesis: The module ‘Master’s Thesis’ is worth 20 ECTS credits. Students are encouraged to start thinking about the topic of their Master’s thesis from the second semester onwards and are prepared for it through suitable research and methods modules. The reviews for the Master’s theses are carried out binationally. Thesis supervisors can be chosen from among the subject representatives at both universities. Students defend their Master’s thesis in the thesis defense.
In this component, in addition to the field of transitional justice, which is an established component of peace and conflict research and is essential for peace consolidation, methods from the humanities, philosophy, and theology also play a key role. In this context, particular emphasis is placed on collective memory, memory policy, and historical culture. This promotes a multidimensional understanding for peace and conflict.
In most cases, long-standing conflicts are not put to an end with a ceasefire or by signing a peace treaty. Instead, post-conflict societies have to cope with the challenge of working through their own conflict history. In particular in intra-state conflicts, victims and offenders from different conflict parties are confronted with each other and have to find a way for peaceful coexistence. Often, former countries afflicted by conflict are unable to overcome this challenge, leaving many concepts for reprocessing fruitless.
This degree program is based on the thesis that purely legal and material measures for reprocessing are generally insufficient. The search for truth in the transition process and the way in which post-conflict societies deal with their violent past also play a key role. It is of particular importance where, how, and by whom past conflict is remembered in mass media and schools, as well as museums and public spaces (street names, memorials, places of remembrance, etc.). The memory component helps students to gain a deeper understanding of this complex set of issues by examining various theories, approaches, and cases studies.
Colombia is currently implementing a recently concluded peace treaty after having lived through decades of conflict. Germany can look back on a successful conflict transformation process; however, it still deals with working through its own past. From a Colombian perspective, Germany’s social development and conflict transformation process as well as the way in which the country dealt with its own past is an important and interesting topic. Students from Germany, on the other hand, can gain valuable insight into complex conflict issues and on flight and migration.
Overall, the binational design enables a mutual exchange of experiences, ideas and approaches between students and lecturers both from Europe and Latin America. This encourages students to examine their own approaches and paradigms critically while allowing them to benefit from knowledge and skills gained in their partner country that they will be able to apply effectively in their future careers.
Rankings and assessments
KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2022 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. This is the second time in a row, as KU was also voted the most popular university in 2021. The ranking was based on over 70,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 97 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.
"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.
Since 1653, Universidad del Rosario (UR) has contributed to the social, political and economic development of Colombia. The UR attaches great importance to making a contribution to the country’s successful conflict transformation. In this context, the interdisciplinary research unit JANUS was founded. Since 2015, the group has been dealing with the multidimensional research (history, peace process, post-conflict, dimensions of violence, gender etc.) of the internal Colombian conflict and brings together some of the most renowned scientists and researchers of Colombia. In its research, particular emphasis is placed on the areas of transitional justice research from a legal and political perspective as well as on the research of post-conflict dynamics of peacebuilding (GDR etc.). Almost all courses of the MA Conflict, Memory and Peace are held by professors who are involved in JANUS.
Furthermore, the UR is a member of the academic network of the German-Colombian Peace Institute, the development of which has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) since 2016 with funds made available by the German Federal Foreign Office. The UR also maintains a teaching and research cooperation with the national Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica.
Besides the specialist expertise in the area of peace and conflict studies, particular emphasis should also be placed on the UR’s outstanding position within the academic landscape of Colombia. It is listed in top positions both in national (MIDE) and international (QS University Ranking) rankings.
The UR is situated in the heart of Bogotá’s old town and is characterized by its outstanding study atmosphere. At the same time, the university has a broad offer both for individual learning and group work. The Centro de Recursos para el Aprendizaje e Investigación (CRAI) offers students a state-of-the-art learning environment with a comprehensive selection of books and journals as well as group work spaces, quiet areas and reading rooms.
In addition to the degree programs, students have the possibility to engage in many different cultural and sports activities.
KU students get professional support during their time abroad at the UR and intercultural events such as a tutor system help to introduce them to everyday life at the university and in Bogotá.
KU students must complete their required internship in Latin America. Specific partnerships will be maintained to make it easier for students to find internships places at desirable organizations and companies. The degree program coordinators at Universidad del Rosario provide advice and support when it comes to choosing the internship.
Career possibilities and professional fields
The characteristics and global focus of this degree program qualifies students for taking over responsible positions in an international context, e.g. at:
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
National and international organizations
Universities and research institutes
Private sector companies
Political foundations and associations
Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.
What sets the KU apart
Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.
It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.
Do I have to be Catholic in order to study at the KU? Do I have to deal with Catholic contents during my studies?
No, the KU is open to students of all faiths and beliefs.
At the KU, just as at all state universities, there is freedom of research and teaching. This means that our degree programs focus on the subjects for which you have enrolled – free from external influences.
As a student at our University, you will notice what our understanding of being a Catholic University means for us in one thing in particular: The University’s focus is on the individual person. The talents and potential of all those who teach, study, work and carry out research at the KU form our most important foundation – regardless of their religion or beliefs, nationality, ethical, cultural or social background, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation or age.
This is why we promote your best possible academic education through personal support and an ideal staff-to-student ratio. At the same time, the KU is more than just a place for earning your degree: We attach particular importance to imparting social skills and advancing our students’ sense and value orientation in addition to providing them with a high level of academic and methodical qualification.
Our aspiration for our University is to build bridges between science and society and to make knowledge available for society as well as to integrate impulses from outside the University into our research and teaching practice. We aim to make a valuable contribution to social coexistence, to the free democratic basic order and to preserving creation.
Isn’t Eichstätt quite small for a university town?
With a population of around 15,000, it is probably the smallest university town in Europe. For our students, this means living and learning in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Whether it is on the way to a lecture in the morning, at the canteen for lunch or in the pub in the evening, you will often come across people you know. It is easy to meet people in Eichstätt! By the way, the KU’s “living room” is the Theke, a bar run by students for students. Here, people meet for parties, jam sessions, karaoke evenings or a cozy round of table football.
A small town also means short distances: The library, the swimming pool, the cinema or the supermarket – everything can be reached in a few minutes on foot or by bike. The town is located right in the heart of the Altmühltal natural park – a real paradise for climbers, canoeists, hikers and cyclists just around the corner.
Should you still reach a point when you feel too cooped in, you can breathe big city air easily near Eichstätt. Ingolstadt with its 135,000 inhabitants is only a few kilometers away and offers a variety of shopping and nightlife options.
Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities.
The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.
Some offers and study conditions are different for international students – our International Office is happy to provide help and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team. We are happy to accompany you on your way to the KU and hope that we can welcome you in person soon!
Coordinator Welcome Services and International Campus
Selection procedure: see examination regulations
German A2, English B2, Spanish B2
Application period winter
The application process for international applicants is now completely digital. You can register online in our application portal and carry out and submit your application. After you have carried out the application and uploaded your documents, you do not need to send your documents to us again by post. You do have to submit certified true copies only if you are admitted at the time of enrollment.
Depending on the course of study, you may be asked for information on internships, professional experience, etc. Please upload the relevant documents in the upload area for all the information you provide, even if these are not mandatory fields!
Total of available study places for the binational Master’s degree program "Conflict, Memory and Peace":
Winter semester: 20
Please note, that the selection process is highly competitive.
Scholarship of the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation
The scholarship program of the Elisableth Käsemann Foundation is aimed at students of the binational Master's degree program in Conflict, Memory and Peace at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá.
The Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation focuses on the critical examination of the authoritarian and conflictual past and its consequences for societies in Latin America, Spain and Germany. By promoting transnational exchange on mechanisms of autocratic systems and structures, the foundation aims to support cross-border democratic culture and intercultural understanding between Germany and the Spanish-speaking world.
The aim of the scholarship is to promote an international spirit, tolerance in all areas of culture and international understanding in accordance with the aims of the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation.
The new Master’s degree program: Conflict, Memory and Peace
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