Study programme

The Master's programme Conflict Studies and Human Rights comprises one year (60 EC). A study year is divided into two semesters, running from September until January and from February until June. A semester is divided into two study periods. 


The programme consists of compulsory courses, research and thesis writing. An internship is optional. Check the study schedule (PDF) 

Semester 1 | Study period 1 and 2

  • You take six compulsory courses.
  • In the course Preparing Research Project in the second study period you will prepare a draft research proposal on the basis of which you will research and write your thesis.
  • If you intend to do an internship in the second semester you should also make final arrangements in the second study period to secure and arrange your internship.

Semester 2

You are given the freedom to select a programme trajectory of your choice (30 EC):

  • Research LAB of 10-12 weeks (15 EC) and Research & Thesis Writing (15 EC)
  • Research & Thesis Writing only (30 EC)
  • Internship of 10-12 weeks (15 EC; internship report of 4,000 words) and Research & Thesis Writing (15 EC)

Best Master’s Thesis Award 2020

The Award for Best Master's Thesis 2020 went to one of our students, Marrit Woudwijk. In her thesis “The Lesser Truth: Truth Construction on Remote Warfare and the Case of the US-led anti-ISIS Coalition in Syria”, Woudwijk explores how Syrian refugees think about the bombings of their land, and how their experience relates to how this war is being represented in the Netherlands. 

Read the news item
Picture: Tim Vermeire

Educational methods

  • The first semester consists of lectures (50%) and seminars (50%).
  • The second semester consists of individual field research and/or an internship and thesis writing.


In recent years, our students have completed internships at, for example, ClingendaelRanger CampusPax ChristiMinisterie van Defensie and Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation


  • brief weekly reflection papers and more elaborate essays
  • oral group presentations
  • peer review performance
  • integrated exam at the end of the first study period
  • literature review
  • research proposal
  • internship report
  • academic thesis

Extra opportunities

For students looking for an extra challenge in addition to their Master's, there are several options. Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master's programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum. Honours programmes are available at interdisciplinary level and allow you to work on projects that transcend your own discipline.

Read more about the honours programmes