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Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict and Development


This postgraduate certificate is for people whose work includes interventions in conflicts of all kinds, from civil wars to community disturbances. Your involvement may be in humanitarian or military agencies; in post-war support operations; or in resolving conflicts built around gender, class or ethnicity. You may have a professional and/or personal interest in development processes more generally, or simply recognise the significance of conflict in those processes.

This certificate explores the nature of development from an international perspective, presents a framework for looking at the origins of all kinds of conflict, and introduces the theory, policy and practice of intervention.

It offers:

  • a wide-ranging exploration of the contexts in which development takes place
  • a critical review of development management as a discipline
  • an analysis of the complex ways in which conflict is generated
  • an appreciation of the range of skills that contribute to the making of good interventions in conflicts.

The certificate, like all our qualifications, encourages you to make connections between your learning and your own involvement in development. It is available as recognition of postgraduate study for those who, for whatever reason, do not want to continue to the diploma or MSc in Development Management.

We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Development Management (C48), Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights and Development (C96), Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and MSc in Development Management (F11).

You can find additional information about postgraduate development management studies on the Development Policy and Practice website.

Planning your studies

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent), or have experience in this field. If you are a non-graduate we suggest that you contact us for advice before registering on your first module.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details. 

The certificate is made up of two, 30-credit modules that each requires 12 to 15 study hours per week for six months. We recommend that you study Development: context and practice (T877) first, particularly if you are new to this subject.

There is no time limit for completing the qualifications in the development management programme, though we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Career relevance and employability

This qualification extends the competences of practitioners working in a variety of conflict situations, who are required to fashion interventions that at worst ‘do no harm’, at best contribute to a just and lasting resolution of the conflict and the establishment of good relations. It nurtures an awareness of the discipline, integrity and sensitivity required in such interventions.

The modules which make up this certificate offer an historical and interdisciplinary approach for understanding the roots of conflict and a set of skills to do with forming good judgments, making good decisions, building good relationships, negotiating good agreements. This certificate therefore offers lessons for managers working not just in overt conflict situations but in complex, contested contexts more generally.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this postgraduate certificate you require:

60 credits from the following compulsory modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Development: context and practice (T877)

This module provides a conceptual framework for analysing the complex, contested contexts in which development takes place, and a critical analysis of development management practice.

See full description

30 Nov 2015
Conflict and development (T879)

Combining theoretical concepts with practical tools, this module explores the causes of conflict, the impact conflicts have on development, and actions that can help mitigate conflicts.

See full description

30 May 2016

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules TU871, TU875, TUXX871, TUXX875

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict and Development entitling you to use the letters PG Cert Conf Dev (Open) after your name.

You can continue your studies and add 60 credits to your postgraduate certificate to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and a further 60 credits to obtain an MSc in Development Management (F11).


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

How to register

If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.

See a full list of modules available for this qualification

About this Certificate
Code C67
Level Postgraduate
Made up of 60 credits

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