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Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict and Development

Please note that the final enrolment date for this qualification will be 10 October 2019 after which it will no longer be available to new students. You must complete your study by 31 December 2021. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our advisers, please contact us.

This certificate presents a framework for looking at the origins of all kinds of conflict – from civil wars to community disturbances – and explores the theory, policy and practice of intervention. You'll investigate the nature of development primarily from an international perspective. It is relevant to work in a wide range of contexts, including humanitarian or military agencies, post-war support operations, and conflict resolution around gender, class or ethnicity.

Key features of the course

  • Explores the complexity of ‘development ‘ and the contexts in which it takes place, locally and globally
  • Critically analyses development management 
  • Analyses the complex ways in which conflict is generated and the diverse forms it takes
  • Develops the range of skills that contribute to conflict mitigation and the building of peace
  • Makes links between academic learning and professional practice, to the benefit of both 

This certificate is part of a progressive programme of courses that also includes the Postgraduate Certificate in Development Management (C48), Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights and Development Management (C96), Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (D37) and MSc in Development Management (F11).


Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Minimum – 6 months
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits as follows:

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 01 Nov 2019
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 01 Nov 2019

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

We recommend that you study Development: context and practice (T877) first, particularly if you are new to this subject.

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.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 20th March 2019.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

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.

Credit transfer

You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.

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 achieve an MSc in Development Management (F11).


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

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. 

How long it takes

Most students study this qualification in one year, by studying the two six-month modules in succession. The minimum time to complete is six months (by studying the two modules at the same time starting in November); we do not recommend this, but it might suit you if you have no other major time commitments during that period. 

Career relevance

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, interdisciplinary and international 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.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.