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Applications for study at Te Ao Rongomaraeroa | National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies are currently paused. The Masters in Peace and Conflict will be offered again in 2025 with a revised curriculum.

If you would like to inquire about PhD or MA study options, please contact

General Information about PhD study

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) enables a student with a particular interest to carry out independent, original research culminating in a thesis.

Please direct all enquiries to

Requirements for a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies

This programme is usually completed within three years. A PhD thesis should not exceed 100,000 words and must be a thorough, comprehensive and original study of a topic or issue which makes a significant contribution to the knowledge of the particular field.

Eligibility for the PhD programme

Prospective candidates must have completed either:

  • a four‐year Arts degree with a substantial research component (equivalent to an Honours dissertation at Otago), and must have achieved at least an upper second class Honours (75% plus) for their fourth year of study; or
  • an accredited Masters programme with an appropriate research component.

Acceptance as a candidate for the PhD degree depends upon the University being able to provide adequate expert supervision in the intended area of research.

How to apply for the PhD programme

Acceptance to the PhD programme is highly competitive and we unfortunately have to turn down many well-qualified candidates.

Applications are considered by the Director of PhD programme in conjunction with Faculty in February, April, July and September. You will be informed of their decision on your application by the end of the month of consideration, or shortly thereafter.

Before making a formal application, we strongly recommend that prospective students first contact the PhD Programme Director in order for your proposal and academic records to be evaluated and for Faculty to determine supervisory capacity. After this assessment (which can take up to two months), we may then encourage you to make a formal application for admission to the PhD programme.

The following criteria are used when making an internal assessment:

  • Academic standard: Prospective students must meet the highest academic standards. A first class Honours degree or Masters degree including a significant research component is required; research publications (peer-reviewed articles in academic journals or book-chapters) are desirable.
  • The project proposal must fit well with our research profile and appears manageable and feasible within a three-year time frame and given financial and other constraints.
  • The project must be likely to generate high-quality, publishable work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • A master's degree with a focus on peace and conflict studies is highly desirable.
  • Our research problematique is peace and conflict issues; and our geographic focus is open.

In order for us to make our internal assessment, we need four things from the applicant:

  1. Full academic transcripts highlighting which course is your thesis or dissertation and / or details of your research publications (see above).
  2. Where possible, an electronic copy of the piece of independent research which you submitted for examination.
  3. A curriculum vitae which includes publications, at least one reference letter and the contact details of referees (a minimum of two).
  4. A preliminary research proposal (about 5 pages) which identifies the contribution of the project to the discourse, a description of its theoretical framework, research design, methodology and time plan.
  5. The completed rubric document which helps us to clarify the key points in your application.

Rubric for PhD application (PDF)

Please forward all these documents as attachments in one email to

Rei Foundation scholarships

RFLlogoBH10Since 2013, Te Ao o Rongomaraeroa | the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, in partnership with Rei Foundation Limited, have offered two new doctoral scholarships per year.

Applications are normally called in July for study beginning the following year.  Theses completed by Rei Foundation scholars are noted below.

Rei Foundation Limited (RFL) aims to attain social change through sustainable human development as a means of expanding people's life opportunities and their capacity to make responsible decisions as members of the global community. Scholarships such as this expand not only the opportunities for the students concerned but also for the wider communities that will benefit from their research.

It is RFL's aim that by offering this scholarship, we will be able to nurture capable individuals who will go on to contribute to conflict resolution and peace activities around the world through their research into a multitude of areas. We also hope that these individuals will be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained through this programme to contribute to their local and the global communities.

Conference funding

Get information about Divisional Conference Funding

Some examples of completed PhD theses

Presidential Statements and US use of Force (2018), Griffin Leonard

Nothing about us, without us: The pursuit of inclusive and accessible positive peace (2018), Roberta Francis

Envisioning an Anarcho-Pacifist Peace: A case for the convergence of anarchism and pacifism and an exploration of the Gandhian movement for a stateless society (2018), Joseph Llewellyn

Faa Samoa: Peacebuilder or Peacebreaker? Understanding Samoa's Domestic Violence Problem: A Peace and Conflict Perspective (2018), Michael Ligaliga

Authoritarian Politics and the Outcome of Nonviolent Uprisings (2018), Jonathan Sutton

Peace, violence, and the everyday in the Maoist conflict in Junglemahal, India (2018), Monica Carrer

Rivers of Peace: Third Party Conflict Management of Transboundary River Disputes (2013), Elvira Bobekova

How does Truth-Telling Heal? An Exploration of Voice and Pathways toward Victim Healing in Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste (2014), Holly Guthrey

Understanding effectiveness in peacekeeping operations: Exploring the perspectives of frontline peacekeepers (2014), Ellen Furnari

Tracing the Discursive Origins of the War on Terror: President Clinton and the Construction of New Terrorism in the Post-Cold War Era (2014), Chin-Kuei Tsui

Third-Party Coordination in Conflict Resolution: Views from Third-Party Practitioners in the Maoist Armed Conflict of Nepal and the Moro Conflict of the Philippines (2014), Prakash Bhattarai

Discourse transformation in peace processes: Revisiting Sudan's 2005 comprehensive agreement (2014), Patrick Mbugua

El camino se hace caminando: Using Participatory Action Research to evaluate and develop Peace Education practice in a Secondary School in Northern Nicaragua (2015)
Heather Kertyzia

Human Spirituality and coming together in peace, looking together through two lenses (Maori and Sahaj Marg Raga Yoga) (2015) Janine Joyce

Access to Justice in the Wake of War, Rule of Law Programming and Customary Justice in Post-conflict Bougainville (2016) Naomi Johnstone

“Instruments of Peace?” Franciscans as Peacemakers in Sri Lanka During and After the Civil War (2016) Christopher John Masters

Civil Society Activists in a Protracted Conflict: Explaining Differences in Motivation to Engage in Intergroup Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland (2017) Rachel Rafferty (RFL scholar)

War, Identity, and Inherited Responsibility in Sino-Japanese Relations (2017) Ria Shibata

Owning Peace: Assessing the Impact of Local Ownership of Police Reforms on Post-conflict Peace (2017) John Gray

The Theory and Practice of Emancipatory Counterterrorism (2017) Sondre Lindahl

Fanohge Famalåo'an & Fan'tachu Fama'lauan: Women Rising Indigenous Resistance to Militarization in the Marianas Archipelago (2017) Sylvia Frain

Colonial Continuities: A study of anti-racism in Aotearoa New Zealand and Spain (2017) Mahdis Azarmandi (RFL scholar)

Military Order Disobedience: An Analysis of Personal and Political Transformation (2017) Daniel Fridberg

Arts, Peacebuilding and Decolonization: A Comparative Study of Parihaka, Mindanao and Nairobi (2017) Babu Ayindo

Facilitation, Imposition, or Impairment?: The Role of Bridging Networks on Peacebuilding of Local Religious Leaders in the Deep South of Thailand (2017) Ajirapa Pienkhuntod

The Hidden Potential of the Palestinian Resistance in Israel: A Grounded Theory Study on Resistance among Palestinian Activists in Israel (2018) Nijmeh Ali

Further information

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