What are the root causes of the Northern Ireland conflict, commonly called "the Troubles"? What progress has been made towards building a sustainable peace? In a country where imposing peace walls still separate historically divided communities, how have citizens assumed crucial roles in conflict transformation? Students examine these questions, and more, over the course of this semester-long, seminar-style class, based at Ulster University in the city of Derry~Londonderry.
Students travel through Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as part of integrated learning experiences that connect classroom with community. Field visits to Belfast, Donegal, Dublin, the north Antrim coast, and border areas offer students unique opportunities to meet with community members and activists who have been directly impacted by violence, and who are engaged in building peace and a shared society.
An individual internship, woven into the curriculum, allows students to be directly involved in the ongoing work of peace-building and community development. In past years internship sites have included Children in Crossfire, the Rainbow Project, and the Playhouse Theatre.
A seven-week internship in Derry/ Londonderry allows students to be directly involved in efforts of social change toward a peaceful future. The diverse perspectives gained at the internship will help students explore how society is progressing and analyze the cultural traditions and resources available for building a sustainable and inclusive democracy. Internship sites ultimately provide an opportunity to do meaningful work that makes a difference. Some organizations are grassroots with a local focus while others are international in scope.
Field seminars focus on human rights, equality, conflict transformation and education for democracy and help you see in action the tools used to transform conflict. Each student also carries out an independent study project on a topic of personal choice, which includes field research.
Click the link to read the reflection of Eileen McNulty, a 2015 program participant: "Why are you going to burn it down?"
Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)
- Area/Ethnic Studies
- Conflict Studies
- Criminal Justice / Corrections
- Human Rights Advocacy
- International Relations
- Journalism / Broadcasting
- Legal Studies
- Peace Studies
- Political Science/Politics
- Public Admin, Public Policy, Govt
- Social Policy
- Social Sciences
- Social Work
- Women's Studies
Please contact HECUA for current pricing, or check the website, here. Program fees include group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.
This Program is open to
Typical Living Arrangements
- Group living
Participants Travel to Northern Ireland
Independently or in Groups
Scholarships are Available
HECUA provides up to three $750 Scholarships for Community Engagement, two $1,500 Scholarships for Social Justice and four $4,000 Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for scholarships is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.
Application Process Involves
- Letters of Reference
- Online Application plus Application Assessment
Northern Ireland: Democracy and Social Change
In 1969, society in Northern Ireland was seized by violent conflict that erupted from issues relating to civic, social and political differences. Today, Northern Ireland offers an example of the vast dimensions of transition from conflict to a sustainable democracy. Students examine the historical, political and religious roots of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the prospects for peace and the progress being made. Through readings, lectures, discussions, internships, group study projects and field experiences this program invites interaction with people involved in social change. The program explores theoretical approaches to understanding conflict and its transformation as well as the processes underway in Northern Ireland to create a sustainable democracy.
Classes are held at the University of Ulster with field study in selected regions of Northern Ireland. The program is affiliated with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Center for Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy.
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Fall Semester||2019||03/01/2019 **||Rolling Admission||TBA||TBA|
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.