Does the signing of a peace settlement bring about peace? If so, Northern Ireland has been a "post-conflict" society since 1998. The causes and natures of the Troubles, the violent conflict that raged in Northern Ireland for 30 years, are compelling, but what's the point of investigating this if it's all over?
Throughout this semester-long International Conflict Research Institute-affiliated program students wrestle with challenging questions: Why is peace so fragile 20 years after political agreement? Can justice, truth, and forgiveness be accommodated? How can democracy be rebuilt in a fractured landscape? In a society where barricades known as "peace walls" still separate communities, students critically examine the work of conflict transformation.
Students live, work, and study in Derry/Londonderry. There and in Belfast, Dublin, the north Antrim coast, and boarder areas, students meet with community members directly impacted by violence, who are now working to build peace and a shared society. Individual internships during the middle of the semester allow students to be actively involved in the ongoing work of peacebuilding and community development. Past internships sites include 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.
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 $750 Scholarships for Community Engagement, $1,500 Scholarships for Social Justice and $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|
|Spring Semester||2020||10/01/2019 **||Rolling Admission||TBA||TBA|
|Fall Semester||2020||03/01/2020 **||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.