Master of Arts Degree in Peace Studies and International Relations

The Institute offers a Master of Arts Degree in Peace Studies and International Relations. Certificate Courses of 36 hours per course unit are offered regularly. Post-Graduate Diploma in the same field will be offered starting August 2015


M.A. Programme

The Master of Arts Degree in Peace Studies and International Relations is designed as an intensive two-year academic programme with an emphasis on the major subject areas of the theory and practice of international affairs and conflict resolution. The M.A. degree is awarded on completion of a 20,000 word thesis. Students have the option of taking day or evening classes. Students who cannot complete the program in two years have the option of stretching the program to four years.

The course consists of two parts:

  • The first three semesters are devoted to full time study by course work and end-of-semester examinations.
  • The second semester of the second year is then taken up by a research project lasting a minimum of twelve weeks. Candidates will be allowed to commence their research project only after clearance with the supervisor and the Academic Board. MA students will commence writing their thesis once their thesis proposals have been presented, defended and approved by a minimum of three panelists as a fulfillment of the comprehensive examination.

 Programme Information

Academic Year and Semesters

An academic year is equivalent to two semesters. A semester consists of 15 weeks, of which fourteen are for teaching and instruction, and one week for examinations.

Definition of Credit Hours

A credit is defined as one contact hour per week for fifteen weeks. A unit which has three contact hours per week is a three credit course.

Structure of the Programme

  • Candidates will be offered a set of core and non-core courses each semester.
  • Core units are compulsory for all candidates registered for the Master of Arts in Peace Studies and International Relations Programme and must be examined for the award of the Masters Degree.
  • Non-core units are those preferred by students depending on their needs and area of interest. Both core and non-core courses registered must be passed.
  • Each candidate for the MA must take a total of 42 credits in course work: 11 core courses and at least 3 non-core courses. These courses are undertaken during three Semesters. The presentation and defense of the thesis proposal will count for 12 credits and, the thesis itself, when completed and marked, will count for 12 credits as well. The total required credits for MA is 66.

The Dean of Studies, the Director of the Institute, and students registered for a given course will evaluate the quality of teaching, based on adherence to the curriculum, punctuality, and other factors to be determined by the Institute.  

Course Distribution

First Year
Course ID Course Title Credits
Semester 1 Core Units  
PS 510 Theory of Conflict 3
PS 511
International Relations
PS 512 African Culture and Conflict 3
  None Core Units  
PS 533 International Human Rights Law 3
PS 535 Enviroment and Disaster Management 3
PS 652 Communication for Conflict resolution and Culture Dialogue  
PS 643 Diplomacy 3
Semester 2 Course Units  
PS 516 Conflict Resolution  3
PS 517 Regional Integration, Globalization and Peace  3
PS 621
International Economics
PS 622
Social Science Research Methods
PS 639 Practice of Conflict Resolution, IR & Diplomacy  3
  Non-Core Units  
PS 513 Foreign Policy Analysis 3
PS 536 International Peacekeeping Mission 3
PS 654 Identity and Conflict 3
Second Year
Course ID Course Title  Credits
Semester 1 Core Units  
PS 514 Ethics of war and Peace Building 3
PS 620
Religion and Peace Building
PS 645 Elements of Statistics 3
PS 640 Thesis Proposal and Presentation 12
  Non-Core Units 3
PS 515 International Security 3
PS 638 Refugees, International Law and Politics in Africa 3
PS 648 Project Management 3
Semester 2 Course Units  
PS 641 Thesis 12

Examination Regulations

Students will not be allowed to sit the end-of-semester examination unless they have attended lectures and seminars regularly and consistently, and have covered not less than two thirds of the course. The final mark given for a unit will be a combination of course work and final examinations.For each unit, the pass mark will be 50%. This is based on a combination of coursework tests, assignments, term papers, practical work, class participation and end-of-semester examination marks. The allocation of marks are as follows:

  • Coursework and continuous assessment 40%
  • Final written/oral examination 60%
  • Total: 100%

In order to proceed to the next academic year of study, a candidate must pass in all the courses registered and examined in a given academic year, either by ordinary, supplementary or special examinations. 

 Supplementary Examinations

Any candidate who fails up to two courses in a semester with a mark of between 40-49% may be allowed to sit supplementary examinations within three months of the end of the semester in the academic year in which the course was offered. The pass mark in a supplementary examination shall be 50%. 

 Special Examinations

Any candidate who through unavoidable circumstances is unable to sit for one or more examination papers or continuous assessment tests may, on recommendation of the Examinations Board, be permitted to take special examinations in the relevant papers or complete his/her course assessment. 


Any candidate who fails supplementary examinations will repeat the course or courses. The maximum number of courses a candidate can repeat is three. One can repeat a course only once. 


  • Any candidate who fails more than two courses in a semester will be automatically discontinued.
  • A candidate who fails a repeated course will be discontinued
  • Any candidate involved in any form of cheating or plagiarism on assignments or examination violates intellectual integrity and is subject to disciplinary action or even discontinuation. 

 Grading System

The following grades are used in the graduate course work:

  • 75 and above A Outstanding
  • 70 – 74 : A- Excellent
  • 65 – 69: B+ Very Good
  • 60 – 64: B Good
  • 55 – 59: C+ Passing Grade
  • 50 – 54: C Minimal Passing Grade
  • 49 and below F Failure 

 Graduation Requirements

In order to qualify for the award of the Master of Arts in Peace Studies and International Relations, all M.A. students must:

  • Register, attend lectures, do course work and examinations, and pass in all registered units
  • Submit a research project and score 50% or above in the completed thesis.
  • Attend the Seminars (Hekima Peace Forum) of Semester I & Semester II. A Seminar is a monthly non-credit two-hour session of presentation and discussion given by an academic, a professional or an activist in the field of peace, international relations, conflict and reconciliation.
  • Have completed 64 credits (42 for courses; 24 for research thesis proposals and the final thesis). 


For admission to the Master of Arts in Peace Studies and International Relations degree programme, candidates must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Attained Second Class Upper Division in the BA degree. Candidates with the Second Class Lower Division can be considered if they have a proven two year work experience or post graduate Diploma in the relevant field of peace and international relations.
  • Certified post-secondary education certificates and transcripts for all mentioned schools
  • Completed application form
  • 4 Passport Photographs
  • Statement of purpose
  • Referees' recommendation
  • Financial Commitment Form
  • Completed Students Permit (non – Kenyans only) ~ pg 9 of the application form

Each application must include registration fee of KShs. 2100 payable to Hekima College

Note: The applicant must ensure that all the above documents reach the Office of the Registrar before the application can be considered for review. 


MA application deadline is on 30th  December 2017. Start your application early


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