MA and PhD in Peace & Security Studies

MA in Peace & Security Studies

One of the tasks Addis Ababa University has bestowed upon the IPSS is training academic staff from other universities in Ethiopia. To undertake this national task, IPSS accepts students from national and regional institutions and trains them in the programme. In addition to applicants from government institutions, private applicants that fulfill the entry requirements can also enroll in the programme. This course is especially dedicated to producing a global perspective for students whose international experience is mostly limited.
In 2015/16, 26 students graduated from the programme, of which 11 were female graduates. The average age of the programme’s participant was 30.
The topics selected by the students for their 2015/16 Master’s theses were diverse and compelling. Research topics included: ‘Regulating proliferation and misuse of small Arms and Light Weapons in Eastern Gojjam zone of Amhara Regional State’, ‘The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Sustaining Peace and Development Between Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan’, ‘Deradicalisation in the context of Islam’, ‘The role of IGAD’s hegemons in the South Sudan peace talk’ and ‘Private security company in Ethiopia: In the case of Addis Ababa activities, Challenges and opportunities’.
The master’s programme delivers excellent career prospects. Our graduates continue to find prominent positions in the field of peace and security. One former student became the Ethiopian Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Another graduate was appointed Minister of commerce in Ethiopia currently advisor to the prime minister of Ethiopia, and yet another former student became Director General of the UN peacekeeping forces for the Ethiopian charter.

Course Handbook: Download the Academic Handbook (2016-2018)


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PhD in Peace & Security Studies

The PhD Programme in Peace and Security Studies is currently in its seventh year since its launch in 2010. The programme, particularly tailored for Ethiopian students, has developed into a sophisticated graduate programme within the framework of AAU.

Out of 40 students who have been enrolled in seven cohorts, 6 have graduated. Currently, students from the first to the sixth cohort are working on their dissertation while those in the seventh cohort, admitted in the 2016 academic year, are taking courses designed to prepare them for writing a dissertation on a topic of their choice. Highlights of the PhD topics chosen by candidates include disputes over the River Nile, the Ethiopia-Eritrea war, ethnic conflicts and federalism in Ethiopia, and the conflict in Somalia and South Sudan.

Previously, PhD students visited Denmark to develop their research proposals over a one-month period. The experience allowed the students to establish networks with professionals in their chosen area of study. The group had access to the library resources of Copenhagen University and the Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS). PhD candidates also have the option of having a three month research visit at a university of their choice with funding from AAU. PhD candidates have also presented papers and participated in national and international workshops.

Over the past six years, our PhD students were fortunate to attend courses by several international scholars in peace and security studies, including visiting professors from Bradford University, England; George Washington University, USA; Leiden University, The Netherlands; UN University for Peace, Costa Rica; and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy.

Download: Anthology on Peace, Federalism and Human Rights

Course Handbook: Download the Academic Handbook (2016 – 2018)


For further inquiries, please contact  at