Please note that the registration period is limited. See the box under 'Application and Registration' for the exact registration dates of the minor and courses.

The courses can be taken as part of the minor, or as individual electives. In case you want to follow the minor, you must register for both the minor program as a whole, and also for each individual course. 


Why are people prepared to die for the notion of a ‘mother country’, a nation or a religious group? How do rebel groups govern in the territories they control? How do terrorist organisations mobilize people towards violent action? Why do states outsource their violence to paramilitaries? Why have Western states turned to remote warfare to intervene against perceived security threats? What does it mean when algorithms decide who is worthy of elimination or protection in war? Why do the efforts of international actors to promote peace and to foster democracy in war-torn states often fail?

If you are interested in these types of questions, the minor conflict studies is the right programme for you. This minor examines (internationalized) intrastate conflicts from all around the world, both ‘far away’ and ‘closer to home’, such as the civil war in Mali, the Western coalition bombings in Syria and Iraq, and urban violence and terrorist attacks in France.

After completing this minor, you will be equipped with the critical analytical skills and knowledge to be able to answer questions like these: Why does violent conflict emerge? How are these conflicts organized, how do they transform, and why and how do conflicts become protracted? What are differences and similarities between violent conflicts? What are the promises and pitfalls of international interventions?

The minor programme is taught by staff drawing on a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds including political science, anthropology, non-western sociology, and social psychology. The teaching staff bring to the classroom subject-matter expertise that combines a thorough understanding of theoretical and academic debates with first-hand experience as fieldwork-researchers and policy-practitioners in such diverse settings as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Peru, southern Mexico, France, Kosovo, and Uganda. 

The minor programme has proven to be of great value for a wide range of students that major in a variety of academic disciplines, such as History, International Relations Political Science, Anthropology, International Law, and Development Studies. The programme is taught in English, and a number of places is reserved for exchange students from other Dutch universities or from abroad. We encourage students from different national and academic backgrounds to work together in class assignments and presentations. We use feedback from students to continually improve our courses.

'I enjoyed how current relevant events are discussed during the seminar and put into context. This shows how we can use the material and apply it to what is happening in today's world.' 

'Wat ik erg sterk vond was het gemak waarmee recente gebeurtenissen gekoppeld werden aan de literatuur en concepten. Hiermee doel ik op de gebeurtenissen in Parijs, maar ook op de IS.' 

'I loved that we learned through documentaries and films, it makes it easier to remember things.' 

'De collegestof was veelzijdig en heel interessant. De werkgroepen sloten hier vaak goed op aan en resulteerden in leuke discussies waar de input van de docent ook heel erg fijn was. De sfeer in de werkgroepen was altijd goed en ontspannen.'


If you follow the minor Conflict Studies you will explore theories pertaining to conflict causes, to local dynamics of conflict, and the political processes and wider dynamics brought about by international military interventions and those aimed at post-conflict reconstruction.

The minor has a strong multidisciplinary character. It aims explicitly to combine the study of theoretical issues with the investigation of evidence-based case study material from contemporary violent conflicts. Conflict Studies both examines the local dynamics of conflict (state collapse, the role of political elites, nationalist myth-making, the use of digital techniques by conflict parties, transitions to democracy, governance, ethnicity, identity) and the problems related to international interventions (e.g. by the UN, NATO). The minor also pays attention to other international dimensions of these conflicts, such as the ongoing War on Terror, the role of diaspora groups, the links between migration and conflict, and the use of precision airstrikes and drones.

The course modules include lectures, readings, documentary screenings, individual or group assignments and debate. It is envisaged that you will follow the news on ongoing conflicts so as to be able to apply the course knowledge to current affairs. The courses will be of an interactive nature and you are encouraged to raise questions, promote debate, offer criticisms and contribute to the course contents.

Every course module is meant to:

  • provide you with knowledge and understanding of the academic debates and the analytical vocabulary on a variety of theories that are relevant to understanding conflict dynamics and international interventions in conflicts
  • apply this knowledge (particularly the specialized terminology of concepts, and theoretical approaches) when analyzing and accounting for intricate and complex processes found in individual cases of conflict and intervention from around the world


Students who are interested in the subjects addressed in the minor Conflict Studies and who want to deepen their knowledge in the field of conflict studies can apply for the Master’s programme Conflict Studies and Human Rights, for which this minor provides an excellent preparation and is strongly recommended. Other Master's programmes for which this Minor is a good preparation:


The minor consists of four compulsory course modules (30 EC) and starts in term 1. For more information, see the detailed descriptions of each of the courses below. It is also possible to enrol for separate courses.

Entry Requirements

Look carefully at the entry requirements of the courses and whether there is a placement committee


The registration period is limited. 

To take the minor Conflict Studies you have to have at least 45 EC at Bachelor level. If you have questions about the minor and its courses, please contact minor coordinator Lauren Gould ( For all questions regarding registration and enrollment, please contact the Student Information Desk of the Faculty of Humanities. 


  • All courses have selected entry, with a limited registration period (be aware: 2 weeks).
  • Students that choose to take the minor (and that have registered) get priority access. 
  • A certain amount of places per course is reserved for foreign and external (Dutch) students.

Application and registration

How to register for this minor and its course modules, depends on whether you are a student of Utrecht University or not.

Utrecht University students can register for a minor and the individual modules online via OSIRIS during the Faculty of Humanities course registration period. You must register for both the minor itself and each course module individually.

Courses with priority rules

If you wish to register for a course to which priority rules apply, make sure to register for both the course and the minor during the first two weeks of the course registration period. We will publish a list of courses with priority rules two weeks prior to the course registration period.


Once you have completed the course modules, provided that you were enrolled for both the minor itself and each course module individually in OSIRIS, the minor and study results will be listed on your Study Progress Review.

Deviation standard programme

If you wish to deviate from the standard minor programme, you must request approval from the Board of Examiners of the Bachelor's programme that offers the minor.

Students from other Universities can register for the minor and each course module using the digital registration form during the Faculty of Humanities course registration period. Besides that we also need a Proof of Payment of your tuition fees from your own educational instituion. Please send the form and the Proof of Registration -preferably via email- to the Student Desk Humanities.

Courses with priority rules

If you wish to register for a course to which priority rules apply, make sure to register for both the course and the minor during the first two weeks of the course registration period. We will publish a list of courses with priority rules two weeks prior to the course registration period.

Study results

Once you have completed the course modules with as passing result, you can apply for a list of grades (transcript) of the minor programme at the Student Desk Humanities.

More information

If you wish to know more, or have questions about this minor, please contact the Student Desk Humanities.

Minor coordinator