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Irish School of Ecumenics, Semester Abroad Programme, Dublin: Conflict, Religion, Peace-building in International Affairs (30ECTs)



This course provides innovative and challenging opportunities for students who are interested in the increasingly relevant field of religion, conflict. The course is distinguished by a strong inter- and multi-disciplinary approach, drawing upon collaborations between the academic staff from the Master courses, Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies and International Peace Studies.

Students will develop a critical grasp of the interplay of conflict, peace and religion. Participants will also be able to apply their knowledge to current issues and selected case studies. Assessment will be based primarily on a written assignment.

Reasons to choose Semester Abroad Conflict, Religion, Peace-building in International Affairs

- Field trips to Belfast and UN Geneva and guest lectures from academic experts and diplomats*

- Vibrant international environment

- Renowned university dating from the 16 century

- Excellent library and study facilities

- Strong pastoral care for students in small class-setting

- Lively and dynamic city

*NB: The Belfast field trip usually starts before the start of Semester 2, so students should plan to arrive before the semester starts, if they wish to do the trip.

Visiting undergraduate students will benefit from the Trinity College experience of learning within a rich historical and cultural context. This will be facilitated through organised orientation processes and structured opportunities for cultural and fieldwork visits to Northern Ireland, the International Criminal Court in The Hague or the United Nations in Geneva. With students coming to ISE from every continent, this exciting new course will itself be an intercultural laboratory of learning, dialogue and engaging with diversity.


Modules offered: all modules are offered in Semester Two*

Students may choose 3 modules from the following list of options:

EM3302 - Religion, Conflict and Peace in International Relations, 10 ECTS
EM3303 - Engaging Religious Fundamentalism, 10 ECTS
EM3304 - Gender, War and Peace, 10 ECTS
EM3305 - World Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue – 10 credits

*NB: Some Modules may change from year to year

Read module summaries in more detail

Field Trips

There are various field trips and guest lectures and social events throughout the year. Students who are taking the Semester Abroad programme are welcome to join us for these events.

The United Nations (UN) Geneva trip comprises a two-day conference hosted by UN staff in Geneva, providing lectures and discussion about various topics, including Human Rights, Peace-Keeping and Disarmament, Development.

The Belfast field trip includes guest lectures and a tour of Belfast for Dublin-based students.

'The trip to Belfast was absolutely one of the most valuable experiences I have had while in Ireland. The opportunity for candid conversations with people in this conflict society is something I hoped for when I applied to Trinity. It is an opportunity that no one in our program should miss.' By Mary McCartin, MPhil International Peace Studies

Course Learning Outcomes

Our focussed modules, field trips, guest speakers and learning environment mean that on successful completion of the semester, students should be able to:

- Identify and describe the relationship between religion, conflict and its resolution in social, religious and geo-political contexts;

- Compare and critically discuss existing explanations for ethnic conflict;

- Critically review research and scholarly debates on the role of religious belief and identity claims in conflict and peace;

- Identify and critically evaluate the theories and frameworks used in researching theology, religion and peace studies;

- Communicate arguments and positions clearly and effectively in both verbal and written form, based on evidence and critical reasoning

Further Queries?

Please contact:

Course coordinator: Prof. Carlo Aldrovandi – email:

Further information: Ms Helen Murphy – email:



Last updated 11 February 2019 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).