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Conflict Studies (Honours Bachelor of Arts) for Algonquin College Social Service Worker Graduates

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Program description

Conflict Studies examines the sources and dynamics of conflicts and conflict resolution. We analyse the political, religious, social, and psychological aspects of conflicts, at the local, national, and international levels. Specific courses look at identity, memory, and trauma. We study violent, non violent, humanitarian, and diplomatic responses to conflicts, as well as reconciliation and peace building.

Offered by the Faculty of Human Sciences, a formation in Conflict Studies provides students with a multidisciplinary approach that includes elements of political science, social psychology, and ethics. Graduates of Conflict Studies also acquire some skills useful for managing and resolving conflicts.

In addition to the foundational courses,* the program encourages reflection on the relationship between violence, social justice, conflict resolution and peace building through courses in psychology, ethics and politics. Students are also given an opportunity to explore specific subjects in greater depth.

A student enrolled in the Conflict Studies program (Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization) may add a complementary minor in Social Communication, Private and Public Ethics, Ethics (Theology), Philosophy, Philosophical Theology, Group Intervention and Leadership or Theology, according to the student’s particular interests and requirements.

*The foundational courses are a compulsory part of every bachelor’s degree program offered at Saint Paul University.

What you’ll learn

During your studies you will learn to identify and describe the main types of conflicts and their characteristics at the local, national and international level, and to select and use the most suitable methodologies to analyze various conflicts.

Using case studies, observation and simulations, you will learn to identify the methods that help to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts.

Why choose Saint Paul University?

  • For its small class sizes and close student-teacher ratio
  • For its safe, secure and friendly campus with personalized services
  • For its bilingual setting in the heart of the national capital
  • For its diverse student population and international vision
  • For its solid reputation, experience, history and Catholic tradition

Career opportunities

  • Aid worker
  • Complaints and grievances officer
  • Conflict resolution officer
  • Emergency response officer
  • Human resources officer
  • Human rights officer
  • Immigration officer
  • International conflicts analyst
  • International policy analyst
  • International relations specialist
  • Labour policies analyst
  • Mediator
  • Ministerial assistant
  • Peace building officer
  • Policy research officer
  • Regional development analyst
  • Social services officer
  • Union manager
  • Visa officer

Click here to find out more about Admission Scholarships at Saint Paul University.

Other programs that may interest you

The list of required courses is presented under the Program Requirements tab.

Procedures relevant to program admission

Eligible candidates from Algonquin College who wish to avail themselves of this agreement must adhere to the following procedure:

  • The admission form for Saint Paul University or the Ontario Universities’ Admission Centre (OUAC) must be used to draw up your request;
  • The Admission request must be received no later than April 30 and an academic transcript showing evidence that the studies program diploma for Algonquin College has been received;
  • If the academic transcript is incomplete, admission will be conditional to the presentation of a final academic transcript showing that the diploma has been received for the studies program at Algonquin College;
  • Administrative fees related to the admission request are applicable.

Saint Paul University reserves the right to refuse this agreement to a candidate who obtained his or her diploma for the studies program at Algonquin more than three years before submitting his or her request for admission.

Offer of admission

You must complete this form:

Apply Now

Note: If you anticipate sending applications for admission to more than one university, we recommend that you complete de Application for admission form of the Ontario Universities’ Admission Centre (OUAC).

Apply through OUAC



In order for us to assess your application, you must submit official transcripts for all of your previous studies (secondary, college and university). These transcripts must be sent directly from your academic institution to the following address:

Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4

However, to expedite the assessment process for your application, you can scan your documents and e-mail them to the Office of Admissions at and then send your official documents through the mail.



Once the Office of Admissions receives all the required documents, it will begin to assess your application. One of the following decisions will be sent to you at the email address you gave us, as well as to your postal address.

Possible decisions

  • Offer of admission
    The Office of Admissions will send you an offer of admission (unconditional).  
  • Conditional offer of admission 
    The Office of Admissions will make you a conditional offer of admission, with specific conditions that you must meet by a certain deadline. You can still proceed to registration (course selection).
  • Deferred decision
    The Office of Admissions can inform you that some information is missing and therefore the University is unable to make a decision regarding your eligibility. If applicable, the Office will tell you which documents to send and by what date.
  • Refusal
    The Office of Admissions will inform you of the reasons for the refusal.



To accept an offer of admission and a scholarship offer, if applicable, you must sign the form entitled Admission acceptance form that accompanies your offer of admission and send it to Saint Paul University by email, before the deadline, to or mail it to: 

Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4



With your offer of admission, you will receive all the information you will need to choose your courses. You will also receive the contact information for our academic advisors; you can meet with them one on one or during information sessions for guidance and to help you finalize your course selection.

Fondational Courses (18 credits)

Compulsory Courses (15 credits)    

  •  HTP1101 Trends in Western Thought
  •  HTP1102 Artistic and Literary Imagination: Expressions of the Human Experience
  •  HTP1103 People, Politics and the Planet
  •  HTP1104 Faith, Justice and the Common Good
  •  PHI2181  Human Knowledge

Optional Courses (3 credits) 

3 credits from   

  • MIS2103 World Religions
  • THO1306 Exploring the Sacred
  • THO1307 Understanding the Bible

Discipline Specific Courses (45 crédits)

Compulsory Courses (39 credits)

  • ECS2103 Negotiation
  • ECS2104 Mediation
  • ECS2111 Research Methods in Conflict Studies I
  • ECS2112 Research Methods in Conflict Studies II
  • ECS2191 Introduction to Conflict Studies
  • ECS2192 Inequality, Conflict and Social Justice
  • ECS3101 Introduction to Technical and Legal Aspects of Conflict Resolution
  • ECS3125 Peaceful Resolution of Violent Conflict
  • ECS3140 Gender Relations and Conflict
  • ECS4101 Causes of Conflict I: Biological and Psychological Approaches
  • ECS4102 Causes of Conflict II: Sociological and Rationalist Approaches
  • POL1101 Introduction to Political Science (UO)
  • PSY1102 Introduction to Psychology: Applications (UO) or IPA 1122 Human Behavior and Spirituality: Empirical Observations

Optional Courses (6 credits)

3 credits from:

  • PHI2111 History of Ethics
  • THO2315 Ethics and the Human Person

3 credits from :

  • POL2101 Introduction to Canadian Politics (UO) or POL2103 Introduction to International Relations and Global Politics (UO)

Elective courses (27 credits)

  • Students  choose 27 credits 
  • 6 credits must be of 3000 or 4000 level


ECH 3310 - Human Rights and Conflict Studies : Compared Perspectives (UO)

Study of how and why societies throughout the world differ in their levels and forms of conflict and methods of settling disputes.

Prerequisite: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110.

ECH 3320 - War and Security : Historical Perspectives (UO)

Historical perspective, with conceptual tools from other disciplines used when appropriate. Theoretical explanations, militarism, the international system, internal order, and the search for peace will be among the topics.

Prerequisite: ECH 2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110. Previously ECS3320.

ECH 3340 - Social Inequalities, International Agreements and Social Movements (UO)

Analysis of social inequality within the global community. Role of international agreements in managing and reducing inequalities, especially those based on race, gender, social class and the level of economic development. Presentation of the impact of social movements. Critical analysis of international agreements.

Prerequisite: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110. Previously ECS3340.

ECH 4320 - Conflict Resolution and Peace Building (UO)

International conflict resolution is a field of practice and of theoretical study. Through case studies, identification of the various possibilities available to the decision-makers in the process of peace building and conflict resolution.

Prerequisites: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110 and 54 university credits. Previously ECS4320.

ECS 2103 - Negotiation

Concepts and foundations. Difference between mediation and negotiation. Case Studies. Ethical considerations. Role playing and practical exercises. Specificities of negotiation among ethnic and religious groups. A minimum of ten laboratory hours will be required in this course.

Prerequisite or concomitant: ECS2321.

ECS 2104 - Mediation

Concepts and foundations. Objectives of mediation, importance of third parties. Mediation and post-modernity. Ethical considerations. Role playing and practical exercises. Specificities of mediation among ethnic and religious groups. A minimum of ten laboratory hours will be required in this course.

Prerequisite: ECS2103.

ECS 2111 - Research Methods in Conflict Studies I

Introduction to the philosophy of science. Research Ethics. Development of research projects: questions, hypotheses, variables, data and analysis. Textual and qualitative research methods: bibliographic research, historical research, interviews, case studies, and observation. Problems related to the study of ethnic and religious conflicts.

Prerequisite or concomitant: ECS 2191.

ECS 2112 - Research Methods in Conflict Studies II

Preparation of comparative and quantitative research projects. Use of data sets, surveys and polls. Statistical analysis: correlation, regression analysis, trends, statistical inference. Examples taken from the study of ethnic and religious conflicts.

Prerequisite or concomitant: ECS 2191.

ECS 2124 - Local and Community Responses to Conflict

Conflict is always experienced at a community level, whether its source is local or international. This course identifies and examines the many different ways in which local or community level actors respond to the causes and effects of violent and non-violent conflict in their midst.

ECS 2126 - Indigenous Peoples and Conflict

A review of conflict and peaceful coexistence between indigenous peoples and settler societies around the world, including the examination of (1) differences among the world’s indigenous peoples in their cultures, political economic situations, and in their relationships with colonizing settler societies and (2) efforts to transcend “contemporary colonialism” and “post-modern imperialism” to establish indigenously defined cultural, social, and political orders.

ECS 2191 - Introduction to Conflict Studies

A multidisciplinary introduction to research in the evolving field of peace and conflict studies, with emphasis on ethnic and religious conflict. Cases are drawn from local to global levels. Includes anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, political science, law, labour relations, theology, philosophy, gender studies and security studies.

ECS 2192 - Inequality, Conflict and Social Justice

This course consists of two components: (1) the examination of the variable linkages between inequality (economic, social, political), injustice, and violent conflict; and (2) the examination of efforts to create environments characterized by equality, equity, justice and peace.

ECS 2928 - Language and Conflict in Canada

Overview of relations between English- and French-speaking groups in Canada with emphasis on their identity components. Review of efforts undertaken at various levels to address tensions related to language differences. Dialogue and elaboration of proposals for improving linguistic relations.

Bilingual course. Students are expected to work in both official languages.

Prerequisite: ECS2321.

ECS 3101 - Introduction to Technical and Legal Aspects of Conflict Resolution

Introduction to some concepts pertaining to the analysis and resolution of conflict: judicial norms, contracts, binding character of judicial decisions, judicial organization and structures, formal processes of mediation and negotiation. The course also includes consideration of some aspects of international law, as well as principles of conflict management in key fields areas such as labour, social services, etc.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192.

ECS 3110 - Internship I

Internship in a reputed institution for a minimum of 150 working hours. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisites: 24 ECS credits and a cumulative grade point average of B+.

ECS 3123 - Psychological Impacts of Conflicts

A multidisciplinary examination of trauma: Disruption of responsive mechanisms. Decision making in crises. Contributing factors affecting the impact of trauma. Conflict and psychological transformation.

Prerequisites: PSY1101 and PSY1102 or IPA1121 and IPA1122.

ECS 3124 - Conflict in Organizations

Introduction to the resolution of conflicts related to labour relations and policy differences in large organizations, especially in the public sector, with emphasis on ethnic and religious conflict. Roles of employers, workers, unions, third parties, mediation mechanisms, arbitration, and administrative tribunals.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192.

ECS 3125 - Peaceful Resolution of Violent Conflict

This course compares and contrasts different approaches to the pacific resolution of violent conflict, such as peace building, peacemaking, and peace operations. Contribution of religions to peace building. An effort is made to understand when, why, and how such approaches are effective or ineffective for managing and resolving conflicts.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192.

ECS 3126 - Discrimination and Conflict

Theories of discrimination: direct, indirect and systemic discrimination. Pluralism and multiculturalism. Anti-discrimination law: areas of application. Theories of reasonable accommodation and undue hardship. International agreements and equality laws.

ECS 3130 - Special Topics in Conflict Studies

Prerequisites: ECS2191, ECS2192.

ECS 3140 - Gender Relations and Conflict

Social and philosophical theories of gender. Feminist theories of discrimination and power relations as they apply in conflict situations. Ethnic and religious factors in gender-related conflict issues. Constructive responses and social movements.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192. This course was previously ECS2125.

ECS 4101 - Causes of Conflict I: Biological and Psychological Approaches

Examination of the many possible causes of conflict and violence such as aggression, instinct, character traits, learned behaviours, socialization, personality disorders, group influences, mob behaviour, and perceptual issues.

Prerequisites: ECS 2111, ECS 2112, ECS 2192, PSY 1101 or IPA1121, PSY 1102 or IPA1122.

ECS 4102 - Causes of Conflict II: Sociological and Rationalist Approaches

Examination of the many factors affecting conflict and violence including social classes, unequal resource distribution, culture, religion, institutions, decision making. Introduction to game theory in conflict studies.

Prerequisites: ECS 2111, ECS 2112, ECS 2192, ECS2201.

ECS 4130 - Advanced Topics in Conflict Studies

In depth study of particular topics related to conflict studies.

Prerequisites: 51 university credits. Reserved for students registered in Conflict Studies.

HTP 1101 - Trends in Western Thought

This course addresses multiple aspects of the evolution of western thought, from Antiquity to current times, and the impact of major events and thinkers, and the influence of other civilizations on the contemporary understanding of human nature, culture and society.

HTP 1102 - Approaches in the Humanities: Interpreting the Human Experience

Introduction to theoretical approaches in the Humanities and to the methods that are applied to interpret the multiple expressions of human experience, particularly those expressed in important works of art and literature.

HTP 1103 - People, Social Justice and Ecology

Social and ecological challenges facing humanity today, and related issues of social justice. These questions will be examined from a perspective of community building and efforts towards ecological and social transformations for a hopeful future.

HTP 1104 - Faith, Justice and the Common Good

This course investigates faith, justice and the common good from religious, philosophical and human science perspectives. The course draws on classic and contemporary resources, in particular those from the Christian intellectual traditions.

IPA 1121 - Human Behavior and Spirituality: Theoretical Foundations

Purpose and method of psychology. Historical perspective. Bases of the nervous system, consciousness. Sensory processes, perception, cognition, memory, language and thought. Emotions and motivation. Learning process. Introduction to fundamental theoretical psychology of religion.

This course cannot be combined for credit with PSY1101.

IPA 1122 - Human Behavior and Spirituality: Empirical Observations

Heredity, environment and human development. Intelligence. Personality. Mental health, abnormal behavior and therapeutic approaches. Social psychology. Introduction to empirical research in contemporary psychology of religion.

This course cannot be combined for credit with PSY1102.

ISC 2309 - English Composition

This course is dedicated to the improvement of writing skills in order to become an effective communicator in several contexts.

ISC 2314 - Public Speaking

Learning the techniques of efficient public speaking. Introduction and training to personal impression making in electronic media. Development of a professional attitude and self-confidence.

PHI 2111 - History of Western Ethics

When offered, this course would take one of the following three forms: I. Ancient and Medieval Ethics: Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman Ethics. Selection from Plato’s Dialogues, and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Selection from the Epicureans, Stoics, Neoplatonists, and Aquinas. II. Early Modern Ethics: Renaissance Humanists, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, and Hume. III. Post-Kantian Ethics. Selections from Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, J.S. Mill, T.H. Green. Selections from Moore, the positivists and post-modernists. Western ethics may be compared and contrasted to selected non-Western traditions.

PHI 2181 - Human Knowledge

Study of the traditional, universalist, approach to knowledge as well as contemporary standpoint approaches, such as feminist and postmodernist.

POL 1101 - Introduction to Political Science (UO)

Comparative study of the ideas, concepts and issues leading to an understanding of political phenomena and of their impact on the lives of individuals and societies. Reflection on power, citizenship and political participation. Introduction to research tasks (e.g. bibliographic research, writing a research or reading report).

POL 2101 - Introduction to Canadian Politics (UO)

Foundations of the Canadian political space. Constitution, parliamentary government, federalism. Political parties and elections. Overview of political forces (classes, groups, movements). (CAN)

Prerequisite: POL1101 or 18 university credits. (Previously POL2201)

POL 2103 - Introduction to International Relations and Global Politics (UO)

Study of international relations and the dynamics within global order with an emphasis on key concepts, theories and analytic frameworks. Analysis of contemporary issues and their impact on globalization and inter-state relations. (INT)

Prerequisite: POL1101 or 18 university credits. (Previously POL2203)

PSY 1101 - Introduction to Psychology: Foundations (UO)

Object and method of psychology. Heredity, environment, human development. Nervous system, consciousness. Sensory processes, perception, cognition, memory, language, and thought. Learning.

Previously: PSY1200. This course cannot be combined for credit with IPA1121.

PSY 1102 - Introduction to Psychology: Applications (UO)

Emotions, motivation. Personality. Mental health, abnormal behaviour and therapeutic approaches. Social psychology. Historical perspective.

Previously: PSY 1200. This course cannot be combined for credit with IPA1122.

THO 1306 - Exploring the Sacred

The human effort to express the experience of the sacred and to name our sense of the “Beyond”. The different forms such expressions have taken: cosmic wonder and its symbols, foundations stories, ritual life. The meaning of this effort for understanding the quest of the human spirit and its attempts to build order in society and community.

THO 1307 - What is the Bible?

The Bible: book or library, history or story? History of the Jewish people and of the culture in which the Bible was written. The Bible and its content. Interpreting the text. The Jesus event. The influence of the Bible on history and on contemporary culture.

THO 2315 - Being Human

What is ethics? Introduction to the key ethical ideas that shape our lives. Ethical riches of the Christian tradition to understand ourselves and our responsibilities to other persons.

THO 2410 - World Religions

Introduction to the world religions with an emphasis on Christian faith in interaction with other living faiths.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions, Registrar and Student Services
Room 148
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

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Telephone: 613-236-1393 ext. 8990
Fax: 613-782-3014

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Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please leave your documents in the mailbox in front of room 148 when our offices are closed.