Learn about international humanitarian assistance, social reconstruction, capacity building and peacebuilding. Discover how economic, political and social development affects human security and peace.
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January 08, 2024
The Graduate Diploma in Human Security and Peacebuilding is a one-year, interdisciplinary graduate program.
You see peacebuilding as a broad concept — one that transforms societies through short-term development initiatives that become long-term, sustainable peace processes.
Globally, there’s growing demand for leadership in this field. Leaders like you. Join professionals working in humanitarian aid, social reconstruction, conflict management and peacebuilding.
This diploma program is designed for working professionals and university graduates aspiring to work in human security and peacebuilding. You'll build an understanding of the complex relationships between economic, political, and social development, and human security.
It's also for those who want to advance their professional practice in conflict-related contexts. To do so, you'll learn theoretical and practical skills to help restore peace and civil society.
Once you have completed this program, you'll be able to work in complex conflict/humanitarian scenarios, use conflict resolution mechanisms to develop peaceful solutions, and communicate effectively to exert strong leadership and empathy in humanitarian crises.
These skills will allow you to work in humanitarian fields, international and domestic non-governmental organizations, and police and military organizations.
This program is delivered through a blend of online courses and on-campus residencies.
Online courses consist of assigned readings, synchronous or asynchronous lectures, interactive discussions, and individual and team assignments.
You’re expected to meet deadlines and contribute meaningfully to your class. Your contributions are a big part of everyone’s learning.
In the Graduate Diploma in Human Security and Peacebuilding program, you’ll start with one online course for a period of nine weeks. You'll then take two more nine-week online courses that have an on-campus residency in their fifth week.
The rest of your courses will be fully online. Each online course requires approximately 20 hours of work per week.
This blended program has one two-week residency that occurs in month four of the program.
Residencies are intensive and immersive. Many students say this time together is the highlight of their program.
During your residency, you can expect to:
- attend classes full time (e.g., Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- complete homework and individual and team assignments outside of class hours
- take part in extracurricular activities
You can build from here
The courses in this program are the same as the ones taken by first-year students in the related Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding.
You can apply to switch to the two-year MA while in your diploma program. Your credits will be transferred and you will receive the Master's level degree instead of the diploma.
- Four-year (or comparable) undergraduate degree in a relevant and related field*, with a minimum GPA of 'B+' (3.33/4.33), from a recognized post-secondary institution
* Relevant and related fields are defined by each program based on disciplinary and/or professional practices. Applicants are required to address how they consider their academic education to be relevant and related to their desired program of study within the personal statement questions.
- Applicants who meet the degree requirement, but not the GPA requirement, will be required to have a minimum 5 years of relevant* professional experience.
- Applicants without an undergraduate degree will normally require 10 years of work experience, with a minimum of two years of relevant* professional experience in a leadership or management position**, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- All flexible admission applicants will be required to take "Academic Writing and Critical Thinking" and obtain a minimum B+ (77%).
* Each program, based on disciplinary and/or professional practices, defines what is considered relevant professional experience. Applicants are required to address how/why they consider their respective supervisory (and overall work experience) to be relevant and related to their desired program of study within the personal statement questions.
** Experience in a leadership or management position is considered on the basis of a holistic review of career progression, which demonstrates increasing competency and/or responsibility. This can include, but is not limited to, supervisory functions, signing responsibilities, contributions to organisational change and/or implementation of organisational vision and mission. Applicants are required to address how they consider their work experience to meet these requirements within the personal statement
English language requirements
- If English is not your primary language, please review our English language requirements.
All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:
In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. An application fee will be required. If your application fees are being paid by a third party, review sponsored student information. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.
Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations.
Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution's original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.
All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.
The statement's purpose is to assess applicants' writing skills, as well as their interest and ability to complete the program. Your personal statement should be written as a three to four page narrative and must address each of the following questions using each question as a separate heading:
- Why do you wish to enroll in the human security and peacebuilding program?
- What academic courses and/or training have you done in the area of human security and peacebuilding?
- What work experience have you had in the area of human security and peacebuilding?
- What overseas experience do you bring to the program?
- How is this program relevant to your career goals?
- What experience have you had with distance education and self-directed study?
- What special strengths do you bring to the program?
Letters of reference
Two letters of reference are required and may be provided by current or past employer(s) or by those who have known the applicant in an academic or volunteer setting.
The references must attest to the applicant's suitability to this program, and particularly the applicant's ability to complete a demanding graduate program, including graduate level writing and research. The writer should indicate the length of time and context in which they have known the applicant, and should also consider the ability of the applicant to model appropriate behavior in the field as well as the personal attributes of the applicant.
In the case of an employer's reference, the letter should also attest to the applicant's performance in the context of current or previous employment. The letter should address such areas as work in the field of human security and peacebuilding as well as leadership potential.
Applicant's résumé must include the following:
- Post-secondary education: List all post-secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved.
- Training and professional development in the area of human security and peacebuilding: List career related training and professional development programs completed within the past five years. Include the source of training, and the duration and year completed. List other training and personal development programs not already identified.
- Voluntary/unpaid work experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include name of organization, length of service and a brief description of duties. Highlight experience related to human security and peacebuilding.
- Full-time work experience: Please include name of organization, position, length of service and brief description of duties. Highlight experience related to human security and peacebuilding.
- Professional memberships/affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, community/volunteer sector.
- Other relevant information: Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee.
- Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada, must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
- Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
- An official English language proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
- Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.
For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.
Financial aid and awards
RBC Community Integrated Learning Grants
Funding for students completing a required career learning and development (CLD) work term in the community of at least 420 hours with an organization that cannot provide wages or compensation.
Up to $8,500
ACT WEST Community Foundation Fund
The ACT WEST Community Foundation helps support single mothers build better lives for themselves and their children.
up to 4 years tuition
Admiral John Charles and Mary Charles Scholarship
Awarded annually to a second year School of Humanitarian Studies student who is currently serving or retired military.
Active students (In-course)
Allan Cahoon Global Advancement and Diversity Award
Assist students in underrepresented populations who wish to promote diversity.
Active students (In-course)
Allan Cahoon Scholarship
This scholarship aims to encourage academic excellence, supporting students who excel both academically and through their leadership.
Active students (In-course)
Andrea Fallan Memorial Bursary
Provides financial assistance to a second year BCom student for exceptional leadership, community involvement, and dedication to promote a cohesive team environment.
Active students (In-course)
Asper Foundation Communications Award
Awarded to students in communications-related degree working in, or seeking to work in the communications industry.
Active students (In-course)
Assistance Program for Students with Permanent Disabilities
This program helps students with permanent disabilities pay for exceptional education-related services and adaptive equipment.
Up to $12,144/year