Course Offerings

Schedule of Classes

The Schedule of Classes is updated prior to the official enrolment period before each term. 

Current and upcoming course offerings, along with associated course descriptions and past syllabi, are listed below.

Spring 2024

Course ID Course Title Day Time
PACS 620 Special Topics: Gender in War & Peace T, Th 11:30am-12:50pm
PACS 621 Peace Research Self-directed Self-directed
PACS 623 Peace Readings Self-directed Self-directed
PACS 625 Internship NA NA
PACS 626 Conflict Resolution Skills Training NA NA
PACS 640 Political Sociology T, Th 11:30am-2:20pm

Note: To access instructor names and class locationsview your class schedule on Quest.

Details subject to revision.

Fall 2024

Course ID Course Title Day Time
PACS 601 Thinking Critically about Civil Society W 1:30pm-4:20pm
PACS 603 Engaging Communities in Social Change T 6:00pm-8:50pm
PACS 604 Conflict Analysis M 9:00am-11:50am
PACS 620 Special Topics: Thinking and Working Politically Th 2:00pm-4:50pm
PACS 621 Peace Research Arrange Arrange
PACS 623 Peace Readings Arrange Arrange
PACS 625 Internship Arrange Arrange
PACS 626 Conflict Resolution Skills Training Arrange Arrange
PACS 633 Human Rights M 1:30pm-4:40pm
PACS 642 Feminism, Law and Governance TBA TBA
PACS 650 Sustainable Cities M 10:30am-12:30pm

Note: To access instructor names and class locationsview your class schedule on Quest.

For a full listing of graduate courses offered at the University of Waterloo, see the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.

To browse scheduled course offerings by term and subject, see the Graduate Schedule of Classes.

  • Select "1245" (Spring 2024) or "1249" (Fall 2024).
  • Select "PACS" as the subject.
  • Leave the course number box blank for a complete list of courses offered for each term.

To access instructor names and class locationsview your class schedule on Quest.

Course Descriptions

PACS Core Courses

MPACS students must complete the following core courses.

PACS 601 Systems of Peace, Order, and Good Governance | 0.5 units
This course analyzes the roles and responsibilities of civil society, the market, and the state as agents capable of creating just and humane structures. Case studies reveal how individuals can leverage collaboration among all sectors of society to advance positive systemic positive change.

PACS 601 Course Outline Fall 2023 (PDF)  

PACS 602 The Practice of Peace | 0.5 units
This course examines the characteristics and skills of effective peace practitioners, with particular attention to ways in which disciplines of peacemaking can be cultivated by individuals and nurtured by communities. While investigating various roles of the third party, students will explore the practical responsibilities (or tasks) and functions of peace practitioners as well as the core values and qualities that may make them more effective interveners locally, nationally or globally. Students will be introduced to peace research methodologies, research ethics, risk management, as well as various forms of communication used in documentation, analysis, and advocacy.

PACS 602 Course Outline Winter 2023 (PDF)

PACS 603 Building Civil Society | 0.5 units
This course explores operational aspects of civil society organizations such as visionary leadership, goal setting, evaluation, report writing, financial management, applied research skills, and human resource management. Students will also examine codes of conduct and practice, including rules, laws and customary understandings that guide the work of civil society organizations. Students will research contending views of civil society organizations and their complex relationships with government and business, thereby developing a philosophical and ethical framework for evaluating civil society action. 

PACS 603 Course Outline Fall 2023 (PDF)

PACS 604 Conflict Analysis | 0.5 units
This course examines theoretical and practical frameworks for understanding conflict, with particular attention to structures and dynamics inhibiting peace. The course provides students with some of the analytical skills needed to understand how conflicts develop and escalate, to identify factors that can lead to or sustain violence, and to map root causes of conflict (e.g., human rights violations, needs deprivation, cultural and religious differences, inequality, resource misuse and environmental degradation) at interpersonal, intergroup, and international levels. 

PACS 604 Course Outline Fall 2023 (PDF)

PACS 605 Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding | 0.5 units
This course explores the theoretical and practical foundations of various approaches to working with conflict to advance positive goals such as social equity and reconciliation. Attention will be given to a range of conflict resolution methods and practices (facilitation, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, adjudication) as well as to principles of restorative justice and dynamics of collective peacebuilding practice.

PACS 605 Course Outline Winter 2022 (PDF)

PACS Electives

MPACS students must complete at least 1.0 units of the following electives and the research colloquium milestone, which is graded on a credit/no-credit basis.

PACS 610 Contemporary Nonviolent Movements | 0.5 units
Through comparative case studies, this course examines contemporary nonviolent movements that illustrate pacifist and other nonviolent strategies for advancing social justice and other high value political goals. Local, national and transnational campaigns that seek to shape the agenda for global change are examined alongside movements of more limited scope and ambition (e.g., national liberation movements, civil rights campaigns, struggles for democracy). Throughout, attention will be given to trends in practice and to debates concerning the effectiveness, ethical significance, and current relevance of nonviolent change methods.

PACS 610 Course Outline Winter 2021 (PDF)

PACS 611 Reconciliation | 0.5 units
This course uses case studies to analyze the complex issues of trauma, abuse, historical injustice and violence -- and investigates approaches to healing, forgiveness and reconciliation (including memory, testimony, tribunals and reparation/atonement). The course explores theoretical and practical models for transforming relationships, including indigenous and non-formal mechanisms employed internationally, and teaches skills that are employed by effective agents of reconciliation.

PACS 611 Course Outline Fall 2022 (PDF)

PACS 612 Culture, Religion, and Peacebuilding | 0.5 units
This course explores cultural, religious and identity-based dimensions of conflict and conflict resolution, examining major patterns of human difference and their implications for contemporary peacebuilding practice. Case studies, simulations and role plays are used to expose students to the practical reality of building a common peace in the midst of diversity. 

PACS 612 Course Outline Winter 2020 (PDF)

PACS 620 Special Topics in Peace and Conflict Studies | 0.5 units
A seminar course investigating special issues related to peace and conflict. Content may vary from year to year. Recent course offerings include:

PACS  621 Peace Research | 0.5 units
This course requires completion of a research project that develops a student's capacity to do research for an applied objective. The research may be to support a grant proposal, document and contextualize a need or a human rights abuse, analyze what various agencies are doing in the face of common challenges, or write an advocacy brief to a government. Students are expected to demonstrate a high level of competence in research, analysis and writing.

PACS 621 Course Outline (PDF)

PACS 623 Directed Peace Readings | 0.5 units

This reading course gives students space to study literature that explores the full theoretical and contemporary scope of readings pertaining to a proposed field of research.  These readings will be in conjunction with coursework. Students must seek out the approval of a faculty member who is willing to supervise them and have the approval of the department chair.  Students must write a topic proposal and outline of coursework prior to obtaining permission to enroll in the course. 

PACS 623 Course Outline (PDF)

PACS 625 Internship | 1.0 units
The internship allows students to engage in experiential learning with a research institute, non-governmental organization or other agency/entity that deals with peace and conflict issues.  Students are expected to read relevant texts before, during and after the field study, to engage in substantial research on the issues addressed by the host agency/entity and to submit a report reflecting on what the field study/internship revealed about the integration of peace studies theory and practice.  Field study placements may be either in Canada or in international contexts. Departmental consent is required.

To find out more about MPACS internships, visit our internship page.

PACS 626 Conflict Resolution Skills Training | 0.25 units per course section
This course provides a framework for students to do academic work related to conflict resolution skills training they have received through workshops sponsored by the Conflict Management Certificate Program or other credible training organizations. Students will complete additional academic work as a Directed Study supervised by Peace and Conflict Studies faculty. This course is offered on a credit/no credit basis.  The course may be repeated once.

PACS 626 Course Outline (PDF)

PACS Milestone: Research Colloquium | Credit/no-credit
All students will be required to present publicly, at a Colloquium of MPACS faculty, students and guests, one of the papers they have written for an MPACS course. Length will normally be 25-30 pages (7,500 words).  Each student will consult with the professor for whom the original paper was written to identify the core issues to emphasize and the best methods to employ to present the paper. The presentation will be followed by a formal peer response and open discussion. In addition to presenting his/her own Research Paper, each student will be required to read and present an oral evaluation of one of the other Research Papers presented at a Colloquium.

Cross-Listed Courses

MPACS students must complete up to 1.5 units of additional electives. Students may choose additional courses from PACS 610-626, from the following cross-listed courses, or petition to have another related course (in other programs or at other universities) count as a cross-listed elective.

Global Governance (GGOV) and Political Science (PSCI)

PACS 630 Governance of Global Economy | 0.5 units
A survey of the theoretical and public policy debates relating to regulation of the global economy, examined through case studies ranging from international banking an intellectual property rights, to labour and environmental standards and the control of illicit economic activityCourse cross-listed with: GGOV 610 and PSCI 688

PACS 633 Human Rights | 0.5 units
This course is a study of international and local responses to human rights abuses in the contexts of economic globalization and proliferation of armed violence. It examines major debates on international human rights. It also deals with specific human rights situations in the developing/transitional countries. Topics include: universalism and cultural relativism, global economic justice, rights to food and health, women's and children's rights, the rights of displaced civilians, human rights and R2P, prospects for transitional justice. Course cross-listed with: GGOV 640 and PSCI 658

PACS 634 Security Ontology-Theory | 0.5 units
This is a seminar in the ontology of security. Security is a contested concept, and in this course we ask what it is and how best to pursue it. What do we mean by security? What are we trying to protect? From what? Why? How do we do it? We begin by considering the concept of security in the abstract, and we then proceed to explore various specific conceptions. Along the way we encounter both traditional and non-traditional approaches to security. Course cross-listed with: GGOV 630 and PSCI 678

PACS 635 Security Governance: Actors, Institutions, and Issues | 0.5 units
This course examines a range of "security" issues on the global agenda - both traditional and non-traditional - and examine recent and possible future institutional and policy responses. Issues examined include nuclear proliferation, terrorism, intrastate conflict, resource and territorial disputes, climate change, drugs, disease, and migration. Students will have an opportunity to research in depth a specific security issue of their choice. Course cross-listed with: GGOV 631 and PSCI 679

PACS 660 Justice and Gender | 0.5 units
Theories of justice are concerned with the distribution of the basic goods of society - money, power, status, leisure, and so on. One would expect that they would be of particular interest to feminist theory, which is also concerned with the distribution of these goods. This course considers how the gender system fares from the standpoint of liberal justice, and to what extent the promises of liberal justice can be used to overturn the unequal treatment of women. The issues of equality and difference will also be explored. Course cross-listed with: PSCI 624

PACS 661 Ethnic Conflict and Conflict Resolution I | 0.5 units
This course examines the causes of ethnic conflict but focuses in particular on the strategies which states use to manage or resolve such conflicts. The review of state strategies is comprehensive in nature, and includes approaches which are morally unacceptable as well as approaches which many consider morally desirable. Course cross-listed with: PSCI 655

International Development (INDEV)

PACS 650 Sustainable Cities | 0.5 units
This course surveys the dominant trends in human settlement since the industrial revolution. Emphasis is placed on selected problems (e.g. provision of basic services such as water supply and sanitation, waste disposal, expanding ecological footprints) faced by cities of various sizes (from mid-sized to mega), the resources available to deal with them, and new approaches to sustainability. Course cross-listed with:  INDEV 604

PACS 651 Economics for Sustainable Development | 0.5 units
This course introduces students to the history, theories and practices of development economics. Select issues such as trade, (public and private) capital flows, transnational corporations, technological change and innovation, agricultural and industrial policy and production, poverty reduction, structural adjustment, etc. are treated, as are recent developments in globalization and global economic governance. Course cross-listed with: INDEV 605

PACS 652 Water and Security | 0.5 units
This course will providestudents with comprehensive background knowledge relevant to the increasingly important policy challenge of ‘water security’. The course will explore how the multiple levels of water security – human, community, state, international, global – require broad but considered policy inputs. Emphasis will be placed on the interdependencies of different sectors (climate security, food security, energy security) that interact within a ‘web’ of water security. Course cross-listed with:  INDEV 608

Sociology (SOC)

PACS 638 Social Inequality | 0.5 units
This course examines the dimensions, causes, and consequences of social inequality. Focus will vary by instructor specialization. Course cross-listed with: SOC 720

PACS 640 Political Sociology | 0.5 units
This course provides a critical examination of political and governmental strategies for identifying social problems and managing the conduct of individuals, groups, and populations. Course cross-listed with: SOC 765

PACS 642 Feminism, Law & Governance | 0.5 units
The course will explore the theoretical debates within feminist scholarship surrounding the use of Western liberal legal approaches to prosecute gender violence and improve the socio-economic status of women globally. The course readings will draw from various literatures, including liberal and transnational feminist, postcolonial, and socio-legal and governmentality literatures, to analyse and critically evaluate the concept and deployment of women's empowerment in global contexts. Course cross-listed with: SOC 782

Theological Studies (TS)

PACS 670 War and Peace in Christian Theology | 0.5 units
This course examines Christian teachings on war and peace from the early church to the present, including crusade, just war, and pacifist traditions, as well as twentieth century discussions of realism, just revolution, nuclear pacifism, and non-violent resistance. Course cross-listed with: TS 637

PACS 671 The Bible, Peace, and Violence | 0.5 units
This course examines diverse biblical views of peace and violence with attention to the use of the Bible within both historical and contemporary conflict situations. Topics may include physical violence, economic violence, gender issues, residential schools, ethnic conflict, racism. Course cross-listed with: TS 619

PACS 672 Christianity’s Encounter with Other Faiths | 0.5 units
This course examines several contemporary theological responses to the encounter of Christianity with other faiths. The meaning and dynamics of inter-religious dialogue and the resources within the Christian faith for such an encounter will be explored. Course cross-listed with: TS 731