Master’s studies

Syllabus for Mass Media and Contemporary Armed Conflict

Massmedia och nutida väpnade konflikter


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 2FK033
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: _
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2012-10-01
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 01, 2013
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements and English 6 or English B
  • Responsible department: Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Decisions and guidelines

The course syllabus was established by the Departmental Board for Department of Peace and Conflict Research in 1 October 2012.
The course syllabus is valid from 2013-01-01

Learning outcomes

After completion of this course the student is expected to be able to independently and critically:

  • Understand the relationship and interaction between politics, mass media and war
  • Different methods and means of influencing and persuading target audiences
  • Assess media reports and identify biases (media literacy)
  • Understand the relevance and balance between tangible and intangible assets in conflict situations
  • Identify, assess and apply the base concepts/theories of mass media, communication and the nature of different types of military conflict
  • Delimit, design and carry out a smaller research paper within a specified time frame on a theme relevant for the course


The course is intended to increase student awareness and literacy concerning detecting and analysing information and propaganda during periods of conflict. As such, it aims to go beyond the façade of military and political conflict in order to understand those factors that influence how the public perceive and react to different wars. This is critical owing to the nature of modern wars, where an information and physical war simultaneously exist. Recent conflicts globally have demonstrated the very high level at which perception manipulation and communication management play in modern war. While information manipulation can be said to constitute an important part of creating a strategic narrative of the war, it also distorts our knowledge about the conflict. The course draws upon a number of cases of contemporary armed conflict, including the use of social media. As a part of the course, students are required to write an independent research report.


The course is taught through lectures, seminars and workshops


The examination consists of:

  • A final course memo in the form of a written academic paper of about 5,000 words, the topic of which is to be agreed with the course coordinator beforehand, applying one or more theories relevant for the course
  • A take home exam (open book), which consists of multiple choice, short answer and short essay questions
  • Active presence during lectures, workshops and seminars

Two retake opportunities are offered every semester the course is given. If the concluding literature review is handed in after the deadline, without the Examiner first approving the late hand-in, the delayed paper may influence the grading

The grading system has three grades: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with Distinction (VG)

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 01, 2013

Mass Media and Contemporary Armed Conflicts

  • Matusitz, Jonathan Andre Terrorism & communication : a critical introduction

    Los Angeles, [Calif.]: SAGE, c2013

    Find in the library


  • Simons, Greg Mass media and modern warfare : reporting on the Russian war on terrorism

    Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010

    Find in the library


Articles and other readings will be added.