The Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies has a distinct international character and prepares graduates for a professional career as an analyst or researcher in both the private and public sectors, nationally and internationally. You will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to solve problems independently, and the ability to monitor and critically evaluate the development of knowledge within peace and conflict research. This is one of Uppsala University’s most popular programmes, and is highly regarded in the international academic community.
Why this programme?
The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education concluded in its 2012 national evaluation of higher education that the Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies is of the highest quality, receiving the highest mark possible on all criteria for evaluation.
The programme is given by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University. The degree qualifies graduates to apply for doctoral studies in Peace and Conflict Studies or International Relations. As a student at the department you will engage with a vibrant research environment and thrive among motivated high-performing fellow students. All classes are taught in English and the students regularly come from all corners of the world.
Upon completion of the programme, you will have acquired a thorough understanding of advanced issues in peace and conflict research in order to be able to critically examine, assess and analyse the origin, dynamics and resolution of armed conflicts on a scientific basis.
Through elective courses the programme provides you with an opportunity to obtain a more individual profile by specialising in areas such as the Emerging Security Threats, Gender, War and Peace, International Interventions and Protection of Civilians or Causes of Peace. The programme also offers the opportunity for a one-semester long internship, where you can gain valuable practical experience.
The programme leads to a Master of Social Science (120 credits) with Peace and Conflict Studies as the main field of study. After one year of study it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Social Science (60 credits).
The Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies begins with four courses for the whole class: Causes of War (15 credits), Methods I (7.5 credits) and Methods II (7.5 credits) or Advanced Quantitative Methods (7.5 credits) in semester 1 (autumn), and International Conflict Resolution (15 credits) in semester 2 (first half of spring). For the second half of semester 2 (15 credits) you choose two out of six elective courses, for example War and Development; Social Psychological Foundations of Intergroup Conflict; or Gender, War and Peace. Three courses are offered in parallel in five-week blocks (7.5 credits); programme students are guaranteed a place in one of the three courses.
In the third semester, you can choose to do an Internship (whole or half semester) or study courses offered by the department (for example, Local perspectives of Peacebuilding or International Interventions and Protection of Civilians). The elective courses offered in semester 2 and 3 may vary from year to year. Semester 4 consists of thesis writing.
Courses within the programme
Compulsory courses: Causes of War, 15 credits Methods I, 7.5 credits Methods II, 7.5 credits or Advanced Quantitative Methods, 7.5 credits Master's thesis, 15/30 credits
Elective courses (may vary): International Conflict Resolution, 15 credits War and Development, 7.5 credits Social Psychological Foundations of Intergroup Conflict, 7.5 credits Non-violent Conflicts: Causes, Strategies and Outcomes, 7.5 credits Negotiating Global Challenges, 7.5 credits Emerging Security Threats, 7.5 credits Gender, War and Peace, 7.5 credits Local Perspectives of Peacebuilding, 7.5 credits International Interventions and Protection of Civilians, 7.5 credits Causes of Peace, 7.5 credits Reviewing a Research Field, 7.5 credits Internship in Peace and Conflict, 15/30 credits
At the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, the teaching staff goes to great lengths to anchor their teaching in research. In doing so, the education can maintain high academic quality, while keeping its strong focus on lifting relevant topical practice-related issues in the programme. You will be trained in numerous generic skills to gradually develop and hone your methodological skills and your ability to critically evaluate cases of the onset, the dynamics and the resolution of armed conflicts using different social scientific approaches.
You are expected to take greater responsibility for your learning as the programme progresses, and to gradually acquire professionally relevant and research-based knowledge and skills. You are encouraged to create and develop both national and international contacts. The substantive knowledge in the courses is imparted and assimilated through lectures, extensive readings, seminar discussions, tutorials, and individual oral and written work. Throughout the programme considerable weight is placed on developing both written and oral presentations.
The progression of the Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies aims at leading to a higher degree of intellectual maturity and deepened insights into the complexities of the subject. This, together with the ability to integrate knowledge and skills and to formulate and solve problems, is evaluated in the final thesis. The studies require that students admitted to the programme have basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods before the courses begin. Before undertaking the final thesis, you will have to acquire more advanced methodological skills.
The Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies prepares graduates for a professional career as analysts or researchers in the private and the public sector, both nationally and internationally. The programme provides a broad competence with special knowledge of how to moderate conflict and build peace and justice at national and global levels. Former students at the department work at international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, various national ministries and governmental agencies in Sweden and abroad, as well as in various national and international non-governmental organisations.
The programme also prepares students for research and teaching and is a qualification when applying for doctoral studies in Peace and Conflict Studies or International Relations. Former students at the department are completing their PhD studies at, for example, Columbia University in New York, Oxford University in Oxford, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, King’s College in London, European University Institute in Florence, and the University of Otago, New Zealand as well as various Swedish universities.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is:
90 credits in peace and conflict studies, or 90 credits in a related relevant discipline and 30 credits in peace and conflict studies or the equivalent; and
documented written independent academic work (i.e. one or several academic essays or papers in English, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian, or translated into any of these languages).
Language requirements All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies. The minimum test scores are:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
the quality of previous university studies and relevance of previous studies. Special emphasis is placed on the quality of the written academic work (a Bachelor's thesis or one or several essays that contains, in total, about 8000 words);
a statement of purpose; and
two letters of recommendation from teachers judging the academic skills of the applicant.
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.