Syllabus for Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies

Masterprogram i freds- och konfliktstudier

  • 120 credits
  • Programme code: SFK2M
  • Established: 2012-11-22
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Revised: 2018-03-22
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Reg. no: SAMFAK 2018/30 Doss:3:2:1
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Responsible faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Responsible department: Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Entry 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
  • a summary, in English, of a Bachelor´s thesis or another independent academic work in peace and conflict studies or equivalent that your are the only author of (about 3000 words excluding references).
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
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements


The Master programme in Peace and Conflict Studies is an international programme. Some courses are mandatory for all students, but through a system of elective courses the programme provides an opportunity for even more advanced studies in various special areas of the subject.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme, the students 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. Students acquire knowledge and skills that provide them with the capacity to solve problems independently and the ability to monitor and critically evaluate the development of knowledge within peace and conflict research independently.

The Master's thesis written at the end of the two-year programme is expected to have more theoretical depth than the one written by those students that follow the one-year programme. Before commencing the Master's thesis course, studentens are required to complete the course in advanced methods.

Layout of the Programme

The first semester the programme consists of compulsory courses in causes of armed conflict as well as methods. This creates a common basis with advanced knowledge about theory and methods for all students. The compulsory courses are necessary for the overall progression of the programme.
The second semester consists of elective courses. This semester provides an opportunity for the students to specialise and tailor their programme towards their special interests. Students that will end their programme after year one choose one elective course and then take the one-year Master's thesis course. Students that follow the entire two-year programme can choose from a wide variety of courses throughout the semester. Students are encouraged to choose elective courses that are relevant for their planned Master's theses.
The third semester consists of practice oriented courses. Students can choose between internships or university courses that are more of a practical orientation. The general idea is of course to prepare the students for their careers by making them reflect upon the previously acquired theoretical knowledge and practical experience.
The fourth and final semester consists solely of the Master's thesis course. Education will be done in English.


Students are trained in numerous generic skills to hone and gradually develop their methodological skills and their ability to criti¬cally evaluate cases of onsets of, dynamics and resolution of armed conflicts using different social science approaches. Students are expected to take greater responsibility for their learning as the training progresses, and to gradually acquire professionally relevant and research-based knowledge and skills. Students are encouraged to create and develop both national and international contacts. The substantive knowledge in the courses is imparted and assimilated by 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 programme leads to a higher degree of intellectual maturity and greater insight into the complexity of the subject. This, together with the ability to integrate knowledge and skills and independently formulate and solve problems, will be presented in a final degree project. The programme presupposes that the students have previously taken methodology courses covering basic qualitative and quantitative methods. The Master's thesis course (30 credits) presupposes knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodology at the advanced level.


The programme leads to a Degree of Master of Social Science, 120 credits, with Peace and Conflict Studies as the main field of study. The two-year Master's degree requires 120 credits with at least 60 credits being in Peace and Conflict Studies including the Master's thesis (degree project) of 30 credits.

After one year of study it is also possible to get a Degree of Master of Social Science, 60 credits. For the one-year Master's degree 60 credits are required, with at least 30 credits being in Peace and Conflict Studies, including the Master’s thesis (degree project) of 15 credits.

Other Directives

Admission to a programme course at advanced level, without following the programme, requires a Bachelor’s degree as well as language proficiency equivalent to be eligible to start the programme.

Transitional Provisions

Students previously enrolled at the Master programme in Politics and International Studies, track Peace and Conflic Studies, who have not compleed their courses shall follow this programme syllabus starting from Autumn 2013.