Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict 2020/2021

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How are we to live in a world of other people's pain? What are the obligations of those who are living well to those who suffer? Throughout history and across cultures people have been inspired by visions of a better world. If you are interested in the moral and ethical predicaments of the world we are living in, as well as the role given to various religious traditions involved, then the Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict is for you. This is the only international Master's programme at Uppsala University given via distance.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict will help you to evolve into a public intellectual. That is a person who reflects upon his or her engagement and wishes to argue for personal ideas and visions in the public discourse.

You will acquire:

  • a comprehensive knowledge of religiously and ethically based social activism in the past and present
  • methodological tools for identifying and analysing contested issues in the area of religiously and ethically grounded engagement both independently and critically
  • skills in writing longer academic texts
  • the ability to plan, shape and complete research projects related to religiously and ethically based movements.
Please note that this is a distance learning programme. The Swedish Migration Agency will not grant you with a residence permit to attend this programme.

Student profile
You are interested in social movements, including themes of peace, environment, animal rights, solidarity, and global justice. Your Bachelor's degree might consist of an unusual combination of subjects, reflecting your unique interests and personality. You might also have some practical experience working with these issues since you graduated and will gladly share your experiences with others. Either way, you want to make a difference in our world.

Even though theology interests you, you do not necessarily confess to a certain religion and you would enjoy the opportunity to debate the big questions with people from other cultures. You have no problem expressing your thoughts in writing or voicing your opinion in dialogue with others.

A future PhD education is a possibility you might have thought about so you would value the possibility to study some methodology courses.

Related programmes:
International Humanitarian Action
Humanitarian Action and Conflict


The programme leads to a Master of Arts in Theology (120 credits) with Religious Studies as the main field of study. It is also possible to graduate after one year to obtain a Master of Arts in Theology (60 credits).


The programme starts in late August or early September. A compulsory on-campus week is held during the first course in the first semester, and during the third semester (normally in late September).

The first course focuses on a variety of movements for peace and justice that are grounded in religious and ethical traditions. This course includes the first on-campus week. The semester ends with two courses that address theoretical and methodological issues in religious studies.

The second semester includes courses based on engagement and interaction with your local social context. These courses connect their assignments to the contemporary world. One course, Religion, Power and Politics, includes extensive exploration of the negative aspects of religion. If, however, you plan to do a one-year Master degree, the second part of the semester will dedicated to writing your thesis.

The first course on the third semester discusses current topics in society as reflected in media. The course concludes with a week on campus. The second course focuses on leadership with its moral implications, followed by project on assessment and evaluation. The concluding course is a field study, providing you with the opportunity to prepare for your thesis.

The fourth semester is dedicated to the Master thesis, in which the learning outcomes from the previous courses are applied. The Master's thesis can also be based upon field study in a country of your choice. Though note that our programme does not have funds to provide for this. If you have already written a 15-credit thesis at the second semester, you can choose to do a 30-credit thesis, or a second 15-credit thesis. If you chose to do a second thesis of 15 credits, you can earn the remaining 15 credits by doing the two courses that you missed the second semester.

We invite you to explore our previous students' academic work.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1
Religiously and Ethically Motivated Movements for Peace and Justice, 15 credits
Researching Religion - Theories and Applications in Empirical Studies of Religion, 7.5 credits
Applied Method in the Study of Peace and Justice Movements, 7.5 credits

Semester 2
Alternative I - for students who aim at the two-year Master:
Life Stories and Historical Moments, 7.5 credits
Religion, Power and Politics, 7.5 credits
Religion, Social Activism, and Media, 7.5 credits
Project in Religious and Ethical Engagement, 7.5 credits

Alternative II - for students who will graduate after one year:
This alternative is also intended for students who aim at the two-year Master but wish to write two 15 credits thesis
Life Stories and Historical Moments, 7.5 credits
Religion, Power and Politics, 7.5 credits
Thesis (Essay), 15 credits

Semester 3
Current Debates in Religion and Society, 7.5 credits
Moral Leadership and Project Evaluations, 15 credits
Field study, 7.5 credits

Semester 4
Alternative I
Thesis (Essay), 30 credits

Alternative II - for students who writes a 15 credits thesis during the second semester:
Thesis (Essay), 15 credits
Religion, Social Activism, and Media, 7.5 credits
Project in Religious and Ethical Engagement, 7.5 credits

Learning experience

The programme is operated through a web platform for distance learning, except for the compulsory on-campus week in Uppsala once a year. The courses are examined one by one and the basic structure are weekly tasks or seminars with a deadline for the written assignments. You will work with case studies, and present and discuss assignments with your fellow students.

During the on-campus week, there will be lectures, seminars and group assignments. A short field study is also included in the programme.

You are expected to perform studies on a full-time basis and all instruction of the programme is in English. You are expected to read, write and speak English at an international academic level. It is not possible to study this programme on a part-time basis.

Read about our former students' experiences.


The programme prepare you for a career in for example:

  • Civic-society organisations
  • Religious organisations
  • Education
  • Public authorities
  • International organisations
Our graduates work in many different organisations and in different roles but they all use their newly acquired skills to try to make our world a little bit better each day.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Please note: All documents regarding requirements and selection (see below), including the statement of purpose, must be uploaded at The statement of purpose must be written in English.

Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict

120 credits

Autumn 2020 - 100 % - Distance learning

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2020-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M5519 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Languages, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Educational Sciences or the Faculty of Social Sciences and include a documented written independent academic work of at least 15 credits.

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

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


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.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact Administrator:

+46 18 471 21 73

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of Theology

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 B

Box 511, 751 20 UPPSALA

018-471 2295

Student portal

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