Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict

Academic year 2023/2024

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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 international Master's programme is given on distance, except for a compulsory on-campus week once a year.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict will aid you in becoming a social commentator who can argue credibly for your ideas in public debate. It will also strengthen and extend your ability to convey your ideas in academic text. That is a person who reflects upon his or her engagement and wishes to argue for personal ideas and visions in the public discourse.

There is power in understanding the histories in which one partakes, the theories and methods of social engagement, and the arts of persuasion. Such knowledge gives you the power to change other people's lives and perhaps your own. The Master's Programme will help you reflect deeply on your engagement and train you to argue for your personal ideas and visions in the public discourse. It enables you to champion your own unique ideas in writing and speaking.

During the programme you will analyse and critically discuss different theories and methods of significance to religious and ethically based peace and justice movements. You will learn theoretical frameworks, how to choose the right method in different research projects and apply your knowledge in concrete situations.

You will acquire

  • 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
  • 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 a residence permit based on your studies to attend this programme in Sweden.

Student profile

You are interested in social movements, including peace, environment, animal rights, solidarity, and global justice. Your Bachelor's degree might consist of a 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.

Even though theology interests you, you do not necessarily confess to a certain religion and 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 opportunity to study some methodology courses.

Related programmes:

Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action

Master's Programme in Euroculture

Master's Programme in 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).

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Read the interview
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Name: Bilal Lagoun
From Malmö (Sweden)

How did you choose your programme?
I chose this Master’s programme because it broadens and expands my knowledge on topics related to peace and conflict – especially since I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Peace and Conflict Studies. The aspect of religion in relation to contemporary and past conflicts as well as times and processes of peace is an essential one as it is so for many people and societies. We also need to understand what religion is to better understand people and cultures to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.  

What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
I would say the professors, classmates and the academic climate, these factors truly make the study period memorable!

What has been most challenging?
The most challenging part, I would say, is that you don't actually have "everyday" classes in traditional classrooms. It is therefore appreciated to connect with online meetings and online coffees with your classmates at times.

What is your reason for studying and your ultimate goal?
My goal with the programme is to expand my knowledge on the topic to pursue PhD studies and expand the research horizon.

What advice do you have for other students interested in applying for the same programme?
My advice for someone who thinks of applying to this programme is to apply! Then while you study the programme, having clear structures and study plans really facilitates the learning process and life. Also, enjoy the time studying and your future classmates! 

Spring 2022.

Register your interest


The programme starts in late August or early September. A compulsory on-campus week is held in Uppsala 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 a course that addresses 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 an extensive exploration of the negative aspects of religion. However, if you plan to pursue a one-year Master's degree, the second part of the semester will be dedicated to writing your thesis.

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

Courses within the programme

Semester 1

Religiously and Ethically Motivated Movements for Peace and Justice, 15 credits

Theories and Methods for the Study of Religion in Peace and Conflict, 15 credits

Semester 2

Alternative I - for students who aim at the two-year Master's:

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's 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 write 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 is 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 in 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.


The programme prepares 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 different roles, but they all use their newly acquired skills to try to make our world a little bit better each day. Former students have also pursued postgraduate studies at universities in Sweden and abroad.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose (1 page).

Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Distance learning Mixed

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M5975 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. In addition, a documented independently written

Bachelor's thesis (or Master's thesis) is required.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose.

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 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200,000

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

Programme start and registration

To participate in your studies, you must be admitted and registered.

You register for your Programme through web registration in Ladok for the first course of the programme.

The registration period for your course starts on the 27th of July. You have up to one week before the start of the course to register. Double-check the registration period and the date for when the course starts in Ladok.

If you do not register during the specified time period, you risk losing your place. If you have been admitted late and have not been able to register online before the end of the registration period, contact our student office at (with your name, civic registration number and the name of the course) to get help with the registration.

Information for students admitted with conditions:

If you have been conditionally admitted you have until the start of the course to fulfil the entry requirements. Contact our student office of the department at (with your name, civic registration number and the name of the course) to obtain help with the registration. Please note that you must have met all conditions in order to be registered.

Information for reserves:

If you have been admitted from the waiting list and have not been able to register online before the end of the registration period, contact our student office at (with your name, civic registration number and the name of the course) to get help with the registration.

Course start information:

You can find your schedule on the learning platform Studium or The Department of Theology's webpage.

Course syllabus, literature list and other course material can be found in Studium.

Last modified: 2022-10-27