Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies

Academic year 2022/2023

Photo for Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies 2022/2023

Why is there armed conflict? How do we reach sustainable peace? Peace and Conflict Studies is a relatively young research field addressing crucial issues in a troubled world. The Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies gives you a broad skill-set with specialised knowledge in conflict management and peacebuilding at both a national and global level.

Why this programme?

The Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University has established itself as a key producer of cutting-edge research and a provider of high-quality data on conflict. Upon completion of this well reputed Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies, you will have acquired a thorough understanding of advanced issues in peace and conflict research and will be able to critically examine, assess and analyse the origin, dynamics and resolution of armed conflicts on a scientific basis.

You will acquire knowledge and skills that provide you 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.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • learn how to critically examine, assess and analyse the origin, dynamics and resolution of armed conflicts on a scientific basis
  • engage with a vibrant research environment
  • obtain an individual skill profile by specialising in areas of interest to you.
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 you will be part of a diverse student body, with students coming from all corners of the world.

With a range of elective courses to choose from, you can create a more individual profile by specialising in themes such as Emerging Security Threats; Gender, War and Peace; International Interventions and Protection of Civilians; or Causes of Peace. You will have the opportunity to undertake a semester long internship, where you can gain valuable practical experience.

You will be trained in numerous generic skills to gradually develop 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.

Student profile
You have been studying political science, international relations or global studies and as part of your education you have also taken some courses in peace and conflict research. Working on your Bachelor's thesis or similar academic work gave you experience in analysing facts, applying methods learned and using statistics to interpret the data you collect. This means that you already have basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods.

A future PhD education is a possibility you might have thought about, but starting to work right after graduation is also something you are considering. You like to keep your options open for now and would value the possibility of applying your knowledge in an internship in Sweden or abroad during your education.


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).


During the first semester, all students enroll in mandatory coursework, including the course "Causes of War" and two courses in methods. The second semester starts with the elective course "International Conflict Resolution" (15 credits), and for the second half of the semester, you choose two out of the various elective courses offered. Note that some courses are offered in parallel in five-week blocks and programme students are guaranteed a place in one course in both of the five-week blocks.

In the third semester, you can choose to do an internship (whole or half semester) or study courses offered by the Department. The elective courses offered in the second and third semesters may vary from year to year.

In the fourth semester, you will enroll in the Master's thesis course, where you write a thesis while learning about the craft of research through lectures, seminars, and supervision sessions.

Courses within the programme

Compulsory courses
Causes of War, 15 credits
Methods I, 7.5 credits
Methods II, 7.5 credits or Methods II Advanced, 7.5 credits
Master's thesis, 15 credits or Master's thesis, 30 credits

Elective courses (may vary between years)
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
Negotiation and Mediation in Practice, 7.5 credits
Emerging Security Threats, 7.5 credits
Gender, War and Peace, 7.5 credits
Peace from Below, 7.5 credits
International Interventions and Protection of Civilians, 7.5 credits
Causes of Peace, 7.5 credits
Advanced Qualitative Methods, 7.5 credits
Advanced Quantitative Methods, 7.5 credits
Reviewing a Research Field, 7.5 credits
Internship in Peace and Conflict, 15 credits, or Internship in Peace and Conflict, 30 credits
Research Ethics, 7.5 credits
War and Peace on Film, 7.5 credits

Learning experience

At the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, the teaching staff goes to great lengths to anchor their teaching in research. In doing so, teaching is of the highest academic quality, while retaining its strong focus on relevant and topical practice-related issues. Much emphasis is placed on deepening your knowledge of research methods and the scientific approach.

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 for your future career.

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, extensive readings, seminar discussions, tutorials, and individual oral and written work. On a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates regarding a course book or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.
Throughout the programme considerable weight is placed on developing both written and oral presentations.

The progression of the Master's 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 Master's thesis. You are expected to have basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods upon admission to the project. For the Master's thesis, more advanced methods skills are required.

The programme is offered in Uppsala and all instruction is in English.


The Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies is a world-leading programme in its field. As a graduate of the programme, you are well prepared for a professional career as analysts or researchers in the private and public sector, both nationally and internationally. You gain a broad competence in the field with special knowledge of how to moderate conflict and build peace and justice at national and global levels.

Our alumni 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. Job titles include:

  • Associate Protection Officer at UNHCR in Colombia
  • Foreign Policy Officer at New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Information Analyst at United Nations Mission in South Sudan, etc.
The programme also prepares you for research and teaching and is a qualification when you apply for doctoral studies in Peace and Conflict Studies or International Relations.

Our graduates 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.

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 the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit two programme-specific documents: 1. a summary of your Bachelor's thesis or equivalent; 2. an Application Summary Sheet (including your statement of purpose).

Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies

120 credits

Autumn 2022, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 17 January 2022

Application code: UU-M2482 Application

Language of instruction: English

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 at least 30 credits in peace and conflict studies or the equivalent; and
  • a written independent work (at least 5000 words, excluding references) as part of the specialisation in the main field of study of which you are the only author of. Equivalent refers to studies in the field of social science with clear elements of peace and conflict studies. Written independent work refers to one or more essays or the equivalent in Swedish or English.
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:

  • the quality of previous university studies and relevance of previous studies. Special emphasis is placed on the Bachelor's thesis or another independent academic work in peace and conflict studies or equivalent (at least 5,000 words excluding references).
  • a statement of purpose (write your statement of purpose in the Application Summary Sheet)
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 programme coordinator Dr Liana Lopes:

+46 18 471 23 77

Programme administrator Ingalill Blad Ögren:

+46 18 471 23 49

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

Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Gamla Torget 3, 1st floor, SE-753 20 Uppsala

P.O. Box 514, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

+46 18 471 23 49