Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies

Academic year 2023/2024

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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 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 in 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 and 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 are enrolled 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), alternatively elective courses of 15 credits at another institution, 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 enrol 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. 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 programme. 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 an analyst or researcher in the private and public sectors, both nationally and internationally. You gain 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 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 two programme-specific documents: 1. an Application Summary Sheet (including your statement of purpose); and 2. your Bachelor's thesis (or another academic independent work).

Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M2061 Application

Language of instruction: English


Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.

Also required is:

  • 30 credits in peace and conflict studies, or the equivalent; and
  • a written independent work such as a Bachelor's thesis or one or more academic essays written in English or Swedish of which you are the only author of.

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;
  • a statement of purpose; and
  • the quality of their Bachelor's thesis (or independent academic essays).

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

Last modified: 2022-10-27