Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict

120 credits

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, the Master's Programme in Religion in Peace and Conflict is for you.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, Distance learning, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, Distance learning, English

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, to be 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,
  • 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.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts in Theology (120 credits) with Religious Studies as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Arts in Theology (60 credits).

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 and third semester (normally in late September).

Year 1

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.

Year 2

The first course in the third semester discusses current topics in society as reflected in the 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. However, 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 choose 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-credit 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-credit 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

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 participate in various activities and events that will prepare you for your future career.


  • For programme-specific information, please contact the administrator:
  • For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team: