Reviewing a Research Field

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2FK052

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Peace and Conflict Studies A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 5 April 2023
Responsible department
Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Entry requirements

Fulfilment of the requirements for a Bachelor's degree, from an internationally recognised university. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

After completion of this course the student is expected to be able to:

  • identify theories and empirical findings on a topic related to peace and conflict research
  • demonstrate knowledge about, and contrast, different theoretical perspectives on the chosen topic
  • critically evaluate research findings and implicit assumptions within the chosen field of research
  • present and systematically discuss theories and empirical finings in a way that combines precision with readability
  • independently write a literature review within the specified time limit
  • present research findings for various audiences
  • communicate in English, in writing and/or orally


This course trains you in writing an advanced review of theory and evidence on a topic related to peace and conflict research. The review demonstrates to what extent you are able to identify the most important works, trends and debates within a certain field, and asses the current state of knowledge. Such a review is typically a starting point in academic research but the skills acquired in this course are also useful in many professional activities involving analytical tasks. Summarizing, identifying and delimiting the boundaries of knowledge are key skills when preparing strategic documents, when deriving policy recommendations and when deciding between various policy options.

The course provides you with the opportunity to acquire skills in how to independently assess the state of knowledge within a given field of research. Supervision sessions and assignments will assist you in identifying and analysing a specific field of research. Throughout the course you acquire skills in summarizing and presenting theories and results, including being able to identify and to critically scrutinize the basic assumptions within a field of research. In addition, you will develop skills in how to make literature searches using various databases and in how to best present your literature review for various audiences.


Teaching mainly consists of self-studies, tutoring, and correspondence with the teachers and other students. The course language is English.

The main body of literature for the course consists of the texts - primarily university press books and peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles - identified by the student as constituting the research field under study. In addition, there is some literature that highlight key skills in the craft of re­view writing and which provide useful examples.


The examination consists of:

  • A course paper in the form of a written academic literature review
  • Peer-review(s) of drafts written by fellow students
  • A written policy brief based on the literature review

Grades: Pass with Distinction (VG), Pass (G) and Fail (U).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating and plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Vice-Chancellor, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a certain period.