Peace and Conflict Studies A

30 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 2FK009

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Peace and Conflict Studies G1N
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

General provisions

The course can be part of Bachelor's Programme in Political Science, the Bachelor's Programme in Social Sciences, and the Bachelor's Programme in Peace and Development Studies or used as a freestanding course.

Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Learning outcomes

After completion of this course the student is expected to demonstrate:

  • the ability to identify central concepts in peace and conflict research
  • the ability to account for key theoretical assumptions on the causes, dynamics and resolution of armed conflict, and to apply these concepts to explain the causes, dynamics and resolution of armed conflict
  • the ability to describe principal features of the nature and development of conflicts within and between states from 1945 until present day
  • the ability to independently write a conflict analysis, incorporating and applying the above mentioned concepts
  • the ability to independently collect data on armed conflict, and assess this data using established practices of source criticism
  • the ability to present theoretical concepts and empirical findings in a research report in the form of a conflict analysis and present this analysis in a seminar
  • the ability to account for the central assumptions of the main theories of International Relations (IR), and of the so-called broadened security agenda, and apply these assumptions to explain the security behaviour of actors
  • together with a partner, the ability to develop a conflict scenario in a research paper, and theoretically and empirically motivate this scenario
  • actively participate in seminar discussions and present and defend the conflict scenario in a seminar setting
  • independently write an assignment within a given time frame
  • communicate in English, in writing and/or orally.


The course consists of four parts:

Module 1. Introduction to Peace and Conflict Research (7.5 credits)

Module 1 gives an introduction to the central puzzles and research areas of peace and conflict research. Key concepts linked to explaining the cause, dynamic, and resolution of conflict are presented and discussed.

Module 2. Conflict Analysis (7.5 credits)

In module 2 students will select a conflict to analyse using a framework based on the theories and concepts discussed in module 1. The analysis is presented in a research paper and presented and defended at a seminar. The module also includes training in data collection and source criticism.

Module 3. Peace and Security in the International System (7.5 credits)

Course module 3 focuses on the concept of security and its various definitions, such as the broadened security agenda and military and non-military security threats. Emphasis is placed on different theoreticl perspectives (mainly from the literature on International Relations) and how they can explain actors'security policies.

Module 4. Security Scenario Analysis (7.5 credits)

The security scenario analysis consists of an assignment written in pairs. This assignment serves as a practice of doing a scenario analysis of possible conflict developments within a region, a country or between two countries. The analysis is guided by the theories and concepts that are covered in previous modules. The written assignment is presented and defended at a final seminar.


Lectures and seminars constitute the main forms of teaching of this course. The language of instruction is English.


Students are examined through a written exam, an individually authored conflict analysis, compulsory seminars and written seminar assignments, and a scenario analysis written in pairs.

Three grades are given in this course: VG (pass with distinction), G (pass), U (fail).

To obtain the grade VG (pass with distinction) for Peace and Conflict Studies A, a student is required to obtain VG (pass with distinction) on at least 15 credits, as well as G (pass) on the remaining 15 credits. To obtain the grade G (pass) for Peace and Conflict Studies A, a student is required to obtain G (pass) on all course modules (30 credits).

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.