Timeline and Courses

Table of contents:

Year 1 

Autumn term 

The fall term (Term 1) consists of Causes of War (15 credits) and Methods (15 credits). Causes of War is a core course that gives a first specialisation in Peace and Conflict Studies.

The second half of Term 1 consists of Methods (15 credits in total). The aim is to give students a solid foundation in the methods used in peace and conflict research. There are two alternative Methods tracks. The main option is to enrol in Methods I (7,5 credits) followed by Methods II (7,5 credits). Students with significant knowledge in statistical analysis can enrol in the following alternative option: Methods I followed by Advanced Methods (7,5 credits). For students who take the main option in Term 1, there is the possibility to enrol in Advanced Methods as an elective course in Term 3.

Spring term 

In the spring term (Term 2), students begin by studying International Conflict Resolution (15 credits), which focuses on how conflict parties move from violent interactions to durable peace. Having studied both the causes of armed conflict (in the fall) and international conflict resolution (in the spring), our Masters students have a firm basis to stand on and now choose two out of six elective 5-week (7.5 credits) courses for the remaining 10 weeks of the spring. The aim is to give students the opportunity to study courses of their particular interest, in greater depth and breadth.

Students wishing to conclude their studies with a one-year’s master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies take International Conflict Resolution in the first half of Term 2 and write an essay during the second half of the term (15 credits). 

Year 2

Autumn term 

Students may devote the third term to gaining practical experience as an intern in an international organization, private company or governmental institution in Sweden or abroad for all or half of the semester (30 or 15 credits). Alternatively, students can choose to take elective courses offered by the Department or other departments at Uppsala University.

Spring term

The fourth term is devoted entirely to a degree project: The Master's Thesis course (30 credits). 


Courses offered by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research for the Master Program in Peace and Conflict Studies. Note that changes may occur.

Compulsory courses:

Elective courses:

Compulsory courses

Term 1
Causes of War, 15 credits (syllabus)
The course is mainly focused on the background, proximate and triggering factors explaining the outbreak of intra-state armed conflicts (civil wars), as this is the most common type of armed conflict. International and inter-state wars as well as regionalized armed conflicts are also studied. Theories and theoretical perspectives are connected to empirical examples from past and ongoing armed conflicts around the globe in order to improve the students’ understanding of the usefulness of the theories in terms of interpreting real world events and developments.

Methods I, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
The aim of this course is to strengthen the ability to apply various methods in practical research, but also to improve the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different methodological techniques. The course emphasizes the common principles that unite and differentiate qualitative and quantitative research methods. Central topics covered in the course include the scientific approach, research design, inference, research ethics, and comparative case studies.

Methods II, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
Methods II aims to further deepen students’ knowledge of social science methodology, building on Methods I. The course focuses on the extensive study of many cases and the inferential logic behind statistical analysis. Students learn how to apply statistical analysis to answer a research question and test theoretical arguments using statistical software. The course involves a practical assignment where statistical analysis is used for a miniature research project, which involves all major steps of the research process.


Advanced Quantitative Methods, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
For students savvy in statistics, this course provides an opportunity to go deeper. Advanced methods focuses on specifying, estimating, interpreting, and evaluating models, as well as reviews of published work that applies these models. The theoretical introduction to the models involve basic mathematical notation. The scripting language of Stata is emphasised as well as basic programming techniques, required for efficient and transparent research procedures as well as for the application of Monte Carlo techniques.

Term 4
Master’s Thesis, 30 credits (syllabus)
The scope of the Master Thesis is comparable to a full-length article in a scholarly journal. It should deal with a well-defined problem within a certain field of research and offer some contribution to that field. Its purpose is to demonstrate that the student can design and execute with competence a major piece of research. The student attends several workshops that will help in the writing process.

Elective Courses

Term 2 (first 10 weeks)

International Conflict Resolution, 15 credits (syllabus)
This course focuses on the conflict resolution process that is the process through which conflict parties move from violent interactions to durable peace. Particular attention is given to the challenges that the parties face in each stage of this process, from the initiation of negotiations, the reaching of a settlement, to lasting peace following war endings. The importance of regional conditions and the international community is highlighted. Key issues and problems of conflict resolution are dealt with, such as peace processes during war conditions; mediation; ceasefires; the design and implementation of peace agreements; the role of third parties and international organizations; peacekeeping operations; the presence of spoilers; security issues, economic development; civil society; war crimes; and the prevention of war recurrence.

Term 2 (last 10 weeks, 5-week periods)

Three courses are given in parallel in each 5-week period; students choose one course for each period.

First 5-week period

War and Development, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
This course will give an introduction to the relationship between armed conflict and socio-economic development. It discusses theoretical arguments where the relationship between war and development is mediated by e.g. state capacity, economic networks, education, demography, or democratization. The course has a strong focus on empirical documentation but also looks at the theoretical arguments explaining the empirical patterns. The course will consider the effect of development on conflict as well as the effect of conflict on development in terms of economic growth, public health, refugee flows, and gender differences in health outcomes.

Social Psychological Foundations of Intergroup Conflict, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
This course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the social-psychological processes involved in intergroup conflict. The course will contribute to a deeper understanding of the cognitive, motivational and affective aspects of intergroup conflict and bias, as well as the conditions under which ingroup bias may be transformed into intergroup prejudice, discrimination and violence. Contending approaches on how to structure intergroup contact in order to reduce intergroup prejudice will be examined.

Non-Violent Conflicts: Causes, Strategies, and Outcomes, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
The aim of this course is to deepen students’ understanding of the causes, dynamics, strategies, tactics, and outcomes of unarmed, popular-based insurrections. The focus is on large-scale campaigns against governments, for goals such as regime or territorial change, or the end to foreign occupation. The course provides an overview of key questions and concepts in the study of strategic nonviolent conflict, and of different theoretical perspectives and stages of strategic nonviolent conflicts.

Second 5-week period

Emerging Security Threats, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
The on-going wave of globalization has changed the character of threats to human, national and international security. The present security discourse stands in major contrast to the traditional realist understanding of security that prevailed during the Cold War. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with the emerging theories and themes in security studies. The course examines the causes of new security threats, with a focus on practical measures to prevent and control them.

Negotiating Global Challenges, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
The course provides an overview of negotiation theories and practices of international importance – bilateral, regional and multilateral. The emphasis is on different approaches to understanding what drives a negotiation process and explains the outcome. Why do some negotiations succeed, while others keep failing? After reviewing common elements and concepts of negotiation, this course examines actual cases of negotiations around the world. Students will learn to analyse and better understand negotiations, and will also participate in hands-on negotiation simulations.

Gender, War and Peace, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
This course aims to develop students’ abilities to understand the complex role that gender plays in patterns of war and peace. Emphasis is placed on understanding gender’s explanatory value in relation to participation in war; the differential patterns of suffering and violence; and the consequences for men and women in conflict resolution, peacekeeping, transitional justice and peacebuilding processes. In addition, the course builds familiarity with different efforts to address the gendered nature of armed violence and the demands for equal post-war societies. The role of the United Nations (UN), regional organizations and local level actors will be highlighted. Three inter-related sub-areas will be covered: 1) Wartime violence; 2) Post-war transitions and peacebuilding; and 3) Responses and gender, women and war.

Term 3

Internship in Peace and Conflict Studies, 30 credits (syllabus)
This course offers the opportunity to develop skills in a practical working environment. The purpose is to build the professional experience, in the form of practical training, needed to work as a desk officer or analyst for government agencies, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations / NGOs) or international organizations. Furthermore, the course aims to provide an opportunity to develop a professional attitude towards employers and colleagues. The internship takes place over the full semester (20 weeks).

Internship in Peace and Conflict Studies A or B, 15 credits (syllabus)
This course has the same aim as the 30 credit Internship course above, but provides the opportunity to do a shorter 10-week Internship and then study elective courses offered by the Department in the other half of the term, or do two different Internships, each for 10 weeks (15 credits). Internship in Peace and Conflict Studies A denotes a first Internship of 15 credits, and Internship in Peace and Conflict Studies B denotes a second Internship of additional 15 credits.

Local Perspectives on International Peace- and Statebuilding Interventions, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
How do local actors – such as governing elites, local communities, ethnic minorities, ex-combatants and other war-affected groups – perceive and react to international interventions to build peace and state institutions in the aftermath of war? The aim of this course is to provide an alternative perspective on contemporary peace- and statebuilding processes, where the experiences and actions of local actors and groups are put in focus. The course will address questions such as: Why is it so difficult to construct formal, functioning state institutions in the aftermath of civil wars? How do local elites govern without institutions? How do local groups and communities view and respond to international peace- and statebuilding initiatives?

International Interventions and Protection of Civilians, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
This course takes its starting point in the Responsibility to Protect. We trace the origins of the current norm that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when governments themselves are unable or unwilling to do so. We cover different forms of international interventions – such as military interventions, peacekeeping, sanctions, and diplomacy – and discuss their potential impact with regards to protecting civilians. In order to understand what outcome such interventions may have, it is important to first analyze the conflict situation properly. Therefore, we also examine different theories of violence against civilians, and discuss their implications for the prospects and challenges of civilian protection through international intervention.

Causes of Peace, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
Why do some countries remain peaceful despite being surrounded by countries at war? Why do some areas in a region of civil war remain at peace? By shifting the focus from causes of war to causes of peace this course ask new critical questions. The course discusses how peace can be defined and measured, and highlights concept such as security communities and Zones of Peace. The origins of, and conditions for, inter- and intrastate peace, as well as intergroup cooperation are also examined. 

Advanced Quantitative Methods, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
Focus in this course will be on practical use in the form of specifying, estimating, interpreting, and evaluating models, as well as reviews of published work that applies these models. The theoretical introduction to the models will involve basic mathematical notation. The introduction to Stata will place considerable emphasis on Stata’s scripting language, and also introduce basic programming techniques required for efficient and transparent research procedures as well as for the application of Monte Carlo techniques.

Reviewing a Research Field, 7.5 credits (syllabus)
The purpose of this course is to provide critical knowledge and training enabling the student to write an advanced review of theory and evidence within a specific research field. Such a review is a necessary ingredient in a master thesis, as it demonstrates to what extent the student is able to identify the most important works, trends and debates within a certain field and how these relate to the specific focus of the student’s own paper. The skills acquired in this course are also very useful in many professional activities involving analytical tasks. The student is encouraged to select a research field to the topic of the master thesis.

Master Program in Peace and Conflict Studies

Ms. Liana Lopes
Program Coordinator
E-mail: liana.lopes@pcr.uu.se
Phone: +46 (0) 18 471 23 77
Fax: +46 (0)18 69 51 02
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Ms. Ingalill Blad Ă–gren
Program Administrator
E-mail: ingalill.blad-ogren@pcr.uu.se
Phone: +46 (0)18 471 23 49
Fax: +46 (0)18 69 51 02
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden