Strategy regarding teaching and Covid 19 during fall 2020

The global spread of the corona virus (Covid-19) is having a massive impact on universities around the world. It is understandable that both current and prospective students may be concerned about the impact the pandemic may have on their studies, and whether there is a need to change plans.

Below follows an outline of the strategy the Department of Peace and Conflict Research will follow in the fall 2020. The strategy differs slightly between courses and programs at the BSSc and MSSc level, as outlined below.

BSSc-level
With all of the uncertainty involved related to travel and other restrictions in Sweden and elsewhere – and for the sake of planning on behalf of you as students as well as for teaching staff - we have decided to offer digitalized teaching for all BSSc level courses and programs during the first half of the 2020 fall semester.

This means that for Peace and Conflict Studies A, the first two modules (Introduction and Conflict Analysis) will be given online. Depending on how the situation develops over the coming months - taking heed in particular to the health agency’s recommendations - we are hoping to begin to open up gradually. To the extent that we can, the Department will likely add some in-person seminars. For instance, students may select a seminar that meets virtually or in class-room if campus teaching is allowed. Tutoring/supervision may also be done both virtually and in person. At the level of the full class, moreover, the Department will be liaising with e.g. UPaD to encourage activities and events that allow for social interaction. If the situation in the fall is similar to the current situation, it will for example be possible for students to form study groups, visit libraries and potentially meet with mentors/buddies.

As for the second half of the fall semester (starting early November), we will take a decision by 25 September. If there are no restrictions by 25 September, we plan to go back to campus-based teaching for the courses beginning in November (likely step-by-step, depending on the current situation and recommendations).

For Peace and Conflict Studies C, the plan is similar to the A-course. Thus, we plan to hold the first two modules (Methods and Analyzing arguments) online. As with the A-course, if possible and not mandatory, we may consider gradually adding some classroom activities. We will take a decision regarding the second half of the semester (the C-thesis course) by 25 September.

For the free-standing course War and Peace on Film we expect to take a decision by 25 September.

MSSc-level
With all of the uncertainty involved related to travel and other restrictions in Sweden and elsewhere – and for the sake of planning on behalf of you as students as well as for teaching staff - we have decided to offer digitalized teaching for all MSSc level courses and programs during the entire 2020 fall semester (with two exceptions, see below). We make no commitments on online teaching for the spring semester 2021 at this stage.

The strategy apply to all courses in the first year of the program. For the second year of the program, there are two exceptions: First, internships are organized and agreed on between the host and student. Second, if we are able to go back to campus teaching later in the fall, the “Negotiation and Mediation” course will be given on campus. Students who are not based in Uppsala, and who are not able to participate in class activities on campus, should then opt for some other course given online, preferably “Reviewing a research field”. If we are not able to go back to campus teaching by December, it is not clear at this stage whether it will be possible to offer the “Negotiation and Mediation” course this fall.

Although all students will be able to follow the program from their home, we are hoping that many of the newly admitted MSSc students will be able to arrive in Uppsala as planned in August. Depending on how the situation develops over the coming months - taking heed in particular to the health agency’s recommendations - we are hoping to begin to open up gradually. To the extent that we can, the Department will likely add some in-person seminars to those MSSc-students who are in town. For instance, students may select a seminar that meets virtually or in class-room if campus teaching is allowed. Tutoring/supervision may also be done both virtually and in person. At the level of the full class, moreover, the Department will be liaising with the student associations to encourage activities and events that allow for social interaction. This in order to try to build a sense of community and offer some of those surrounding activities that offer much to the regular academic curriculum.

For the most recent university-wide information for students regarding the corona virus, please visit the following page:
https://www.uu.se/en/students/recommendations-on-coronavirus/

A useful Q&A page for newly admitted students (including e.g. information about residence permits and tuition fees) can be found here:
https://www.uu.se/en/students/new-students/qa-covid-19/

Please contact us should you have any questions at this point.

Erika Forsberg, Director of Studies: erika.forsberg@pcr.uu.se
Erik Melander, Head of Department: erik.melander@pcr.uu.se