M.Phil. Peace and Conflict Transformation (Peacestudies)

UIT the Arctic University of Norway

Application deadline: Norwegian and other Nordic applicants: April 15; November 1; Self-financed applicants: December 1
Tuition fee:
  • Free (EEA)
  • Free (Non-EEA)
Start date: August  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The Master's degree programme offers interdisciplinary insights into the nature and causes of conflicts, and analytical skills for handling conflicts by peaceful means.

The programme draws upon the history and geography of the city of Tromsø in the relatively peaceful Far North to bring innovation to peace and conflict studies. With a long history of working towards peaceful co-existence among local ethnic and cultural groups, the region provides a unique setting for the study of ways of transforming relationships between individuals, groups and institutions from destructive to constructive bonds.

Teaching is intensive during the first year, as core debates and perspectives are addressed through compulsory courses.

The second year focuses mainly on master's thesis projects. These thesis projects are designed by the students themselves depending on their diverse interests and experiences. It is possible to collect data from any part of the world to support such self-selected master's thesis projects.

Job prospectives
The Masters degree programme in Peace and Conflict Transformation prepares students for challenging careers in sectors as diverse as emergency and humanitarian assistance, governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as teaching and research.


Programme structure
1. semester (autumn)

* SVF-3021 Integrated Peace and Conflict Studies

* SVF-3022 Culture, Conflict and Society

2. semester (spring)

* SVF-3024 Conflict Resolution and Conflict Transformation

* Optional course

3. semester (autumn)

* SVF-3901 Master's Thesis in Peace and Conflict Transformation

* SVF-3023 Project seminar

* Optional course

4. semester (spring)

* SVF-3901 Master's Thesis in Peace and Conflict Transformation

Learning outcomes
The MPCT is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of peace and conflict studies as a distinct and an applied field of study, in addition to developing general academic capabilities.

Students, who have successfully completed the MPCT programme, are expected to have achieved the following:

Knowledge and analytical understandings:

* History and evolution of peace and conflict studies as a field of study, nature of cross-disciplinarity, and the interconnections between peace and conflict, peace and violence, peace and war, positive and negative peace, and normative and positive knowledge
* Nature and causes of violent conflicts at all levels of human interaction (inter-personal, group, community and international). Topics covered range from poverty, social exclusion and gangsterism, organised crime, forced migration, terrorism, resource management, rebel financing, environmental change to energy security
* Major concepts underlying contemporary debates such as realism, liberalism, critical theory, justwar traditions, state-building, structural and cultural violence, gender and ethnicity, human rights, humanitarianism and international law
* Measures designed to avoid or reduce violence (negative peace) and enhance the capacity for conflict transformation (positive peace). Topics covered include peace education, democratisation, restorative justice and truth commissions, land restitution in transitional justice, disarmament, demobilisation and re-integration of refugees and insurgent groups, post-war reconstruction and development, UN and peace operations.

Skills and competences:

The MPCT programme enables students to

* Relate theoretical and methodological frameworks from a variety of disciplines to violent conflicts and peace-building processes
* Develop their peace-building skills through role plays, team work and communication
* Design and carry out a research project that involves the use of diverse data sources

Take responsibility for ones own learning by working independently towards realisation of the objectives of the degree programme.

Teaching and assessment
The teaching and learning methods will be problem-based, as far as possible: Using problems and issues informing everyday life as a starting point, the teaching will be organized as recurrent cycles of instructions, readings, seminars, discussions and academic production under the guidance of an academic staff. The teaching methods will be worldly, grounded and driven by field knowledge and thereby facilitate the problem-solving capabilities of students.

All students will be appointed an academic adviser in the first year of study. The supervision will be given through seminars and individual tutorials.
The type of examination is specified in each module. Evaluation is based on the grading system, A-E, F = fail.


Admission to the Master's programme in Peace and Conflict Transformation requires a Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification in the social sciences, health sciences, humanities, law or education. An average grade of equivalent to C or better in the Norwegian grading system is required.

Applicants must enclose a statement of purpose (maximum of two pages). This statement must include the purpose for and interest in pursuing the Master's degree programme (i.e. relating prior academic achievements and professional experiences to the core concerns of the programme). There is no need for recommendation letters.

The programme is English-taught and applicants must document adequate proficiency in English
Entry into the programme is competitive and based on your academic qualifications (educational background) and a statement of purpose.


All deadlines described below are for admittance to the programme commencing in the autumn semester. The Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Transformation does not admit new students in the spring semester.

The application deadline for Norwegian and other Nordic applicants is April 15th.

The application deadline for self-financing international applicants is December 1st. More information is available here: General admission requirements for self-financed applicants.

The application deadline for quota applicants is December 1st. More information is available here: General admission requirements for quota applicants.

Notice to quota applicants:
Priority will be given to highly qualified applicants, who also document work experience in peace building, media, research and community development. Do not apply if you did not write thesis/dissertation at the Bachelor's level at the partner university.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 85

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