Disclosure: Global Peace Careers may be compensated by course providers.

5 Tuition Free Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies

Interest in the field of peace and conflict studies is growing across the globe. Since the 1950s and 1960s when peace studies began to emerge as an academic discipline with its own research tools, a specialized set of concepts and forums for discussions such as journals and conferences, the number of institutions offering the course at all levels have significantly increased. Suffice to add that research institutes focusing on peace research have also increased significantly. Notable amongst such institutes is the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) based in Oslo, Norway, which is associated with renowned peace scholar, Johan Galtung. The growth in institutions and research centres offering specialized courses in peace studies has led to an increase in the number of students desirous of peace education, especially from institutions providing some form of funding or the other. This article examines the institutions offering tuition-free peace and conflict studies across the globe.

Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.

Programme Information: The Durban University of Technology’s Peacebuilding Programme is arguably the biggest and most exhaustive of its kind on the continent of Africa. Although the institution’s main focus is on PhD studies, it nonetheless offers limited fully-funded masters studies in peacebuilding, with a focus on action research methodology, which directly builds peace among individuals and communities.  The degrees start with a compulsory on-campus component of one month during which time students attend classes and submit assignments on peace theory, receive training in practical peacebuilding and learn the details of writing a research thesis.

Programme Requirements:

Peacebuilding Careers Guidebook

Learn how you can launch a career in peacebuilding

  • A bachelor’s degree normally at an upper-class level (70%) or above.
  • Strong written and spoken English
  • Relevant life experience beyond studying at the university
  • A commitment to attend the university full-time at the start of the academic programme, and a week at the start of the second year.
  • A commitment to devote a minimum of 12-15 hours per week to thesis work, on average, following the on-campus period.

Funding Information: DUT offers tuition-free studies for master’s students. It also supports the cost of data collection and for the preparation of the final version of the thesis for submission.

The University of Uppsala’s Master’s in Peace and Conflict Studies

Programme Information: The Department of Peace and Conflict Research at the University of Uppsala in Sweden offers tuition-free master’s in peace and conflict studies to citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and nationals of Switzerland. If you are not a citizen of the aforementioned regions, you are required to pay application or tuition fees. The purpose of the course is to give students an understanding of central concepts and issues in peace and conflict research, as well as key findings concerning the onset, development, and resolution of armed conflicts.

Programme Requirements:

The university has two application periods for Master’s programmes and courses starting in the autumn. The first application period, which is open to all international applicants, normally opens from October and closes in January. Applicants (especially international applicants) are strongly encouraged to apply during the first application round. Applications are made through www.universityadmissions.se.

The second application round is primarily for Swedish students and normally opens from March to April. Applications are made through www.antagning.se. Please note that only students who are citizens of a country within the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland can apply during this application round.

Funding Information

Some international students will be exempt from paying student fees. For example, you are not required to pay application and tuition fees if:

  • You are a Swedish citizen
  • You are a citizen of a country within the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland
  • You have a permanent Swedish residence permit
  • You have a temporary Swedish residence permit that was granted on the basis of something other than studies

University of Hamburg’s M.A. in Peace and Security Studies

Programme Information: The aim of the M.A. in Peace and Security Studies at the University of Hamburg to introduce highly-qualified graduates from German and foreign universities as well as academically trained professionals to debates and approaches in peace research and security policy. Universität Hamburg offers the program jointly with the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at Universität Hamburg (IFSH) in conjunction with leading academic and security policy institutions as part of the Cooperation Network for peace research and security policy.

Programme Requirements:

Requirements for the programme include:

  • Application form (online application, download as pdf)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Abitur certificate or school certificate of equal value
  • University certificate or certificate of the technical college of higher education and 240 ECTS
  • Evidence of English and German language skillsas necessary for course and examinations
  • German: DSH (results: DSH-2 or better), TestDaf (results in all four parts: TDN 4 or better) or any examination of equal value (B2/C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
  • English: TOEFL 230 (570 paper-based), 5.5 IELTS, Advanced C or any examination of equal value (B2/C1 of the CEFRL)
  • Evidence of practical experience in the field as far as at hand
  • If possible, further documents expressing special qualification for the course (e.g. letters of reference or proof of a grant)

Funding Information: The M.A. programme is tuition free. The IFSH does not offer funding itself, but suitable candidates are often provided with support in applying for scholarships.

Umeå University’s Master´s Thesis in Peace and Conflict Studies

Programme Information: Umeå University offers a unique master’s thesis in peace and conflict studies that includes authoring and ventilation of a thesis, fulfillment of commentator assignments, as well as active participation in seminars. The student is at liberty to choose his/her thesis topic in consultation with the supervisor.

Programme Requirements:

Applicants for the master’s programme are required to have knowledge of peace and conflict studies (90 credits), or 90 credits in Political Science and at least 30 credits in Peace and Conflict Studies, or equivalent, including a thesis or equivalent. In addition to this, 60 credits at master’s level are required, of which at least 30 credits in Peace and Conflict Studies or equivalent.

·         Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish Upper Secondary course English A.

·         Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Funding Information:

With a few exceptions, all citizens of countries outside of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees for education at Umeå University at the undergraduate and master’s level.

Applicants are NOT required to pay any fees if they are:

  • Exchange Students – students attending Umeå University as part of an exchange agreement
  • Students with citizenship in an EU/EEA country, or Switzerland.
  • A copy of the passport has to be provided during the application procedure to be designated tuition-exempt. Further instructions are available at University Admissions.
  • Pursuing Doctoral level (Ph.D.) studies.

University of Tampere’s Master’s Degree Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research 

Programme Information: The Master’s Degree Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research (PEACE) provides a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to peace and conflict research. Ranked as a top-10 degree in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding by The Peacekeeper in 2017, the PEACE programme facilitates the understanding of the complex nature of wars and conflicts as well as their short and long-term consequences. The programme focuses not only on the study of conflict but primarily on its transformation and on the conditions for peaceful change. In the programme, it is examined, for example, how violent conflicts, ethnic and religious discrimination, and human rights violations produce forced displacement and how different actors can respond to these crisis situations.

The MDP in Peace, Mediation and Conflict research is a two-year full-time study programme. The first year focuses on the introduction to the multidisciplinary nature of peace and conflict research. During the second year, students gain a deeper understanding of their specific research interests as they participate in the thesis seminar and concentrate on writing their Master’s thesis under the guidance of their personal thesis supervisor. A great deal of flexibility is allowed when making the personal study plan and there is also the possibility to complete an optional internship.

Programme Requirements:

To be eligible to apply to the MDP in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research, an applicant must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Humanities, Social Sciences or in some other field/discipline appropriate for the content of the MDP. Applicants with a Master’s degree will be admitted to the programme only for well-founded reasons.

Applicants who do not meet the general eligibility and programme-specific admission criteria will not be selected. Even if you meet all the admission criteria, this does not guarantee your admission to the programme. The competition for a study place at the University of Tampere is high as the number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted.

The institution accepts the following tests as proof of a good command of English:

  • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language; 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based. NB: scores from TOEFL ITP/institutional testing programme are not accepted.
  • IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System; 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
  • PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English; 62

Tuition/Funding Information

You are not required to pay the tuition fee if you are:

  • EU/EEA citizen or a family member (spouse/child) of an EU/EEA citizen.
  • Equivalent to EU/EEA citizens (i.e. citizen of Switzerland).
  • Already residing in Finland on a permanent basis (continuous A, or permanent P/P-EU residence permit type), or have an EU Blue Card issued in Finland.