In order to obtain their M.A. degree in Peace Studies, students need to successfully complete the following courses:

Fall Semester

Each course is worth 3 credits

  • PST 501 Religion and Empires I
  • PST 503 Negotiation and Conflict Management
  • PST 504 Political Economy of Peace and War
  • PST 511 Peace, Politics and Religion
  • PST 513 International Law

Spring Semester

Each course is worth 3 credits

  • PST 502 Religion and Empires II
  • PST 512 Political Islam in Context
  • PST 514 Democracy and Government: Contemporary Challenges
  • PST 515 International Response to Humanitarian Crises
  • PST 598 Thesis Preparation


  • PST 599 Thesis
    The thesis is worth 6 credits

Religion and Empires (I)

The course provides students with a systematic knowledge and understanding of religious topography and religious history of Rome, Italy and the Mediterranean. It explores various religious traditions from the foundation of Rome to the Protestant Reformation. The focus is on topics related to the ancient Etruscan religion, Roman religious beliefs and practices, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as traditions that shaped to a significant extent the cultural and political history of Rome, Italy and Europe. Students will also learn about the cultural, social and political impact of these religious traditions on the later development of Europe and the Western world in general. This course enables students to choose elective courses and helps them design their own academic profile, which best suits their research interests and future careers.

Negotiation and Conflict Management

Conflict is part of daily life: it can be destructive as well as constructive but it needs to be dealt with productively. Resolution is a collaborative process by which differences are handled and outcomes are jointly agreed by the interested parties. It is the transformation of the relationships and situations such that solutions are sustainable and self-correcting in the long term. This course will introduce the student to the common causes of conflicts, and enable them to understand how and why they appear. Techniques and methods to approach, manage and resolve conflicts will be introduced, including the strategies of good listening and good communication skills. Various techniques will be examined and applied using selected case studies, including negotiation from a humanitarian perspective and negotiation with armed groups.

Political Economy of Peace and War

This course focuses on the international political and economic aspects of conflicts from WWII up to today. It explores the concepts of Empire and Hegemony in the contemporary international affairs. The course also investigates various theories and strategies to avoid conflicts, such as hegemonic stability theory, balancing between major powers, cooperation within international institutions, trade integration, or socialization of norms and principles.
The absence of a major war on a global scale does not indicate the presence of peace, since conflicts and competitions take place on a different level (through, for instance, trade wars, sanctions, boycotts, embargos, etc.). In addition to that, global actors in contemporary international political economy (ranging from states, religious and non-governmental organizations, to multinational corporations, arm dealers, transnational extremist organizations, etc.) often have competing objectives when waging the costs and benefits of war and peace. Only when the actors of conflicts, and the political economy factors that drive them are addressed, can one understand the conditions of resolving the conflicts and promote peace.

Peace, Politics and Religion

The course analyzes the reciprocal influences of politics and religion in the Western tradition, and how philosophy has enquired into the interdependency of these two modes of human experience and social life. The aim of the course is to understand how religion affects politics and vice versa by considering the theoretical background offered by major philosophers and theorists. Through a combination of historical and theoretical analysis students will be able to critically examine various case studies, from early modern history to the present.

International Law

This course is a study of the current system of international law, tracing its historical development and concluding with a discussion of recent proposals to strengthen international system of law and justice. The course will also look into the recent cases relevant for the international legal system, such as the cases of international terrorism, genocide and the work of international tribunals, and the International Court of Justice.

Religion and Empires (II)

The course offers students an insight into the religious landscape of Rome, Italy and Europe, from the Protestant Reformation to the present. The course is designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of religious topography and religious history in modern (post-Medieval) times. The course covers the period from the Protestant Reformation to the present. The course explores topics related to the role of religion in modern, secular societies, and complex interactions between religion, culture and politics in modern and postmodern times. 

Political Islam in Context

Scholars, government analysts and terrorism experts have examined the relationship between Islam and politics for years. Although this field of study is not recent, it became both dominant and essential since 9/11. This course intends to provide a comprehensive, analytical, and in-depth examination of political Islam in an increasingly globalizing world. The purpose is thus to show the interaction of Islam and politics and the multiple and diverse roles of Islamic movements, as well as issues of: i) authoritarianism; ii) democratization; iii) religious extremism; and iv) terrorism.The first part of the course will give a general overview; the second part of the course will focus on case studies at the regional and global level.

Democracy and Government: Contemporary Challenges

This course explores the complexities of governmental system and functioning in the contemporary global society. The course will explore different countries, focusing on the issue of democracy and government in regard to the country’s size, geo-political position, official ideology and economic development. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the functions of political/state institutions and the factors that influence political processes in the global era, such as constitutions, legislation procedures, interest groups, political parties, elections, NGOs.

International Response to Humanitarian Crises

The course enables students to understand the functioning of international humanitarian interventions and aid supply in countries affected by a crisis (such as conflicts or natural disasters). It gives a firsthand understanding of what it is like to work under pressure in difficult circumstances. The course provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge in order to equip them with all the tools necessary for a successful work in the humanitarian sector. The course uses interactive tools and scenario‐based teaching (such as simulation exercises). 

Thesis Preparation

This course prepares students for their M.A. thesis. Classes are designed to help students, through seminar discussions, to define their own field of research for their MA thesis. The purpose of this seminar is also to teach students how to formulate a problem statement, and how to choose an adequate methodological approach, which will lead to a solid structure and successful completion of their MA thesis. Students will report on their progress and discuss with other students methodological issues and difficulties that they may face during the preliminary work on their thesis.

Peace Studies Thesis

In order to complete the MA degree in Peace Studies students are required to write an MA thesis. Students are expected to conduct their thesis preparations in intense consultations with their advisor. Preparations include specification of the thesis topic, development of the draft thesis, choosing appropriate methods, research and/or practical work, study trips (if necessary), work in archives, and other required activities. MA thesis should be related to the practical work, and based on experiences, knowledge and data that students collected during their internship period. The thesis will expand students’ knowledge on a particular subject, and will prepare them for future professional work