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War and Defence – two-year master's programme

This Master’s Programme is a unique two-year programme in War Studies that gives students an advanced, broad and deep understanding of matters relating to war, security and defence. The various modules explain how different modes of warfare are conducted, how modern defence systems are built and organised, and how security policies are designed and the impact they have on the world around us.

The programme provides both advanced training in critical thinking, independent judgement, and tools to help you analyse complex processes, at the same time giving you deeper insight into how war, peace and security policies come to be shaped by different actors. This programme will boost your theoretical knowledge and provide training in both advanced scientific methods and analytical skills.

The programme also gives you the opportunity to take part in international student exchanges at highly reputed universities in Europe via the Erasmus programme, and you will also be able to enter the internship programme which provides relevant practical experience at public agencies, international organisations and private sector security companies.

This course leads to a Master’s Degree in War Studies: a degree course that is the only one of its kind available in Sweden.

Future career opportunities

Of all the academic institutions in Sweden, the Swedish Defence University (SEDU) it the only one that offers the unique Master’s Programme in War and Defence. Successful students move on to careers in relevant fields in public agencies and government departments, such as ministries for foreign affairs, defense research agencies, and agencies and organisations involved in civil contingencies work. In the private sector there are openings in security companies in fields ranging from cybersecurity to total defence, and in both national and international organisations such as the EU and the UN. In addition to jobs as researchers and analysts there are also job opportunities in civil defence and contingency planning at local, regional and national levels. For graduates who are Swedish citizens there are also openings for a civilian career in the Swedish Armed Forces.

Successful completion of the course also makes you eligible for a number of research programmes, for example in the fields of war studies, political science, peace and conflict research and international relations.

About the programme

War Studies is the multi-disciplinary study of war. It explores the ways in which war and defence are conducted and organised. Some of the central issues addressed by the programme include military strategy and organisation of a country’s defence systems. The use of military force and the organization of military structures often play an important role in security and peace missions and the course also deals with such topics as humanitarian interventions, peace keeping, and security policy. As a participant in the programme you will have access to a broad range of elective courses, for example from political science, crisis management and of course war studies. You will participate in these together with students from other programmes, which makes for an interesting and valuable blend of perspectives.

The programme will give you rigorous training in scientific methods to promote advanced analytical skills. Scenario-based roleplay, war gaming and a semester devoted to practical training also form part of the programme. In other words, the programme will give you not only theoretical and case-based knowledge of war and defence but also relevant practical and vocational skills.

At the Swedish Defence University students have access to Sweden’s foremost experts in war studies; lecturers and researchers who are not only leaders in their field, but who also frequently act as consultants to the media. The research conducted in the the field of war studies covers a broad range of subjects from military strategy, total defence, and civil war, to peacekeeping operations and war and gender.

Structure of the programme: overview by semester

The study of war and conflict (15 credits)

Research Design and Methods, War studies (15 credits)

During your first semester you will read an introductory course in war studies with focus on how and why states exercise military power, followed by a course in scientific method. The introductory course gives a basic grounding in war studies, while the course in methodology teaches you how to analyse and understand warfare and the organisation of war and defence in a scientific framework.

Elective courses (30 credits)

Examples of elective courses:

  • International Law and Contemporary Conflicts (7.5 credits)
  • Civil-Military Relations, reading course (7,5 credits)
  • Modern Peace-Support Operations (7.5 credits)
  • Special Forces: Theory and Practice (7.5 credits)
  • Proxy Wars, Interventions and Covert Operations (7.5 credits)
  • Gender, Security and War (7.5 credits)
  • Human Security and the Responsibility to Protect (7,5 credits)
  • War and Society (7,5 credits)
  • Reviewing a Research Field (15 credits)
  • When war comes to the city: Urban wars and urban warfare (7,5 credits)
  • Political Psychology and Crisis Management (7,5 credis)
  • Public Policy Analysis, reading course (7,5 credits)
  • European Security and Crisis Management ( 7,5 credits)
  • From Diplomacy to Deception: Influence through Strategic Narratives (7,5 credits)
  • The Defence Policy and Military Strategy of the Nordic Countries (7,5 credits)
  • Environment, Risk and Security: Life in the Anthropocene (7,5 credits)
  • Political communication: Information influence as a security problem, reading course (7,5 credits)
  • Secret Intelligence (7,5 credits)

The range of elective courses will be determined on an annual basis.

In your second semester you will read four elective course. You decide for yourself if you wish to delve deeper into a specific area by following the suggested thematic tracks, or if you would prefer to read courses with a broader span. The elective courses offer a broad spectrum of subject matter. For example, you could choose in-depth studies of various types of warfare, strategy or defence or opt for courses in political science focusing on security policy, crisis management or policy analysis. In other words, the master programme offers both breadth and in-depth knowledge based on the latest research findings.

Master's Thesis, War Studies (30 credits)

The third semester is reserved for work on your master’s dissertation. This gives you the opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of the issues that interest you most and to test your proficiency in scientific methods.

Internship, War studies (30 credits)

or

Elective courses (30 credits)

Examples of elective courses:

  • International Law and Contemporary Conflicts (7.5 credits)
  • Civil-Military Relations, reading course (7,5 credits)
  • Modern Peace-Support Operations (7.5 credits)
  • Special Forces: Theory and Practice (7.5 credits)
  • Proxy Wars, Interventions and Covert Operations (7.5 credits)
  • Gender, Security and War (7.5 credits)
  • Human Security and the Responsibility to Protect (7,5 credits)
  • War and Society (7,5 credits)
  • Reviewing a Research Field (15 credits)
  • When war comes to the city: Urban wars and urban warfare (7,5 credits)
  • Political Psychology and Crisis Management (7,5 credis)
  • Public Policy Analysis, reading course (7,5 credits)
  • European Security and Crisis Management ( 7,5 credits)
  • From Diplomacy to Deception: Influence through Strategic Narratives (7,5 credits)
  • The Defence Policy and Military Strategy of the Nordic Countries (7,5 credits)
  • Environment, Risk and Security: Life in the Anthropocene (7,5 credits)
  • Political communication: Information influence as a security problem, reading course (7,5 credits)
  • Secret Intelligence (7,5 credits)

The range of elective courses will be determined on an annual basis.

For the fourth semester you are free to decide whether you wish to apply for an internship, or if you prefer, to take additional elective courses. In other words, you can choose to engage in more empirical and theoretical studies or to focus more directly on practical situations in a work environment.

In the second and fourth semesters there are opportunities for studies abroad via our exchange agreements with partner universities.

Student exchange schemes

The Swedish Defence University takes part in the Erasmus programme, which allows our students to spend a semester of their master’s training at a university abroad. Being an exchange student is an excellent ways of broadening one’s perspectives and acquiring new experiences at prestigious universities such as the University of St Andrews (Scotland), Sciences Po (France) and the University of Bologna (Italy). Our partner universities offer a wide selection of relevant courses, which means that your master’s degree may come to include several different specialties. Read more at our study abroad webpage on the Student Web.

Application

Supporting documents must be uploaded through www.universityadmissions.se with your application. All documents issued in other languages than Swedish, English, Danish or Norwegian must be translated by an authorised translator. Please note that the original documents should be uploaded as well.

For students on their last year of Bachelor’s studies with no graded thesis/work yet, an extended deadline for the thesis/academic paper is given until February 13, 2023. Submitted work that has not been graded by the extended deadline will not be considered. All other supporting documents must be submitted February 1, 2023 latest.

Application period opens 17 October 2022 and closes 16 January 2023.

Application fee and scholarships

Students coming from a country outside the EU must pay an application fee of 900 Swedish kronor and a tuition fee of 105,000 Swedish kronor per year. However, students from outside the EU may also apply for scholarships to cover the cost of tuition. Read more about the scholarships available at the Stockholm Defence University.

Watch the film for information on Political Science and War Studies.

Level

Advanced level

Credits

120

Starts

Autumn-23

Start week

Week 35

End week

Week 22

Requirements

Minimum: A Bachelor’s Degree (180 credits equivalent to three years of full-time studies) 90 credits must be in War Studies or another relevant subject such as International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies, Security Studies, or Political Science. A graded independent research project (BA thesis) or equivalent is necessary as well as fulfilling the national English B/English 6 requirement.

Form of teaching

Normal

Language

English

Course fee

For non EU citizen: application fee SEK 900. Tuition fee: SEK 105 000 per year.

Study pace

100%

Selection

Selection is based on a comprehensive assessment of previous studies and the relevance of previous studies, and particular importance is given to the quality of the Bachelor’s thesis or an equivalent academic paper if a Bachelor’s thesis was not an integrated part of the Bachelor curriculum. Students who do not have a Bachelor thesis in their original curriculum, or students in their last year of studies, should upload two graded academic works such as essays or papers relevant to War and Defence. It is important that the papers have received an official grade.

Type

Program

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Published 2022-10-07 Updated 2023-01-18