Politics and War – two-year Master's Programme

This programme will give you a deeper understanding of issues pertaining to Politics, Security and War. You will increase your ability to independently and critically review, evaluate and analyse complex processes and decision-making.

The Master's programme in Politics and War is a two-year programme held entirely in English. When successfully completed it will result in a Master's degree (120 credits) in either War Studies or Political Science with a specialization in crisis management and security, depending on which track you pursue. You can, if you wish, finish the programme after one year, which will result in a one-year Master's degree (60 credits).

Future career opportunities

The Master's programme in Politics and War gives you a unique knowledge profile and can lead to a civilian career as for instance an analyst in a public agency, a ministry or a private company. You can, for example, work with international security issues or with societal security and crisis preparedness issues at the state level, in a municipality or at an EU agency. Other possible positions can be found at non-governmental organisations working with international developent, including UN agencies and other international organisations.

If you rather pursue an academic career, this programme will also prepare and enable you to apply for doctoral studies in subjetcts such as Security Studies, War Studies, International Relations and Political Science, in Sweden or abroad.

About the programme

If you choose the Political Science track, you will explore different perspectives on security, defence and crisis management. You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the construction of security and the emergence of different forms of insecurity, and how to analyse the links between national, international and global security issues. Within the War Studies track, emphasis will be on the key perspectives and issues related to military strategies and the organization of a country's military defence. Within both tracks you will have the opportunity to do a full semester’s internship, giving you real life working experience and a first step into the job market.

Outline of the programme

During the first semester you will attend an introductory course in either War Studies or Political Science as well as a joint methods course. During the second semester, you will select elective courses from either track.

Examples of courses you may choose include:

  • From diplomacy to deception: influence through strategic narratives
  • Political psychology and crisis management
  • Civil-military relations
  • Gender, security and war
  • European security and crisis management
  • The rise of China
  • Resilience in the Anthropocene
  • The sit room: executing US strategy
  • Proxy wars
  • Terrorism studies (reading course)
  • The security and defence policy of the Nordic countries (reading course)
  • Strategic intelligence (reading course)
  • Public policy analysis (reading course)
  • The nexus between education and security (reading course)

Reading course means a self-study course with limited amount of teaching.

In your final year, you will write your Master's thesis. Students pursuing the Political Science track write their Master's thesis during the third semester, and those pursuing the War Studies track write their Master's thesis during the fourth semester.

Your final year will include an opportunity to do an internship in Sweden or abroad. Students pursuing the War Studies track do their internship during the third semester, and those taking the Political Science track in the fourth semester.

During your internship, you will get an insider´s perspective of the daily activities of an agency, organization, or company, and gain meaningful experience of some of the real-life tasks related to security, crisis management and defence. This experience will help you make connections between theories and reality, and in the process strengthen the prospects of getting a relevant job after your degree.

If you choose not to do an internship, you may instead take elective courses.

Weaving theory with practice

The courses are taught by leading scholars in their fields who will draw on the outcomes of their latest research, and share other valuable insights. Several courses include practical exercises and scenario training where you and your classmates assume the role of leaders and senior decision-makers and be tasked to deal with crisis situations under extreme time pressure. You might also be given the opportunity to participate in some of the joint civil-military exercises conducted by the Swedish Armed Forces.

Tuition fees and scholarships for non-EU applicants

Applicants who are not citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland need to pay application and tuition fees.

  • Application fee: SEK 900
  • Tuition fee: SEK 105 000 per year (60 credits)

 If you have applied for a course at the university, which requires the payment of fees, you may apply to the university for a scholarship.

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Application code

FHS-P2001, FHS-P2002


Advanced level





Start week

Week 36

End week

Week 23


Political science with specialization in security studies Bachelor's degree consisting of 180 credits, of which 90 credits in Political Science with specialisation in security studies, crisis management or international collaboration, or the equivalent. A written, documented, and graded independent work/thesis, or the equivalent for applicants with foreign qualifications, shall be part of the main area of study. In addition, English proficiency equivalent to English B/English 6 (a Swedish bachelor’s degree meets this requirement). Specialisation in war studies An Officer’s degree or Bachelor's degree consisting of 180 credits, of which 90 credits in war studies or the equivalent. A written, documented, and graded independent work/thesis, or the equivalent for applicants with foreign qualifications, shall be part of the main area of study. In addition, English proficiency equivalent to English B/English 6 (a Swedish bachelor’s degree meets this requirement).

Place of study






Study pace



Alternative 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.

Other things

Upon application, you should electronically upload a graded, written independent academic work (Bachelor's thesis) at www.universityadmissions.se. With a written academic work is meant one or several independently authored thesis/theses. If your degree does not include a Bachelor's thesis Bachelor's thesis, you may instead submit one or several relevant course papers. The submitted thesis/course papers (s) shall be written in, or translated to, Swedish, English, Danish or Norwegian. Please note that the thesis must be received no later than April 15 2019. If you graduate June 2019 you are allowed to upload your thesis no later than June 14 2019. This extended deadline applies only to students writing their Bachelor's thesis during the spring semester 2019. Submitted work that has not been graded will not be taken into account.


Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership



Application fee: SEK900. Tuition fee: SEK105 000.

Published 2018-02-13 Updated 2020-05-04