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War and Conflict Studies | Master

Image: Kai Bublitz

The history of humankind is also the history of armed conflict. The 'Age of Extremes' in particular saw scenes of violence of a completely new order of magnitude, the effects of which still extend into the present day. Political science, the social sciences and history are entrusted with the task of recognizing the causes and patterns of these wars and conflicts, contextualizing them, and making the insights thus gained productive for resolving current problems.

THE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE
DesignationWar and Conflict Studies
DegreeMaster of Arts
Standard time for completing the degree4 semesters
Credit points120
Language of instructionGerman & English
First semester in which studies can begin Winter Semester
CampusAm Neuen Palais & Griebnitzsee
Prof. Dr. Michael Wolffsohn

Prof. Dr. Michael Wolffsohn, professor emeritus of history and recognized expert on the Middle East

"The best address in Germany to understand war, guerilla warfare, and terror in its historical and current dimensions."

Program Content

The War and Conflict Studies degree program analyzes the causes, dynamics and contexts of violent conflicts at the national and international levels. Essential fields are military history, the cultural history of violence, and military sociology, with their respective methodologies and theories. The interrelations between the state, society and the military are analyzed from the beginning of the Early Modern period to the present day. The program concentrates on modern history (19th and 20th centuries).

Course Objective and Future Career Options

The program provides you with comprehensive analytical skills that enable you to grasp both historical and current wars and conflicts in their complexity. You will deepen and expand your subject-specific competences to include essential content from military sociology, the history of violence, and military history. Students will refine their use of methodologies in the social sciences and humanities, become capable of discussing complex matters in a critical manner, and learn how to present the outcomes of their work appropriately.

There are career prospects in science, the media, policy-making, the ministerial bureaucracy, international organizations, think tanks, in museums and foundations, in cultural mediation, and in non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Prof. Dr. Michael Wolffsohn

Prof. Dr. Michael Wolffsohn, professor emeritus of history and recognized expert on the Middle East

"The best address in Germany to understand war, guerilla warfare, and terror in its historical and current dimensions."

Professor Odd Arne Westad

Professor Odd Arne Westad, Harvard University

"There is no better programme in the world to understand Germany's complex role in past and present conflicts."

Prerequisites for Admission to the Master’s Program

The basis for being accepted into the master’s program is a strong interest in political, social and historical relations.

The prerequisite for master’s studies at the University of Potsdam is an academic degree qualifying for a profession, such as a bachelor’s degree. Your first degree should be in a subject that is relevant to the degree program, for example in history, political science, or sociology. You must have earned at least 40 CPs in history, political science, sociology, or a related subject in your first academic degree. Since some of the courses are held in English, you should demonstrate good knowledge of English corresponding to at least Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Applicants whose native language is not German must also demonstrate knowledge of German at least at Level DSH 2. 

You can read more about the subject-specific admission requirements in the respective Admission Regulations.

Program Structure

This four-semester master’s degree program requires the completion of 120 credit points. The following overview provides information about the weighting of individual modules and types of courses. For additional information, please consult the subject-specific Degree Regulations  or the Departmental Advisory Office.

Professor Odd Arne Westad

Professor Odd Arne Westad, Harvard University

"There is no better programme in the world to understand Germany's complex role in past and present conflicts."

CONTENT AND CREDIT POINTS (CP)

Modules

Credit Points

Mandatory Modules
42 CPs

Introductory Module War and Conflict Studies

Military and Society in the Age of “Total War,” 1792–1945

Internship

Final colloquium

9 CPs

15 CPs

15 CPs

3 CPs

Elective modules
51 CPs

Elective module: Language
An elective module of 6 credit points must be successfully completed.

Academic Writing in English

Working with English Research Literature and Sources

Elective module 2
Students must successfully complete three elective modules worth 15 credit points each.

Military and Society after 1945

International History since the Early 20th Century

Armed Forces and Society from Social Sciences Perspectives

Adjoining Fields in Military History

Violence, War and Memory in Modernity

Conflict, Security and the Armed Forces – Historical and Social Scientific Approaches

6 CPs

6 CPs

6 CPs

 

15 CPs

15 CPs

15 CPs

15 CPs

15 CPs

15 CPs

15 CPs

Master's thesis
27 CPs
Total120 CPs
Additional partnerships are in preparation.

Advantages at a Glance

The interdisciplinary focus of the program enables you to acquire a wide-ranging academic profile. Potsdam, as a place to do research, offers a diversity of cultural and political institutions that constitutes a unique environment for research and teaching.

The degree program is offered in collaboration with the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Armed Forces (ZMSBw) and boasts established cooperation agreements for internships with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the ZDF Studio Berlin, the German Historical Museum (DHM), and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. In addition, there is a cooperation with the contemporary history department of the daily newspaper WELT.

This program is suitable for part-time study and offers an opportunity for a stay abroad; the University will be happy to offer assistance in the planning and realization of your plans.

Application

Have you decided to study for a master’s degree in War and Conflict Studies at the University of Potsdam?  Then you should take the next step and get more information about the current application and enrollment procedures at the application website.

Additional partnerships are in preparation.

Contact

Institute of History

Christian E. Rieck | departmental advisory office

 

Am Neuen Palais Campus | Building 11, Room 1.02

This description is based in part on information from the subject-specific study and examination regulations for a master’s degree in War and Conflict Studies at the University of Potsdam dated February 12, 2016 (Official Announcements No. 8/16, p. 678).