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  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: n/a
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • Deadline:
  • 30 January 2016

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    What is the “religion” that is linked to conflicts and their resolution? How does this “religion” explain, create and sustain conflicts? How does it offer means of preventing or easing conflicts? These questions lie at the centre of the International Master’s programme in Religion, Conflict and Dialogue.

    The RCD programme discusses the many dimensions of religions, conflicts and dialogue through theory and practice. At the very beginning of the programme, each student will identify a particular conflict situation, ongoing or past, in which religion has presumably played a role. Throughout the studies the student will regularly present his/her research in a variety of formats. Applied studies introduce students to the process of converting theoretical knowledge into the practical know-how and skills required in working life.

    RCD studies are taught and lead by the teachers of the Faculty of Theology as well as external expert lecturers in cooperation with actors from the field of peace mediation and different humanitarian aid and development cooperation organizations.

    The RCD programme is ideal for students who wish to pursue a career in positions demanding expertise in the areas of conflict analysis, reconciliation processes, dialogue promotion, theology and religion. RCD qualifies also for further innovative scholarly work, e.g. PhD programmes.

    Thematic Focus

    Thematic focus: Religion, Conflict and Dialogue

    Religions can be seen as both a reason for and a solution to conflicts between individuals, groups and nations. Ignoring the religious point of view can be misleading in conflict prevention or resolution. However, dialogue between religious individuals or bodies is a challenge that requires both the proper knowledge and skills. RCD provides a basic understanding of different religions and their roles in conflicts and reconciliation. Though rooted in theology and religious studies, RCD is multidisciplinary in outlook and combines theoretical and practical viewpoints.

    Theological, Philosophical, Historical and Empirical studies

    Religion is a multidimensional phenomenon that is very difficult to describe unambiguously. Consequently, the relationships between religions and conflict and dialogue are diverse. The core of the studies, Theological, Philosophical, Historical and Empirical (TPHE) studies, provide a wide outlook on religions, conflict and dialogue, including their historical, empirical and theoretical aspects. Studying is based on modules (5 ECTS each, excluding the Master's thesis (40 ECTS)) which each focus on a certain perspective.

    Each module introduces students to content related to the topic and relevant methodology, e.g., systematic, historical, textual and empirical methods. TPHE studies thus provide a comprehensive unity covering various academic traditions and methodologies, and topics ranging from history to the present, from ethics to community cohesion, from the basics of world religions to the challenges in the dialogue about religions.

    Central feature of the programme – The case study

    At the very beginning of the programme, each student will identify a particular conflict situation, ongoing or past, in which religion has presumably played a role. Throughout the studies the student will regularly present his/her research in a variety of formats, including oral presentations, blogs and essays.

    Structure and Content

    Terms, modules and progression of studies

    The Programme is assigned 120 ECTS credits altogether consisting of four terms covering each 30 ECTS credits full-time study.

    The Programme consists of modules each worth of 5 ECTS credits except the Master's thesis (40 ECTS credits).
    Master of Theology with specialisation in the Religion, Conflict and Dialogue 120 cr


    • Contemporary Research and Practice in Religion, Conflict and Dialogue as well as Methodology to Case Studies, 5 cr
    • Advanced Research and Writing Skills, 5 cr
    • Media Analysis, 5 cr


    • Key Concepts - Religion, Conflict and Dialogue, 5 cr
    • World Religions, 5 cr
    • Religion, Conflict and Dialogical Justice, 5 cr
    • Society and Community Cohesion, 5 cr
    • Historical Perspectives to Religion, Conflict and Dialogue, 5 cr
    • Optional Modules, 4 x 5cr (can deepen TPHE studies or can be taken outside the faculty)
    • Master's Thesis Seminar, 5 cr

    MASTER'S THESIS (40 cr) The Master’s thesis is written in conjunction with a seminar to be led by a supervisor who offers guidance in the treatment of subject matter, methodology and compositional techniques; the seminar includes the composition of a personal study plan.


    Applied studies introduce students to the process of transferring theoretical knowledge into practical know-how and skills required in the working life.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    *A Bachelor’s degree in a field of study relevant to the programme (e.g. theology, study of religion (comparative religion), other humanities, social sciences, behavioural sciences or law). The applicant must have or anticipate having a Bachelor ’s degree from a recognised and internationally acknowledged university. * Curriculum Vitae including complete study and work history. * A verified proficiency in English on a level required by Univeristy of Helsinki (see below). * Letter of Motivation. Please answer to these questions in it: - Why are you interested in the programme? - What do you wish to learn? - How does the programme promote your career plans or postgraduate studies? * Applicants with relevant work or other experience in the field of the programme may also become accepted in the programme through the decision made by the Programme Committee of RCD and the Admission Committee of the Faculty of Theology. If there are more applicants than can be admitted to the programme, the selection will be made on the basis of studies completed as well as the CV and the Letter of Motivation. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 580 TOEFL iBT® test: 92

    The University of Helsinki is giving about 50 start-up grants to qualified degree students who are accepted to study in an International Master's Degree Programme. The amount of each grant will be 1000-1500 euro. The grants are not meant to cover living expenses, but we hope that the little extra money helps our new students to settle in Helsinki.

    The International Student Grant is available for degree students who are admitted in 2014 into the programmes below:

    • Atmosphere-Biosphere Studies
    • Bayesian Statistics and Decision Analysis
    • Bioinformatics
    • Biotechnology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Sciences
    • Democracy and Global Transformations
    • Economics
    • Environment and Natural Resources
    • Ethnic Relations, Cultural Diversity and Integration
    • European Studies
    • Food Sciences
    • Forest Sciences and Business
    • Geography and Geology
    • Intercultural Encounters
    • International Business Law and Public International Law
    • Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
    • Media and Global Communication
    • Modeling Molecules and Nanosystems
    • Neuroscience
    • Physical Sciences
    • Plant Production Science
    • Religion, Conflict and Dialogue
    • Religious Roots of Europe
    • Research Master's Programme in Social Sciences
    • Statistics
    • Translational Medicine
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