Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Study programs

Master's in Politics: Comparative and Swiss Politics

What are the special aspects of the Swiss political system as compared to other political systems around the world?

What differences exist among modern democracies in the areas of economic, social and environmental policy and how can these differences be explained?

Do Swiss citizens display different political and social attitudes than their counterparts in neighboring countries?

These are the typical research questions addressed by the program in Comparative and Swiss Politics in the Institute of Political Science in Bern.

Here, you can experience political research in the capital of Switzerland. The Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern offers you a Master program that's unique in Switzerland, with a focus on the comparative analysis of political and social developments in Switzerland. Along with an outstanding advisor system, the program also provides for a very inspiring atmosphere with internationally renowned and respected political scientists and researchers.

 

Master Schweizer Politik und Vergleichende Politik
Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in Political Science, "Schweizer Politik und Vergleichende Politik - Comparative and Swiss Politics", Universität Bern
Number of credits: 90 ECTS credits
Degree programs: Mono 90 ECTS credits
Duration: 3 semesters
Languages: German, French and English (30 %)
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester
The program focuses on providing students with in-depth knowledge of Swiss politics, comparative politics and European politics. The program is offered in cooperation with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques et Internationales at the University of Lausanne. This means that students have the opportunity to earn a maximum of one-third (30 ECTS) of the credits they need in Lausanne. Multilingualism (D/F/E) is a central characteristic of the program. Students who complete the program are awarded the degree of Master of Arts in Political Science, Comparative and Swiss Politics, University of Bern. A total of 90 ECTS credits must be earned to complete the degree. This program leads to a so-called mono-master, which means no minor is required.

Specialization

The program focuses on providing students with in-depth knowledge of comparative politics and the Swiss political system, the interaction between the political systems of the EU member states and the political system of the European Union, and the multilevel governance systems in the European Union and Switzerland. The program is offered in close cooperation with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques et Internationales at the University of Lausanne. This means that students have the opportunity to earn a maximum of one-third (30 ECTS) of the credits they need in Lausanne. Multilingualism (D/F/E) is a central characteristic of the program.

The following table provides an overview of all requirements.

Overview of the Master program in Comparative and Swiss Politics (major).
Course   ECTS credits  
Mandatory courses/requirements:  
Seminar in social science research methods and tools
6
Electives:  
Seminars and lectures in Swiss, comparative and European politics
mind. 30
Seminars and lectures in political sociology, political communication and policy analysis
mind. 12
Lectures in the Institute of Political Science, master-level lectures in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, or an internship related to the social sciences
mind. 12
Master thesis
30
Total Master CSP        
90

You will find the procedure for registering for courses in Lausanne in the following document:

Please note: The Institute of Political Science at the University of Lausanne is changing its study rules and regulations in the fall semester 2015. Students can still participate in the exchange program. Please visit the institute's website for information on the new course offerings. All courses at the institute will now also be graded, which will make it easier to apply credits to your Master program in Bern.
We are currently revising the relevant sections on our website and in the study guide appendix. If you have any questions regarding the partnership with the University of Lausanne, please contact the directorate of studies at the Institute of Political Science (Kerstin Nebel).

Internship

An internship can be conducted during the course of study.

Information about the associated application process, duration, employment status, field of activity and submission of a final internship report can be found here.

The Master program is completed when the master thesis is submitted. Students must agree on the content requirements for the master thesis with their advisor.

Any political science professor (or lecturer) can advise students who have officially registered for the Master Colloquium.

There may also be additional requirements for thesis advisement. Generally, the student must have attended at least one seminar taught by the professor in question.

Guidelines for Master Theses and Academic Writing:

Colloquium

An initial concept for the thesis is presented and discussed in one of the three specialized Master Colloquia. Master Colloquia are held every semester. A total of 30 ECTS credits are awarded for the master thesis (including the Colloquium). The following Doctoral and Master Colloquia are offered:

  • Policy Analysis and Regulation (Prof. Ingold/Prof. Elsig/Prof. Sager; organization: Alexander Widmer)
  • Swiss Politics and Political Sociology (Prof. Freitag/Prof. Vatter; organization: Julian Bernauer)
  • Comparative Politics and the Political System of the EU (Prof. Armingeon/Prof. Stadelmann; organization: Beatrice Romann)

Participation in an MA Colloquium requires prior consultation with, and the agreement of, the advisor as regards the specific research topic of the master thesis (consultation and agreement no later than six weeks before classes begin in the coming semester).

Students register with the person responsible for the organization of the colloquium via e-mail prior to the beginning of the semester.

Additional information

You will find additional information on the colloquia and participation requirements in the Core Teaching System (CTS) and the ILIAS.

Documents required when the master thesis is submitted:

Information on the thesis submission (format, binding, number of copies, additional documents) can be found in the Guidelines for Writing a Master Thesis.

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program Comparative and Swiss Politics (mono):

  Bachelor's degree from a recognized university with a major or minor in Political Science or Social Sciences (at least 60 ECTS credits with courses in Basic Methodology)
  • Lecture and accompanying seminar in "Social Science Statistics" (6 ECTS credits)
  • Lecture in "Introduction to Empirical Social Research" (3 ECTS credits)
  • Lecture in "Qualitative Methods in Social Science" (3 ECTS credits)
  • Empirical research internship (8 ECTS credits)
Depending on the type of degree, other requirements may apply.

Bachelor's degree in Social Work from a Swiss university of applies sciences;
additional attainments of up to 60 ECTS credits will be required.


Recognition of the bachelor's degree will be individually decided upon if the degree is more than six years old. Additional attainments may be required.

Language requirements

Sufficient knowledge of German is required in order to be able to understand source texts, lectures or examination questions.

Written or oral examinations can be taken in German, French or English.

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Application and admission

Admission requirements 
Application deadlines
 

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M A in Political Science, "Schweizer Politik und Vergleichende Politik - Comparative and Swiss Politics", Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
Recognition of academic achievements
Procedure and timing of the renewal of semester registration
   

Application with a Swiss degree

Online application
Assessment
Steps from application to registration
 

Application with an international degree

Online application
CHECKLIST - Documents for your application / Important information
Steps from application to registration

 
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.