Master's in Sociology

Sociology is the science of human social behavior. It addresses the question as to the conditions under which individuals in groups such as families, organizations or societies cooperate. Cooperation between individuals is not a given. Instead, it is marked by conflicts of interest between individuals or conflicts between individual interests and the common good.

The institute offers the Master program as an extension of a Bachelor course of study in the social sciences or sociology. The program expands the analytic skills acquired in the Bachelor course of study. Students in Bern pursue the Master as a single-subject (mono) course of study in specialized sociology topics without a minor. The study program can be very flexibly and variably designed in line with the student's interests.

Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in Sociology, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 90 ECTS credits
Degree programs:

Mono 90 ECTS credits


Offer for other degree programs:

  • Minor 30 ECTS credits
Duration: 3 semesters
Language: German
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

Teaching and research at the institute focuses on political sociology (especially with regard to migration and integration), the sociology of religion, environmental sociology, game theory, network and social capital research, sustainable social development and inequality research. Students in the Master program also learn about various sociology research methods. For example, seminars are offered in which students are made more familiar with new techniques for survey-based and experimental data collection, as well as with historical and qualitative methodologies.

The Master in Sociology program is a single-subject (mono) program with 90 ECTS credits. These credits are attained through courses amounting to 60 ECTS credits and a master thesis for 30 ECTS credits. Students pursuing a Master with a major in Sociology do not take a minor.

In accordance with Art. 9-10 of the study plan, the following requirements apply for the Master program in Sociology (major):

Courses
ECTS 
Mandatory courses/requirements 1  
Methodology min. 6
Theory min. 6 
Research colloquium min. 2 
Total mandatory courses min. 14 
Optional electives 2 max. 30 
Electives from the
Institute of Sociology at the Master level
remaining ECTS credits
Master thesis 30 
Total for Master of Arts in Sociology 90
 
  1. Mandatory courses/requirements: Courses that can be applied either to the Theory or Methodology component are indicated in the CTS course description.
  2. Optional electives Courses from the following institutes/departments/subject fields can be taken as electives for a maximum of 30 ECTS credits:

    a) From the Institute of Sociology at the University of Bern

    b) From Master programs in Sociology at other Swiss universities

    c) From subject areas at the University of Bern that are closely related to sociology. The latter include courses from the Master programs in Social Anthropology, Gender Studies, Political Science, Social Psychology, Human Geography, Law, Economics or Sociology of Education. Courses that can be applied to the Master's degree in Sociology are indicated in the study plan and can also be found in the electives section of the CTS.

Program structure for the minor course

The 30 ECTS credits for the minor course of study in the master's program for Sociology can be earned with electives from among the courses offered by the Institute of Sociology at the master level.

Please note: These courses are not identical to the required elective courses offered by various other institutes. In other words, students will only be given credit for those courses that are offered by the Institute of Sociology at the master level.

The Master program is completed when all required coursework from the study plan has been successfully completed (with certification), when all requirements for the completion of the Master's degree have been met and when the master thesis has been submitted and been issued a satisfactory grade. Completion of the degree also requires an overall Master grade of 4 or higher.

The overall Master grade is the weighted average of all grades (only satisfactory grades are taken into consideration). The ECTS credits are used for the weighting.

Registration:

The master thesis currently does not have to be registered in the CTS.

Submission of the master thesis:

A bound copy of the thesis must be submitted to the student's advisor. The day this copy is submitted is documented as the submission date for the grade notification. A digital version of the thesis must also be submitted to the thesis advisor for the purposes of excluding the possibility of plagiarism.

Two other copies of the master thesis must be submitted to Judith Johnny  at the institute. Of of these copies (for the institute archive) must be adhesive bound. The second copy (for the Social Science Library) should be submitted unbound, as the library will bind it and make it available for borrowing.

In order to enable the document to be borrowed, the author of the thesis must fill out and sign the permission form allowing the university library to lend out the work and then insert the form in front of the title page of the thesis (see Forms). If permission to lend out the work is not granted, the thesis will only be stored in the institute archive. In this case, only a bound copy must be submitted.

Each copy of the master thesis must also include a signed non-plagiarism declaration at the end of the work (see Forms).

You will find more information on how to receive your degree here.

Completion of the Master minor program

The Master program is completed when all required coursework from the study plan has been successfully completed (with certification) and all requirements for the completion of the Master's degree have been met. Once all the necessary documented proof has been submitted, an informal request for the completion of the minor should be sent along with a copy of the current study profile sheet to the Dean's Office of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences (info@wisodek.unibe.ch) .

Please note: Please comply with all deadlines: Students who wish to attain their minor certification at their faculty of study at a specific time must send their request to the Dean's Office of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences no later than 7 days before the deadline set by the student's primary faculty.

The final grade for the minor in Sociology is the weighted average of all grades (only satisfactory grades are taken into consideration). The ECTS credits are used for the weighting.

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program:

Mono in Sociology 90 ECTS credits:
  Bachelor's degree from a recognized university with a major or minor in Sociology or Social Sciences – at least 60 ECTS credits with courses in basic methodology (similar to the list below) 
  • 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 for the Master may apply.

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

Minor in Sociology 30 ECTS credits:
 

Bachelor's degree from a recognized university with a minor in Sociology or Social Sciences (minimum of 30 ECTS credits).

 

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 and 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 Sociology, 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.