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.
|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|
|Languages:||Mainly in German. Few events in English. French in optional exchange with the University of Lausanne.|
|Beginning studies:||Fall or spring semester|
Details of program
Scheme of program
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.
|Seminar in social science research methods and tools||
|Seminars and lectures in Swiss, comparative and European politics||
|Seminars and lectures in political sociology, political communication and policy analysis||
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
|Total Master CSP||
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).
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:
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. Karin Ingold / Prof. Manfred Elsig / Prof. Fritz Sager)
- Swiss Politics and Political Sociology (Prof. Markus Freitag / Prof. Adrian Vatter)
- Comparative Politics and the Political System of the EU (Prof. Klaus Armingeon / Prof. Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen)
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.
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)
Swiss bachelor's degrees/programs
from the University of Bern
that allow admission to the desired master's degree program without any assessment:
- Bachelor Minor in Social Sciences, 60 ECTS
from other Universities
from Universities of Applied Sciences
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.
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.
Application and admission
Application and admission
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
Application with an international degree
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.