Digital Humanities (Master’s Degree Program)
Humanities for the 21st century
Digitalization is fundamentally transforming almost every aspect of our society, including the sciences. In the humanities and social sciences, digitalization and networking open the door to novel ways of exploring culture and society. The aim of the Digital Humanities study program is to familiarize humanities and social sciences students with these new forms of research.
The Digital Humanities course teaches students how to apply and reflect upon computer-assisted and experimental processes in the humanities and social sciences, combining technological knowledge and methodological skills with problems from research in their respective subjects of study. Students can specialize in one or more subject-related applications according to their interests. The program gives students the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities in culture and media, science, memory institutions and business.
Focal areas of teaching and research
The humanities and social sciences interpret the testimonies of human societies, their texts and language, their institutions and buildings, their images and music, their films and games, their everyday and extraordinary objects. Digitalization changes the way in which these testimonies are generated, shared and stored, and thereby our understanding of culture and society. This gives rise to new methods of presentation, analysis and interpretation. Moreover, networking creates entirely new ways of combining data and expanding our understanding of culture and society. Typical fields of work in the Digital Humanities therefore include
- data modeling of cultural and social objects and processes,
- editions of cultural and social testimonies,
- creation and structuring of databases, information systems and infrastructure (especially for cultural heritage institutions such as archives, libraries or museums),
- programming and retrieval in large data collections on society and culture,
- creation of corpora and collections for scholarly research,
- statistical and experimental evaluation of data on culture and society.
The Digital Humanities course at the University of Basel teaches theories, concepts and methods of computer-based and experimental research in the humanities and social sciences. As a student, you will learn how to model questions in the humanities and social sciences (particularly in your second master’s degree subject), translate them into digital and empirically verifiable processes, and implement them at the technical level.
The Digital Humanities combine the humanities and social sciences with computer science. Accordingly, Digital Humanities are studied in conjunction with another master's degree subject in humanities or social sciences, such as archaeology, history, linguistics, political science or sociology. The subject does not require a bachelor's degree in computer science, but builds on the knowledge acquired in a bachelor's degree in humanities and social sciences.
A master’s is a second degree that a person can earn after completing a bachelor’s. The master’s program requires a total of 120 credit points (CP). The Master's Degree Program in Digital Humanities is combined with a second degree subject, each worth 35 CP. The subject in which students write their master’s thesis (30 CP) is considered to be their major; the other subject is their minor. Free electives (20 CP) are also included. One ECTS credit point equates to approximately 30 hours of work.
Combination of subjects
Students are free to select a second master’s degree subject that meets their specific interests. Students can choose a subject offered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences or a subject from another faculty.
Students are free to choose any free elective. These courses allow students to deepen their knowledge of their degree subjects, gain an insight into other degree subjects offered by the University of Basel, or acquire language skills.
A Master's degree in Digital Humanities in combination with an additional subject provides access to a diverse range of career opportunities in a rapidly evolving professional environment. Virtually all professions today require advanced knowledge of computers, databases and the Internet. Graduates of this course of study may be interested in activities that combine independent work with technological, cultural and social knowledge.
If you are interested in pursuing an academic career, you are invited to apply for a doctorate or doctoral position after completing your master's degree.
Master’s admission requirements
Admission to master’s programs is regulated by the university student regulations, dated September 28, 2011, and the stipulations of the individual degree program descriptions. More details of the general master’s admission requirements are provided here.
For students to be admitted with no additional requirements, they must hold a bachelor’s degree worth 180 CP from a higher education institution recognized by the University of Basel.
Subject-related requirements are defined in the admission requirements (section 3) of the study program for the relevant subject. The guidelines may also contain further useful information that is key to successful studies.
The University of Basel organizes regular information events for bachelor’s and master’s programs. Details can be found on the events page of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Some subject areas also offer their own separate information or welcome events. Please consult the page for the relevant subject area for event dates and locations.
Master’s examination & degree
Deadlines and dates for master's studies (see data sheets at Dokumente und Merkblätter)
From the fall semester 2019, the revised framework regulations for the Master of Arts will apply. Registration for the master's thesis is independent of registration for the master's examinations. It is now also possible to examine only one subject per session, i.e. the two master's examinations can be divided into two sessions (attention: only for master's degree subjects, it is not possible to separate the two examinations for study programs). New registration deadlines apply for the master's examinations, these have previously taken place at the same time as the registration for the master's thesis.
From the registration in spring semester 2019 onwards, the same acceptance and submission date (last date of the registration deadline) will apply to the master's thesis for all students.
|Semester takeover, submission||Takeover FS 2018, submission FS 2019 (old / new Master's regulations)||Takeover SS 2019, submission SS 2020 (old / new Master's regulations)||Takeover FS 2019, submission FS 2020 (new Master's regulations)||Takeover SS 2020, submission SS 2021||Takeover FS 2020, submission FS 2021||Takeover SS 2021, submission SS 2022|
|Registration form available from||
|Application Master’s thesis||
|expired||expired||05.05. - 20.05.201||03.11. - 19.11.20||04.05. - 20.05.21|
|Submission of Master’s thesis confirmation form||expired||by 27.02.20 at the latest||by 08.10.20 at the latest||by 25.02.21 at the latest||by 26.08.21 at the latest||by 25.02.22 at the latest|
|Review submission by lecturers||expired||19.06.20||18.12.20||18.06.21||17.12.21||17.06.22|
|Notification of grades||by 31.01.20 at the latest||by 31.07.20 at the latest||by 31.01.21 at the latest||by 31.07.21 at the latest||by 31.01.22 at the latest||by 31.07.22 at the latest|
|Review inspection||14.01. - 13.02.20||16.06. - 13.08.20||19.01. - 12.02.21||15.06. - 12.08.213||18.01. - 17.02.22||14.06. - 18.08.223|
Master's examinations for students of the degree subject and program
|FS 2019 (old / new Master's regulations)||SS 2020 (old / new Master's regulations)||FS 2020 (new Master's regulations)||SS 2021||FS 2021||SS 2022|
|Application forms (degree subject / program) available from||
|Application deadline for examination||
17.09. - 26.09.19
|18.02. - 27.02.20||15.09. - 24.09.20||02.03. - 11.03.212||21.09. - 30.09.21||22.02. - 03.03.22|
16.12. - 20.12.19
|25.05. - 29.05.20||14.12. - 18.12.20||31.05. - 04.06.21||17.12. & 20.12. - 23.12.21||30.05. - 03.06.22|
|Notification of grades||13.01.20||15.06.20||18.01.21||14.06.21||17.01.22||13.06.22|
Application for MA degree documents
|Semester||FS 2019||SS 2020||FS 2020||SS 2021||FS 2021||SS 2022|
|Application deadline for degree
14.01. - 13.02.20
|16.06. - 13.08.20||19.01. - 12.02.21||15.06.-12.08.213||18.01.-17.02.22||14.06.-18.08.223|
1 21.05.2020 is a public holiday (Ascension Day).
2 SS 2021 begins only on 01.03.2021 (Carnival holidays: 22.02. - 26.02.2021).
3 Please note the summer break of the Student Administration Services.
All data subject to subsequent changes.