The Master's Degree Program in Anthropology, which is taught in English, combines the scholarly traditions of social anthropology in the UK and cultural anthropology in the US. The program prepares students for an academic or applied career in an international professional field. At the University of Basel, students focus on the research areas of political anthropology, visual culture and medical anthropology. The heart of the MA in Anthropology is the ethnographic research project, which includes a six-week field trip in a region of the global South.
Focal areas of teaching and research
Teaching has a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa, supplemented by courses on Latin America, Oceania and Southeast Asia. Topical courses cover our research specializations in political anthropology, urban anthropology, visual studies, media anthropology, and medical anthropology. Key elements of these research fields include globalization, intercultural and transcultural studies, migration and social/ethnic conflicts.
The Institute of Social Anthropology cultivates strong interdisciplinary and international ties, and cooperates with institutes located in several African countries and Indonesia. All teachers are also involved in research groups and projects, ensuring lively exchange between research and teaching.
At master level, the students deepen their knowledge of theories and topics in anthropology and the associated research methods. The heart of the Master's Degree Program in Anthropology in Basel is the ethnographic research project, which includes a guided and subsidized field trip. During this course (2 semesters, including 6 weeks of fieldwork abroad), the students will conduct their own research project guided by experienced researchers.
Courses are taught in English. Although no certificate is required, advanced English skills (level B2 or better) are needed for successful completion of the degree.
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 Anthropology 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.
|Master of Arts (120 CP)|
|Major of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences|
65 CP (35 CP + 30 CP for the master thesis)
|Minor of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences|
|Two degree subjects|
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. Anthropology is a particularly useful subject to combine with any discipline dealing with societies and their cultures or cultural subsections (such as art or language) or with human actions, norms (law), history, and their natural environment.
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.
Graduates in anthropology are characterized by a high degree of sensitivity to cultures and societies, and their ability to respond to different situations and individuals. Key qualifications arise in particular from the practice of field research, where methods such as participation, observation, recognition, understanding and communication play a crucial role. This qualifies them in particular for professional activity in development cooperation, migration and refugee assistance, NGOs (e.g. in integration work and intercultural communication), but also assignments to international organizations, e.g. as delegates or administrators of the International Committee of the Red Cross. In addition, our alumni find employment in tourism, art trade, cultural management, teaching and research, or museums. As humanities and social science graduates, further career opportunities are available to them in the areas of media, PR and marketing, fundraising or adult education.
Master’s admission requirements
Admission to master’s programs is regulated by the university student regulations 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 <link de fakultaet aktuelles external-link-new-window internen link im aktuellen>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.