Societal issues and problems are highly complex, and shaped by a multitude of influences and developments. Accordingly, their study must involve a broad range of perspectives, with research based on diverse theories and employing methodological approaches from various disciplines. This is precisely what the Master's Degree in Changing Societies at the University of Basel offers. Societal change is approached through the key topics of migration, conflict, and resources, examined through the lenses of anthropology, political science, and sociology. Students benefit from the advantages of an interdisciplinary social sciences program with mandatory methodological training.

Focal areas of teaching and research

The MA in Changing Societies is taught by lecturers from various disciplines within the social sciences:

  • Anthropology
  • Gender studies
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Sustainability research
  • Near & Middle Eastern studies
  • Political science
  • Sociology
  • Urban studies

These disciplinary perspectives provide the foundation for an exploration of the following focal areas:

  • Migration and mobility
  • Peace and conflict
  • Resources and sustainable development

Program structure

A master’s is a second degree that a person can earn after completing a bachelor’s and requires 120 credit points (CP) in total. The Master’s Degree Program in Changing Societies is a single-major degree, which means that no other subjects are studied to achieve the 100 CP. Free electives (20 CP) are also included. One ECTS credit point equates to approximately 30 hours of work.

Master of Arts (120 CP)
Changing Societies 100 CP Free electives
20 CP
Degree program

Combination of subjects

This master’s degree program does not include a second degree subject. 

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.

Career opportunities

The MA in Changing Societies prepares students for both academic and non-academic careers. Choosing a thematic focus can be the first step towards a PhD in one of the disciplines which make up the program. Alternatively, graduates of the program can choose from numerous exciting fields of employment outside higher education, such as international organizations, NGOs, politics, public administration, or culture and knowledge management. The program also qualifies students for careers that call for independent thinking and methodological and analytical skills, even if not directly linked to the thematic focus of changing societies.

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.

Registration dates

Students must register for their bachelor’s or master’s degree program within a specified timeframe – even in cases of delayed registration.

Information events

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.

Master’s examination & degree

Deadlines and dates for master's studies (see data sheets at documents and information sheets)

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.

Master’s thesis
Semester takeover, submission Takeover SS 2021, submission SS 2022Takeover FS 2021, submission FS 2022Takeover SS 2022, submission SS 2023Takeover FS 2022, submission FS 2023Takeover SS 2023, submission SS 2024
Registration form available fromexpiredexpired04.04.2203.10.2203.04.23
Application Master’s thesisexpiredexpired02.05.22 - 20.05.2231.10. - 18.11.2202.05.* - 22.05.23**
Takeover dateexpiredexpired20.05.2218.11.2222.05.23
Submission date21.02.2218.08.2219.02.2317.08.2321.02.24
Submission of Master’s thesis confirmation formby 28.02.22 at the latestby 24.08.22 at the latestby 25.02.23 at the latestby 24.08.23 at the latestby 28.02.24 at the latest
Review submission by lecturers17.06.2220.12.2219.06.2320.12.2319.06.24
Notification of grades and review inspectionby 31.07.22 at the latest31.01.2331.07.2331.01.2431.07.24
Master's examinations for students of the degree subject and program


SS 2022FS 2022SS 2023FS 2023SS 2024
Application forms (degree subject / program) available from24.01.2222.08.2223.01.2321.08.2329.01.24
Application deadline for examination21.02. - 04.03.2219.09. - 30.09.2220.02. - 03.03.2318.09. - 29.09.2326.02. - 08.03.24
Examination session30.05. - 03.06.2219.12. - 23.12.2226.05. & 30.05. - 02.06.23***18.12. - 22.12.2327.05. - 31.05.24
Notification of grades13.06.2216.01.2312.06.2312.01.2414.06.24
Application for MA degree documents
SemesterSS 2022FS 2022SS 2023FS 2023SS 2024
Application deadline for degree
(Application form)
13.06. - 12.08.2216.01. - 17.02.2312.06. - 11.08.2315.01. - 16.02.2417.06. - 09.08.24
Graduation ceremony17.09.2225.03.2316.09.2323.03.2421.09.24

All data subject to subsequent changes.

*01.05.2023 is public holiday (Labor Day)
**18. & 19.05.2023 are public holidays (Ascension Day)
***29.5.23 is public holiday (Whit Monday)

Academic advice

Teaching committee