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.

Academic advice

Teaching committee