Master's in History

The Master program in History teaches students how to conduct research and write academic papers and in this manner enables students to pursue careers in a variety of professions.

The Master program in History at the Institute of History at the University of Bern is designed to expand students' knowledge of methodology and empirical research and results, whereby the major and mono courses of study focus on the ability to independently produce scholarly work. Students can either focus on one (minor) or two subjects (major and mono) that they choose themselves. The institute's goal is to expand students' knowledge of the historical dimension of human existence in the context of the interdependence between politics, society, the economy, the environment and culture. Further aims are to get students to critically question handed-down concepts and memories, to highlight long-neglected interconnections and to counteract opinions that are commonly held to be true. These aspects, as well as an individual focus on specific topics and methods of historical research, will enable students to complete tasks that generally cannot be conceptualized or conducted in such form in other disciplines both within and outside the humanities and social sciences.
The mono MA program also includes a wide range of electives for students to focus on.

Master Geschichte
Aboriginal Embassy, Canberra (Photo Daniel Marc Segesser)
Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in History, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs:
  • Mono 120 ECTS credits
  • Major 90 ECTS credits

 

Offer for other degree programs:

  • Minor 30 ECTS credits
Combination possibilities: several
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: German
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

The Master in History program (major or mono) involves a course of study in two main subject fields. These fields are sufficiently covered in the study program. The 30/60 minor requires a course of study in a main subject field, the 30/30 minor involves a combination of a main field of study and a focus on a specific historical era.

For further information, please consult the study plan appendix.

The program is divided into the Master program (generally in the 7th and 8th semesters) and the final phase (generally in the 9th and 10th semesters).

The Master program has a seminar phase, one or more modules in historical scholarship, and the master thesis in the major and mono course of study (final phase). All courses conclude with a performance assessment and all are graded, with the exception of lectures. In the 30/30 minor program, students take courses from the Bachelor and Master level. Students first take courses related to a specific historical era that they choose, but which may not be the same era they focused on in the Bachelor program. At the same time, they also attend courses in a main subject field that they choose.

The Master in History program with a major or mono course of study concludes with the master thesis. A major seminar generally completes the requirement for the minor program.

The Master program in History can be completed as a single-subject (mono) Master with 120 ECTS credits, or with a major (90 ECTS credits) and a minor (30 ECTS credits).

Any subject taught in a sufficient scope at the University of Bern can be chosen as a minor for the major of 90 ECTS credits. However, students are not permitted to have a major and minor in the same branch of study.

Program structure
Mono / Major ECTS
Minor ECTS 
120 
90  30 
Minors you may choose

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in History (mono or major):

a) Bachelor's degree from a recognized Swiss university in the branch of studies History. Additional attainments of up to 60 ECTS credits may be required.
b) Bachelor's degree from a recognized university in a different branch of studies, provided that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum 60 ECTS credits.
Additional attainments can either be admission requirements which must be fulfilled in order to complete the master's degree program or admission requirements which must be fulfilled before admission to the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

Please consult the admission requirements for the minors as presented in the plan of studies.

The bachelor's degree may not be more than ten years old. Exceptions are possible where justified. 

Language requirements

Mono 120 ECTS credits

If you wish to pursue the mono in History, you must have knowledge of at least two foreign languages, with evidence of language proficiency to be provided in the form of an upper secondary school-leaving certificate or a supplementary examination. Latin is also required, regardless of the main subject field chosen. Evidence of proficiency in Latin can be provided in the form of an upper secondary school-leaving certificate, a supplementary examination, or additional coursework. These language attainments are acquired as part of extracurricular studies during the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments. If you choose Ancient History as your main subject field, you may also present evidence of knowledge of Greek as an alternative to Latin.

Knowledge of Latin or Greek must be acquired as part of extracurricular studies during the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments. If you choose Ancient History or Medieval History as your main subject field, you may not attend courses until the required evidence of knowledge of Greek or Latin is presented. 

Major 90 ECTS credits

If you wish to pursue the major in History, you must have knowledge of at least two foreign languages, with evidence of language proficiency to be provided in the form of an upper secondary school-leaving certificate or a supplementary examination. Latin is required for the major if Ancient History or Medieval History is chosen as the main subject field; Latin is not required for any of the other main subject fields. Evidence of proficiency in Latin can be provided in the form of an upper secondary school-leaving certificate, a supplementary examination, or additional coursework. These language attainments are acquired as part of extracurricular studies during the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments. If you choose Ancient History as your main subject field, you may also present evidence of proficiency in Greek as an alternative to Latin.  

Knowledge of Latin or Greek must be acquired as part of extracurricular studies during the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments. If you choose Ancient History or Medieval History as your main subject field, you may not attend courses until the required evidence of proficiency in Greek or Latin is presented.

 
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M A in History, 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

Online application
Assessment
Steps from application to registration
 

Application with an international degree

Online application
CHECKLIST - Documents for your application / Important information
Steps from application to registration

 
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Issuing of documents in the Institute of History

The documents for the master’s degree can only be issued if all grades have been entered in the CTS.

Major and minor study programs can be completed independently of one another. This is done once the master thesis grades are available. Other provisions relating to major subjects outside the faculty may apply.

Documents are issued by lecturer Dr. Daniel Marc Segesser. Attendance in person is mandatory.

PD Dr.  Daniel Marc  Segesser

The Master program in History enables graduates to pursue careers in a variety of professions. Along with an academic career, opportunities also exist in secondary school education, at archives and libraries, in museums, in the advertising industry, in the art and cultural realm, in journalism, in politics and public administration, in business and industry, at banks and insurance companies, in the diplomatic corps and at non-governmental organizations.