Master's in Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes - CREOLE

CREOLE is the first Joint European Master Degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Bern. CREOLE is a research master designed for students wishing to specialize in topical areas of anthropology such as transnationalism, new identities, material culture and visual culture.

The study program imparts an advanced understanding of the linkages between local life-worlds as well as transnational and global social and cultural processes. Three topics are taught in depth, through theories and practical examples: a) New identities; b) Material culture and consumption; c) Visual culture/popular culture. These topics are taught in relation to transnational processes, cultural diversity/difference, as well as new social formations.

Every year 6 students are allowed to start the Master program CREOLE at the University of Bern. Students are at their Home University for the first year and visit a host University at the second year of their study. All students do meet at the "Intensive Program" between year one and two for about 10 days for lectures and discussions.

The study at the Host University gets financed partly by SEMP (ERASMUS). The stay at the "Intensive Program (IP)" gets partly financed by the Institute, faculty and University of Bern.

Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in Social Anthropology, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs: Mono Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes - CREOLE 120 ECTS credits
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: English
Beginning studies: Fall semester

Specialized Master’s study program CREOLE – Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes (Mono 120 credits)

CREOLE encourages student mobility within Europe by allowing students to spend two semesters in one partner institution, thus offering institutional academic and career opportunities across several countries in a minimum of two languages.
Each department offers unique study opportunities in terms of academic specialization, university culture, regional and national culture. Students should make use of this diversity for their research which is preferably empirical. This empirical research should be carried out in one of the cities or regions of the consortium.
Supervision of a student's thesis is assured by a teacher from the home department, and during the stay at a partner institution, a teacher of the host department helps in advices.


Students pay the fees of the Home University.


For their second year at the Host University students will receive a SEMP (ERASMUS) scholarship.

Students do receive financial help for the "Intensive Program" Meeting between the first and the second year.



The study program runs over 4 semesters, amounting to 120 ECTS.
The study program is composed of the following modules:

1) "General Anthropology" module (24 credits)
2) two master's colloquia (6 credits)
3) "CREOLE" module (30 credits), with the following focus areas:

  • New identities
  • Material culture and consumption
  • Visual culture/popular culture

4) Erasmus Module (15 credits) (comprises intensive program IP and teaching exchange course)
5) data collection with research report (9 credits)
6) research colloquium/research seminar (6 credits)
7) Master's thesis and defence (30 credits)

At the Intensive Program (IP) at the end of semester 2 all CREOLE students and faculty meet for 10 days of lectures and discussions. Student's Master theses are jointly supervised by two lecturers of the two different departments of the consortium.
Stundents receive a Master diploma with a diploma supplement issued by all seven European universities.

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master's degree program in Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes – CREOLE (mono):

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent degree from a recognized university with a major or minor with at least 60 ECTS credits in the branch of studies Social and Cultural Anthropology

Additional attainments of up to 60 ECTS credits may be required. These 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.

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

Language requirements

Courses are mainly taught and assessed in English; therefore, a good knowledge of English is required. No language proficiency certificates are required; language competence is your own responsibility.

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


Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M A in Social Anthropology, Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes (120 ECTS), 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
Documents to be submitted by e-mail
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.

Graduates of the study program at the University of Bern are able to work on and implement problems of basic and/or commissioned research, in a scientifically informed way and independently or in a team.

The study program imparts the following scientific qualifications:

  • capacity to conduct independent, scientific work;
  • in-depth understanding of the significance for society of transnational, intercultural interlinkages;
  • capacity to analyze sociocultural processes occurring in transnational contexts;
  • capacity to apply relevant scientific research methods;
  • capacity to find and solve problems;
  • ability to cooperate and communicate within transnational networks;

At the successful completion of the MA, students may also be encouraged to submit a proposal for a phD in any of the partner universities.