Master's in Latin American Studies

The Master program in Latin American Studies provides students with important knowledge about the history, literature and music of Latin American societies, while also examining social anthropological issues. It lays the theoretical, empirical and linguistic foundation for enabling students to understand the variety of cultural forms and practices of the European conquerors, settlers and immigrants, the indigenous population and contemporary hybrid and multicultural Latin American societies. The Master program builds upon the knowledge attained by students through a Bachelor program in history, language and literature, social anthropology or musicology.

The cultural diversity of Latin America in global space

Latin America is characterized by an extraordinary level of geographic and cultural diversity. Cultural developments on the subcontinent have influenced the world in a variety of different ways, in the areas of music, art and literature. Historical, economic and political processes are also of great importance for the understanding of global processes.
Latin America became at a relatively early time the subject of European colonial penetration. From around 1500 up to the present day, its social structures have been strongly influenced by the consequences of the European conquest. The experience of colonialization and inequality still determines the relationship between different ethnic and social groups, such as the descendants of pre-Columbian populations, African slaves and European or Asian immigrant groups. Even anticolonial and ethnic discourses have become increasingly important within the context of an increasing global network of political movements. At the same time, processes of cultural merging and transformation have increased.

Transcultural and interdisciplinary perspectives

The Master Program in Latin American Studies is by nature interdisciplinary and transcultural, and focuses on a variety of Latin American cultures and societies, including cultural forms and practices of the indigenous populations, with a diachronic depth offered by the history of colonial conquest and penetration.
Cooperation between lecturers in history, Spanish studies / Latin American studies, music and social anthropology ensures the curricula establishes a close connection between historical and present-day issues. The study program combines professional expertise with an interdisciplinary range of topics, methods, research approaches and research theories. This ensures students will have a better understanding of complex processes of cultural transformation in a global context. Depending on their own interests, students can focus either on a range of subjects or in one specialized area.

Master Lateinamerikastudien
Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in Latin American Studies, 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
Languages: German and Spanish
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

Students can choose between three degrees in Latin American Studies: a single-subject (mono) Master (120 credits), a major Master (90 credits) and a minor Master.

The core areas covered consist of four modules:

  • History
  • Spanish Linguistics and Literature
  • Social Anthropology
  • Musicology / Music Anthropology

The core component is mandatory for all students in the Master (mono) program in Latin American Studies. Students can choose between three of four modules in the major and minor Master programs.

The Master program in Latin American Studies 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.

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 Latin American Studies (mono or major):

a) Bachelor's degree from a recognized Swiss university with a major in one of the following branches of studies: 
  • History
  • Spanish Linguistics and Literature
  • Musicology
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Latin American Studies
Bachelor's degree from a recognized Swiss university with a major in another discipline, such as:
  • Ancient American Studies
  • Ibero Romance Studies / Latin American Studies
  • Comparative Musicology
Additional attainments can be required.
b) Bachelor's degree from a recognized Swiss university with a major in another discipline provided that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum 60 ECTS credits.
c) Bachelor's degree from a recognized university provided that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum 60 ECTS credits.
d) Bachelor's degree from a recognized foreign university with an equivalent qualification provided that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum 60 ECTS credits.
Additional attainments (points a to d) can either be admission requirements which must be fulfilled in order to complete the master's degree program or admission requirements (points b to d) 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 attainment.

Please consult the admission requirements for the minor 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

Good to excellent knowledge of Spanish (DELE C1) is expected for the mono and major study programs in Latin American Studies. All courses and examinations in the Department of Spanish Literature and Languages are conducted in Spanish. The courses offered by the other departments are mostly held in German.

Students who are Spanish or Portuguese native speakers do not have to present proof of having passed a supplementary test in German, provided they can understand the courses held in German without difficulty.

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

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M A in Latin American Studies, 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.

Graduates of the program will have acquired expertise that can be applied in a variety of fields that require in-depth knowledge of Latin American societies as well as intercultural skills. Such fields include development work, education, cultural and media professions, work in governmental and non-governmental organizations and in international companies, and tourism.