Master's in World Arts and Music

The Master’s programme in World Arts and Music offers insight into Western and non-Western traditions of music, art, and literature, studying them from perspectives such as globalisation, intercultural and transcultural studies, and cultural anthropology. At the end of the degree, students are able to apply theories and methods of cultural studies – like techniques of field work and interviewing, and skills in the digital analysis of music, image, and text – in a range of professional occupations (including arts journalism and management, cultural politics, or intercultural music, arts, and theatre pedagogy).

African art music, shadow puppetry in Bali, heavy metal in Indonesia, modern art in Egypt, migrant theatre in Western Europe, Bhangra pop in Great Britain, and painting in Argentina – all these diverse forms of artistic expression, and many more, fall under the label ‘World Arts and Music’. Transcending the established, predominantly Western canon, World Arts and Music views any kind of cultural expression from across the globe within its individual context. The programme pays particular attention to popular, traditional, and non-Western art forms which are side-lined in the West, scrutinising artistic expressions and their medial dissemination within the overarching framework of cultural studies. As a matter of course, such analyses include sociological, political, economic, and historiographical considerations, questioning and aiming beyond the established boundaries between individual disciplines.

Photograph courtesty of Shadi Ghadirian
Bilder von links nach rechts, oben beginnend:
© „We need to talk“ von Simone Aughterlony (Foto: Jorge León), © Manu Friedrich / Universität Bern, © tovovan/123RF, © „Gather“, von Susan Hefuna
Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in World Arts and Music, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs:
  • Major 90 ECTS credits

 

Offer for other degree programs:

  • Minor 30 ECTS credits
Combination possibilities: several
Duration: 4 semesters
Languages: 80% German / 20% English 
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

The Master’s programme World Arts and Music teaches central aspects of Western and non-Western traditions of music, art, and literature, from perspectives such as globalisation, intercultural and transcultural studies, as well as cultural anthropology.

Students are furnished with a theoretical and methodological foundation in the field of World Arts and Music, as well as in cultural studies and media studies. In the course of their studies, students scrutinize specific forms of artistic expression in the fields of ‘music, theatre, and dance’ as well as ‘art, media, and literature’. At an advanced stage of the programme, students choose a specialism which may be interdisciplinary and/or seek out a cross-cultural vantage point. We encourage our students to develop their individual research profile in close collaboration with one or more professors.

At the end of the degree, students are well-versed in the basic theoretical paradigms of cultural studies, relevant to Western and non-Western traditions of music, art, and literature. They are able to apply these theories and associated methods – including field work, interview techniques, and the use of digital media in the analysis of music, images, films, and texts – in a variety of professional occupations.

The programme in World Arts and Music runs over four terms and is offered in two different degree pathways:

The programme falls into two phases: the taught component (terms 1–3), and the Master’s thesis (term 4); the taught component includes compulsory as well as free-choice elements.

The compulsory courses introduce students to the theoretical foundations of World Arts and Music. In addition, students must choose a number of options from the areas ‘music, theatre, and dance’ as well as ‘art, media, and literature’. These components can be chosen from a range of specific courses that are offered to students within the World Arts and Music programme; the available courses change each term.

The master's degree program in World Arts and Music consists of a major worth 90 ECTS credits and a minor worth 30 ECTS credits

The major can be combined with any minors of sufficient scope offered at the University of Bern. However, students are not permitted to have a major and minor in the same branch of study.

Study program structures
Major program ECTS credits Minor ECTS credits
90         30        
Minors you may choose

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master's program in World Arts and Music (major):

a) Bachelor's degree from a recognized university in one of the following branches of study:
  • Art History
  • Musicology
  • Theater, Dance and Film Studies
b) Bachelor's degree from a recognized university in a different subject (Humanities and Cultural Studies), provided additional coursework worth a maximum of 60 ECTS credits is completed as one of the requirements for successfully completing the master's program.
All admission requirements which must be completed prior to the program of study must be satisfied before a student can be admitted to the master's program. Admission requirements which can be completed during the program of study must be satisfied before the master's degree program is completed. 

Please consult the academic requirements for the minor as presented in the study plan.

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

Swiss bachelor's degrees/programs

from the University of Bern

that allow admission to the desired master's degree program without any assessment:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Art History (120 ECTS)
  • Bachelor  of Arts in Musicology (120 ECTS)
  • Bachelor  of Arts in Theatre and Dance Studies (120 ECTS)

Language requirements

Students are required to have a good to excellent knowledge of German and English.

Students with insufficient language skills must acquire these as part of their extracurricular studies during the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

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

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M A in World Arts and Music, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
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.

 
Before starting the degree program

A personal appointment with the programme coordinator is compulsory before taking up this course of studies.

Possible career paths for our students include arts journalism and management, museum management and curatorship, tourism, and intercultural dialogue. An MA in World Arts and Music also qualifies you for further academic studies in the relevant disciplines.