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, dated September 28, 2011, 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 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.

Master’s examination & degree


Deadlines and dates for master's studies (see data sheets at Dokumente und Merkblätter)

From the fall semester 2019, the revised framework regulations for the Master of Arts will apply. Registration for the master's thesis is independent of registration for the master's examinations. It is now also possible to examine only one subject per session, i.e. the two master's examinations can be divided into two sessions (attention: only for master's degree subjects, it is not possible to separate the two examinations for study programs). New registration deadlines apply for the master's examinations, these have previously taken place at the same time as the registration for the master's thesis.

From the registration in spring semester 2019 onwards, the same acceptance and submission date (last date of the registration deadline) will apply to the master's thesis for all students.

Master’s thesis

Semester takeover, submission 

Takeover SS 2018, submission SS 2019 (old Master's regulations)

Takeover FS 2018, submission FS 2019 (old / new Master's regulations)

Takeover SS 2019, submission SS 2020 (old / new Master's regulations)

Takeover FS 2019, submission FS 2020 (new Master's regulations)

Registration form available from



08.04.19 07.10.19

Application Master’s thesis



07.05. - 23.05.19 05.11. - 21.11.19

Takeover date



23.05.19 21.11.19
Submission date expired individual 22.02.20 20.08.20
Submission of Master’s thesis confirmation form 07.02. - 28.02.19 04.08. - 27.08.19 by 27.02.20 at the latest by 27.08.20 at the latest
Review submission by lecturers 3-week rule 20.12.19 (for the first time 6 weeks before end of semester) 19.06.20 18.12.20
Notification of grades by 13.06.19 at the latest by 31.01.20 at the latest by 31.07.20 at the latest by 31.01.21 at the latest
Review inspection1 18.06. - 22.08.193 14.01. - 13.02.20 16.06. - 21.08.20 19.01. - 12.02.21
Master's examinations for students of the degree subject and program


SS 2019 (old Master's regulations)

FS 2019 (old / new Master's regulations)

SS 2020 (old / new Master's regulations)

FS 2020 (new Master's regulations)

Application forms (degree subject / program) available from



04.02.20 01.09.20

Application deadline for examination


17.09. - 26.09.19

18.02. - 27.02.20 15.09. - 24.09.20

Examination session

23.05. - 29.05.19 (Thu, Fri, Mon, Tue, Wed)2

16.12. - 20.12.19

25.05. - 29.05.20 14.12. - 18.12.20
Notification of grades 13.06.19 13.01.20 15.06.20 18.01.21
Application for MA degree documents


SS 2019

FS 2019

SS 2020

FS 2020

Application deadline for degree

18.06. - 22.08.193

14.01. - 13.02.20

16.06. - 23.07.20 19.01. - 12.02.21

Graduation ceremony



12.09.20 27.03.21


1 At the same time as the application deadline for degree.
2 Due to public holidays on 30.5. and university-wide free days on 31.5., exams are already held on Thursdays and Fridays of the second last week of the lecture period.
3 Summer break from 12.07.19 up to and including 05.08.19.
All data subject to subsequent changes.

Academic advice

    Teaching committee