Sociology is dedicated to the theory and analysis of past and present societies. As a science of social relationships, it seeks to explore diverse social practices, processes and structures along with their interdependencies and transformations. It investigates how society is possible, how it functions, what problems it causes, and which of them it solves. The master's program in Basel is characterized by its tightly integrated combination of theory and applied science, enabling students to develop in-depth knowledge both of social theory and of applied quantitative and qualitative social research skills. Key topics of study include poverty and exclusion, violence, work, migration, digitalization, economic practices and discourses, education and religion.

Focal areas of teaching and research

The way in which the Master's Degree Program in Sociology is organized allows students to specialize in particular thematic areas while developing a sound methodological and theoretical knowledge base.

In the Sociological Theory module, particular emphasis is placed on the areas of social theory, power and authority, anthropology and evolution, and the development of interdisciplinary theory at the interface between sociology, social philosophy and cultural studies. Two modules are devoted to developing students' skills in qualitative and quantitative Empirical Social Research Methods. Meanwhile, Inequality, Conflict and Culture addresses topics such as poverty and exclusion, violence, migration, digitalization, economic practices and discourses, and education and religion, as well as other relevant phenomena in contemporary society. 

Research at the University of Basel’s Department of Sociology focuses on the following topics:

  • nationally and internationally oriented research in inequality
  • international and transcultural research in conflict and violence
  • issues in socioeconomics and economic anthropology
  • historical sociology
  • digital transformations
  • sustainability
  • corporate governance
  • migration, transformations in the labor-oriented society, postcolonial theories and protest movements

Over the course of the program, students acquire transferrable skills and competencies which will prepare them for a wide range of professions beyond those specifically linked to sociology. These skills include the ability to conduct independent empirical research applying appropriate methods and techniques for problem identification, analysis and solving, the ability to critically evaluate different conceptual alternatives, capacity for innovation, social skills, time management, and many others.

Program structure

A master’s is a second degree that a person can earn after completing a bachelor’s. The master’s program requires a total of 120 credit points (CP). The Master's Degree Program in Sociology is combined with a second degree subject, each worth 35 CP. The subject in which students write their master’s thesis (30 CP) is considered to be their major; the other subject is their minor. Free electives (20 CP) are also included. One ECTS credit point equates to approximately 30 hours of work.

Master of Arts (120 CP)
Major of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
65 CP (35 CP + 30 CP for the master thesis)
Minor of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
or extra-faculty
35 CP
Free electives
20 CP
Two degree subjects

Combination of subjects

Students are free to select a second master’s degree subject that meets their specific interests. Students can choose a subject offered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences or a subject from another faculty. 

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

Thanks to their broad theoretical and methodological training, graduates in sociology from the University of Basel are sought-after in many professional areas. Depending on their degree level (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate) - and in some cases in combination with a further diploma or course of study - sociology graduates may find employment in the following professional areas: public administration (culture, education, family, social affairs, statistical services), industry and trade (human resources and organizational departments, as well as market and opinion research), political parties, associations, social services and social pedagogy, adult education, cultural and knowledge management, tourism, advertising, mass media, specialist curating in libraries, development cooperation and migration, integration work in international organizations and NGOs, or research and teaching in universities and advanced technical colleges.

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.