Islam and Society
The master programme «Islam and Society» is unique in Europe. It teaches skills required for a nuanced approach to complex debates, addressing central questions of the religious self-understanding of Muslims and developing perspectives on current social challenges. The particularity of the programme is the systematic interweaving of the two fields of knowledge, Islam and society, whereby sociological, theological, historical and practical aspects are incorporated into an integrative approach. The programme is run by the Swiss Centre for Islam and Society (CSIS) at the University of Fribourg.
Profile of the study programme
Current debates on Islam show the importance of not only seeking social and political solutions, but also addressing the increasing need for Islamic interpretation models. In this respect, the programme focuses on the interactions between Islam and society in Europe and more specifically in the context of Switzerland. On the one hand, it considers philosophical and theological discourses and normative issues, and on the other hand social, legal and political circumstances, as well as the fields of social action. Which impact do trends such as secularisation, individualisation and pluralisation have on the current understanding of Islam and the social participation of Muslim actors? How are theological positions negotiated between tradition and innovation, literalism and hermeneutic openness, and between universalism and contextuality? What significance do «norms» have for the religious self-understanding of Muslims and their everyday lives? What role do Islamic approaches play in contemporary thought on, for example, gender hierarchies, economic and environmental issues, or questions of social ethics? How do Islamic motivations and beliefs adapt to the logics of education, social work or spiritual care? The objective with regard to these issues is, on the one hand, to analyse and empirically explore the numerous manifestations of Islam and how Muslims are perceived in Europe in a theoretical approach, and on the other hand, to focus on how Islamic thought is evolving in the European context on the basis of an introspective examination of its multiple traditions of knowledge.
The study programme consists of courses run by the Swiss Centre for Islam and Society (CSIS) and other Departments at the University of Fribourg. The CSIS is a national centre of excellence for current social issues related to Islam in Switzerland. It pursues a multi-perspective approach, which includes Islamic self-reflection as to how the multiple bases of Islamic knowledge and tradition can be transformed and integrated into the Swiss context. Interdisciplinary research projects on these issues using systematic and practical applications make this a research-based course taught in a great variety of ways. Moreover, the CSIS maintains close contacts with different actors in the fields of science, politics, religion and civil society at the national and international levels. Offering a wide-ranging advanced training programme and handling research mandates on current topics, the CSIS has significant practical relevance. As an inter-faculty centre of the Faculties of Theology, Law, and Humanities, it is a hub for different skills related to Islam and religion and as such, is able to offer a varied study programme. Regular conferences and lectures by international guest speakers complete the offer.
Learning outcomes and career openings
Students who successfully complete the study programme will have acquired the skills to
– Analyse complex phenomena related to Islam and Muslims in a European and Swiss context using different disciplinary approaches;
– Transpose existing knowledge to new contexts in a dynamic interaction between Islam and society;
– Formulate innovative research ideas in previously little explored domains;
– Develop independent scientific positions in a highly controversial and polarised area of research and debate;
– Formulate results based on scholarly standards, also taking into consideration the different expectations of political and social actors.
Many lines of work today require skills connected to cultural and religious diversity. Graduates of the Islam and Society master's degree programme may consider the following professional fields:
- Public administration and institutions;
- Social area;
- Diplomatic service, political parties and foundations;
- Adult education;
- Religious communities and organisations;
- Diversity management in the private sector;
- Communications and media;
- Migration and intercultural competence;
- Civil society organisations (NGOs);
- Academic research and scholarship.
Structure of studies
90 ECTS credits, 3 semesters
Master's degree programmes are built on the knowledge and abilities that were acquired when obtaining a bachelor's degree.
Holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss university are admitted to a master's degree programme without any preconditions if they have earned 60 or 90 ECTS credits depending on the chosen master's degree programme within the corresponding discipline. However, additional requirements can be required. The same applies to holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a foreign university, provided that the bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg.
Holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss or a foreign university, provided that the bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg, who do not fulfil this condition can be admitted to a master's degree programme with preconditions (which must be successfully completed before starting the master's degree programme) and/or additional requirements (which can be completed during the master's degree programme). The preconditions and/or additional requirements may not exceed 60 ECTS credits in total. The same applies to holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss university of applied sciences, according to existing agreements.
The respective conditions of admission for each master's degree programme are reserved.
Also offered as a minor study programme (30 ECTS credits).
Minor study programmes to be chosen
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This study programme is taught partly in French and partly in German. Students are required to follow teaching sessions in both languages. The distribution is fixed according to the subject being taught, but students are always permitted to choose their language for presentations, written work and examination (French or German).More info
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Chemistry is the science that studies how the atoms are arranged in molecules, materials and in living organisms, and, even more importantly, how do they rearrange and thus make up for nearly all the processes of every day life.
Two master options are available at the Department of Chemistry, namely the programme «Chemistry» (90 ECTS credits) and the programme «Chemistry, option Chemistry, Communication and Innovation» (120 ECTS credits). The two options are made of five compulsory modules (organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, materials chemistry and research) and two elective modules to be selected between the following options: analytical chemistry, advanced organic chemistry, advanced inorganic chemistry, advanced materials chemistry, polymer chemistry. The research module is dedicated to experimental laboratory work and it is aimed at acquiring the capacity to synthesise compounds, characterising their properties, and determining the structure of unknown compounds. Depending on the choice of modules, students acquire the command of advanced synthetic, analytic, spectroscopic, theoretical or industrial tools. Concerning the programme «Chemistry, option Chemistry, Communication and Innovation» (120 ECTS credits), an extra module of 30 ECTS credits is dedicated to transferable skills: writing of scientific papers and articles, statistics and project planning, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as a research internship in a university or a company in Switzerland or abroad. The final six months consist of a master thesis, carried out on creative research in one of the Chemistry Department's research groups.
You've received your bachelor's degree now it's time for more. More knowledge to gain a better understanding of media and communication. More skills to competently analyse the digital transformation of public communication. More expertise to help shape the fast-moving media world. Our German and English-language master programme «Communication and Society» provides a research-oriented examination of the social significance and functioning of media, communication and the public sphere in the digital age. Thanks to the diverse content of our programme, you never lose sight of the big picture. Nevertheless, depending on your interests, you can specialise in one of four core areas of study, which will also be acknowledged on your diploma: Media Structures&Media Performance, Political Communication, Organisational Communication and Media Use&Effects. In addition, our programme offers outstanding personal mentoring and a large degree of freedom and flexibility.More info
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In General Literature, students acquire the academic instruments to analyse literary texts and address fundamental questions on literature.
Comparative Literature is concerned with comparing works and authors from different linguistic and cultural areas. In Intermedial Comparative Literature, students explore the interactions between literature and other media.
Practice-oriented courses (e.g. on translations or work with manuscripts), interdisciplinary meetings and cultural events from other areas round off the range of courses offered.
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The University of Fribourg is one of the only universities in Switzerland to offer a Master's programme in Contemporary History. You will study the political, social and cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries with a focus on post-1945. Geographically, the programme is centered around Swiss and European contemporary history. The Fribourg Master in Contemporary History is research based. The Master brings multi-disciplinarity together with bilingualism and includes approaches of neighbouring social and cultural disciplines, such as European Studies, Social Anthropology and Science of Religions. A large number of teaching staff and researchers cover a broad variety of topics. You can take the Master in German, French and bilingually in German and French with a «mention bilingue» in the diploma.More info
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This minor study programme is open to students from all faculties.More info
The master of education sciences programme consists of the base course and one core study area. In the base course, the students take a module aimed at developing their research skills and a themed module on current challenges in academic and social education.
Students have a choice of five electives for their core study area: «Innovation in Education and Training», «Intercultural and Comparative Education», «Globalisation and Education», «Early Childhood Education and Child Research», «Pedagogy/Psychology».
The Pedagogy/Psychology» elective is taught jointly by the Departments of Education Sciences and Psychology.
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The master programme «French as a foreign language/French as a second language» (FLE/FLS) focuses on consolidation of the didactic and linguistic aspects of language learning and FLE/FLS teaching in a multilingual context. Students learn to master empirical research methods, enabling them to analyse language development, communication and intercultural skills, and the role of interaction in an educational context. They also learn how to analyse language learning and teaching material, as well as assessment tools, methods and curricula, to scrutinise them critically and adapt them in accordance with the context.More info
The minor study programme consists of a common core of two modules with 15 ECTS credits each. In one module candidates study the use of advanced methodology in literature (1 lecture and 2 seminars) and in the other the use of advanced methodology in linguistics (2 seminars).More info
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The German master course comprises three disciplines: German Linguistics, German Mediaeval Studies and Modern German Literature. Together, they investigate and teach the function of language and the variable tradition of speech and writing in society (linguistics), German language and literature from the early Middle Ages to the start of the Modern period (mediaeval studies), and literary communication processes in German from Humanism and the Reformation to the present (modern literature).
In the master programme, students can focus on areas of particular interest to them in any of these disciplines, but must attend courses in all three.
Are you interested in supporting people in learning the German language? Do you want to conduct your own research within the field of foreign and second language acquisition? Are you looking for a degree with secure career prospects?
If yes, then the master programme German as a Foreign Language/German as a Second Language could just be the right option for you: it qualifies you as a German language teacher in adult education, as a researcher in language acquisition, and as an expert professional for attractive employment perspectives in areas such as educational policy and migration.
We offer you a high-quality, practice-oriented and evidence-based educational programme that perfectly prepares you for the professional domain. In small learning groups you will learn from experts in research and practice how German as a foreign and second language can best be learned and taught, and how German language competence can be measured and assessed. You will be able to set your own focus area, for instance German as a second language/migration, or research and didactics of multilingualism.
This master programme broadens students' Greek language skills and enhances their knowledge of the culture and literature of Greek antiquity. It further encompasses the lasting influence of this heritage through the centuries of Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period.
The study programme consists of a common core made up of a literature course, a reading course and two seminars on Greek language and culture. A practical workshop gives students the opportunity to learn the basics of scientific research and do hands-on training in areas such as papyrology, palaeography, codicology and text edition.
The master programme in History at the University of Fribourg combines comprehensive historical knowledge with a focus on individual eras and themes. Students specialise in two of the following eras: ancient history, the Middle Ages, modern times and contemporary history. They write a thesis based on these two chosen periods as a result of their independent research.
The programme is rounded off with survey courses covering more than one era which serve to consolidate methodical skills. Students are also invited to attend application and career-orientated events, which focus on work in archives, libraries, companies, political and legal institutions and non-profit organisations.
The Master of Arts in Interreligious Studies offers broad-based advanced training in religion, its role and its evolution throughout history and society. Special attention is focused on Christianity, interreligious and intercultural dialogues and self-reflection in other religions.
The main programme is currently being offered in German or as part of a bilingual programme (German and French), in which case the resulting degree will carry the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German».
The master programme in Italian applies the didactic approach characteristic of the Fribourg school, using methods of philological research and formalist and stylistic criticism, combined with the advantages of literary history. Two areas of study are available: - advanced literature studies taking into account both textual research and the historical dimension of literature; - the study of various aspects of Italian culture, which are well represented in the range of courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities. Particular emphasis is placed on the texts and themes of mediaeval and Renaissance literature on the one hand and those of the modern and contemporary periods on the other.
The master programme has a specifically literary focus and offers an introduction to the multitude of cultural aspects that constitute «Italian-ness» with an interdisciplinary approach fostering the connections to history, art history, philosophy and musicology.
This master programme broadens students' Latin language skills and enhances their knowledge of the culture and literature of Latin antiquity. It further encompasses the lasting influence of this heritage through the centuries of Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The study programme consists of a common core made up of a literature course, a reading course and two seminars on Latin language and culture. A practical workshop gives students the opportunity to learn the basics of scientific research and do hands-on training in areas such as papyrology, palaeography, codicology and text edition.
This master programme allows deepening and supplementing the knowledge acquired at the bachelor's level through the choice of three modules in a set of 10 modules representing 10 major aspects of management today. Managers and decision-makers must more than ever be generalists. But because everyone has their own background and very personal preferences, the master in management allows students to personalise their journey and combine specialties as diverse as, for example, human resources, digitisation or the management of non-profit organisations. In addition, access to courses from other modules than the three specialisations, from other departments or from our partner universities, allows everyone to build a meaningful journey. Combined with its multilingual dimension, this programme represents a unique offer in Switzerland.More info
The study programme provides a high-level education in pure and applied mathematics and involves individualised curricula specialising in several domains of analysis, algebra and geometry, topology, statistics, numerical analysis or biomathematics. Previous course work can be extended in computer science, physics or economics. Master's level classes at the nearby universities of Bern and Neuchâtel are open to students registered at Fribourg and can be part of their curriculum. Activities from the «Swiss Doctoral Program in Mathematics» can equally be integrated into the course of study. The programme culminates in a master's thesis under the supervision of a thesis advisor with a final presentation of the results.More info
The Middle Ages generally refers to the period of European cultures from the 5th to the 15th centuries. Interdisciplinary research into the heterogeneous and diverse culture of the European Middle Ages also serves to gain a deeper understanding of modern and contemporary developments.
Medieval Studies, an interdisciplinary minor study programme in the master's degree course, is aimed at students majoring in a subject that focuses on the medieval period who wish to gain complementary or more advanced knowledge and skills in other, interdisciplinary fields of medieval civilisation. This course is run by the Medieval Institute of the University of Fribourg.
This interdisciplinary study programme focuses on the individual and social components of multilingualism. The emphasis is placed not only on the acquisitional, cognitive and didactic processes of multilingualism but also on the institutional, political and economic dimensions of linguistic diversity in contemporary societies.
The study programme is deeply rooted in research on multilingual repertoires, the dynamics of change to languages in contact, the role of languages in the construction of social inequalities, language challenges in migratory situations and the different forms of institutional management of linguistic diversity. There is a practical module with an internship to allow students to relate theory to social reality.
A Rhaeto-Romance option is also available in this master's course for those wishing to go deeper into Rhaeto-Romance linguistics and literature. This option offers the possibility to conduct research projects dedicated to Rhaeto-Romance languages.
This master programme proposes an investigation of the techniques, methods and functions of historical and critical approaches to music in an interdisciplinary perspective. It is concerned with the relations between music and texts, between music and the stage, and music and the visual arts, particularly in the case of film music and opera production. The study programme also offers themed courses and seminars on musical analysis as related to different periods in the history of Western music.
During their master's studies, students will follow courses and seminars partly in French and partly in German. They are encouraged to take an interest in the research and popularisation activities which are organised by the Department. The various examinations can be taken in one of three languages: French, German or Italian. Students also have the possibility of writing their master's thesis in one of the three languages.
If you are interested in teaching pedagogy and psychology in baccalaureate schools and upper secondary specialised schools, this master programme will enable you to present an overall view of both these disciplines and their specific features. In doing so, you will be helping the pupils to choose a line of study, and also to gain a better understanding of how the individual functions as a child, as a teenager, and as an adult, and the risks associated with these periods of life.
The course, which is divided equally between classes and seminars on psychology and teaching in education sciences, will allow you to broaden the knowledge you acquired during your bachelor's degree. You can choose this programme either as a minor or major. Moreover, you can take the course in French, in German or bilingually, which will considerably strengthen your employability.
If you have only studied one of these disciplines at the bachelor level, you will need to do a pre-master's course to catch up the required level in the other teaching subject.
The master programme in philosophy allows students by its rigorous approach to deepen their understanding of the main issues and currents of Western philosophical tradition, from Antiquity to the contemporary period. An advanced programme is offered in the fields of Systematic Philosophy (epistemology and metaphysics; philosophy of language, of mind and of human sciences; ethics and political philosophy; aesthetics and philosophy of art) and History of Philosophy (ancient philosophy; medieval philosophy; modern and contemporary philosophy).
This programme is unique in Switzerland due to the richness and diversity of its methodological approach, to its broad systematic scope, to the optional possibility of bilingual studies and due to the particularly close ties existing at the Department of Philosophy in Fribourg between teaching and research activities.
Each semester, several international colloquia are organised and well-known philosophers from other Universities and countries invited to present their work. These activities allow students to get directly acquainted with central issues discussed in the ongoing international debate and to get into contact with researchers belonging to the international philosophical community.
At master's level, this study programme in physics provides students with advanced courses and starts the process of specialisation. About half of the courses are compulsory and of general interest, the other half consists of more specialised elective courses.
The master's thesis will be supervised by an active researcher and initiates students to the frontiers of research, in the following subjects: Atomic physics, Electrons in solids, Soft matter and photonics, Theoretical interdisciplinary physics, Collective quantum phenomena and Nanosciences (Nanomaterials).
At the end of the programme, students will have learned how to apply their knowledge to do research projects and how to work independently or integrate into an interdisciplinary research team.
In the master programme in Psychology you will learn the principle scientific concepts and methodologies from several domains in Psychology, deepen your understanding of the application of these concepts and methods in diverse settings (e.g. hospitals, organisations, schools, and research) and gain practical expertise. With this knowledge, you will be prepared to enter various fields in Psychology: Clinical, Health, Organisational, Educational, Neuropsychology and Human Factors and Ergonomics. The master programme also provides a sound base for beginning a PhD in Psychology, or collaborating in research projects. The teaching provision in the master programme is characterised by the individual nature of the supervision provided for students. Classes size remains rather small, while the seat number is not restricted for the vast majority of the classes. The wide range of external, often international, contributors from research and applied domains also enriches the teaching and learning experience.More info
The master programme deepens the skills acquired during the bachelor's course in Rhaeto-Romance language and literature. In the linguistics section, emphasis is placed on aspects of individual and societal multilingualism, as well as on more practical issues of the use and promotion of the language. The literary section of the course takes a more in-depth look at the literary traditions of the canton of Grisons, including in relation to neighbouring literary traditions, and with a particular focus on the critical application of theoretical models. An internship allows students to relate theory to actual fields of work. Graduates are qualified to work in Rhaeto-Romance institutions, the media or teaching, and research.
The master programme requires thorough knowledge of at least one variant of Rhaeto-Romance. A number of lectures will be in German and/or French.
The master programme in Slavic studies at the University of Fribourg offers the opportunity of intensive analysis of cultural developments and traditions in Russia and Poland. The emphasis is on the period from the 19th to the 21st century. Students examine literature, philosophy and cultural criticism with regard to their relevance for contemporary social constellations and current political tendencies. The languages of instruction are German and French. Seminars are also regularly held in Russian. There are frequent visits from guest lecturers from the Slavic region.
The University of Fribourg offers a wide range of Eastern European exchange programmes, research projects and academic and cultural events organised by various institutes. This gives our students the possibility of interdisciplinary exchange and a chance to broaden their academic and their personal horizons.
The master programme in Spanish covers the four following fields: Hispanic literatures in their historical and cultural context and the relationship between them; the Spanish language, its development through history and its current variants (Spain and Latin America); analysis of modern literature and linguistics; documentation and research techniques.
The course takes an intercultural approach specific to Fribourg; it addresses the relationship between society and literature and combines literary criticism with theoretical reflection. It thus offers a dual linguistic and philological perspective, the University of Fribourg being the only university in the region to specialise in the latter.
The choice of modules guarantees great flexibility as to the content of the course.
This study programme in sport sciences is based on the idea that to understand the issues of the future in relation to sports and well-being through motor activity calls for more in-depth knowledge, notably in the fields of movement and training, as well as in neuropsychology and sports education.
The master programme thus gives students the opportunity to increase the depth and scope of their acquired knowledge and to pursue the specialisation ( «Teaching» or «Health and Research» ) that they chose during their bachelor's degree.
The fact that this course of study is taught at the Medicine Section of the Faculty of Science and Medicine and the special emphasis on a «class-seminar/workshop» structure, as well as the partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen (SFISM) mean that the underlying conditions for teaching and research in the field of sport sciences are extremely favourable.
In the context of a state university, theology makes a specific contribution to research: an intellectual, scientific and rational exploration of the Christian approach to the question of God, in particular from the perspective of the Catholic tradition. The other fields of study extend the theological line of thought by juxtaposing it with other ways of perceiving reality.
The richness of theology as a field of study encourages students to continue for another two years after their bachelor's degree to complete a master's degree (complete study programme, 120 ECTS credits). The master's thesis gives students the opportunity to test their ability to produce a piece of personal academic research. Students are admitted to the degree of Master of Theology with Specialisation with a score of 60 of the total 120 ECTS credits in the chosen specialisation: 30 ECTS credits for the respective lectures and 30 ECTS credits for the thesis. Possible topics are, for example, the Christian Orient, interreligious dialogue, practical theology or the New Testament in its cultural and historical setting.