Foundation Studies (1st and 2nd semester)

Foundation Studies (1st and 2nd semester)

The interdisciplinary Foundation Studies are taught in Lausanne (UNIL), Bern (UNIBE) or Lugano (USI). This consists of courses in the fields of Political Sciences, Economics, Management of Public Administration and Public Law. The aim is to convey the necessary basic knowledge and understanding of public administrations.

In the 1st year, courses are split into 5 modules:
  • Political Sciences
  • Public Economics
  • Public Management
  • Public Law
  • Interdisciplinary courses and Research Methodology

The plan of studies for the Foundation Studies mainly consists of compulsory courses (57 ECTS credits).

Coursework in Public Law

Information on coursework in Public Law.


In accordance with the plan of studies from May 22, 2014, section 5, any courses already attended as part of the bachelor's degree program must be substituted. 

  • the substitute course attended must earn at least the same number of ECTS credits as the course being substituted.
    • Example: a course earning 5 ECTS credits must be substituted with a course earning at least 5 ECTS credits. 
  • Only courses at master's level can be chosen as substitutes. Options can be found in the supplement to the appendix for the plan of studies.
  • Substitutions must be made in the same module.
    • Example: the compulsory Finance course must be substituted with another course from the Economics module.
  • Substitution of the empirical research internship (EFP)

If students have completed courses on methodology as part of their bachelor's degree, the empirical research internship (EFP) must be substituted. As substitutions for the EFP, master's courses must satisfy these requirements as regards the subject:

  • Research Technique
  • Statistics
  • Network Analysis
  • The following courses can also be chosen as substitutions for the EFP:
    • Combinatorial Optimization (11144)
    • Consumer Behavior (52)
    • Marketing Research (9487)
    • Shaping Opinion for Referenda (101025)
    • Lessons in Legislation (5081)
    • Project Management and Project Planning (10043)
    • 'What governments do, why they do it, and what difference it makes' - Comparison of Social Policy (26447)
    • Voting forecasts in Switzerland: what does and doesn't work? (405244)
    • Seminar: Methodology in Law and Jurisprudence (412395)
  • Students send the following information or documents to the Secretary's Office for the PMP master's:
    • Application for substitutions" form duly completed
    • Study profile sheet
    • Detailed course description of courses already attended
    • Detailed course description of courses chosen as substitutions
  • The application for substitution is reviewed by the Directorate of Studies or field expert. Students receive the decision from the Secretary's Office for the PMP master's.

Master's timetables