Master of Law

The master's degree program provides students with in-depth knowledge and consolidates their associated communication, methodological, and linguistic skills. It enables students to obtain a specialization in certain areas of Law. Students are awarded the title Master of Law (M Law).

The master's degree program consists purely of elective courses. Each student compiles an individual plan of studies from an extensive range of subjects. Students have the opportunity to obtain a specialization in academic fields such as Criminal Law and Criminology, Public Law, Private Law, Economic Law, or International and European Law. As well as studying their electives, students also complete a piece of academic work - the master's thesis. The master's qualification paves the way for training as a lawyer. Stays abroad are only recommended at master's level.

Further information: Academic Student Advising Ms. Petra Dasen

Studierende
Basic information
Degree: Master of Law, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 90 ECTS credits
Degree programs:
  • Mono 90 ECTS credits with no special qualification

 

  • Mono 90 ECTS credits with special qualification:
    • Private Law
    • Penal Law and Criminology
    • Public Administration Law
    • Economic Law
    • International and European Law

 

Minors offered for other degree programs:

  • International and European Law 30 ECTS credits
  • Public Law 30 ECTS credits
  • Private Law 30 ECTS credits
  • Penal Law 30 ECTS credits
  • Economic Law 30 ECTS credits
Duration: 3 semesters
Language: German
Beginning of studies: Fall or spring semester

Master of Law (M Law)

The master's degree program provides students with in-depth knowledge and consolidates their associated communication, methodological, and linguistic skills. It enables students to obtain a specialization in certain areas of law.

The master's degree program consists purely of elective courses. Each student compiles an individual plan of studies from an extensive range of subjects. Students must take performance examinations totaling a minimum of 70 to a maximum of 80 ECTS credits and write a master's thesis worth 20 ECTS credits.

Master's with Specialization

There is an option to complete the master's with a specialization. Students can choose from the following areas:

  • International and European Law
  • Private Law
  • Public Administration Law
  • Criminal Law and Criminology
  • Economic Law

Students must declare which concentration specialization they wish to pursue to the Admissions Office. Any changes must be amended on the re-registration form.

Master's Thesis

The master's thesis can be written during the semester or during the semester break. Rules regarding requirements for scope and form are contained in the corresponding guidelines. All organizational details need to be arranged with the supervising lecturer. All lecturers in the Faculty of Law are authorized to supervise master's theses.

The grade for the master's thesis must be above at least 4.0. A failed master’s thesis can be repeated once on a new topic. If the master’s thesis is repeated, it must be graded by two supervisors.

Anyone choosing a specialization must write the master's thesis in the area of the chosen specialization.

To be able to graduate in the current semester, the master's thesis must be submitted before the start of the following semester (see Regulations on Procedures and Deadlines for Admission and Matriculation of September 18, 2018 [Document in German]).

Minor in Law for Master’s Students from Other Faculties

Minors requiring 30 ECTS credits International and European Law 30 ECTS credits
Public Law 30 ECTS credits
Private Law 30 ECTS credits
Criminal Law 30 ECTS credits
Economic Law 30 ECTS credits

For further information, please refer to the Study Plan for the Minor Study Programs.

Elective Courses

The master's degree program consists purely of elective courses. Each student compiles an individual plan of studies from an extensive range of subjects. Students must take performance examinations totaling a minimum of 70 to a maximum of 80 ECTS credits and write a master's thesis worth 20 ECTS credits.

Students must complete at least one seminar, one moot court or one legal clinic.

Gainful Employment

The study of law is a full-time study program. Students who work more than 15 hours per week, should plan on extending their period of study.

Standard Period of Study / Extension of the Period of Study

Standard period of study see Article 8 Study Regulations RW of June 21, 2007 with amendments through May 22, 2014.

The standard period of study is 3 semesters (requests for extending the period of study must be made in the 8th semester). In cases where the Faculty of Law imposes additional requirements for the Master’s degree (for example, admission requirements from the Bachelor’s degree at least 2 additional semesters must be expected.

Performance Examinations

Please see Studies > Examinations (July 9, 2018).

Recognition of Grades

Grades will be credited as follows:

1. First Priority: Academic Credits from the Law Faculty of the University of Bern
As a first priority, all grades taken at the Law Faculty of the University of Bern will be counted for the degree. This applies also to failing grades (it is not possible to take other courses and not to list the failing grades). Failed examinations can be repeated once (the grade of the second attempt will count). Grades are credited according to the examination date (or in the case of seminar papers or master’s theses according to the date of the grade report). All academic credits up to 100 ECTS credits (including the master’s thesis) will be credited towards the master’s degree. ECTS credits exceeding this amount are shown in the optional attainments (they have no influence on the grade average, but appear on the diploma supplement). Also here, the crediting is based on the examination date or on the date of the grade report, and students cannot select them.

2. Second Priority: Mobility Academic Credits
As a second priority, mobility academic credits are credited; the student can select which course grades to import. A maximum of 35 ECTS credits can be credited (the master’s thesis must be completed at the Law Faculty in Bern). If the maximum number of 100 ECTS credits is exceeded including the academic credits taken at the University of Bern, certain mobility academic credits can no longer be taken into account (the student can select which mobility course grades to import). These academic credits will then not be shown on the University of Bern study profile sheet nor on the University of Bern diploma supplement. The student will have received a transcript of record from the mobility host university to document the achieved academic records at the respective university.

Summer Schools

Academic credits from summer schools at universities can be credited if they are qualitatively and quantitatively equivalent. Students must contact the Dean’s Office in advance to clarify whether credits can be granted.

Master's Degree

Degree Registration

Students should register for the degree, at the latest when their last grades become available. The fully completed form and confirmation of examination fees paid should be submitted to the Dean's Office. If the payment was made online, students should make sure that they enclose confirmation of the payment made. The documents can be submitted by post or by e-mail (please do not send them twice). The receipt of the form will not be confirmed.

Degree Confirmation, Diploma and Diploma Supplement

As soon as documents are received at the Dean's Office (and all admission requirements which must be completed prior to the program of study have been fulfilled for the degree), a degree confirmation will be issued within a few days. The invitation to the graduation ceremony comes with this confirmation. The diploma is awarded at the graduation ceremony or is sent to the student after the graduation ceremony (to Swiss addresses only).

Graduation Ceremony

The graduation ceremony takes place in May and November of each year.

Minor in Law for Master’s Students from Other Faculties

Students who have completed all credits for a minor module should request in KSL for graduation ("request graduation" function). This function is only visible when the study program is completely fulfilled.

In case of questions, please contact Ms. Petra Dasen.

The faculty of the major study program issues a degree confirmation for the entire study program.

Important information

(e.g. invitation to the examinations) is communicated to students' e-mail accounts!

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master's degree program in Law (mono):

a) Bachelor of Law from a Swiss university 
b) Bachelor of Law or an equivalent degree from a recognized foreign university
c) Bachelor's degree with a minor in Law from a Swiss university (60 ECTS credits). Admission requirements of 60 ECTS credits, which must be fulfilled in order to complete the master's degree program, will be required. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

Please consult the admission requirements for minors as presented in the plan of studies.

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

Application and admission

Admission requirements 
Application deadlines

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M of Law, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
Recognition of academic achievements
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.