Master's in Public Management and Policy

The increasing complexity of functions of the state and their forms of intervention requires a new understanding of public services in general and the modernization of public administration. Decision-makers with interdisciplinary skills are needed, since they understand and can offer suggestions on how to solve management problems, as well as economic, political and legal problems. As Switzerland is a place where three cultures and languages come together, a multicultural approach to management in the public and semi-public sector is required. To satisfy this requirement, the universities of Bern, Lausanne and Italian Switzerland offer a joint Master of Arts in Public Management and Policy (PMP master's). This course includes interdisciplinary training, methodological tools, case studies and exercises from the public sector as well as subject seminars in which students can use their specialist knowledge to consider how to deal with the reality of public administration. The various regional cultures are incorporated by lecturers from the three language regions and with various fields of study being offered.

Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in Public Management and Policy, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs: Mono 120 ECTS credits
Duration: 4 semesters
Languages: German and one other regional language or English 
Beginning of studies: Fall or after consultation with the study secretariat also in the spring semester


Studies in public administration and professional activity in this field both require knowledge in a wide variety of disciplines, such as, for example, Law, Political Sciences, Economics, Management and Sociology. This degree program offers interdisciplinary training with lectures and seminars and case studies focusing on methodology and subject area. As a result, there is a wide variety of teaching staff.

Academic and professional orientation

The Master of Arts in Public Management and Policy has two ambitions: firstly, to train the future managers of Switzerland’s public and semi-public sector as well as its non-profit organizations and secondly, to allow students to take a further step towards doctoral study programmes in corresponding fields.

Inclusion of national cultures

Switzerland’s multilingual culture necessitates a multicultural approach to management in the public and semi-public sectors. This is reflected in the master programme by the inclusion of lecturers from three of the country’s linguistic regions as well as by offering courses in all three regions.


As the courses of the master programme can be attended in all three linguistic regions of Switzerland, student mobility is strongly encouraged.

Target audience

The Master of Arts PMP mainly addresses the holders of a Bachelor degree in economics, management, social studies and political science, communication or law. Holders of academic degrees in other fields can be admitted under conditions.

Professional prospects

  • Federal, cantonal and communal public administrations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • International organizations
  • Journalism
  • Research and teaching

Structure of studies

Interdisciplinary Basic Studies   60 ECTS 1st year
In-depth Studies: selection of a subject area   30 ECTS 2nd year
Master's thesis   30 ECTS 2nd year
Master of Arts in Public Management and Policy (MA) 120 ECTS  

The Master of Arts in Public Management and Policy (MA) earns 120 ECTS credits. As part of the foundation studies in the first year, students complete modules in the fields of Public Law, Political Sciences, Public Economics, Public Management as well as in interdisciplinary courses and research methods. The in-depth study in the second year offers the opportunity to specialize in one of the fields by means of a one-semester exchange at a partner university. The PMP master's is completed with a master's thesis, with or without an internship. The interdisciplinary nature of the degree program makes it appealing. However, it also demands high levels of commitment from students.

Optional and professionally oriented course modules

  • Transformation and Innovation in the Public Sector (UNIL)
  • Public Finance and Economics of Regulation (UNIL)
  • International Governance and Public Administration (UNIL)
  • Public Law (UNIBE)
  • Political Science (UNIBE)
  • Public Management (UNIBE)
  • Public Economics (UNIBE)
  • Public Policy and Sustainability (USI)

For more information on the structure of your studies, please follow this link and select the required register from the drop-down menu "Weitere Informationen".

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in Public Management and Policy (mono):


Bachelor's degree from a Swiss university, or an equivalent academic qualification, with a major in: 
  • Public Management
  • Economics
  • Business Administration
  • Political Sciences
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • Media studies and communication
b) degrees other than those listed under a); additional attainments of up to 60 ECTS credits may be required. 

Language requirements

Initially almost all courses for the master's degree program are conducted in German. We do recommend German knowledge on level C1 to follow the courses offered in the master’s degree PMP. Later on proficiency in one of Switzerland's other languages or English will be required.

Application and admission

General admission requirements
Application and admission with a Swiss degree
Application and admission with an international degree

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

Postgraduate studies

Students with a bachelor's degree in a different subject can be admitted; additional attainments of up to 60 ECTS credits will be required:

Bachelor's degree from a university in a different subject:

  • postgraduate studies of up to 60 ECTS credits

Bachelor's degree from a university of applied sciences in Public Management or a related subject:

  • postgraduate studies of up to 60 ECTS credits

Generally, these students attend courses at bachelor's level for a year in one of the subjects as listed in the regulations (art. 7)

University of Bern
KPM Center for Public Management

Linda Vonlanthen, Master PMP
Schanzeneckstrasse 1
PO Box
CH-3001 Bern

Phone: +41 31 684 55 24 

Consultation hours are possible after prior registration via e-mail