The Master program in Ancient Judaism at the University of Bern serves the scientific study of the history, literature and religion of Judaism from the Persian to the early medieval period. It thus covers the time of the Second Temple up to and including the rabbinic era (6th century BCE-10th century CE). The degree programme is aimed at students with a Bachelor's degree from a field related to the Master's degree, such as classical studies, Jewish studies, religious studies or theology (including inter-religious studies at the University of Bern). Based on the knowledge acquired in the Bachelor's degree programme and possibly already in a previous Master's degree programme, the degree programme also aims at a comprehensive training in the field of ancient Judaism as well as a deepening of previously acquired knowledge.
In close cooperation with the lecturers, the students develop a comprehensive picture of the expression of ancient Judaism in terms of its historical, cultural and social characteristics. At the same time, ancient Judaism should always be understood as a part of the ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean cultures as a whole and be classified in the corresponding contexts. The degree course provides differentiated knowledge of the methodology of scientific interpretation of the corresponding (literary and material) sources. In contrast to Old Testament scholarship, the degree programme does not focus on the study of the Hebrew Bible, but naturally includes it as the basic text of ancient Judaism.
Like every study programme in the humanities, this programme does not focus on a specific profession, but teaches a variety of methods and skills that can be applied in different professional fields (e.g. science, media, education, diplomacy, culture, dialogue of religions).
Get more detailsVisit official programme website
Programme StructureCourses include:
- History of Ancient Judaism
- Literature of Ancient Judaism
- Methodology of Interpretation
- Learning Contract for studying at another academic institution
- Master thesis
- 24 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- Apply before
- Apply before
You can only apply after the regular closing date for applications if you do not require a visa for entering and residing in Switzerland. If you are applying late and require a visa for Switzerland, we will transfer your application to a later semester.
- Mono 120 ECTS credits
- Major 90 ECTS credits
DisciplinesHistory Religious Studies & Theology Ancient History View 12 other Masters in History in Switzerland
We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.
We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.
Bachelor's degree (or higher degree) from a recognized Swiss or foreign university in one of the following disciplines:
- Jewish Studies
- Science of Religion
- Semitic Studies
- Religious Studies
- Other corresponding or higher degree recognized by the Faculties of Theology in both Bern and Zurich.
Degrees in subjects other than those listed under a): An admission decision will be made after the student's records have been reviewed based on individual achievement. Additional academic attainments may be required.
An interview in which you describe your previous education, your understanding of relevant historical and philological topics, and your motivation and goals. Interview duration: 30 minutes.
International1560 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 780 EUR per semester during 24 months.
National1380 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 690 EUR per semester during 24 months.
- Regular tuition fee: CHF 750 per semester
- Non-Swiss students: CHF 200 per semester, in addition to the regular tuition fee, if they did not have their civil law residence in Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein at the time of obtaining their university entrance qualification to a bachelor's degree.
Living costs for Bern
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.
Updated in the last 6 months
Check the official programme website for potential updates.