Master in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology


Program Description

Master in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology


Public opinion polls and surveys on social, political and consumer behavior have become more important in recent years. At the same time, methods of data collection as well as techniques and tools for analysis and interpretation of this data have been developed and have become more complex. Up to now, no university courses have been offered that take into account this development in a broad sense. There is now a recognized need for professionals who are able to combine strong theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge of survey research and who are moreover aware of the legal issues related to data processing.

Acquired skills

Students gain methodological insight and knowledge, particularly quantitative and statistical, enabling them to design, implement and analyze a survey in the private or public sector. Further, they develop theoretical skills that allow them to understand how chosen methods and research questions can affect results. The course allows students to develop a large number of cross-disciplinary skills such as discernment, analytical and summarising skills, research experience, acquisition and transmission of knowledge, independence, and the ability to form judgments in their field of specialization and related areas. This range of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired during their studies, prepares students for professional careers in very varied sectors of activity.

Course structure

The Master of Arts comprises 90 ECTS credits and is composed of three parts:

  • a common program of compulsory courses
  • elective courses
  • Master thesis (which may or may not be related to an internship).

The common program comprises three modules. Module 1, “Theoretical foundations of SRM and of opinion formation” provides a deep understanding of definitions and theories underlying the concepts of public opinion and social, political and consumer behavior. Module 2, “Survey research methodology” covers the various tools and techniques required to organize a survey with respect to both quantitative and qualitative methods. Module 3, “Analysing and presenting survey data” focuses on the analysis of survey data and the visualization of results. It also provides an introduction to advanced methods of statistical analysis.

Interactive teaching

This interdisciplinary MA program, the fruit of collaboration between the Faculty of the University of Neuchâtel, the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Lucerne, is intended to teach students how to produce a survey independently, from its design to the analysis of data, for the public as well as the private sector. The distinctive features of the study program are its multilingualism and multidisciplinarity, with the emphasis on both academic and practical aspects. The course takes place on three university sites and requires mobility from the students (at least for two semesters).

Degree awarded

Master of Arts in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology


90 ECTS, 3 semesters

Career opportunities

  • Non-governmental and international organizations
  • Federal and cantonal public administration
  • Institutions of public statistics, private and public enterprises in the sector of polling, data collection and analysis (social and market research, advertising)
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Public relations
  • Communication
Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

The University of Neuchatel (UniNE) is an internationally recognised institution as well as a university on a human scale. With 4380 students from Switzerland and beyond (nearly 20% of students from a ... Read More

The University of Neuchatel (UniNE) is an internationally recognised institution as well as a university on a human scale. With 4380 students from Switzerland and beyond (nearly 20% of students from abroad), it provides high quality teaching and support. Bachelor and Master degrees are compatible with most other European universities and are in line with society’s expectations in a variety of innovative and cutting-edge fields. Read less