Multimedia Communications & Publishing

The Master’s degree in Multimedia Communication & publishing will strengthen your professional and leadership skills in political communication or journalism. Choose one of these two specialisations – full-time or part-time.

This degree programme:

  • Is aimed at German-speaking Bachelor graduates (level C1 and above) with theoretical and/or practical experience in media, media technology and design-related professional fields.  
  • Strengthens your ability to work in multimedia – in teams and in editorial offices – and enables you to take on leadership functions.
  • Strengthens your critical-constructive outlook towards psychosocial mechanisms in interaction with Data Science/AI.
  • Provides an understanding of economic contexts so that you can become entrepreneurial yourself – creatively and innovatively.
  • Enables you to individually sharpen your multimedia and interface skills.


  • Title/Degree Master of Arts (MA)
  • Specialisations Political Communications
  • Mode of study Full time (3 semesters), part time (5–6 Semester)
  • Start date Thu, 19.9.2024
  • Application deadline Fri, 15.3.2024
  • ECTS credits 90 ECTS credits
  • Teaching language German, English
  • Location Bern
  • School Bern Academy of the Arts

Structure + Content

Self-directed students will work on either of two editorial teams in Journalism or Political Communications. Whether individually or collaboratively on a team, they will apply skills acquired in other modules to create actual, targeted and content-focused copy for publication at the end of the course.


Our graduates will be competent in transmitting and communicating content in a societal, political and commercial context. They will be capable of assuming responsibility, as well as working in a team with the objective of creating and publishing media content. They will have a distinct media skills profile, and their marked team spirit will be matched by interdisciplinary competencies in multimedia. They will take a reflective approach to their work as journalists or communicators in a socio-political context.

Curriculum and Modules

The course of study relies heavily on self-organized work, and on collaboration under the supervision of coaches. The course is built around two specialist fields, Political Communications, and Critical and Constructive Journalism, and their respective editorial teams. At the outset, students will join one of the teams; eight to twelve team members will then work together for two semesters. Always bearing in mind the best possible outcome, team members will jointly allocate editorial tasks, roles and functions in rotation. This will enable them to consolidate – creatively and in a spirit of innovation – input from other theoretical and research-based modules.

Throughout this self-directed and integrated course, students will also attend lectures, seminars and tutorials delivered by supportive specialized lecturers and industry-based mentors.

Module group ‘Editing’ (2 x 15 ECTS, compulsory module)

Students work in their chosen editorial team over an autumn and spring semester (in the 1st and 2nd semester, for full-time students, and alternatively also in the 3rd and 4th semester for part-time students). The realistic and collaborative context will provide them with opportunities to practice and hone their skills as they learn to negotiate, assume and fill different roles and functions.
Students working towards their specialization in Critical and Constructive Journalism will be part of a journalistic editorial team that will of course be completely independent. By contrast, students specializing in Political Communications will join the communications department of a Swiss organization with a public presence such as an NGO, or an institution in the political arena. In this context, the term ‘political communications’ expressly does not mean party-political communications.

Students form and design their own editorial teams, and will be responsible for organizing their own processes and plan and produce – individually and in small groups – their content and the corresponding formats. The teams will meet up at regular intervals, and will challenge each other. Not only will this enable students to experience and explore conflicts that may arise at the interface between journalism and interest-biased communications; each student will also find opportunities to reflect on their personal stance and position.

Communication therefore, serves the debate within the editorial team to plan and produce content, while a range of media channels will subsequently serve to communicate such content to the world.

Our coaches will supervise these student activities, which will be complemented by lectures, tutorials, as well as group sessions with lecturers and and industry-based specialists.

Lateral Leadership module (4 ECTS, compulsory module)

Leading modern organizations. Starting from the still widely accepted concept of order and effectiveness based on hierarchy, the module presents and explores new leadership models in various contexts. Students will be coached as they implement the new models in their editorial teams, so that students can become equipped to assume and/or delegate collaborative and situational responsibility.

Module ‘Psychological Principles in Communications’ (4 ECTS, compulsory module)

Over the past few decades, the concept of ‘Homo oeconomicus’, Economic Man, has had to be re-examined in the light of recent insights into human psychology and neuro-psychology. Such studies have found that, despite thinking and acting irrationally, people can and do sometimes act correctly. These days, communicators need to be aware of current knowledge to understand how humans think and interact with each other. Among other topics, the module will deal with topics such as perceptual psychology and behavioural economics, which both editorial teams will be able to draw upon whenever specifically targeted content needs to be edited for publication.

Module ‘Public Relations – History & Reflection’ (4 ECTS, compulsory module)

Journalists seek to portray reality. To achieve this, they need to be able to keep a critical distance. Similarly, specialists in political communications need to be aware of the  impact and effectiveness of their communication strategies and activities. Individuals in either group need to establish and then uphold their personal positions. This module deals with ways in which public opinion was shaped in the past, and how groups and entire societies are influenced with the aid of increasingly sophisticated digital platforms targeting individuals. What methods, tricks and means of dissemination were employed to influence opinions in the twentieth century? And which are used today? The module will be taught using theory and examples embedded in an ethical and moral discourse.

Module ‘Introduction to Data Science and Artificial Intelligence’ (4 ECTS, compulsory module)

Detecting patterns in large quantities of data – to gain and visualize new insights based upon the patterns, or using data to communicate more purposefully: to accomplish such tasks many sectors now rely on Artificial Intelligence (AI), and on a growing number of self-learning algorithms. In this module students will learn what to look out for as they analyse and/or visualize large data volumes. They will explore design solutions that may be able to assist understanding. Students will also learn how to identify and assess the risks and opportunities associated with Data Science and AI.

Module ‘Content Management System – Designing and Implementing’ (4 ECTS, compulsory module)

How do we structure our content if we want to make it easily accessible on the web? And how do we approach this technically and creatively with a content management system, even if we are not computer scientists? Students structure the communication of an organization and map it with a contemporary content management system. Above all, the interface competence between design and IT will be supported. In other words, an IT module for non-technicians. 

Module ‘New Digital Storytelling’ (4 ECTS, compulsory-elective module)

This module begins with literature and theory. New digital storytelling will be presented and analysed – from the New York Times’ ‘Snowfall’ to today’s data-oriented storytelling. But it also examines the impact and the reception of new formats in different target groups. We want to understand what success means in this field and how it can be guaranteed. The theory is taught using examples and applied by the students themselves.

Module ‘Theory and Methods of Media Research’ (2 x 5 ECTS, compulsory module)

In the first of two research modules our students in Multimedia Communications & Publishing will gain a broad overview of different research paradigms and methods. In the second module, they will examine in detail the particular research approaches they want to apply to their chosen research topic.

Master’s Thesis module (12 ECTS, compulsory module)

Prior to the course, students will indicate an optional academic subject for in-depth study, and will undergo an aptitude assessment. Working to their own schedule, our Master’s students will eventually focus on their specialist research topic during the final semester. The course is assessed by means of a written Master’s thesis to be presented for discussion at the end of the module. Thesis writing will be supervised by our lecturers; specialists from the Module group, Research Methods and Academic Work, will specifically supervise the theses’ research elements.

Module ‘Economics and Business Literacy’ (4 ECTS, compulsory-elective module)

The module ’Economics and Business Literacy’ enables students to acquire the basics that are required as an entry competence for the compulsory module ’Entrepreneurship in the Media World’. What does one actually understand by economics? What are the limits of current economic theories and what alternatives are there? Which myths shape the discourse around economics? What economic forces are also at play in the media world?

Module ‘Entrepreneurship in the World of Media’ (4 ECTS, compulsory module)

The world of media – media companies as well as public authorities or NGOs – has been confronted with new challenges for many years and has to change fundamentally. In this module, students learn to develop and test innovative business models themselves. We focus on sustainable business models and work on our own business idea using design thinking and social lean startup methods.

Depending on their prior knowledge, our students will build upon and perfect one or several of their technical media skills. Or they deepen their theoretical knowledge in fields of interest at a level appropriate to the Master’s degree. Students are free to study their optional courses at HKB, at BFH, or at any other institution of higher education. A minimum of 12 ECTS is the sole requirement.

The degree programme also offers students their own elective modules within the framework of the free ECTS, which they can use to specifically acquire basic skills in multimedia.

Module ‘Audio/Video’ (4 ECTS, elective module)

Students learn to conceptualise and realise their own content, which they want to distribute in multimedia form, not only as texts but also a audio or moving image formats. Taking into account the format- and channel-specific characteristics, they practice setting films and videos to music.

Module ‘Podcasts’ (4 ECTS, elective module)

Students learn to design and realise non-fictional podcast formats themselves. For this purpose, they are also introduced to the audio studio, which the Master’s programme itself has.

Module ‘Photography’ (4 ECTS, elective module)

Students need to understand how aperture, exposure time and ISO influence the exposure of photos so that they can then consciously design and learn to produce required image styles depending on a given purpose.

Module ‘Postproduction’ (4 ECTS, elective module)

Students learn to assemble self-produced or supplied media content and thus to combine it into a media product. This includes video and audio editing, combining graphic elements with text, images and sound and editing for different playout channels. Various tools are introduced and applied in practical exercises.

Beyond our own selection for elective modules, we have a cooperation with Reporterfabrik, which offers many online courses that our students can take. We also collaborate with the Journalistic Seminar of the University of Mainz. Here, too, students from the Master’s programme ‘Multimedia Communication & Publishing’ can take courses – partly online, partly on campus.

Partner institutions and exchange programmes

HKB maintains close ties to a number of partner universities, both in Switzerland and abroad, and collaborates with international partners on numerous projects. HKB is also a member of several international networks.

Our students may therefore pursue some of their studies or internships abroad. Interested international candidates can apply for a course of study at HKB, or undertake a portion of their studies here.

Qualification + Career prospects

Our Master’s degree programme benefits from a strong network in the media and communications sphere in both German-speaking Switzerland and in Germany. Renowned and accredited experts from political institutions, organizations and media companies will deliver talks, lecture series, and professional tutorials.

Degree awarded

Master of Arts (MA) in «Multimedia Communications & Publishing»

Career prospects

Our graduates in Multimedia Communications & Publishing will be well-versed in editing, and capable of assuming positions high-responsibility editorial roles in journalism or political communications. They will have achieved well-developed interdisciplinary competence, and perfect mastery in at least one semiotic medium. They will be ready and willing to assume responsibility, including (or especially) in senior positions. Their (Master’s) thesis will be proof of their ability to work scientifically and systematically, and of having become experts on the subject matter of their chosen field. Together with an imaginative approach and a spirit of innovation, they will thus be well equipped to meet and successfully overcome any challenges in their future career.

Eligibility + Admission

Do you have a Bachelor’s degree? Do you speak German (at least at C1 level)? Are you an expert in at least one media field? Alongside excellent communication skills, media-related visual, auditory and digital technology skills will also be required.

Admission requirements

Places are limited (“numerus clausus”). Shortlisted applicants will be invited for a study aptitude assessment (see below for details). To be successful, we require you to be highly motivated, resilient, independent, able to persevere, and to show willingness to participate actively in academic projects.

A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a communication-oriented subject area such as audio, film, design, language, interactive media is a key admission requirement.

Do you lack the required qualifications but have demonstrable evidence of your work or academic experience? Are you perhaps uncertain whether your work experience will be adequate? If so, please contact us for information about portfolio admission.

Ideally, you have work experience in journalism, communications, marketing, or in the creative industries in general. It will be to your advantage if you have worked in a company, agency, or public organisation.

All applicants to this Master’s degree course are required to present demonstrable evidence of their competency and work experience in at least one semiotic medium of communication (language, image, audio, ...), as well as interdisciplinary competence in multimedia.

All our students are required to be proficient users of German (level C1 and above).

International applicants will require authentic and valid identification recognized by Switzerland; a visa may often be required. Successful international applicants must apply for a residence permit, and submit proof of sufficient funds. Prior to starting their studies, they will be required to obtain health insurance cover. Applicants should make sure they are fully informed about and compliant with their specific entry requirements for Switzerland.

Aptitude assessment

A most notable and positive feature of the Master’s degree programme, Multimedia Communications & Publishing, is the fact that we will accept applicants from a wide range of fields and with highly diverse entry qualifications. Individual students will be able to benefit from each other, peer to peer. However, this will require the different strengths among our students to be at a comparable level. Our aptitude assessment is therefore mandatory.

Applicants will be required to submit a portfolio in which they present and illustrate their academic and/or occupational strengths in a meaningful way. Moreover, they will define and present an optional academic subject which they wish to study in depth. The dossiers will be evaluated by a jury consisting of our Head of Studies, several lecturers and external consultants from the media and communications sphere. Voting jury members will then decide which applicants will be invited to a personal interview.

During the personal interview all jury members will closely scrutinize the portfolios to assess candidates’ expertise. The candidates’ choice of optional academic subject will be discussed, and perhaps adapted for the first time. The interview will be conducted in such a way that candidates can also demonstrate their social competence. Voting jury members will make their decision after the interview.

Practicalities + Application

The HKB’s first ever Master’s degree programme, Multimedia Communications & Publishing will start in autumn 2020. Please see below for relevant dates, important deadlines and requirements.

Application (per application) and aptitude assessment*  

CHF 250


CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester) 

CHF 750

Tuition fees for international students*** (per semester)

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)  

CHF 80

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)  

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

Leave of absence fee (per semester) 

CHF 100

* The application fee can be paid by credit card or by deposit slip / paper invoice (+ CHF 10.– processing fee). There are no waivers or refunds for withdrawn or abandoned applications. The application is processed after payment has been received.
** If the application leads to matriculation, the matriculation fee is covered by the application fee.
*** International students are defined as persons of foreign citizenship who at the time of obtaining their university entrance qualification were domiciled under civil law neither in Switzerland nor the Principality of Liechtenstein.

There is also a fixed fee for materials whose amount depends on the degree programme as well as additional costs for teaching materials, specialist literature, supplies, etc.

Please contact Olivia Bauer for more information about study grants and loans.

Students must fulfil their military service obligations during their studies. Plan and coordinate studies and service obligations well in advance.

We strongly recommend that you complete the military training programme and your first period of civil service before starting your studies. Completing them during your Master will result in absences and may prolong the duration of your studies.

General information about military and civil service

Advisory service

If you wish to get advice on how to co-ordinate your studies and your compulsory service, please contact HKB Student Administration (+41 31 848 49 49).

Programme start: Thu, 19.9.2023
Application deadline: Fri, 15.3.2024
Aptitude assessment: Mo, 25.3.–Thu, 28.3.2024

Sie haben sich für ein Studium an der HKB entschieden? Dann zögern Sie nicht und melden Sie sich gleich an! Mit der Online-Anmeldung haben Sie stets den Überblick über das Verfahren.

Online registration

Please prepare the following documents in electronic format, as relevant to your current professional background (JPG of passport photograph; PDFs of other documents). Please note that individual documents may not exceed 1 MB.

  • official identity card or passport
  • passport photograph
  • certificate of qualification for entry into higher education (Baccalaureate, Vocational Baccalaureate, Specialized Baccalaureate, and equivalent)
  • your CV in table format
  • your written statement outlining why you wish to pursue the course, and your desired future career.

Special requirements for international students:

  • Residence permit (if available).

Did you previously study at another university? If so, please provide your

  • confirmation of Exmatriculation
  • Diploma and/or a copy of your Transcript of Records (ToR).

Please use the comment section to list any documents that are not yet in your possession.

Portfolio (mandatory digital, online)

As part of your online application on page 7, under "further documents", upload your portfolio as one coherent PDF file. Links to websites are also possible.

If you would like to attach other file formats, insert hyperlinks in the PDF. For example, you can include links to websites, large images, audio and video files – stored on Dropbox or similar.
Please name the file as follows:

Advice + Campus

Student counselling service

Do you require advice about a course, or about subject or administrative matters? Would you like to see a counsellor for a personal, one-to-one session? We are here to help: Send an e-mail to, or phone our Head of Studies, Evelyn Echle, on no. +41 31 848 63 47.


Mechanical Workshop (“Werkstatt”)

The HKB Mechanical Workshop team promote students’ perception of materials, enhance their sensitivity, and deliver tutorials on the use of various materials in design and the fine arts. The team also accompany HKB students’ and lecturers’ projects, providing assistance and support in the realization of concepts and projects, and lending advice on the purchase of materials. The workshop provides generous and professional infrastructure for wood and metalworking, synthetics, ceramics/pottery and textiles. This is further complemented by the Material Pool, which is a large sample collection containing many materials and processing methods. The pool is a member of the Material-Archiv network.


The MediaLab is the HKB’s Center of Competence for photography and audio-visual (AV) design. Its staff deliver tutorials, photography and AV training sessions, and advise HKB students and lecturers alike on content or technology-related issues. The workplaces and studios at MediaLab feature extensive production infrastructure, and are available 24/7. HKB students working off-site on the realization and of their AV and photo projects may request the loan of equipment from the MediaLab’s Lending Service.

Print Studio (“Druckatelier”)

The print studio at the HKB is a competence centre for manual printing techniques and a laboratory for applied experiments with materials in the analogue and digital fields. The staff at the print studio offer various basic courses in screen printing, relief printing, intaglio, as well as open teaching formats for individual in-depth projects. They support students with their technical and artistic expertise in the production of unique pieces, serial productions or self-publications. Students can also benefit from having access to a reference library, a graphic archive and a versatile infrastructure, including a flatbed printer, a risograph and various devices for the production of artists’ books. 

HKB Media Library (“Mediothek”)

The Media Library serves the HKB divisions, Arts and Design, Conservation and Restoration, Research, and the Y Institute (Center for Transdisciplinary Education). The stacks in the open-access library for HKB staff, students, and external users contain 35,000 items, including approximately 300 journals. The library is a member of NEBIS, the Swiss Network of Libraries and Information Facilities. The NEBIS catalogue lists a total of more than 10.5 million titles (books, series, journals and non-book items).