Master's Programme in Ethnology and Folkloristics

Academic year 2023/2024

Photo for Master's Programme in Ethnology and Folkloristics 2023/2024

Ethnologists and folklorists study the cultural and expressive life of societies using archival and ethnographic data. In the Master's Programme in Ethnology and Folkloristics, you learn to identify and interpret cultural patterns and relationships that are important for the development of society. You take your skills with you to professions such as investigator, museum educator or cultural entrepreneur.

Note! The programme is cancelled!

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Ethnology and Folkloristics offers you an opportunity to study ethnology and folkloristics in an international learning environment where approximately half of the students are from outside of Sweden. The diversity of student backgrounds contributes to a rich educational experience and gives you a Nordic and European professional network that will be very useful in your future career in the field. Our teaching is grounded in ethnographic and archival research and inspired by the teachers' own research experiences and insights.

The two-year programme broadens and further deepens your ethnological competencies. In addition to enrolling in courses in applied ethnology and anthropology at the Department, you have additional opportunities to select courses in other relevant disciplines at the University, to enrol for a semester at another university in Europe or elsewhere in the world, and to carry out an internship.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • study ethnology and folkloristics in an international context
  • study courses grounded in ethnographic and archival research
  • carry out your own qualitative fieldwork
  • do an internship in an organisation that fits your interests

Student profile

You have studied ethnology or folkloristics for a year in your Bachelor's studies. You may have a Bachelor's degree in ethnology or folkloristics, but you may also have studied enough ethnological subjects in other programmes such as English, Culture and Performance Studies, Folklore and Mythology, and Critical Heritage Studies. You have a strong interest in the traditional customs and cultural performances of the communities in which you live or that you visit, and want to know more about their cultural meanings and effects. Maybe you are working with cultural heritage or adult education in a field related to ethnology and folkloristics and seek more in-depth academic knowledge. You have a strong motivation and are prepared to take responsibility for shaping your education through the range of courses that Uppsala University offers. You are used to planning your work yourself and staying within given time frames.


The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with Ethnology as the main field of study. It is also possible to graduate after one academic year with a Master of Arts (60 credits).


The focus of the program is ethnology and folkloristics as well as ethnographic research and archival research. The first semester is pre-planned to give you time to settle in. Four compulsory courses are scheduled, among them a methods course in ethnography. During the first semester, you will also spend time designing your thesis project. You will study together with the students in the Master's Programme in Cultural Anthropology.

The next three semesters are more flexible, allowing you to specialise and select courses that suit your research focus. During these semesters, you will carry out fieldwork for approximately two months and work on your thesis under the guidance of your supervisor.

While most students choose to complete a two-year degree, it is also possible to follow a one-year course of study. The one-year programme provides in-depth knowledge of theory and methods in ethnology and includes the opportunity to complete a minor ethnology field study.

If you have previously completed the one-year Master's degree in Ethnology you may be admitted to the second year of the programme and will then write a 15-credit essay during the second year.

You may also take advantage of the possibilities for inspiring and challenging international student exchanges and internships. Such an internship can be done in Sweden, but previous students have also done internships in, for example, Luxemburg.

Courses within the programme

Compulsory courses

  • Introductory Course for Master's Students in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, 7.5 credits
  • Ethnological Epistemology, 7.5 credits
  • Advanced Study of Anthropological Theory, 7.5 credits
  • Ethnography,7.5 credits

Elective courses in the field of ethnology

  • Anthropology and Ethnology in Practice, 7.5 credits
  • From Medievalism to Climate Change Apocalypse: Folkloristic Perspectives on Cultural Heritage, Disaster and Climate, 7.5 credits
  • Methods and Texts in Current Ethnological Research, 7.5 credits
  • Ethnography and Multiculturalism, 7.5 credits

Additional courses are available as elective courses and you may select from among more than 50 courses in other departments in the Faculty of Arts.

Learning experience

The department's advanced level courses comprise 7.5 ECTS credits each and are given at half speed. Normally, two courses are read in parallel. The courses include both lectures and seminars, mostly on campus in Uppsala. Individual lectures and seminars can take place remotely via zoom. The courses are examined through oral and written seminar assignments, which sometimes take place in groups, as well as through home exams and shorter essays.

The courses in ethnology and folkloristics are given in English and many students also take cultural anthropology courses at the department, also given in English.

You have the opportunity to do a credit-bearing internship for five or ten weeks (7.5 and 15 credits, respectively). The internship is carried out in Sweden or abroad.


This programme provides you with professional, analytical capacities in areas such as public cultural activities, migration, multiculturalism, journalism and media, tourism, museums and exhibitions. It also gives you a solid basis for pursuing a research career in ethnology and folkloristics as well as other related subjects.

Our previous students who graduated recently from the Master's programme have been employed, for instance as an/a:

  • museum educator
  • producer at the Historical museum
  • investigator at the Swedish traffic authority Trafikverket.

These are solid first jobs, and a few years further down the road former students have gained important positions in state authorities or started their own companies. The possibilities are many, and experience holds that the focus of research that students carry out for their Master's thesis is vital for what kind of job they will get. Therefore, if you know where you want to work, this Master's degree from us and a thesis with the right focus will help take you there.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Note! The programme is cancelled!

Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit two programme-specific documents: 1. a statement of purpose; 2. your Bachelor's thesis (or equivalent project work).

The statement of purpose should detail your motivation for studying the Master's programme in Ethnology and Folkloristics and provide information about your previous ethnological studies.

Master's Programme in Ethnology and Folkloristics

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M5180 Cancelled

Language of instruction: English


Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.

Also required is 60 credits in ethnology.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on an overall appraisal of previous university studies with emphasis on the quality of the Bachelor's thesis (or equivalent project work) and a statement of purpose.

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200,000

Contact and further resources


For programme-specific information, please contact the programme coordinator, Charlotta Widmark:

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H

Box 631, 751 26 UPPSALA

Last modified: 2022-10-27