Master in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology


Study overview

This interdisciplinary practical programme, 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 characterized by its multilingualism and multidisciplinarity, with the emphasis on both academic and practical aspects. The course takes place on three university sites, requiring students to attend various locations.

Surveys and public opinion polls have grown in importance in recent years in social, consumer, political and policy research, and their value is increasing as researchers explore their potential to provide insights in combination with big data sources. In the digital age, methods of data collection as well as techniques and tools for the analysis and interpretation of data have become fundamental skills for social and political science graduates. There is a recognised need for professionals who are able to combine a strong theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge of survey research, with the ability to manage, analyse and visualise data, and the skills to apply all this to complex research challenges. 

Skills acquired and objectives

This Master’s programme is intended to teach students how to produce a survey independently, from design to data processing. Alongside, students will learn how to perform statistical analyses of data using a variety of methods and how to visualise the results. These practical skills are combined with a theoretical background in the social and psychological processes underpinning public opinion formation and expression, and social and consumer behaviour.

Course structure

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

  • a common programme of compulsory courses
  • elective courses
  • Master’s thesis, which may or may not be related to an internship

The common programme is split into three modules:

  • Module 1 “Theoretical foundations of SRM and of opinion formation”: provides a deep understanding of the definitions and theories underlying the concepts of public opinion and social, political and consumer behaviour.
  • 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 and programming in R.

Specific strengths

Students gain methodological insight and knowledge and develop theoretical skills that allow them to understand how chosen methods and research questions can affect results. ​

The course also develops a large number of cross-disciplinary skills such as: discernment, analytical and summarising skills, research experience. This range of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired during their studies, prepares students for professional careers in very varied sectors of activity.


Degree awarded
Master of Arts in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology
90 ECTS, 3 semesters
Teaching language
uk.png English
france.png French - elective courses
allemagne.png German - elective courses


Career opportunities

  • NGO's 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
  • Journalism, Media
  • Communication, Public relations
  • Scientific research 
  • Teaching