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Masters Degrees (African Studies)

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The MA African Studies is a multidisciplinary programme focusing on contemporary Africa. It provides you with an understanding of major social, cultural, political and economic developments in Africa and the Diaspora. Read more

The MA African Studies is a multidisciplinary programme focusing on contemporary Africa.

It provides you with an understanding of major social, cultural, political and economic developments in Africa and the Diaspora. It also enables you to develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to current events in Africa, as well as your ability to approach contemporary African issues from interdisciplinary standpoints.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of African Studies and Anthropology second among all Area Studies departments in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

The programme provides you with the research training necessary to undertake a broad-based, multidisciplinary study of contemporary Africa. It enhances your ability to prepare and present to an audience material you have researched.

You will study two core modules:

  • Research Skills and Methods in African Studies
  • Advanced Perspectives on Africa

You will also choose four optional modules from a range offered within African Studies and Anthropology. Subject to availability, it is also possible to choose one of your options from another discipline. 

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignment and/or presentation. While completing all six taught modules will lead to a Diploma-level qualification, MA students will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Learning and teaching

The Department of African Studies and Anthropology is a friendly, well integrated community.

Staff and postgraduate students work together closely and discuss their research interests at regular meetings. There is also a regular programme of formal DASA seminars at which staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present papers and discuss their work-in-progress.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: African Studies

Our African Studies graduates develop a range of skills including oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, including lecturing and paid research. Over the past three years, 100% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.



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This is a research programme that focuses on contemporary Africa. Read more

This is a research programme that focuses on contemporary Africa.

It provides you with an understanding of major social, cultural, political and economic developments and provides you with the research training necessary to undertake a social-science based study of contemporary Africa which will enhance your ability to prepare and present to an audience on material you have researched. The programme is also recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council as providing the requisite research training for a PhD.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of African Studies and Anthropology second among all Area Studies departments in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

You will study five core modules:

  • Philosophy of Social Science Research
  • Research Design, Practice and Ethics
  • Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods
  • Foundations in Qualitative Research
  • Research Skills and Methods in African Studies

You will then choose one optional module from a range within African Studies and Anthropology.

Module descriptions are available below.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignment and/or presentation. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, with one-to-one expert supervision. 

Learning and teaching

The Department of African Studies and Anthropology (incorporating the Centre for West African Studies) is a friendly, well integrated community.

Staff and postgraduate students work together closely and discuss their research interests at regular meetings. There is also a regular programme of formal DASA seminars at which staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present papers and discuss their work-in-progress.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: African Studies

Our African Studies graduates develop a range of skills including oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, including lecturing and paid research. Over the past three years, 100% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.



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The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university, and offer a unique opportunity to choose one of four distinct pathways. Read more

The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university, and offer a unique opportunity to choose one of four distinct pathways. In the African Studies with Education MA students will come to understand some of the challenges surrounding education in contemporary Africa - including poverty, inequality, gender, education and employment, education and technology; vernacular education and the diaspora.

About this degree

The degree pathways share a common core, comprising modules on the continent’s political and economic past and present. In addition, the Education pathway explores aspects of education and learning, through a bespoke 'African Studies and Education' core module and a range of advanced optional modules drawn from the UCL Institute of Education and other UCL departments. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Africa: Dialogues of Past and Present
  • Debating Africa's Future
  • African Studies and Education

Optional modules

Students choose three from a range of optional modules including but not limited to the following:

  • Education and International Development: Concepts, Theories and Issues
  • Planning for Education and Development
  • Education, Conflict and Fragility
  • Learners, Learning and Teaching in the Context of Education for All
  • Education in Muslim Communities
  • Gender, Education and Development
  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing: Planning, Practice and Participation
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development
  • Cultural Memory and Identity
  • Research Methods in African Studies
  • Performance, Visual Media and Popular Culture in Africa
  • Archaeology and Education

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words. This dissertation must focus on a research question related to educational issues in or about Africa.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars and guided independent research. Assessment is through essays, portfolio, research proposal and examination.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: African Studies with Education MA

Careers

Graduates will be well placed to take up diverse positions within education-related organisations, national and international policy-making bodies, non-governmental development organisations, or within national ministries and the public sector. 

Employability

Students will develop skills in a wide range of areas related to education in Africa, including theoretical and practical concepts concerning the challenges of researching and delivering education in Africa. Graduates will be well placed to go on to jobs in the enducation, NGO or policy sphere. Students will also have the option to choose a research methods module which will introduce them to transferable skills, including research ethics, participatory research skills, data analysis and GIS, archival work, ethnographic field techniques and presentation skills.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a unique teaching and learning environment in which to study education as it relates to the continent of Africa. More than 35 permanent members of UCL academic staff focus their research primarily on Africa and their field activities span the continent. This expertise is combined with that of the world-leading UCL Institute of Education to provide unparalleled insight into education policy and practice.

African Studies marks the first time existing expertise on Africa at UCL has been combined to offer an interdisciplinary degree. The new African Studies and Education pathway has been co-developed with the UCL Institute of Education and draws on the university's core strengths in teaching and reseach on education in Africa.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



Read less
The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university relating to the study of Africa. Read more

The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university relating to the study of Africa. The African Studies with Heritage MA draws on UCL's expertise in archaeology, anthropology and heritage studies to provide an essential background to African pasts and provides a critical framework for assessing the management and protection of heritage resources in Africa.

About this degree

The degree pathways share a common core, comprising modules on the continent’s political and economic past and present, together with training in research methods. In addition, the Heritage pathway offers a range of optional modules drawn from the Departments of Anthropology, Archaeology and Geography, and includes research into museums and sites, intangible heritage, local community histories, archaeology, and the presentation and preservation of cultural materials.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation/report (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Africa: Dialogues of Past and Present
  • Debating Africa's Future
  • Research Methods in African Studies

Optional modules

African Studies own optional module 'African Heritage' is particularly recommended. This module runs each year. Please note that options from other departments may or may not be available in any given academic year.

  • Students choose three from a range of options including the following:
  • Anthropology of Cultural Heritage and Museum Anthropology
  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Beyond Chiefdoms: Archaeologies of African Political Complexity
  • Critical Perspectives of Cultural Heritage
  • Cultural Heritage, Globalisation and Development
  • Historical Geographies of the African Diaspora in Britain
  • Managing Archaeological Sites
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • African Heritage

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words. This dissertation must focus on a question relating to heritage in Africa.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars and guided independent research. Assessment is through essays, portfolio, research proposal and examination.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: African Studies with Heritage MA

Careers

Graduates will be well placed to take up positions with national and international policy-making bodies, non-governmental development organisations, within national ministries and in the heritage/museums sector.

Employability

Students will develop skills in research and research ethics, thematic debate, archival work, ethnographic field techniques, presentation, and knowledge of key heritage issues (including resource management, African material culture and conservation issues).

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a unique teaching and learning environment in which to study the continent of Africa. More than 35 permanent members of UCL academic staff focus their research primarily on Africa and their field activities span the continent.

African Studies marks the first time existing expertise on Africa at UCL has been combined to offer an interdisciplinary degree.

The programme interweaves the study of the pre-colonial past, the colonial era, and the post-colonial present, with an eye to the future. Modules are arranged thematically around ‘debates’, with lectures presenting a long-term view of issues to frame subsequent seminar discussions.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The MPhil in African Studies offers a taught course with a substantial research component, and provides an excellent foundation for students wanting to develop their knowledge of Africa. Read more
The MPhil in African Studies offers a taught course with a substantial research component, and provides an excellent foundation for students wanting to develop their knowledge of Africa. It is designed for students who wish to enhance their historical and contemporary understanding of Africa’s societies, politics, economies, and cultures, as well as for those who wish to apply for advanced research degrees. The degree thus offers a highly regarded postgraduate qualification relevant to a wide range of professional careers, as well as intensive research and language training for students planning to prepare a doctoral dissertation.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hsafmpafs

Course detail

The course introduces the latest research approaches and methodologies in African studies at an advanced level. Students have the advantage of developing an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking and academic writing, the opportunity to develop skills in an African language, and also receive specialist research training.

By the end of the course, students should have acquired:

1. A deeper knowledge and understanding of African studies and its critical debates.
2. A conceptual and contextual understanding enabling the evaluation of past and present research on Africa and its methodologies.
3. The knowledge and technical skills required for pursuing original research in their chosen area.
4. The ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field.
5. Increased proficiency in speaking an African language and/or in using an African language for academic purposes.

Format

The MPhil in African Studies is structured by four key elements: a core course, an option course, a dissertation and language training.

African Language Training is also not a formal part of the degree assessment, but all students are required to demonstrate that they have attended language teaching and have made good progress at language acquisition. The language element of the MPhil course is jointly managed by the University of Cambridge Language Centre and the Centre of African Studies. All students are enrolled for Swahili Basic 1 at the University of Cambridge Language Centre, which is taught over 15 weeks during Michaelmas and Lent terms.

Assessment

Formal assessment consists of two parts: coursework essays (submitted for the Core Course and the Option Course) and a dissertation (submitted at the end of the course). You are also required to submit a ‘practice essay’ on a topic related to your dissertation research, and also a formal dissertation proposal, but these are not formally assessed.

The dissertation must be submitted on the last day of Easter full term, and should be between 15,000 and 20,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography). It counts for 60% of the final mark. If the examiners consider it necessary, they may conduct an oral examination on the dissertation before the final MPhil Examiners' meeting in early July.

The Core Course is assessed by means of an essay of no more than 5,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) on a topic chosen from a prescribed list of questions, which is distributed by the MPhil Office in the first week of Lent Term. The Option Courses are also assessed by means of an essay of not more than 5,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography). The Core Course essay and Option Course essay each count for 20% of the final mark and are submitted in Lent Term.
A compulsory practice essay on a topic related to the dissertation is to be submitted in Lent term. This essay does not count towards the final mark but a 'pass' mark is a progression requirement.

All students are enrolled for Swahili Basic 1 at the University of Cambridge Language Centre, which is taught over 15 weeks during Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Formal assessment consists of coursework (2 pieces of homework, 10% each) and two exams at the end of the course in Reading Comprehension (30%) and Listening Comprehension (20%) as well as one Oral Presentation (30%).

Progression requirement to proceed to examined coursework essays: 'Pass' mark for the compulsory practice essay submitted in Lent term (candidates are permitted one resubmission of the practice essay).

Continuing

The Centre of African Studies does not offer a PhD course, but every year several of our MPhil students go on to study for a PhD in Cambridge or elsewhere.

Find out how to apply here http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

UAC Nigeria Fund (departmental grant for fieldwork)

Centre for History and Economics Prize Research Grant (grant for fieldwork)

The Charlie Bayne Travel Trust (travel grants for students with a disability)

For more information http://www.african.cam.ac.uk/fellowship

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university relating to the study of Africa, and offer a unique opportunity to choose one of three distinct pathways. Read more

The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university relating to the study of Africa, and offer a unique opportunity to choose one of three distinct pathways. The African Studies with Health MSc provides the opportunity to acquire specialist knowledge of cultural aspects of health in Africa, regional medical infrastructures and current community health issues.

About this degree

The programme provides a long-term historical perspective on social, environmental and political issues in Africa, as well as introductory training in key humanities and social sciences research methods. Students then choose from a range of options in the UCL Institute for Global Health to learn about the specialist issues which concern them most.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation/report (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Africa: Dialogues of Past and Present
  • Debating Africa's Future
  • Research Methods in African Studies

Optional modules

Most of the optional modules for this degree pathway are offered by the UCL Institute for Global Health. At the beginning of the academic year a meeting is arranged with African Studies with Health pathway students and a tutor from the institute to discuss option selections and expedite the process of module registration.

  • Students choose three from a range of options including the following:
  • Concepts and Controversies in Global Health
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health
  • Corruption and Global Health
  • Global Health Promotion
  • Global Justice and Health
  • Health Systems in Global Context
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Power and Politics in Global Health
  • Reproduction, Sex and Sexuality
  • Research Methods and Evidence for Global Health

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words. This dissertation must focus on a question related to health issues in Africa.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars and guided independent research. Assessment is through essays, portfolio, research proposal and examination.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: African Studies with Health MSc

Careers

Graduates will be well placed to take up positions with national and international policy-making bodies, non-governmental development organisations, within national ministries and in the heritage/museums sector.

Employability

Students will develop skills in research and research ethics, thematic debate, health data analysis, archival work, ethnographic field techniques and presentation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a unique teaching and learning environment in which to study the continent of Africa. More than 35 permanent members of UCL academic staff focus their research primarily on Africa and their field activities span the continent.

African Studies marks the first time existing expertise on Africa at UCL has been combined to offer an interdisciplinary degree.

The programme interweaves the study of the pre-colonial past, the colonial era, and the post-colonial present, with an eye to the future. Modules are arranged thematically around ‘debates’, with lectures presenting a long-term view of issues to frame subsequent seminar discussions.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



Read less
The MRes degree is a research programme with some provision for taught modules. It is aimed at those who wish to move beyond undergraduate work and to engage in research in depth for a postgraduate thesis, but who also wish to take modules that help develop research and related skills. . Read more

The MRes degree is a research programme with some provision for taught modules.

It is aimed at those who wish to move beyond undergraduate work and to engage in research in depth for a postgraduate thesis, but who also wish to take modules that help develop research and related skills. 

The course aims to develop your critical and analytical skills in relation to current ideas in African politics, history and anthropology or African and Caribbean literature. It provides you with the opportunity to identify, investigate in depth, and write up a research topic of your own, including the use of archival, oral media and internet sources.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of African Studies and Anthropology second among all Area Studies departments in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

You take three taught modules and write a thesis of 20,000 words in the final term on a topic of your choice.

There are two compulsory modules: Research Skills and Methods in African Studies and Advanced Perspectives on Africa. In addition you choose a third module from a wide range of topics in literature, history, politics, development and anthropology.

Learning and teaching

We are a friendly, well integrated community. Staff and postgraduate students work together closely and discuss their research interests at regular meetings.

There is also a regular programme of formal Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) seminarsat which staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present papers and discuss their work-in-progress.

You will be assigned a personal tutor with whom you will meet to discuss your progress and seek help and advice when necessary. It is a University requirement that tutors meet with their tutees at least once a term, but you don't need to wait for a formal appointment: you are encouraged to contact your tutor whenever you need help or advice.

You will also have an academic supervisor once you are working on your dissertation and will have access to the expertise of other members of staff. As a graduate student at DASA you can expect to enjoy intensive, frequent and close interaction with your supervisor on a one-to-one basis as well as detailed, continuous supervision of written work.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: African Studies

Our African Studies graduates develop a range of skills including oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, including lecturing and paid research. Over the past three years, 100% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.



Read less
The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university relating to the study of Africa, and offer a unique opportunity to choose one of four distinct pathways. Read more

The new African Studies degrees at UCL draw on world-leading research and expertise from across the university relating to the study of Africa, and offer a unique opportunity to choose one of four distinct pathways. The African Studies with Environment MSc focuses on contemporary environmental issues including water supply, agricultural systems, climate change and settlement growth.

About this degree

The degree pathways share a common core, comprising modules on the continent’s political and economic past and present, together with training in research methods. In addition, the Environment pathway explores aspects of human-environment interaction, through a range of advanced optional modules drawn from the Departments of Geography, Anthropology, Archaeology, and the UCL Development Planning Unit.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Africa: Dialogues of Past and Present
  • Debating Africa's Future
  • Research Methods in African Studies

Optional modules

Students choose three from a range of options including the following:

  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Climate Change and Human Response to Holocene Africa
  • Climate Modelling
  • Ecology of Human Groups
  • Environmental GIS
  • Holocene Climate Variability
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-Ecological Systems
  • Land, Food and Agriculture
  • Population and Development
  • Post-Disaster Recovery Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Historical Ecologies of African Landscapes c. AD 1800 to present

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words. This dissertation must focus on a research question related to African environmental issues.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars and guided independent research. Assessment is through essays, portfolio, research proposal and examination.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: African Studies with Environment MSc

Careers

Graduates will be well placed to take up positions with national and international policy-making bodies, non-governmental development organisations, environmental agencies and within national ministries.

Employability

Students will develop skills in research and research ethics, thematic debate, environmental data analysis and GIS, archival work, ethnographic field techniques and presentation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a unique teaching and learning environment in which to study the continent of Africa. More than 35 permanent members of UCL academic staff focus their research primarily on Africa and their field activities span the continent.

African Studies marks the first time existing expertise on Africa at UCL has been combined to offer an interdisciplinary degree.

The core degree programme interweaves the study of the pre-colonial past, the colonial era, and the post-colonial present, with an eye to the future. Modules are arranged thematically around ‘debates’, with lectures presenting a long-term view of issues to frame subsequent seminar discussions. A core reasearch module introduces students to key research skills incuding qualitative and quantitative data analysis, GIS and spatial analysis, enthrography and interviewing, archival research and project design. 

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



Read less
The Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a centre of excellence in the study of Africa. Read more

The Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a centre of excellence in the study of Africa.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of African Studies and Anthropology second among all Area Studies departments in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a thesis of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision. The PhD, the most advanced research degree, leads to a thesis of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice. Again under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

We give all possible support to our researchers, developing the resources available at the University and encouraging an active postgraduate environment for the exchange of information and ideas.

Distance learning

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, the programme includes a fully-funded annual visit to campus for each full year of your programme (every two years for part-time students).

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: African Studies

Our African Studies graduates develop a range of skills including oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, including lecturing and paid research. Over the past three years, 100% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.



Read less
The MA in African Studies provides an unrivalled programme of advanced modules on Africa; one of the world’s most fascinating and challenging regions. Read more
The MA in African Studies provides an unrivalled programme of advanced modules on Africa; one of the world’s most fascinating and challenging regions. The opportunity for interdisciplinary study of the continent is a particular advantage of the degree. Students can choose from a range of about 30 modules in fourteen disciplines. Our former students have chosen to study Africa at this level for a wide range of reasons. For some a deep interest in the history and culture or political economy of a particular region is sufficient motivation, but for many students the programme has, in addition, been followed with the intention of furthering their career opportunities. Some go on to work either in Africa or in fields related to Africa. The opportunity to combine study of particular African subjects with an African language is very useful, although some evidence of competence in learning a foreign language is usually required.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/africa/programmes/maafstudies/

Structure

Students take three taught module units, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation related to the major.

As the emphasis in the Regional Studies programmes is on interdisciplinary study, students are required to select their three module units from more than one subject. One module unit may be made up of two 0.5 unit modules. The subjects of the programme are: Anthropology, Art, Economics, History, Law, Literature, Media, Politics, Religious Studies, and Language.

The two minor module units can be taken in the same subject (but different to that of the major), or two different ones.

A language module can only be taken as a minor, and only one language module can be taken.

Candidates who wish to take a language at other than introductory level will be assessed at the start of term to determine which is the most appropriate level of study.

When applying, applicants are asked to specify their preferred major and minor subjects, and asked to give alternative choices as practical considerations such as time tabling and availability of modules may limit freedom of choice.

Once enrolled, students have two weeks to finalise their choice of subjects and have the opportunity of sampling a variety of subjects through attending lectures etc.

All modules are subject to availability.

MA African Studies- Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 31kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/africa/programmes/maafstudies/file80693.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Teaching is normally provided by lecture or seminar and students are required to attend such classes. Each student will be assigned a supervisor in connection with his or her dissertation.

- Lectures and Seminars
Most modules involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

- Dissertation
The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught modules.

- Learning Resources
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

A postgraduate degree in African studies from SOAS provides students with competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.

Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in the business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

Some MA African Studies graduates leave SOAS to pursue careers directly related to their study area, while others have made use of the intellectual training for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems that contemporary societies now face. Among a variety of professions, career paths may include: Academia; Charity; Community; Government; NGOs; Media; Publishing and UN Agencies.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
BBC News
British Embassy
Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa
Goal Nigeria
Government of Canada
Hogan Lovells International LLP
International Institute for Environment and Development
Kenyan Government
Mercy Corps
Migrant Resource Centre
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The London MENA Film Festival
The University of Tokyo
The World Bank
Think Africa Press
U.S. Embassy
United Nations
University of Namibia
World Vision UK
Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
Development Producer
Africa Editor
Copywriter
Director of Trade and Investment
Projects and Fundraising Manager
Head of Desk, Africa
Senior Investment Manager
Sports Writer
Knowledge Management Projects Coordinator
Project Director
Presidential Advisor
Commodity Manager
Publisher
Tutor
Creative Consultant
Lecturer in African Arts and Cultures
East Africa Analyst
Youth Volunteer Advisor
Southern Region Educational Manager
Head Specialists Giving + Insights

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The Master’s programme in African Studies at Leiden University is an advanced area studies qualification that combines world-class scholarship with practice-based learning. Read more

The Master’s programme in African Studies at Leiden University is an advanced area studies qualification that combines world-class scholarship with practice-based learning.

Customised learning

This multidisciplinary programme offers you the opportunity to explore the African continent from a wide range of perspectives: historical, literary, cultural, socio-economical and political. At Leiden, relevance and real-world issues are at the fore. During your programme you will analyse current events as they unfold and explore issues from a broad, comparative and global perspective. You will be able to pursue the issues and subject areas that interest you most by designing your own project and thesis.

Benefit from an international network

Taught by top scholars from the African Studies Centre (ASC), the Master’s programme in African Studies has a genuine area studies profile. During your studies you will gain access to the African Studies Centre’s extensive international network and high-profile events that will connect you to the leading researchers in the field. 

Internship in Africa

An important part of this Master's programme is a three-month internship at an organisation in Africa. This is your opportunity to test your new skills and ideas in practice while gaining invaluable cultural and professional experience. For your internship in Africa, you will receive funding from the Humanities Faculty’s Sustainable Humanities Internship Fund.




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The research master's programme in African Studies at Leiden University is unique in continental Europe for the interdisciplinary range of subjects offered and the variety of perspectives. Read more

The research master's programme in African Studies at Leiden University is unique in continental Europe for the interdisciplinary range of subjects offered and the variety of perspectives.

A multidisciplinary approach

The research master in African Studies at Leiden University bridges the often artificially drawn boundaries between the humanities and the social sciences. The programme combines disciplines from the humanities, such as history and literary studies, with disciplines from social sciences, in particular: political science; anthropology; and economics. As a result you have the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge about different aspects of the African continent and its peoples, at the same time you are not bound by boundary constraints of any of the more traditional disciplines focusing on Africa.

Develop your research skills

Within this research master you will focus on developing your research skills, and you will have an entire year (of which six months consists of fieldwork) to execute your own research project which offers you outstanding opportunities to get insights into working and conducting research in Africa and to enhance your job prospects. You will take in-depth courses that will guide you through social theory, methodology development, and proposal writing; you will write a scientific publication, and practice your debating and presentation skills. This will enable you, upon graduation, to initiate independent PhD or policy research, advise and participate in policy development and implementation, or offer training to businesses.

Choose your area of interest

During your studies you will gain knowledge on the different regions on the African continent and contextualise and embed your regional knowledge in a broad set of theoretical and thematic perspectives. This will make you well-prepared to subsequently design your own research project on a topic of your liking. The programme is taught by leading African Studies scholars from all the relevant institutions in the Netherlands, including the International Institute of Social History (IISH) and the Universities of Wageningen and Amsterdam (UvA and VU).

Access resources from the Africa Studies Centre Leiden

During your studies you will have access to the excellent facilities of Leiden University, and in particular those of the Africa Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) and its research library. The network of the ASCL, regular seminars, conferences and projects on Africa will provide international orientation and embedding for your MA research.



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This programme combines development studies with an interdisciplinary focus on Africa. Read more

This programme combines development studies with an interdisciplinary focus on Africa.

It provides an advanced understanding of the African cultural, political and historical circumstances which have been formative in the constitution of development studies as a field, and which have shaped the impact of development interventions in the continent.

This programme is ideal for those who wish to pursue careers in international development, as well as students planning to pursue doctoral research on aspects of development in Africa.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of African Studies and Anthropology second among all Area Studies departments in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

Africa is one of the most important sites of international development interventions, and historically the site where much of the academic discipline of development studies was forged.

This programme draws on the expertise of the University’s Department of African Studies and Anthropology(DASA) and International Development Department (IDD) to provide an in-depth exploration of the relationship between development studies and Africa.

You will study two core modules:

  • Critical Approaches to Development 
  • Livelihoods and Development in Africa

You will also choose four optional modules from a wide range within DASA and IDD. All DASA modules are assessed by coursework; IDD modules vary, and the mix of coursework and written examinations will depend on the options selected. More information on available modules is available below. 

Assessment

Your core modules are assessed by written assignment, while optional modules vary depending on choice of module. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation which combines interdisciplinary African studies with development studies.

Learning and teaching

The Department of African Studies and Anthropology (incorporating Centre of West African Studies) is a friendly, well integrated community.

Staff and postgraduate students work together closely and discuss their research interests at regular meetings. There is also a regular programme of formal DASA seminars at which staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present papers and discuss their work-in-progress.

As this programme is delivered jointly with the International Development Department, you will also benefit from additional expertise, support and extra-curricular events offered by the Department.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: African Studies

Our African Studies graduates develop a range of skills including oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, including lecturing and paid research. Over the past three years, 100% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.



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Programme description. This is an established and highly regarded programme that offers an intensive introduction to the study of Africa. Read more

Programme description

This is an established and highly regarded programme that offers an intensive introduction to the study of Africa.

Grounded in the disciplines of anthropology, politics and history our MSc in African Studies provides the analytical tools and the empirical knowledge to understand some of the fundamental forces that are shaping Africa in the twenty-first century.

The programme is suitable for anyone looking to strengthen their Africa-specific research skills or broaden their knowledge base, whether they are well-acquainted with African issues or looking to develop new more nuanced understanding of the region.

Programme structure

You will complete two compulsory courses and four option courses including courses on African politics, public health, transitional justice. gender and development, and postcolonial history.

A weekly seminar series and other events will enhance your learning.

After the taught courses, you will work towards your independently researched dissertation.

Career opportunities

Past students have continued on to doctoral programmes in the UK and overseas, and to careers related to, or in, Africa with non-governmental organisations, international organisations, governments, universities and in the private sector.

In addition, you will develop a range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, and research skills, which can be applied to roles in any field.



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Our MRes programme provide a personalised and focused introduction to postgraduate research allowing you to develop as an independent researcher with the support of an expert in Modern Languages and Cultures. Read more
Our MRes programme provide a personalised and focused introduction to postgraduate research allowing you to develop as an independent researcher with the support of an expert in Modern Languages and Cultures. It provides a rigorous overview of the current state of scholarship in your selected field, guides you, through a programme of directed, individualised reading, to the selection of a feasible research project, and allows you to complete a substantial piece of research.

Within Modern Language and Cultures, we offer pathways in:

- Latin-American Studies
- Hispanic Studies
- Spanish Studies
- Portuguese Studies, Catalan Studies
- Basque Studies
- French Studies
- German Studies
- Italian Studies
- Film Studies
- Chinese Studies.

As an MRes student you will benefit from your membership of the university research community, both students and academic staff. You will also have access to facilities available to doctoral students e.g. free Interlibrary loans, a print allowance and a research allowance.

Why Department of Modern Languages and Cultures?

We are a smaller department than many, but manage at the same time to maintain a variety of very distinctive areas of strength in research. As a result we are uniquely placed to offer taught programmes which are tailored to the individual in a friendly, supportive atmosphere and, for research students, close contact with your supervisors from the outset.

There is a high degree of interdisciplinary activity, with students and staff from all disciplines interacting through institutional research centres, cross-School reading groups, research groups and seminars.

We offer an MA in Latin American Studies and an MA in Modern Languages (French / German / Hispanic Studies/Italian) and supervision on a wide range of topics for both MPhil and PhD study.

Applications are welcome for both full-time and part-time study. Postgraduate students form an integral part of our research culture, and are encouraged to become involved in conference, workshops and seminar series, in addition, we have postgraduate reading groups and a regular programme of postgraduate workshops involving leading scholars visiting the institution. We have an active and vibrant research community, with staff engaging in research covering eight language areas consisting of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Portuguese and Corsican. Research interests range from medieval manuscripts to contemporary cyber literature, and cover a wide geographical remit, with staff working on American, Latin American, and Caribbean, African and Indian contexts as well as European ones.

We are home to three scholarly journals: Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Bulletin of Latin American Research, and Migrations and Identities as well as a number of prominent book series.

Research Overview

Our research activities are broadly organised around four research groups in addition to the Research Institute of Latin American Studies. The groups are engaged in interdisciplinary work, taking in literary, visual and historical sources, and collaborating across the language areas.

French Studies

Research interests in French Studies cover all areas of French literature, culture and history, including Medieval studies, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century studies, French theatre, French cinema, travel literature, francophone postcolonial studies (including French language representations of India),modern and contemporary France, and sociolinguistics. Colleagues are actively involved in interdisciplinary research centres, namely the Research Centre in Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Centre of International Slavery, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the India in the World Research Centre.

German Studies

Postgraduate teaching and supervision in German Studies covers the full range of modern (post 1750) German literary and cultural studies, including German cinema. It also offers tuition and supervision in many areas of social history, where staff specialisms include gender and women’s history since the eighteenth-century, twentieth-century labour history, Holocaust studies, issues of race and ethnicity (Afro-German and Gypsy studies), the culture and politics of East and West Germany and contemporary Berlin. The University Library’s Special Collections include uniquely rich holdings on German and European Gypsy studies. Research contacts exist with numerous universities and institutes in Germany and the United States.

Hispanic Studies

The University has the oldest chair of Spanish in the country (established 1908). It has a distinguished tradition of excellence within an extensive area of Hispanic Studies teaching and research which includes not only the Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), but also Latin America (Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, etc). Among the section’s achievements and publications in research are the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, a quarterly journal of international influence (published by Liverpool University Press), Hispanic Textual Research and Criticism (TRAC) and a scholarly series of books and editions. Postgraduate supervision and courses are offered in diverse specialist subjects within the broad range of Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Latin American Studies. This reflects the varied research interests and publications of members of staff in the section. Postgraduate students have at their disposal in the Sydney Jones Library large holdings in Hispanic books and periodicals, which are among the most comprehensive in the country.

Italian Studies

Postgraduate supervision in Italian is provided in the following areas: sociolinguistics, Italian dialectology, Italian cinema and crime/detective fiction. Postgraduate students benefit from the remarkable digitised collections and resources available in the Sydney Jones Library and the personalised services provided by library staff.

Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies is one of Modern languagesa dn Cultures' major research specialisms. The six permanent members of staff have research interests in the following domains of Latin American Studies: anthropology, cultural studies, history, literature, politics, and sociology and extend to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Central America, the Caribbean and southern USA. The Sydney Jones Library is an acknowledged centre of excellence for collections in Latin American Studies. Additional facilities for all postgraduates include access to regular seminars and short conferences, language tuition, and use of the University’s networked computer facilities.

Career prospects

Former postgraduates in French, German and Hispanic Studies are currently employed in senior positions at the universities of: Aberdeen, Sussex, Leeds, Sheffield, Kings College London, Loughborough, Salford and Liverpool, as well as in a variety of careers.

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