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Course content

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.


Visit the African Studies - MA/PGDip page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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Recipient: University of Birmingham

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