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MA African Studies (research)

Course Description

The Research Master’s programme in African Studies at Leiden University bridges the often artificially drawn boundaries between the humanities and the social sciences. As a result you can 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. The programme is unique in continental Europe.

Visit the website: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/african-studies-research/en/introduction

Course detail

As the only two year African Studies Research Master’s with a genuine area studies profile, this programme is unique in continental Europe.

During your studies you focus on a particular region on the African continent and contextualise and embed your regional orientation in a broad set of theoretical perspectives. The programme is taught by leading African Studies scholars from all the relevant institutions in the Netherlands and Flanders, including The Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) and the Universities of Wageningen and Amsterdam (UvA and VU).


Within the Research MA 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.

You will take in-depth courses that will guide you through proposal writing, social theory, methodology development, writing a scientific publication, 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.


You have access to the excellent facilities of Leiden University, and those of the Africa Studies Centre (ASC) and its research library, where the Research Master’s is based. The network of the ASC, regular seminars, conferences and projects on Africa will provide international orientation and embedding for your MA research.

The courses are especially designed for these masters and have a clear interdisciplinary approach. You will be guided and supervised by staff with various area and disciplinary expertise, including history, literature and film studies, anthropology, economy, geography and politics.


Having successfully completed the Research Master’s programme, you will be qualified to work as policy maker or consultant for Africa oriented organisations world wide, to undertake PhD research or work at research institutes.

You will also be qualified to work within a variety of professions focussed on the African continent. You will be able to work in a governmental policy–making department, with NGOs involved in development cooperation projects, with international organisations, or in research, management, education, journalism or public relations. Alumni have worked within publishers such as Brill, idealistic organisations such as the Maisha Mema Child Sponsorship programme and the Tosan development project.

Positions you could hold after your studies:

- Editorial & production manager
- Policy Officer at a ministry
- Policy Officer political/European collaboration
- Teacher of African languages
- Journalist
- Language tutor
- Manager of a translation and/or interpreting agency
- Marketing Manager at a publishing house
- New business accountmanager
- Researcher
- Project Manager at an NGO in Africa
- Editor
- Interpreter
- Translation co-ordinator
- Translator

How to apply: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/arrange/admission


For information regarding funding, please visit the website: http://prospectivestudents.leiden.edu/scholarships

Visit the MA African Studies (research) page on the Leiden University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Leiden Excellence Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

This scholarship is intended for:1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017.
All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only.
2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017. Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law:

◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & DiplomacyAdditional requirements1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship. 2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom". 3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such). 4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards: •€ 10.000 of the tuition fee •€ 15.000 of the tuition fee •Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University. Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017 •All programmes except law:
1 February 2017 •Law programmes:
1 March 2017
2. Upload all required documents.

3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately. 4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.

5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100. 7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.

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