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African Studies with Environment - MSc

Course Description

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 Environment MSc focuses on contemporary environmental issues including water supply, agricultural systems, climate change and settlement growth.

Degree information

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 Anthropology, Archaeology and Geography and The UCL Bartlett 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/report (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

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

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.


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.

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 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.

Visit the African Studies with Environment - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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