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Africa and Development MA

Course Description

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.

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.

Course content

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.

You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation which combines interdisciplinary African studies with development studies.


The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

This programme will enable students interested in deepening their understanding of Africa to put their knowledge to work in international development, whether for government, NGOs, or media.

Historically, over 91% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open day (Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Africa and Development MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will need an Honours degree in humanities, social science or another relevant subject, normally of an upper second-class standard. Relevant equivalent study and/or experience will also be accepted.

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