The study programme is based on three cornerstones: African Languages, African Cultures, and Language, Culture and Society in Africa. The first year offers an introduction to the different themes. You take a number of general course units and you start with the study of African languages and cultures according to the three cornerstones. You start by learning one African language, Swahili, and you are introduced to African linguistics. You will become acquainted with the interaction between language, culture and society in Africa, and you will take introductory course units on anthropology, literature, geography and archaeology, and the history of Africa. In addition, we will introduce the methodological aspects of African Studies in a course unit on fieldwork. The second year encompasses a further exploration of the three cornerstones mentioned above. In addition to Swahili, you will learn Lingála and you will take course units on Language and History, Language Documentation and Description, and Anthropology and Ethnography in Africa. You will deepen your knowledge on African literatures, and learn how to set to work with sources. The two-yearly course unit Africa: Current Affairs, Discourse and Imaging furthers your knowledge of the relationship between language, culture and society (two-yearly course units are taught alternately in the second or third year). In the second year, you choose a minor, i.e. a set of course units to complement your basic training. In the third year you will continue with this minor, with Lingála and the two-yearly course unit Anthropology of Visual and Material Cultures in Africa. You will come into contact with theories on multiculturalism and religion. In addition, you will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of elective course units, such as Arabic and Afrikaans. You finalize the third year with a research assignment that takes the form of a small dissertation, the so-called Bachelor’s paper. Tutoring notwithstanding, your ability to study independently will be called upon in this process. The third year also offers the opportunity of an ‘Africa Term’, during which you can spend one term at one our our African partner universities or at a European university with a strong African Studies Department.
Completion of the Bachelor’s programme gives access to the African Studies Master’s programme. This is a one-year English-taught programme with a strong focus on the unique academic expertise within African Studies. Language, History and Identity; Literature, Media and the Arts; and Conflict and Society are the three thematic and interdisciplinary course units. There are also discipline-specific course units (African Anthropology, History and Current Affairs, Literature, Linguistics, Archaeology) and a number of elective course units. By means of the Master’s dissertation on a topic of your choice, you integrate the academic skills that you have acquired during your study programme.