Master of Arts in African Studies

Ghent University’s Master in African Studies is the only Master’s programme of its kind in Belgium, and it has a unique academic focus on the African continent. The programme starts from a truly interdisciplinary perspective as its course units take on a deep-time perspective on Africa’s peoples, cultures, literatures and languages, focusing specifically on Central and Eastern Africa.

Master's Programme
1 year 60 credits
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
English
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
After graduation

What

Ghent University’s Master in African Studies is the only Master’s programme of its kind in Belgium, and it has a unique academic focus on the African continent. The programme starts from a truly interdisciplinary perspective as its course units take on a deep-time perspective on Africa’s peoples, cultures, literatures and languages, focusing specifically on Central and Eastern Africa. It combines broad thematic course units and specialized seminars, training students in disciplines as diverse as anthropology, history, literature studies and linguistics. This unique multidisciplinary programme will stimulate your critical thinking about Africa’s position in the world with a true sense of appreciation for cultural diversity.

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For whom

The admission requirements depend on previous degrees (type of degree, country of issue etc.) or additional experience.

Structure

The Master in African Studies consists of three main course units at 5 ECTS each, 4 course units at 5 ECTS each selected from a list of specialist Africanist course units, 10 ECTS worth of elective course units to be chosen freely from the university’s course catalogue, and a Master’s thesis at 15 ECTS.

Main Course Units
The Master in African Studies focuses specifically on Central and Eastern Africa. This area is studied from different academic subdisciplines in the three mandatory main course units: ‘Language, History and Identity in Central and Eastern Africa’, ‘Literature, Media and the Arts in Central and Eastern Africa’, and ‘Conflict and Society in Central and Eastern Africa’.

Elective Course Units
Students enjoy a great degree of freedom to shape their own curriculum by choosing course units from various subdisciplines, based on their individual research interests. They choose four course units from the following list: ‘Anthropology of Affect and Materiality', ‘Poverty, Development and Inequality in Modern African History’, ‘History and Theory of African Urbanism and Architecture’, ‘Bantu Corpus Linguistics and Lexicography’, ‘Bantu Grammar in a Comparative and Contrastive Perspective’, ‘Gender and Identity in African Literatures’, ‘Postcolonial Literature in English’, 'African Archaeology'. In addition, students choose an additional 10 ECTS worth of course units either from the Africanist course units listed above, or from the university’s wider course catalogue, including courses on Swahili and Lingála, the two most important languages of central and eastern Africa.

Master's dissertation
The MA programme is finalized by writing a Master’s Dissertation. This is a research paper based on independent, empirical research, preferably (but not necessarily) the result of fieldwork in Africa. By writing a Master’s Dissertation, students testify to their ability to conduct independent research, their mastery of a methodological framework and to their thorough knowledge of a specific Africanist topic.

If you want to combine your Master’s degree with a Teacher’s degree, then there is the option of taking a Master's Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: 'Educatieve master') instead of the above described master. The Master's Programme in Teaching, however, is a Dutch-taught programme. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/educatievemaster.

Labour Market

In a globalizing world, in which Africa plays an increasingly important role, our society needs graduates with academic expertise on Africa. A thorough understanding of African cultural frameworks, languages and history provides students with the knowledge and skills to build bridges between cultures. Graduates in African Studies find jobs in the NGO-sector or cultural sector, in the foreign aid sector, in academic research, immigrant support programmes, the tourist industry, governmental institutions or business world, both in Europe and in Africa.