Programme African Studies

The master’s in African Studies is a multidisciplinary study that offers students the opportunity to study the African continent from various angles.

Programme information

" alt="" />

Studying African history, artistic expressions, communication, political thought and economic development makes students aware of the enormous diversity of African societies and cultures. It is impossible to take a course in one of these African fields of research and emerge from it with the idea that Africa is in some way uniform, either in space or across the generations.

In the master’s programme focus is on the many aspects of African culture, from orality to modern media, from historical constitution of Africa to present changes and challenges in culture, society and economics. The master’s also aims at a greater deepening of historical, cultural, socio-economic and political approaches to the continent and their multiple intersecting questions. 

Students have ample opportunity to develop their own profile, by focusing on the themes offered by the courses on African history, African films, African communication and African geography and economy. The Field Assignment in Africa (10 EC), including the experience of internship in an academic institution, a company , a governmental or non-governmental organization, is obligatory from 2015-2016 on.  

Thesis topics
A few titles among the MA theses completed in our MA African Studies one-year programme give you an idea of some of the topics addressed.

Timetables and calendar

Prospectus: programme overview and course description

The Prospectus contains overviews and course details for all programmes in the Faculty of Humanities (and other faculties). The information in the Prospectus is updated annually, in June. Please consult the African Studies section of the Prospectus for more information.

Application, enrollment and examinations

  • To enroll in a specific course or examination, use the Study administration system uSis.
  • This website is intended for students who are already enrolled in the programme. Prospective students looking for application information should consult

Study advice

Every department (or degree programme) has a Co-ordinator of Studies (studiecoördinator). The Co-ordinator of Studies knows all the ins and outs of the programme and can help with any problems. Typical subjects to discuss with the Co-ordinator of Studies are: student progress (and delay) and exam regulations.

Internship positions

International Institute for Communication and Development
An internship position is available at the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) in The Hague or Africa. The IICD is an ICT4D organisation, that aims to help local partners from the non-profit, public and private sectors to use ICT to meet their development goals in economic development, education, health and water and climate resilience. The internship assignment will be based on requirements at the time.
Contact: M. de Goede.

Jordan University College
An internship position is available at Jordan University College (JUCO) in Morogoro, Tanzania. JUCO is a modern university boasting of ca 3500 students and staff and has a beautiful campus. It is especially strong in the field of education. The potential intern would be welcome to work on any aspect of African Higher Education, assist the university management, or contribute to the teaching of courses. JUCO's mission is to educate and train the future drivers of socio-economic transformation.
Contact: Andreas Corcoran, Higher Education Adviser S.O.F.I.A. Or D. Merolla.

Graduation procedures

MA students who are ready to apply for their graduation should follow the graduation procedure. See the graduation website for more information about this procedure, the MA thesis, and how to deregister from Leiden University after graduation.

Teaching and Examination Regulations and Faculty Regulations

All the rights and obligations of students in the Humanities faculty are set out in regulations. The most important of these are indicated below. (The list is not exhaustive; more documentation on regulations may appear here in the future.)

  • Teaching and Examination Regulations state the contents of your programme and the specialisations within the programme.
  • Registration for lectures, tutorials and tests is obligatory: see the uSis registration procedure.
  • The Student Charter informs students about what they can expect from the University and what the University expects from them.
  • Regulations on plagiarism are in place, to counter any instances of malpractice. These regulations provide advice on how to use sources and citations.

Boards, committees, and co-participation

Students within the Faculty of Humanities, are represented in the following boards and committees:

  • the departmental Teaching Committee
  • the departmental or institute administration ór Institute Board
  • the Faculty Council
  • the Faculty Board

Another committee that is relevant to your studies, but in which students are not represented, is the Board of Examiners.

Contact and staff for African Studies

Last Modified: 29-11-2016