Research course

African Studies

Leiden University · Humanities
MA by research

Entry requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree in the field of African Languages and Cultures, (African) Linguistics, History, Cultural Anthropology, Literature, Sociology, Political Sciences, Public Administration or other studies related to the Social Sciences.

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

The research master in African Studies at Leiden University bridges the often artificially drawn boundaries between the humanities and the social sciences. The programme combines disciplines from the humanities, such as history and literary studies, with disciplines from social sciences, in particular: political science; anthropology; and economics. As a result you have the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge about different aspects of the African continent and its peoples, at the same time you are not bound by boundary constraints of any of the more traditional disciplines focusing on Africa.

Within this research master you will focus on developing your research skills, and you will have an entire year (of which six months consists of fieldwork) to execute your own research project which offers you outstanding opportunities to get insights into working and conducting research in Africa and to enhance your job prospects. You will take in-depth courses that will guide you through social theory, methodology development, and proposal writing; you will write a scientific publication, and practice your debating and presentation skills. This will enable you, upon graduation, to initiate independent PhD or policy research, advise and participate in policy development and implementation, or offer training to businesses.

During your studies you will gain knowledge on the different regions on the African continent and contextualise and embed your regional knowledge in a broad set of theoretical and thematic perspectives. This will make you well-prepared to subsequently design your own research project on a topic of your liking. The programme is taught by leading African Studies scholars from all the relevant institutions in the Netherlands, including the International Institute of Social History (IISH) and the Universities of Wageningen and Amsterdam (UvA and VU).

Qualification and course duration

MA by research

full time
24 months

Course contact details

Karin Nijenhuis
+31 (0)71 527 7377