MSc in African Studies
Course Code | 003320
The MSc in African Studies at Oxford University is the premier interdisciplinary area studies postgraduate programme focusing on Africa in the UK. It is a three-term, nine-month course designed both as a stand-alone interdisciplinary introduction to current debates about Africa, and as a preparation for doctoral research on Africa.
This advanced degree programme provides an excellent foundation for those who wish to expand their knowledge of African Studies prior to working for NGOs, the civil service, international organizations, and the media, or in other professional capacities.
The MSc has two core courses which are taught by weekly lectures and
seminars. ‘Methodology, Ethics and Research Strategies’ runs for one
term and examines research methodologies and strategies, including the
politics of researching and writing on Africa. ‘Themes in African
History and the Social Sciences’ runs over two terms and covers key
questions and debates in the study of issues such as the African state,
conflict and violence, diaspora and development.
Students also select one optional course from around ten that are offered each year. Examples of optional courses include:
- South Africa: African Politics and the Transition
- Violence and Historical Memory in Eastern Africa
- Political Economy of Health and Medicine in Africa
- Culture and Society of West Africa
- Democratization and Multi-Party Politics in Africa
The final component of the MSc is a 15,000 word dissertation for which
MSc students work closely with their dissertation supervisor throughout
the programme. The dissertation includes discussion of the methodology,
historiography, or theory relevant to the research topic, and is often
based on original research conducted in Africa.
Students present their
planned projects at research workshops in the second term and usually
travel for research in the Easter vacation. Small travel grants are offered to support students’ fieldwork and archival studies.
How to Apply
The deadlines for the MSc are 16 November 2012, 18 January 2013 and 8 March 2013. All applications for studentships and central
scholarships should be made by the
The standard set of materials you should send
with any application to a taught course comprises:
The statement of purpose for applicants to the MSc should detail experience of African Studies or related fields and a general indication of your research interests.
In addition to the standard documents above,
applicants to the MSc should provide one (1) relevant academic essay or other
writing sample from their most recent qualification of 2,000 words,
or a 2,000 word extract of longer work.
Please follow the detailed
instructions in the Application
African Studies website
for any additional guidance.