African Studies (research), M.A. | Leiden University | Leiden, Netherlands
M.A. On Campus

African Studies (research)

24 months
19300 EUR/year
2209 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The African Studies (research) MA programme offered by Leiden University is unique in continental Europe for the interdisciplinary range of subjects offered and the variety of perspectives.


Course Details

The two year’s African Studies (research) MA programme at Leiden University bridges the often artificially drawn boundaries between the humanities, such as history and literary studies, and the social sciences, such as anthropology, political science 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. Small classes ensure that you have plenty of direct contact with your lecturers and a high level of guidance and support throughout your studies.

This programme combines disciplines from the humanities, such as history and literary studies, with disciplines from social sciences, in particular:

  • political science
  • anthropology
  • economics

Within the Research MA 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 wanting to do trade in Africa.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates end up working in a diverse range of positions, examples include:
  • PhD candidate at a university in the UK
  • Policy researcher in Lagos
  • Policy officer for agriculture and trade at an embassy in Ghana
  • Teacher of African languages
  • Journalist
  • Curator at a cultural institution
  • Project Manager at an NGO in Senegal
  • Team leader at a human rights organisation
  • Editorial manager
You will also have access to the excellent facilities of Leiden University, and in particular those of the Africa Studies Centre (ASC) and its research library. The network of the ASC, regular seminars, conferences and projects on Africa will provide international orientation and embedding for your MA research.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • The Theoretical Foundations and Interdisciplinary Nature of African Studies, History and Politics in Africa, and Reflexivity and Methodologies in Africanist Research
  • Theoretical and Experimental Exploration
  • Africa in Cross-Regional Perspective
  • Writing Research Proposal
  • Methodological Specialization

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


120 ECTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree in the field of African Languages and Cultures, Linguistics, History, Cultural Anthropology, Literature, Sociology, Political Sciences, Public Administration or other studies related to the Humanities or Social Sciences.
  • Good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.5 (Dutch grading system) for their entire bachelor’s programme and a grade for the bachelor’s thesis of an 8 or higher.
  • Affinity with and suitability for scholarly research in the specific field of the programme/specialisation and the ability to clearly report on research. 
  • Demonstrable motivation to study and suitability for the particular Research MA programme/specialisation.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    19300 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 19300 EUR per year during 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    2209 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 2209 EUR per year during 24 months.
  • Second Dutch master’s programme: €15,100 per year

Living costs for Leiden

850 - 1250 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

African Studies (research)
Leiden University
African Studies (research)
Leiden University


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