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Postgraduate Study

The MPhil in African Studies offers a taught course with a substantial research component and provides an excellent foundation for students wanting to develop their knowledge of Africa. It is designed for students who wish to enhance their historical and contemporary understanding of Africa’s societies, politics, economics, and cultures, as well as for those who wish to apply for advanced research degrees. The degree thus offers a highly regarded postgraduate qualification relevant to a wide range of professional careers, as well as intensive research and language training for students planning to prepare a doctoral dissertation.

The course introduces the latest research approaches and methodologies in African studies at an advanced level. Students have the advantage of developing an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking and academic writing, the opportunity to develop skills in an African language, and also receive specialist research training.

The MPhil in African Studies is structured by four key elements: a core course, an option course, a dissertation and language training. Full details of the course can be found on the Centre’s website.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should have acquired:

  1. a deeper knowledge and understanding of African studies and its critical debates;
  2. a conceptual and contextual understanding enabling the evaluation of past and present research on Africa and its methodologies;
  3. the knowledge and technical skills required for pursuing original research in their chosen area;
  4. the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field; and
  5. increased proficiency in speaking an African language or language spoken in Africa (other than English)

Continuing

The Centre of African Studies does not offer a PhD course, but every year several of our MPhil students go on to study for a PhD in Cambridge or elsewhere. Requirements for different Cambridge departments vary: a high pass or distinction at the master's level is not uncommon.


Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

 


Departments

This course is advertised in the following departments:

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Key Information


9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Centre of African Studies This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Feb. 29, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.