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:
- a deeper knowledge and understanding of African studies and its critical debates;
- a conceptual and contextual understanding enabling the evaluation of past and present research on Africa and its methodologies;
- the knowledge and technical skills required for pursuing original research in their chosen area;
- the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field; and
- increased proficiency in speaking an African language or language spoken in Africa, and/or in using an African language or language spoken in Africa for academic purposes.
Thesis / Dissertation The dissertation will be submitted during Easter full term and should be between 15,000 and 20,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography). It counts for 60 per cent of the final mark. If the examiners consider it necessary, they may conduct an oral examination on the dissertation. Essays The core course is assessed by means of an essay of no more than 5,000 words on a topic chosen from a prescribed list of questions, which is distributed by the MPhil office in the first week of Lent term. The option courses are generally assessed by means of an essay of not more than 5,000 words (some option courses may vary slightly). The core course essay and option course essay each count for 20 per cent of the final mark and are submitted in the Lent term. A compulsory practice essay on a topic related to the dissertation is to be submitted in the Lent term. This essay does not count towards the final mark but a pass mark of above 60 should be obtained. Any student who does not attain a pass mark at the first attempt will be required to re-submit. Written examination Language Course All students are enrolled for a language course at the University of Cambridge Language Centre, which is taught over 15 weeks during Michaelmas and Lent terms. Other A compulsory practice essay submitted in Lent term, in which a pass mark of above 60 should be obtained. Candidates whose grade falls below this on the first attempt will be required to resubmit.
Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree. If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country. Applications are welcome from British, EU and international graduate students. Minimum qualifications are a good 2.1 honours degree and an excellent command of English. All candidates for admission to the MPhil are expected to be of PhD potential and to have degree results in at least the top quarter of the graduating cohort at their previous university. It should be emphasised that the entry system for the University of Cambridge is a flexible one, notwithstanding the required minimum academic standard. The Centre of African Studies does not follow mechanical rules to judge applicants; instead, for each individual, it considers the following: the level of academic achievement, relevant work experience, the research proposal, the suitability of the MPhil in African Studies course to the applicant’s academic and professional needs, and the applicant’s academic references and writing sample.
Fees and funding
No fee information has been provided for this course