MA Africa and Development

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This programme combines development studies with an interdisciplinary focus on Africa. It provides an advanced understanding of the African cultural, political and historical circumstances which have been formative in the constitution of development studies as a field, and which have shaped the impact of development interventions in the continent.

This programme is ideal for those who wish to pursue careers in international development, as well as students planning to pursue doctoral research on aspects of development in Africa.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Start date: September

Details

Africa is one of the most important sites of international development interventions, and historically the site where much of the academic discipline of development studies was forged. This programme draws on the expertise of the University’s Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) and International Development Department (IDD) to provide an in-depth exploration of the relationship between development studies and Africa.

You will study two core modules:

  • Critical Approaches to Development 
  • Livelihoods and Development in Africa

You will also choose four optional modules from a wide range within DASA and IDD. All DASA modules are assessed by coursework; IDD modules vary, and the mix of coursework and written examinations will depend on the options selected. [See below for more detail on available modules]

You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation which combines interdisciplinary African studies with development studies.

Modules

 Modules available from the Department of African Studies and Anthropology include:

  • Advanced Perspectives on Africa
  • African Literature and Post-colonial Critical Theory
  • Contemporary Gender Issues in Africa
  • History and Politics of Southern Africa
  • Media and Popular Culture in Africa
  • Modern Ghana
  • Research Skills and Methods in African Studies
  • The Social Life of the Economy
  • Trajectories of Emancipation in Twentieth Century West Africa
  • West Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade
  • Yoruba Culture

Modules available from the International Development Department include:

  • Aid Management
  • Conflict, Humanitarian Aid and Social Reconstruction
  • Conflict in Developing Countries
  • Development Management
  • Development Politics
  • Gender and Development
  • Governance and State Building in Developing Countries
  • Introduction to Development Projects
  • Introduction to Disaster Management
  • Non-Governmental Organisations in a Changing International Context
  • Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development
  • Poverty and Inequality: Interventions and Approaches
  • Religion and Development
  • Rural Poverty and Development
  • Social Analysis of Inequality, Poverty and Development
  • Transforming Development for Sustainability
  • Urban Poverty and Development

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £7,290 full-time, £3,645 part-time
  • Overseas: £14,140 full-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

You will need an Honours degree in humanities, social science or another relevant subject, normally of an upper second-class standard. Relevant equivalent study and/or experience will also be accepted.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

The Department of African Studies and Anthropology (incorporating Centre of West African Studies) is a friendly, well integrated community. Staff and postgraduate students work together closely and discuss their research interests at regular meetings. There is also a regular programme of formal DASA seminars at which staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present papers and discuss their work-in-progress.

As this programme is delivered jointly with the International Development Department, you will also benefit from additional expertise, support and extra-curricular events offered by the Department.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support through the English for International Students Unit (EISU).

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

This programme will enable students interested in deepening their understanding of Africa to put their knowledge to work in international development, whether for government, NGOs, or media. 

Historically, over 91% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.