MRes African Studies

Start date
September
Duration
Full-time: 1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee for 2020/21: £6,120
International: £17,880
More detail.

The MRes African Studies degree is a research programme with some provision for taught modules.

It is aimed at those who wish to move beyond undergraduate work and to engage in research in depth for a postgraduate thesis, but who also wish to take modules that help develop research and related skills. 

The course aims to develop your critical and analytical skills in relation to current ideas in African politics, history, anthropology and literature. It provides you with the opportunity to identify, investigate in depth, and write up a research topic of your own, including the use of archival, oral media and internet sources.

Times Higher Education ranked the Department of African Studies and Anthropology second among all Area Studies departments in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise. 

College of Arts and Law postgraduate scholarships available

The College of Arts and Law is offering a range of scholarships for our postgraduate taught and research programmes to ensure that the very best talent is nurtured and supported.

Learn more about our scholarships

I love being a part of the academic community at Birmingham and my department is incredibly supportive. I enjoy attending regular research seminars which keep me up to date with the latest developments in the subject, while the University hosts an annual conference which is a great chance to meet scholars from across Africa.

Stacey

Why Study this Course?

  • Times Higher Education ranked the Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) second among all Area Studies departments in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.
  • We are a friendly, well integrated community. Staff and postgraduate students work together closely and discuss their research interests at regular meetings. This includes a regular programme of formal DASA seminars at which staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present papers and discuss their work-in-progress.
  • Alongside your core modules and the 20,000-word thesis, the programme offers the flexibility for you to choose a third module from a wide range of topics in African studies, history, politics and development.

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.

Modules

You take three taught modules and write a thesis of 20,000 words in the final term on a topic of your choice.

You will study two core modules:  Research Skills and Methods in African Studies and Advanced Perspectives on Africa

Your third module is optional, and you can choose from a range of topics within African Studies and Anthropology or related disciplines. You will also choose one optional module from a range that typically includes:

  • Contemporary Gender Issues in Africa
  • African Fiction and its Critics
  • Slavery and Freedom in Twentieth-Century Africa
  • Letting them Speak: Ethnographies of Marginalisation
  • Livelihoods and Development in Africa

For more information, see our African Studies and Anthropology module descriptions.

You may also choose to do an Independent Study in place of the optional module. This allows you to develop a specialism in a chosen topic through guided reading, writing and discussion, subject to availability of supervision. 

Subject to availability, you may also choose an option offered in another discipline, such as History, Politics or Development.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £6,120 full-time; £3,060 part-time
  • International: £17,880 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

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


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Paying your fees

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.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students to apply is Wednesday 1 July 2020. The deadline for UK/EU students is Thursday 10 September 2020.

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas, which includes detailed advice on research proposals and how to write them.

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


Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

The Department of African Studies and Anthropology is an interdisciplinary department with an established international reputation for research on Africa and its diaspora.

We are able to provide expert supervision on a variety of topics including environmental knowledge and practice, oral and print culture, histories of local and national identities, labour history and anthropology, research on marginality, exclusion and slavery, migrations and mobility, gender, kinship and marriage in society and policy, education and its legacies, religious difference in everyday life, and African links with the Islamic world.

Please contact a staff member working in your area of interest to discuss your research in the first instance.

Find a supervisor: African Studies and Anthropology staff research supervision areas

We are 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 Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) seminars at which staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present papers and discuss their work-in-progress.

You will be assigned a personal tutor with whom you will meet to discuss your progress and seek help and advice when necessary. It is a University requirement that tutors meet with their tutees at least once a term, but you don't need to wait for a formal appointment: you are encouraged to contact your tutor whenever you need help or advice.

You will also have an academic supervisor once you are working on your dissertation and will have access to the expertise of other members of staff. As a graduate student at DASA you can expect to enjoy intensive, frequent and close interaction with your supervisor on a one-to-one basis as well as detailed, continuous supervision of written work.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively 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.

Assessment Methods

Assessment on the programme for the core modules will include coursework and a seminar presentation. Assessment for the third optional module is dependent on the module selected. The course is completed with a 20,000 written thesis, where you will benefit from expert academic supervision.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: African Studies

African Studies graduates develop a range of skills including oral and written communication; analysis and evaluation; problem solving; independent working; and research skills, which can be used in a variety of occupations. Our graduates pursue a variety of career paths, including lecturing and paid research. Over the past 5 years, 91% of African Studies postgraduates were in work and/or further study within 6 months of graduating (DLHE 2012 - 2017).