African Studies

Universiteit Leiden

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
The Master African Studies at Leiden University is unique in continental Europe for the interdisciplinary range of subjects offered and the variety of perspectives.

open_in_newstudy website

typeregulier, 60 EC
start1 februari, 1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur12 maanden voltijd
numerus fixusnee
honoursheeft honours track
The master's programme in African Studies at Leiden University is a multidisciplinary area study programme, which offers you the opportunity to examine the African continent in depth.

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

In line with current approaches to the study of Africa, you will study the people and cultures of Africa from an African perspective.

Part of the programme is dedicated to an internship in Africa, which offers you outstanding opportunities to get insights into working and conducting research in Africa and to enhance your job prospects.

Also you 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.

  • Leiden University's Humanities Faculty was recently ranked 17th in the Times Higher Education worldwide ranking.
African Studies Master's at Leiden University
The Leiden Experience: Student City (Time Lapse)
The Leiden Experience: Why Humanities Matter

Waarom aan de Universiteit Leiden?

  • As the only one year African Studies Master's with a genuine area studies profile, this programme is unique in continental Europe.
  • You will do an internship in Africa, which offers you outstanding opportunities to get insights into working and conducting research in Africa and to enhance your job prospects.
  • You will have access to excellent facilities, in particular those of the Africa Studies Centre (ASC) and its research library.


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The programme is divided into two semesters, and is structured as follows:
Fall semester (September-January):

The first semester is devoted to group teaching and serves to both broaden and deepen the student's knowledge of Africa as well as to prepare for the MA-thesis.

Spring semester (February-June):

You are advised to go to Africa in the beginning of the second semester, for a field assignment. The field assignment includes a period of internship linked to the research topic of your MA thesis.

From April onwards, when you have “returned from the field”, you will start writing your MA thesis which is based on your own original research.

For a detailed overview of the curriculum, please visit:
History and Politics in Africa
5 EC
The Field of African Studies and Interdisciplinarity Part 1. Aims and results of Africanist research
10 EC
Thesis Seminar African Studies
5 EC
5 EC
Images of Africa. Interdisciplinary approaches
5 EC
Economy, Geography and Society in Afrika
5 EC
Language and Communication in Africa
5 EC
Field Assignment African Studies
10 EC
MA Thesis African Studies
15 EC


taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet25% zelfstudie
50% theorie
25% praktijk
case study, excursion, group discussion, lecture, research, research project, research proposal, practicum, seminar, internship, tutorial, working group, self study
This multidisciplinary programme offers you the opportunity to study the African continent from many different angles. As a result, you will acquire solid knowledge and understanding of the major historical, literary, cultural, socio-economical and political factors at play in Africa. You will also acquire insight into the issues that are particularly relevant within this continent.
study abroad
Students are advised to go to Africa in the beginning of the second semester, for a field assignment. The field assignment includes a period of internship linked to the research topic of your MA thesis.
honours-/excellence program Leiden Leadership Programme

The Leiden Leadership Programme (LLP) is an honours programme of 15 ECs on top of the regular master's curriculum. The programme consists of training courses, seminars and a practical assignment.

Are you looking for an extra challenge in addition to your Leiden master's programme? Are you adventurous enough to look beyond the borders of your own master's programme? The Leiden Leadership Programme may be just what you are looking for. The programme gives you the opportunity to develop your leadership skills. You will follow seminars and courses, as well as carrying out a practical assignment for a company or organisation as part of a small, multidisciplinary team. Your lecturers will be leading academics and experienced professionals from the business sector.

Students can apply who have:

  • Good study results in the bachelor's programme;
  • The ambition and motivation to develop leadership qualities;
  • A broad and interdisciplinary span of interest.

Toelating en kosten


1 februari 2020

aanmelding deadline : 1 december 2019
collegegeld nog niet bekend

1 september 2019

aanmelding deadline : 15 juni 2019
wettelijk tarief : € 2083 (€1042 in het eerste jaar)
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 17500

1 september 2020

aanmelding deadline : 15 juni 2020
collegegeld nog niet bekend


aanvullende vakeisen
Applicants should have completed courses worth at least 30 EC in language, literature, culture, history, economics and/or social sciences as related to Africa.

Knowledge, understanding and skills comparable to those acquired upon graduating from the Bachelor's programme in African Language and Cultures at Leiden University.

A bachelor's degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor's degree.

inbegrepen in collegegeld

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
350kamerhuur in Leidenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
172collegegeldop basis van € 2060 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1218totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


17 studenten volgen deze opleiding
76% daarvan is vrouw
4 eerstejaars gestart in 2017
100% daarvan is vrouw
27713 studenten aan de Universiteit Leiden
59% daarvan is vrouw
bron: StudieData


T.W.I.S.T. organizes camp weekends, meetings, lectures and movie nights with a linguistic twist. Members also receive the magazine Twister, which includes interesting articles in your field.

Op kamers in Leiden

31058studenten studerend
12630studenten woonachtig   
€ 350gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
20 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

Desh Chisukulu
Desh Chisukulu - Graduate Testimonial African Studies Leiden University

Broadening my horizon
Being a Zambian, when I started studying African Studies at Leiden University, I already had an interest and some knowledge and experience in Africa. African studies has helped to fill the gaps and review the knowledge I had about Africa from a different perspective. The experience has broadened my horizon and changed my view about many things, it has given me a broad perspective on different aspects of Africa especially in Southern Africa, which is one field of my specialisation...
The aim of my research was to investigate the socio economical impact of mining in Lumwana, Zambia, from 2008 to 2014. My study was based on literature and extended field work in Lumwana. During these visits, I learned valuable skills in the field.

International reputation
Prior to studying African studies at Leiden University, I did a BA in Inter-faculty ArtScience from University of the Arts in The Hague. I chose to study African Studies at Leiden University because of its reputation internationally, and it had the courses I wanted to do. Coming to study at Leiden was one of the best decisions I have made, I've met so many nice people with whom I can exchange ideas. In class, professors always found time for students, and their academic and professional experience was really inspiring. During the courses, I enjoyed the open-minded and interesting interaction with both my fellow students and professors.

A better understanding of Africa
The knowledge acquired in several courses has prepared me to get into the workforce or continue the academic path, as I am now focusing on PhD positions. I cannot emphasise enough the role that my experience at Leiden University, African Studies specifically, has played in putting me where I am today. African Studies has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to better understand Africa.

lees verder ...
Eline Sleurink
werkzaam als Research Assistsant bij African Studies CentreUpon graduating with my master's, I was employed as a Research Assistant at the African Studies Centre. This was an excellent short-term opportunity (5 months) to expand on the knowledge I acquired during my Master's and develop valuable research and proposal writing skills. Since then, I have been working at a social enterprise incubator in London, as a Business Development Manager for several east African ventures.

My current responsibilities include fundraising, marketing and partnership building...
I was also able to build up a network of key stakeholders within the industry (through attending conferences and seminars, amongst others) which has been extremely useful.

I chose this Master's as I was determined to become a specialist in the field and carve out a niche for myself. The quality of teaching from the professors is excellent on account of their passion for and dedication to the world of African Studies. Furthermore, this Master's programme was highly appealing to me as it allowed a unique opportunity to combine classroom learning with a research and work experience placement in Africa.

lees verder ...
de Bruijn
We have a very large number of researchers available at Leiden University who work in various disciplines – from humanities to medicine – related to Africa. This means that we have an enormous wealth of expertise available and we are always able to succes

Small classesTeaching generally takes the form of small-scale seminars and tutorials, during which lively and engaging discussions are encouraged. Small class sizes ensure you enjoy a high level of direct contact with both your lecturers and fellow students.Latest ResearchAll courses are taught by academics who are active researchers. Our lecturers also play an active role in every individual's education, acting as mentors and community builders..

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

lees verder ...

Feiten en / studie in cijfers


bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete
algemeen oordeel
De Nationale Studenten Enquete is het grootschalige onderzoek van de overheid onder studenten in Nederland naar de kwaliteit van opleidingen aan hogescholen en universiteiten.
In 2015 hebben meer dan 280.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

African Studies aan de Universiteit Leiden is beoordeeld door 2 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met uit 5.

Na de studie

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Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

The master's programme in African Studies at Leiden University prepares you for high-level positions on the international job market. You will be able to work in governmental policy-making departments, with NGOs involved in development cooperation projects, with international organisations, or in research, management, education, journalism or public relations.

Our alumni work at various organisations, including idealistic organisations, publishers, museums and socio-cultural establishments.
Our graduates end up working in a diverse range of positions, examples include:

  • Editorial & production manager
  • Policy officer for agriculture and trade - at an embassy in Ghana
  • Teacher - of African languages
  • Journalist
  • Curator - at a cultural institution
  • Manager - of a translation and/or interpreting agency
  • Project Manager - at an NGO in Africa
  • PhD candidate - at a university in Australia
  • Team leader - at a human rights organisation
  • Digital marketing manager - at a translation agency


African Studies Coordinator Of Studies
Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

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