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Description

African Studies is a broad degree programme which combines arts and social science approaches. Most of our students enter the degree programme with an enthusiasm for, and interest in, either Africa or Anthropology, but few have studied these subjects at school or college. We have a wide range of visiting scholars and a cultural events and seminar programme. The student society is very lively and provides a full programme of activities, from sport to music.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to forge successful careers, both at home and abroad, in teaching, development work, publishing, human resources, the media, retail management, banking, insurance, the foreign service and other arms of the Civil Service.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline None, but early application advised Tuition fee Not specified Start date September 2015 Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
  • English
Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

First Year

In your first year you take three compulsory modules. Focus on studying societies is concerned with core study skills, taking you through all the steps of researching, planning and editing an essay, and enabling you to pursue a group investigation and present your findings orally. Thinking anthropologically takes a series of core questions (e.g. What is work? What is dirt?) and shows how anthropologists study societies around the world, explaining how people can think very differently about questions that might initially appear simple or obvious. African societies allows students to see how core anthropological terms have been applied to specific societies in order to explain social structures, behaviours and beliefs. In addition to these three compulsory modules, you should also take either 60 credits of African Studies options, or 40 credits of African Studies options and a 20 credit Module Outside the Main Discipline.

Compulsory modules:

  • African societies
  • Focus on studying societies
  • Thinking anthropologically

Options

  • Doing development
  • Introduction to African history
  • Introduction to African culture
  • Introduction to African politics
  • Introduction to geography and Africa

Second Year

In the second year you take the core skills course, Perspectives on Africa which includes a substantial section on dissertation preparation for your final year.

Students must take either Theory Ethnography (20 credits), which introduces them to the history of social anthropology and its major theories, or Theory, ethnography and research (40 credits). The latter covers the same material but includes an ethnographic project, in which students behave like anthropologists, and engage in close observation and analysis of the social behaviour around them.

Options (Second and Third Year, NB not all are offered every year)

  • African canon
  • African new writing
  • African popular culture
  • African religion and ritual
  • Aid, NGOs and development
  • Atlantic slavery: West Africa and the Caribbean
  • Caribbean fiction
  • Caribbean poetry
  • Gender and development in Africa
  • Ghana: state and society
  • Independent study
  • Rural livelihoods and development interventions in West Africa
  • Social life of the economy
  • South Africa in the 19th century
  • South Africa in the 20th century
  • South Africa since apartheid: politics and culture
  • Trajectories of emancipation
  • Yoruba culture

Third year

In your final year, you can choose your taught modules from a list available within the department. Students will be taught in a combination of lectures and seminars and will be able to develop more specialised knowledge and analytical skills, often drawing on the first-hand research experience of their tutors. Final-year students take the 40 credit Dissertation module, plus either 80 credits of African Studies options (examples shown above), or 60 credits of African Studies options and a 20 credit Module Outside the Main Discipline.

The number of taught modules is slightly fewer in the final year because of the emphasis that we place on the Dissertation (40 credits). This is the culmination of the enquiry-based learning that students have been working towards throughout their degree programmes. With the guidance of an academic supervisor in a series of one-to-one meetings, you will have the opportunity to identify a topic that is of particular interest to you, formulate relevant and interesting questions, search for and evaluate different sources of information, and present your findings and conclusions in a 10,000 word dissertation. In order to support you through this potentially daunting task, we arrange a series of workshops in which students present their work-in-progress, and receive useful feedback from members of the academic staff and their fellow students. Your supervisor will also read and comment on your drafts in order to help you produce a well-organised and well-presented piece of work. Successful completion of a dissertation enables students to demonstrate a wide range of skills that are transferable to employment and to further study.

English Language Requirements

CAE score : 80(Grade A)

To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you to

take an IELTS test. More About IELTS

Requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: BBB

International Baccalaureate: 32 points

Additional information:

Other qualifications are considered

We expect applicants to have an interest in Africa rather than a detailed knowledge of the continent

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

Related Scholarships*

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

    "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

  • Access Bursary

    Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

  • Alumni Bursary

    Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than University of Birmingham.

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