Your complete guide to studying African Studies

Everything you need to know about studying African Studies

part of Social Sciences

What are African Studies?

African Studies is an engaging discipline that explores the cultures, histories, societies, and political systems in Africa. By pursuing a degree in African studies, you will understand the diversity of African civilisations and heritage, from ancient times until today.

African Studies Specialisations

African Studies degrees offer several specialisations. Some of the most common ones are:

  • African History;
  • African Literature;
  • African Politics.

You are likely to find these specialisations in both Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes, which gives you a wide range of options to choose from if you are passionate about African cultures and histories.

What will you learn during an African Studies programme?

African Studies is a good degree choice if you are interested in learning about the rich cultural and historical diversity of African peoples. You'll dive into the historical events that shaped the continent, its literature, and its vibrant traditions. Some of the skills you learn during an African Studies courses include:

  • proficiency in one or more African languages;
  • deep understanding of African histories and cultures;
  • analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • research capabilities;
  • cross-cultural communication skills.

Common African Studies courses include:

  • African History: learn topics such as ancient civilizations, colonialism, independence movements, and post-colonial developments.
  • African Politics: become more familiar with critical politicians and ideologies and the challenges and opportunities faced by African nations.
  • African Literature: study works by African authors and explore themes related to identity, culture, colonialism and social change.
  • African Arts and Culture: learn about traditional and contemporary art forms, and how the shape African identities.
  • African Economic Development: analyse African economies to understand issues such as poverty, inequality, economic growth, and foreign investments.

These skills you learn while pursuing an African Studies degree are not only applicable in academia but also in a wide range of careers, such as Diplomacy, Journalism, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Non-profit organisations.

Skills required for a degree in African Studies

To excel in African Studies, you need to have a strong interest in cultures and historical studies. Good communication skills, both written and verbal, are also crucial. African Studies degree requirements often include a willingness to learn new languages and an interest in exploring historical and literary contexts.

What can you do with an African Studies degree?

The jobs you can get with an African Studies degree are varied and rewarding. With a Bachelor's degree, you could work in fields like international development, education, or journalism. A Master's degree opens up opportunities for roles such as cultural advisor, foreign service officer, or researcher. Here are some popular jobs:

  • Cultural Advisor;
  • Foreign Service Officer;
  • Researcher;
  • International Development Worker;
  • Journalist.

A career in the most common African Studies specialisations, such as African History or Literature, can be incredibly fulfilling. You'll have the chance to bridge cultural gaps, help people understand each other better, and contribute to global cooperation. If you are looking for a career with a deep purpose, an African Studies degree is worth it.

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