MA in African Studies

There are many good reasons to study Africa. For anyone wishing to engage with the continent on a deeper level, the traditional formulas are for the most part inadequate. A single discipline can no longer cover or express the multiple demands faced by anyone dealing with Africa and its people. Where the usual interpretations fail, new knowledge is needed. In Basel, a wealth of such knowledge has been developed over decades and consolidated at the Centre for African Studies Basel (ZASB). Since 2002, the Centre offers a specialized interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in African Studies. The program draws on the social sciences, humanities and the natural sciences. Key thematic fields are media and imagination, knowledge production and transfer, governance and politics, public health and social life, and environment and development.

Focal areas of teaching and research

The goal of the MA in African Studies is to equip students with in-depth knowledge and skills for an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scientific examination of Africa. Against the backdrop of the Centre’s particular interest in African cities and the rapid urbanization process underway on the continent, the program focuses on five thematic key areas:

  • Media and imagination: How is the increasingly visual orientation of information and communications technologies changing societies in Africa? What fears, hopes, goals and dreams are expressed in media and images?
  • Knowledge production and transfer: How is knowledge generated, concentrated, negotiated and passed onin African contexts? Are cities a hub for the emergence of an African knowledge society?
  • Governance and politics: How is political rule reproduced in a rapidly changing context? How are the everyday practices of political administration and services arranged in Africa?
  • Public health and social life: What challenges does healthcare face in Africa? How do people interact with health systems? What is the basis for their resilience in crisis situations?
  • Environment and development: How do environmental factors of global change impact on the built environment? What conditions must be met to ensure sustainable use of urban and rural habitats?

The individual modules include courses from a variety of disciplines. Central among them are history, social anthropology, sociology, political science, theology/religious studies, environmental sciences and epidemiology. Moreover, the degree program features regular contributions from disciplines such as literature studies and linguistics or gender studies.

By combining and comparing these different approaches, students develop a scientific understanding of the dynamics and historical evolution of the social and natural environment, the health situation, and the living conditions of people in different regions of the continent. Students are exposed to a wide variety of scientific methods. Furthermore, transdisciplinarity is promoted by introducing students to applied research fields and leveraging practical knowledge from outside the university.

Admission requirements

Students are admitted with a bachelor’s degree (BA/BSc) in one of the subject areas or fields of study listed in the study program of the MA in African Studies. The program has a strong emphasis on the social sciences. Foundational knowledge in a social science discipline and prior experience and knowledge of the African continent are advantageous, but not a requirement for admission.
Once an application has been submitted through the Student Administration Office, it is assessed by the African Studies teaching committee, which may stipulate additional admission requirements. The final decision by the President’s Board is conveyed by the Student Administration Office.
Advice on admission requirements is available from the ZASB executive office.

Program structure

A master’s is a second degree that a person can earn after completing a bachelor’s and requires 120 credit points (CP) in total. The Master's Degree Program in African Studies is a single-major degree, which means that no other subjects are studied to achieve the 108 CP. Free electives (12 CP) are also included. One ECTS credit point equates to approximately 30 hours of work.

Master of Arts (120 CP)
African Studies
108 CP
Free electives (Komplementärbereich)
12 CP
Master's degree program

Students are free to choose any free elective. These courses allow students to deepen their knowledge of their degree subjects, gain an insight into other degree subjects offered by the University of Basel, or acquire language skills.

Master’s admission requirements

Admission to master’s programs is regulated by the university student regulations, dated September 28, 2011, and the stipulations of the individual degree program descriptions. More details of the general master’s admission requirements are provided here.

For students to be admitted with no additional requirements, they must hold a bachelor’s degree worth 180 CP from a higher education institution recognized by the University of Basel.

Subject-related requirements are defined in the admission requirements (section 3) of the study program for the relevant subject. The guidelines may also contain further useful information that is key to successful studies.

Registration dates

Students must register for their bachelor’s or master’s degree program within a specified timeframe – even in cases of delayed registration.

Information events

The University of Basel organizes regular information events for bachelor’s and master’s programs. Details can be found on the events page of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 
Some subject areas also offer their own separate information or welcome events. Please consult the page for the relevant subject area for event dates and locations.

Master’s examination & degree


Registering for the master’s thesis and examination

Semester of registration to semester of examination

SS 2017
SS 2018

FS 2017
FS 2018

SS 2018
SS 2019

FS 2018
FS 2019

SS 2019
SS 2020

Registration forms available from




08.10.18 08.04.19

Commencement of master’s thesis
Form submission Studienvertrag Masterarbeit/Vereinbarung Masterprüfungen



08.05. - 24.05.18

06.11. - 22.11.18 07.05. - 23.05.19

Form submission Bestätigung: Abgabe der Masterarbeit*


08.08. - 28.08.18

07.02. - 28.02.19

08.08. - 22.08.19 04.02. - 27.02.20
Examination session** 28.05. - 01.06.18 17.12. - 21.12.18 23.05. - 29.05.19 16.12. - 20.12.19 25.05. - 29.05.20
Notification of grades 14.06.18 14.01.19 13.06.19 13.01.20 15.06.20
Degree application

Inspection of examination papers & delivery of evaluation reports
19.06. - 09.08.18 15.01. - 14.02.19 18.06. - 15.08.19 14.01. - 13.02.20 16.06. - 14.08.20
Graduation ceremony 08.09.18 23.03.19 14.09.19 21.03.20 12.09.20

Subject to subsequent changes.
*Submission deadlines differ according to the date of the commencement of master’s thesis.
**Students also have the option to take their master’s examinations in the following semester. This must be arranged during registration and the decision is binding. 


Registering for the master’s examination for minor students (e.g. sports, geography) 

SS 2018 FS 2018 SS 2019 FS 2019
Registration forms available from Expired 10.10.17 09.04.18 08.10.18
Registering for the master's examination for minor students Expired 08.05. - 24.05.18 06.11. - 22.11.18 07.05. - 23.05.19
Examination session 28.05. - 01.06.18 17.12. - 21.12.18 23.05. - 29.05.19 16.12. - 20.12.19
Notification of grades 14.06.18 14.01.19 13.06.19 Date to follow

Subject to subsequent changes.

Career opportunities

The program prepares students for what is a relatively young scientific field in Switzerland, and an emerging international labor market. This market calls for a wide range of specific, Africa-related knowledge and skills that are not usually taught in a connected fashion in university education, and are prerequisites for further professional training.

Combined with appropriate internships, trainee positions or further education programs, the MA in African Studies offers a gateway to the following professional fields: multilateral and bilateral organizations, migration and integration, museums and exhibitions, archives and libraries, governmental and non-governmental development cooperation, commissioned research and consulting, environmental projects, diplomatic service, tourism, business, research, journalism and intercultural communication. In addition, the master’s degree provides access to doctoral studies.

International Students

Please note that in the case of international students the letter of admission is often only issued a month before the start of lectures. Since the application process for a study permit can take up to 4 months, international students usually have to postpone the start of their studies to the folllowing semester.

For a successful visa application a proof of sufficient financial means to cover the cost of your living and studying (CHF 2000.-/month) has to be submitted. As a rule the embassy will expect a bank draft of an account in the applicant's name containing the funds required for the first 9 monhts of your studies in combination with a letter explaining in a transparent and plausible way, that funding is sustainable for the chole duration of the studies (24 months).

Name First name(s) Year Title Reference nr
Hofer - Czendlik Daria 2006 Malaria in pregnancy – risks, insecticide treated nets and intermittent preventive treatment – a study in Rufiji District, Tanzania MAT 2006 001
Pulver Jeanne 2006 Performative Kommunikation - Theatrale Intervention. Wirkungsziele und Wirkungsweisen einer kollektiven Theaterarbeit in Bobo-Dioulasso / Burkina Faso MAT 2006 002
Rüedi Franziska 2006 Asinamali! - We have no money: Social Movement Activism and the Role of the Churches in the Vaal Triangle c. 1975-1985 MAT 2006 003
Steinmann Mandume Pia 2006 "Manuel ist mein bester Freund, mein Halbbruder". Eine qualitative Untersuchung der Beziehungsnetze von Jugendlichen aus Kamerun und der Demokratischen Republik Kongo in Basel MAT 2006 004
Yéré Henri-Michel 2006 The Cultural Biography of a Generation: Zouglou Music and Youth in Côte d'Ivoire MAT 2006 005
Brühwiler Benjamin 2007 MANaging Bankruptcy. Masculinities in Dar es Salaam, 1985-1990 MAT 2007 005
Gastrow Claudia 2007 Designing Dystopias: Social Security in South Africa c. 1939 - 1946 MAT 2007 004
Kyburz Sonja 2007 "Sending money home" Eine Untersuchung zum Remittance-Verhalten kamerunischer Migranten in der Schweiz im Spannungsfeld transnationaler Familienbeziehungen MAT 2007 002
Nyffenegger Manuela 2007 Wahrheit und Dichtung in den Lebensgeschichten von ehemaligen Sklavenkindern auf Sansibar. Ein Vergleich von Anton Horners/Jean-Joseph Gaumes Suéma und von A.C. Madans Kiungani MAT 2007 003
Pfander Denise 2007 "So gross oder klein wie ein Mensch, so gross oder klein ist sein chi." Aspekte eines Persönlichkeitskonzepts der nigerianischen Igbo im Vergleich mit dem Selbstkonzept C.G. Jungs. MAT 2007 001
Schätti Zundel Christian 2007 Kulturelle Epidemiologie und Krankheitsmanagement von Typ 2 Diabetes im ländlichen Südafrika: eine Pilotstudie MAT 2007 007
Schubert Jon 2007 Dez jogadores contra um guarda-rede. Angola. The Dynamics of State and Civil Society 2002-2007 MAT 2007 008
Schumacher Sylvie 2007 Das Potential von Community Health Workers und die Herstellung sozialer Sicherheit in Tansania. Sind Mikrokreditprogramme eine Option für die Sicherung der Gesundheitsversorgung auf der Gemeindeebene? MAT 2007 009
Stettler Sarah 2007 Ethnisierungsprozesse in Ruanda - Bedeutungsänderungen der Begriffe "Hutu" und "Tutsi"?  MAT 2007 010
Weber Cyrilla 2007 Der Umgang mit der Vergangenheit. Aspekte des Transitional Justice Process in Sierra Leone MAT 2007 006
Saxer Nadin 2008 Coming Home: Reintegrating Male Returnees from the Lord's Resistance Army in Northern Uganda MAT 2008 001
Abdel-Ati Ibrahim 2009 Let the Colored into the Rainbow Nation MAT 2009 004
Howell Brian 2009 The Price of Insecurity: The Growth and Impact of Private Security Firms in Africa MAT 2009 005
Mashuna Timotheus 2009 The 1978 elections: South Africa's decolonisation plan for Namibia and its other implications MAT 2009 001
Näf-Gloor Sandra 2009 Wanderlust or career planning? How the journey to South Africa in the years 1802-1806 determined the life of Hinrich Lichtenstein MAT 2009 003
Renggli Francesca 2009 Mediation - Mittel internationaler Konfliktbewältigung? Mediation als Peacebuilding-Konzept in Nord Kivu der Acte d'Engagement MAT 2009 002
Affentranger Lukas 2010 From "The Native Is The Enemy Of The Forest" Towards "Community Based Natural Resources Management": A History Of Forest Exploitation In Mozambique MAT 2010 005
Ammann Carole 2010 There Is a Lot of Work to Be Done. Women and Politics in Benin. A Case Study MAT 2010 007
Bishop Stephanie 2010 Damming the Olifants: Mining and Hydropolitics in the Limpopo Province MAT 2010 004
Bonenberger Marc 2010 Malnutrition in Zanzibar – Prevalences, Determinants and Mitigation Strategies MAT 2010 010
Chan Judith 2010 Social Suffering and Wellbeing: A Case Study of Somali Urban Refugee Youth in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya MAT 2010 006
Grolimund Andrea 2010 Transhumance towards Northern Togo: Effects of a New Inter-ministerial Order MAT 2010 008
Ismaila Yakubu 2010 NGOs as Agents of Change in Health Development: The Agogo Presbyterian PHC Unit and CBS Volunteers MAT 2010 011
Neugebauer Inge 2010 Ein Jahrzehnt der Ungewissheit: Von der Segregation zur Apartheid in einer südafrikanischen Schule. Lemana Training Institution 1948-1958 MAT 2010 002
Obrecht Martina 2010 Familienangehörige von Migranten in Burkina Faso. Gelebte transnationale Sozialräume aus der Perspektive der Daheimgebliebenen. MAT 2010 003
Riedweg Karin 2010 Stärken und Schwächen der Civil Society Organizations erötert am Beispiel von HIV/Aids in Tansania MAT 2010 001
Schürer-Ries Anke 2010 Ruth Dammann and Anneliese Scherz: Unsung Photography and the Image of the Bushman in Post-Colonial Research MAT 2010 009
Bischoff Helina 2011 South Africa's Shifting Identity: Categorisation and Strategy in the Climate Change Negotiations MAT 2011 006
Kley-Gomez Chantelle 2011 Pictures of an Afropolitan Uplift: How Visual Representation of Africa in ARISE Magazine contributes to a new and modern African Identity MAT 2011 003
Kueng Myriam 2011 Normal Life in Rwanda. Everyday life on the campus of the National University from the perspective of the student restaurant MAT 2011 002
Lortie Leona 2011 Rhetoric and Reflection in the Face of Opposition: A Discursive Analysis of the Maji Maji in Colonial Germany  MAT 2011 001
Oppliger Daniela 2011 What fawours the desired outcome of a development project? - Perceptions of involved actors MAT 2011 004
Taube Dorothea 2011 Wissensvermittlung afrikaspezifischer Inhalte in der entwicklungspolitischen Bildungsarbeit. Eine lebensweltliche Beschreibung wissensbildender Elemente bei ReferentInnen in der nicht-formellen Bildung MAT 2011 005
Schönmann Florian 2011 Universal Men in Narrow-Minded Times. Postcolonial Identity and Anti-Apartheid Politics in the Music of Johnny Clegg MAT 2011 X01
Adisa Oladimeji David 2012 Understanding Corruption through Public Perception. A Case Study of Nigeria. MAT 2012 002
Ahidjo Nadia Ahmadou 2012 Frantz Fanon and the 21st Century: Ou en sommes nous? MAT 2012 004
Franz Tobias 2012 "Join the Caravan": Von der Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédiction et le Combat (GSPC) zu al-Quaida im islamischen Maghreb (AQIM). Triumph des globalen Dschihads? MAT 2012 013
Geuder Jacob 2012 Die Enträumlichung Bamakos. Transformation und Produktion eines urbanen Raumes MAT 2012 006
Ghebreghiorghis Tesfalem 2012 HIV Testing Barriers Among Eritrean Migrants In Switzerland MAT 2012 007
Grogan Patrick M. 2012 ‘Improving’ the Cape Colony, 1815-1821: The Perspectives of Sir Jahleel Brenton MAT 2012 001
Lüthy Corinne 2012 The Development of the Water Distribution in Ouagadoudou, Burkina Faso: The Influence of Public Water Organization ONEA MAT 2012 008
Schelling Anna 2012 Flourishing Trade at the Mouth of the Volta: The Significance of the Basel Mission and the Basel Mission Trading Company in ada, 1870-1914  MAT 2012 005
Wullimann Chantal 2012 The Production of Road Traffic: Strategies of Pedestrians to claim Space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  MAT 2012 009
Zannol Fabienne 2012 Legislative Frauenquote in Tansania. (Un-)Möglichkeiten eines globalen Werkzeuges im lokalen Kontext MAT 2012 003
Zimmermann Chantal 2012 "Wie eine Wand, hinter der man das Leben nicht sieht." Nothilfe und ihre Spannungsfelder im Alltag von LangzeitbezügerInnen aus Afrika  MAT 2012 010
Zumthurn Tizian 2012 Climate and Agriculture in Central Namibia, 1845 – 1920. A Study in Historical Climatology and Environmental and Social History MAT 2012 011
Müller Nina 2013 Spannungsfeld Entwicklungsarbeit. Die Rolle der Partizipation der Zielbevölkerung in der Arbeit der schweizerischen Direktion für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (DEZA) MAT 2013 005
Abukar Mursal Faduma 2013 Forced Migration and Transitional Justice. Justice as for Somali forced migrants in Cairo MAT 2013 004
Buttà Chiara 2013 The Rastafari Movement in Italy: An Imagined Communication MAT 2013 003
Cabantac Myra Mae 2013 Positioning Success: Perspectives of Nigerian Women in Switzerland  MAT 2013 002
Hakizimana Joël Muhizi 2013 Les Africains de Suisse face aux enjeux de l'intégration MAT 2013 001
Albisser Raphael 2013 United States Anti-Slave trade laws in Southeast Africa. The Implementation of American Law in the Final Years of the Transatlantic Slave trade. MAT 2013 006
Niederberger Angela 2013 Linking Sustainable Livelihood Capitals and Capabilities: The Case of Chilika Lake MAT 2013 X01
Chansa Jennifer C. 2014 The 'Urbanization' of Colonial Mine Labour in Zambia: An Analysis of the Godfrey Wilson Papers on Broken Hill Mine (1938-1941)  MAT 2014 003
Giezendanner Eliane 2014 Ambiguous 'Homecomings'. Repatriation of Second-Generation Burundian Refugees MAT 2014 007
Hoop Sabine 2014 Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Services in Rwanda: Sex Education and Decision-Making  MAT 2014 008
Krucker Jeanine P. 2014 The Discovery of Aquifers in Turkana County, Kenya: A Preliminary Study on the Prospective Impact of Recent Groundwater Findings on Pastoralist Communities MAT 2014 005
Lusito Agnes S. 2014 Realizing Foreign Investment in tanzania. How Policy Framworks Inform the Realization of the Bagamoyo EcoEnergy Project in Matipwili Village, Bagamoyo, Tanzania  MAT 2014 004
Oderinde Peter A. 2014 The Rise of African Immigrants: A Case Study of Nigerian Entrepreneurs and Professionals in the Economy of South Africa, 1994-2013 MAT 2014 002
Schaefer (jetzt Bögli) Elaine Nicole 2014 Creating a Cause: Studying Principle Creation with Outsiders Theory through a Food Justice Organization MAT 2014 001
Simon Sandro 2014 The Becoming of the Bamenda Wetlands: Cultivation in Continuous Change MAT 2014 006
Adjei Isaac 2015 Urban Solid Waste Management in a Growing Economy: The Acceptance of Policies and Regulations by the People. Case Study in Kummasi, Ghana MAT 2015 008
Baumann Joana 2015 Being connected. Insights into mobile phone practices of young people in Arusha MAT 2015 X
Bioh Prince 2015 Assessing the Effects of Miming on Communities' Health and the Physical Environment: The Case of Newmont Gold Mine in Brong-Ahafo, Ghana MAT 2015 005
Fahrlaender Basil 2015 De la Sahraouité comme projet politique, étude socio-historique sur l'émergence d'une conscience nationale supra-tribale au Sahara Occidental MAT 2015 004
Furrer Christian P. 2015 Malihai Clubs - Eine afrikanische Regierungsorganisation und die Natur-Kultur-Debatte MAT 2015 006
Kodua Samuel 2015 Youth Unemployment Situation in Ghana: The case of Kumasi Metropolis  MAT 2015 007
Tabiri Gordon Kussi 2015 Masculinity and Sexual Health: Perceptions of HIV/AIDS by First Year University Male Students in Legon, Accra MAT 2015 003
Tarr Natalie 2015 "Le Message Choisit La Langue" Language Choices and Attitudes Among University Students in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso MAT 2015 003
van Leeuwen Caro 2015 Home or Hospital? Birthing Decisions of Women in Accra, Ghana MAT 2015 002
Fordjour Emmanuel A. 2016 The health status and support-based elder care in Ghana: A case study of the Ejisu-Juaben municipal in the Ashanti region of Ghana MAT 2016 004
Mukuku Fungai 2016 Forgiven or Forgotten? Notions of Reconciliation in Zimbabwe under the Government of National Unity  MAT 2016 002
Park Sunghea 2016 Living as a Deaf Person in Urban Tanzania MAT 2016 003
Vuckovic Dragana 2016 The role of health workers from former Yugoslavia in shaping the Health System in Africa: Perceptio of Africa by the former Yugoslavian health workers  MAT 2016 001
Westhoff Dominik 2016 “What is Ebola? Actors’ Framing of a Multifaceted Problem” MAT 2016 005
Unterfrauner Florian 2016 Living with Change. Adoption Strategies of Cameroonian Studio Photographers in the Face of New Technologies MAT 2016 007
Misteli Leandra 2016 Alles Gold was gläntzt? Verantwortung von multinatonalen Unternehmen in der Goldindustrie: eine Fallstudie aus Tansania MAT 2016 006
Enrika Charles 2016 Black women's hairstyles in societies. To what extent do black women adapt their hairstyles as a way to negogiate dominant culture? MAT 2016 008
Weber Angelika 2016 Accountability and Justice for Economic Crimes? What standards and criteria were used to establish accountability and justice for economic crimes in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after teh civil war in Liberia? MAT 2016 009
Asamoah Prince 2016 Pursuing Dignity in South African Cities: How local Authorities respond to the Needs of Undocumented Migrant Families? MAT 2016 010
Roos van Zelderen Merel 2016 Notions of Culture and ist Signifigance in Doing Business in and with Africa MAT 2016 011
Ambühl Roman 2016 Case Study: The zambian Water Watch Groups. Towards a Model of Participatory Accountability? MAT 2016 X01
Gautschi Manuel 2017 Development Brokers or Political Entrepreneurs? The Role of Mayors in Liberal Democracy Assistance in the Department of Borgou, Benin MAT 2017 004
Gepperth Nadja 2017 Changing Concepts of Masculinity. A Historical Study on Cameroonian Migrants in Germany MAT 2017 007
Jenny Raphael 2017 End of Supremacy. With Rhodesian Commandos and their Motives for Fighting at the Closing Phase of Zimbabwe's War of Liberation, 1979-80 MAT 2017 001
Leu Zanele 2017 The Experiences, Roles, and Perceptions of Black Policemen in Kimberley during Apartheid in South Africa 1979-1980 MAT 2017 009
Musa Ramatu 2017 Dueling Realities: The Authentication of African Womanhood in Two Photographs by Priya Ramrakha MAT 2017 008
Nzayisaba Lydie 2017 The role of Traditional Healers in Tuberculosis Management and Control in Temeke Municipality MAT 2017 003
Osei-Gyawu Matthew 2017 Livelihood Resilience and Perceived Vulnerability to Flooding among the Urban Poor in Accra MAT 2017 006
Randriamboavonjy Jenna 2017 Le rôle de l'apprentissage dual dans la réduction du chômage des jeunes au Sénégal MAT 2017 011
Sidler Saho Eva Sophie 2017 Malawi's Land reform from a Chieftaincy's Perspective MAT 2017 002
Werlen Sarah Lages 2017 Rare cases of European females of the better class and delinquent coloured girls and women. Women's prisons in Cape Town, 1899-1948 MAT 2017 005
Zante Nestor 2017 Les incivilités dans la ville de Ouagadougou MAT 2017 010