MA African Studies


There are good reasons to study Africa. If one gets engaged with the continent at a deeper level, hardly any of the usual recipes turn out to be reliable. Today, the multiple demands put to those who deal with Africa or its people cannot be covered or communicated within a single discipline. Where the usual interpretations fail, new knowledge is called for. In Basel, knowledge about Africa has been accumulating for decades. The Centre for African Studies joins these capacities by offering a specialized interdisciplinary Master's study course in African Studies. For the first time in Switzerland, Africa has become the subject of a course of its own. The duration of the course is four semesters leading to a Master of Arts diploma according to the model of the Bologna convention.


Abilities and Competencies

The goal of the Master of Arts in African Studies is to convey to students deepened knowledge and skills in the interdisciplinary scientific engagement with Africa. Students acquire expertise and social and practical competence specifically related to the continent. Students develop their individual competence profile and fields of expertise by combining disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary and thematic modules, and by choosing a research project or a professional internship, courses of free choice as well as the topic of the Master’s Thesis.

Professional Outlook
The knowledge and abilities gained in the programme will open up different areas of employment for you:

  • Teaching and doing research at university
  • As an associate or a consultant of multi-or bilateral organisations such as the WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNEP, UNAIDS, or national as well as  non-governmental development agencies
  • In journalism and communication (print media, radio, television, film and video production, intercultural communication)
  • In the field of migration and integration
  • In archives and libraries
  • As an associate in projects of research and implementation
  • of environmental sciences
  • As an associate in environmental and ecological agencies

Target audience

The Master of Arts in African Studies addresses graduate students with a first academic degree (BA, BSc) who would like to acquire and deepen their Africa-specific knowledge and competences. Students of African Studies have a serious interest in interdisciplinary work and in exploring the spaces between disciplines.

The key personal requirement for the master’s degree in African Studies is a strong interest in Africa in its natural, social and historical conditions. This includes the willingness to reflect critically on one’s own position as an affiliate of a European University.

The African Studies degree programme is distinguished by its high number of international students and faculty members. The primary language of instruction is English. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary language skills.




Students are admitted with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Basel or with proof of equivalent study achievements completed at an institution of higher education recognized by the University of Basel. The subjects and fields of studies that allow for unconditional admission are listed in the study guidelines issued by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Basel (English translation).


Applications for admission can be submitted through the Student Services (Registrar's Office) of the University of Basel. The deadline for submission of applications usually is end of April for the fall semester starting in September (recommended) and by the end of November for the spring semester starting in February. We recommend that you contact us beforehand by email to for a preliminary assessment.

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).

Contact and information

For further information please do not hesitate to contact the Coordination Office of the Centre for African Studies. We will be glad to answer your questions.


University of Basel
Centre for African Studies
Rheinsprung 21
CH-4051 Basel
Tel.: +41 (0)61 207 34 82




Study achievements:
120 ECTS credits
Minimum duration:
4 semesters
Start: Fall or spring semester (fall semester recommended)
Language: English (primary language), German (optional)
Application fee:
CHF 100 (one-off)
Tuition fees:
CHF 850 per semester