PhD training

The PhD programme in African Studies is part of the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) at the Department of the Social Sciences. Within this framework the Centre for African Studies Basel offers a joint training module on Methodological Challenges in Area Studies in cooperation with the University Research Priority Program Asia and Europe (Zurich). It also contributes to the Doctoral Programme North South (DONOS) which allows for association with the International Graduate School North-South. In addition there are related PhD programmes at the University of Basel such as the Basel Graduate School of History.

In order to be admitted to PhD studies at the University of Basel graduates have to solicit the support of one of the professors associated with the Centre and fulfil the general criteria for admission to doctoral studies at the University of Basel. Besides the PhD degree in African Studies doctoral students at the Centre of African Studies Basel have the option to enrol for a PhD in any of the disciplines contributing to the Centre for African Studies. Students have the choice of earning their PhD in Interdisciplinary African Studies or in one of the disciplines contributing to the Centre.

Research at the Centre for African Studies Basel is organized along five thematic axes:

  • Media and Imagination
  • Knowledge Production and Transfer
  • Governance and Politics
  • Public Health and Social Life
  • Environment and Development

Under the joint research theme Living the City special attention is paid to the rapid urbanisation on the continent. For an overview of ongoing PhD projects and completed PhD theses see our research website.

Numerous thematic research groups offer a specific framework for the supervision of the individual PhD student and project, while the training module Methodological Challenges in Area Studies promotes and fosters an increased awareness of the particular challenges posed by cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research.

Graduate Network

The swissuniversities-funded Basel Graduate Network African Studies seeks to integrate all PhD students with Africa-related projects at the University of Basel across disciplines and faculties.

Graduate Center

The Graduate Center of the University of Basel (GRACE) offers services and information, supports networking and interdisciplinary training formats and prepares doctoral candidates and postdocs for future challenges inside and outside academia.


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