Study Start – University of Copenhagen

Congratulations on your admission and welcome to the Centre of African Studies. This site will provide you with information about your study start and help you to prepare for your studies at the Centre of African Studies. It contains important information on getting ready for study start, the programme for the introduction days, and other practicalities.

The introduction days take place two business-days before the fall semester officially starts in the fist week of September. On the introduction days, you will be introduced to the researchers, the student environment and the facilities at CAS. On Friday afternoon in the first week of September, the inauguration ceremony for all new students at UCPH will take place. After the inauguration ceremony, you will be introduced to the student bar at the faculty, where you will have the chance to meet your fellow faculty students from the other two study programmes at the faculty: Theology and Religious Roots of Europe.

Save the date: Introduction days for new students 30-31 August 2018

On this page you can find the following information:

Study Start programme

During the first weeks of your studies we have several events planned for you, to help you settle and get into the daily routines of studying at the University of Copenhagen. 

Introduction Days

On the introduction days, we have introductory events for you, starting with breakfast at 09:30 and ending with dinner at 18:30.

The full study start programme for the fall semester of 2018 will follow here soon.

When the precise dates for study start 2018 are released, you must sign up by writing to the student counsellor: Inform the counsellor whether you intend to come to the introduction days and if you intend to join the dinner at. Deadline for sign-up is 15 August 2018.

Immatriculation Party,

The Immatriculation Party will take place Friday in the first week of the fall semester (precise date will follow) in the afternoon.

Danish students can download their ticket for the immatriculation from the MyUCPH app.

New students must show their tickets in order to gain access to the Immatriculation Party.

  • Danish students can download their tickets from the MyUCPH app. The ticket is also available through a link on, when signing up for their study.
  • New Master's students with BA’s from other universities will receive their ticket for the immatriculation through the digital application portal.

Students can also gain access by showing their student ID-cards or their letter of admission, if it is not possible to get their ticket.  

Access to the University intranet KUnet

Our campus intranet is called KUnet ( Through KUnet, students have access to

  1. University e-mail account - used for individual importan messages from the Study Administration to the student. Access the mailbox from the KUnet front page or, and check it every week!
  2. Access to Absalon - teaching platform with important course information. Access the Absalon online portal from the KUnet front page.
  3. Exam transcripts and grades given - find them under Self Service on the KUnet front page.
  4. Study pages - used for important information about rules and regulation for exams, courses, curriculum etc. Access your Study Pages from the KUnet front page: Click the drop down-menu called Faculties (or Enheder in Danish) and select “MA African Studies”.
  5. Study message - used for important messages to all students in the programme from your Study Administration. Find the latest messages on the front page of KUnet.

How to access KUnet:

  1. In June, an e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address you registered when applying to the Master's programme through the online application portal.
  2. The email will contain your UCPH username (eg. abc123) and a link. NB: Your username is permanent and cannot be changed. It is also called your Student Number.
  3. Follow the link and enter your UCPH username as the username on the login page. You password is the last five digits in the telephone number you registered when applying for the Master's programme.
  4. You will then be asked to create a new password for KUnet.
  5. From then on, use your UCPH username and your new password to log onto KUnet. Remember to log in frequently, to check you UCPH e-mail, Absalon and the Study Messages (see above).

When you have registered your UCPH username and password on KUnet, an email with your personal 4-digit PIN code will be sent to your UCPH e-mail address (see below). This is the PIN code you need together with your Student ID-card in order to access the buildings etc. 

University email address

All students have a UCPH e-mail address (e.g., which is normally referred to as 'alumni-mail' or 'KU-mail'. 

IMPORTANT: All official information from the university, the Faculty and the Centre is sent to your UCPH e-mail address, NOT to your private e-mail address. Thus, it is crucial that you check your UCPH mailbox at least once a week.

You can also set up automatic forwarding of e-mails from your UCPH mailbox to your personal e-mail account. Find guide on your Study Pages.


myUCPH is a smartphone app aimed at students as a supplement to the online learning platform Absalon, to KUnet and to other information sources. Read more about the app and how it functions at

The student ID-card works as an ID card and key to access the building and the library outside the regular opening hours, and it is therefore important that you order one so that it is ready for study start.

You can also use the card to benefit from student discounts in bookshops, museums, theatres etc.

First time you access KUnet, an e-mail with a 4-digit PIN-code will be sent to your UCPH e-mail address. You will need the PIN together with the student ID-card in order to access the buildings and library, as the doors are locked with electronic door locks.

How to order a student ID-card:

You must upload your photo at KUnet > Self Service > ID card > Photo.

Before uploading your photo, please make sure that these requirements are fulfilled:

  • The photo must be lifelike and a picture of only yourself
  • The photo must be in JPG (JPEG) format
  • The picture file must not exceed 2 MB
  • The picture must be square and at least 200x200 pixels

Please note that production of the ID-cards only starts six weeks before the Study Start. Thus, if you order the card early, you will have to wait for it until then. Furthermore, because of the high demand on ID-cards in August, it might take a couple of weeks before you receive the card.

Danish students: If you registered with a Danish CPR-number when you applied for admission into the Master's programme, your student ID card will be sent to your current postal address.

International students: If you are not registered with a Danish CPR-number, your student-ID will be sent to the Faculty of Theology and you can pick it up at the Study Administration Office when you arrive in Denmark or on the Introduction Days.

IT Servicedesk
Problems regarding ID-card, telephony, Absalon, KUnet or Self Service?
Contact Servicedesk at UCPH.

All MA students admitted in the fall semester are automatically registered for the two compulsory courses Nature, Population and Society in Africa and Economic Development in Africa which both take place in the fall semester.

  • See the course plan and schedule for the upcoming fall and spring semester here: > Student Service > Courses

After your first semester, you will need to register manually for courses via the online Self Service portal, which you access from the KUnet front page. It is very important that you sign up for courses within the official registration period.

  • Dates and deadline on course registration can be found here: > Student Service > Courses > Course Registration

For information on the current semester's range of courses, see the online course catalogue at

IMPORTANT information regarding the language course Kiswahili:

The Centre of African Studies offers Kiswahili I (Autumn Semester) and Kiswahili II (Spring Semester). Both courses are offered for 7,5 ECTS - 15 ECTS in total.

You can register for Kiswahili I autumn class in the online Self Service portal accessible from the KUnet front page. Online registration is open on business-days in the last two weeks of August.

If you sign up for the Kiswahili I autumn classes, be aware that:

  1. The Kiswahili I and II courses are taken in addition to the compulsory courses of 60 ECTS in 1st and 2nd semester
  2. The courses will account for 15 ECTS Optional Courses (you have 30 ECTS optional courses in 3rd semester)
  3. That registration for the courses is binding and cannot be cancelled.

For information about residence permit and registration with the Danish authorities for students from EU/EEA countries and Nordic countries please look at the University's website about Living in Denmark

When you have arrived in Copenhagen, you are required to register at the local civil registration office (Folkeregistret or Borgerservice). To do so, you must have a residence permit and a permanent address in Denmark. The civil registration office will provide you with a personal identity number, called a CPR-number, as well as a yellow Health Insurance Card.

Read more about the Civil Registration Number (CPR).

NB: When you have received your CPR-number, it is very important that you inform the Study Administration ( about your personal CPR-number.

Danish State Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU)

Students who are entitled to SU during the MA programme may apply at minSU. Please note that SU applications cannot be processed prior to matriculation into the MA programme. Application deadlines are published at

As a foreign student you might be eligible for the Danish state education support. For further information visit the International Education and Grants office website

If you receive SU during your studies, you are allowed a delay in your studies of no more than 6 months (equivalent to 30 ECTS) compared to the number of SU monthly grants you have received. In case you are delayed more than 6 months, payment of your SU will stop.

Read more about the SU rules at  

Research-based teaching

At the Centre of African Studies students are taught by highly qualified permanent staff at MSO Professor and Associate Professor level, all with strong research and publication experience in their respective fields. Occasionally, teacher also includes PhD Students drawing on their own research experience. There are also very experienced temporary external lecturers teaching some key courses.

Teaching in the study programme takes place in classes ranging between ten and forty participants. Teachers utilise several different teaching methods, and lectures often contain elements of group work and student presentations. Occasionally, films will be shown. This allows the class to gain from the perspectives of each student’s individual background. Therefore teachers, as well as classmates, depend on your preparation for each class.

There is also public seminar series and public dialogue events held throughout the year, which you are expected to participate in.

As the Master’s programme is interdisciplinary, and as CAS has a proportionately large intake of international students, you can expect the academic background and traditions of the Centre’s students to vary. You should therefore be aware that the approaches, expectations of the MA programme and preferred learning styles of other students may differ from what you may have encountered in previous studies.

As courses are research-based, it is important to stress that there are often few lectures, but the required reading may be larger than you are accustomed to. You are encouraged to read the prescribed literature before all lectures in order to fully participate and benefit from them. Please note that not all the prescribed reading will necessarily be discussed during lectures, as teachers may prioritise discussions rather than a presentation of all the set literature.

The academic profile

The African Studies programme is designed to provide students with insights into and an understanding of Africa’s cultural, religious, social, political and developmental conditions.

The aim of the study is that students acquire an interdisciplinary methodology and a theoretical and empirical frame of reference, thus becoming qualified to work independently on contemporary issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. For this purpose, students are trained in the use of central concepts from both the social sciences and humanities disciplines, which are the primary focus of African Studies, and will be able to apply this system of concepts when working on empirical material of a broad and complex nature.

Not only is the teaching research-based, but the MA is also research oriented. Emphasis is therefore placed on students acquiring the ability to carry out independent research and analysis and to make critical judgements. Moreover, students will learn to communicate their academic knowledge and expertise to the general public.

It is essential that the student acquires knowledge from different academic fields, utilises the research results grounded in these, and can place them in a broader analytical context.