Study Start

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.

Save the date: Introduction days for new students 29 & 30 August  2024

Study Start programme

During the first month 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. 

Once you are enrolled, you will have full access to the Study Start information at Kunet

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 followed by the semester start party.

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.