African Studies: Master Degree Thesis

30 Credits
Second Cycle Level 2
School of Culture and Society
Subject field
African Studies (UVX)
Group of Subjects
Other Interdisciplinary Studies
Disciplinary Domain
Humanities, 100%
This course can be included in the following main field(s) of study
African Studies1
Progression indicator within (each) main field of study
Approved, 03 May 2016.
This syllabus is valid from 03 May 2016.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall be able to:
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge within one of the study areas of African Studies including comprehensive and advanced knowledge of relevant methodology and theory as well as thorough insight into current research in the chosen area or subject
  • show the ability and skills needed to develop a research question and then with a high degree of independence search for, collect, evaluate and critically interpret and analyse relevant information
  • with a high degree of independence and within a limited timeframe, conduct a comprehensive independent scientific study characterised by a clear connection to current research, a competent application of method and theory, as well as a strong argumentative drive based on thorough analyses
  • orally and in writing, present and argue for his or her own results as well as for the knowledge and argumentation which form the basis of these conclusions while showing a high level of communicative competence
  • discuss the advantages and limited scope of the proposed results in relation to the research situation and the wider scholarly debate
  • analyse and discuss the scholarly work of others by pointing out strengths as well as weaknesses in the form of constructive response.

Course Content

The course is introduced through a review of the research process, including the choice of topic, research question, methodology and theoretical approach, literature searches, outline, and the writing process. The student, in consultation with the supervisor, carries out a comprehensive independent study of a well-defined problem area directly connected to one of the fields within African Studies. The study is presented in the form of an independently written essay of approximately 30.000 words. The course also includes practice in the oral presentation and defence of the student’s own results and arguments, as well as of analyses of other students’ works.


The course is examined through the independently written thesis; however, the student’s ability to give and to take constructive criticism during the work-in-progress is also considered in the final assessment. The master thesis is defended in an open seminar with a discussant. In case this is not possible, the thesis will be examined by two members of the teaching staff.

Forms of Study

Instruction is given through individual supervision and, when applicable, in seminars. The thesis is defended and discussed at a defence seminar. The master thesis is written in English.


The Swedish grades A–F.


  • 83 credits within the main field of African Studies, including the courses African Studies: One-Year Master Degree Thesis 15 credits, African Studies: Theory and Method 16 credits and African Studies: Rethinking African Studies 7 credits