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Graduate Admissions

In view of the COVID-19 public health emergency we may need to make changes to the course details outlined on these pages. Offers holders will be notified of changes. Please see this page for further information.

Course closed:

African Studies is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in African Studies offers a taught course with a substantial research component and provides an excellent foundation for students wanting to develop their knowledge of Africa. It is designed for students who wish to enhance their historical and contemporary understanding of Africa’s societies, politics, economics, and cultures, as well as for those who wish to apply for advanced research degrees. The degree thus offers a highly regarded postgraduate qualification relevant to a wide range of professional careers, as well as intensive research and language training for students planning to prepare a doctoral dissertation.

The course introduces the latest research approaches and methodologies in African studies at an advanced level. Students have the advantage of developing an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking and academic writing, the opportunity to develop skills in an African language, and also receive specialist research training.

The MPhil in African Studies is structured by four key elements: a core course, an option course, a dissertation and language training. Full details of the course can be found on the Centre’s website.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should have acquired:

  1. a deeper knowledge and understanding of African studies and its critical debates;
  2. a conceptual and contextual understanding enabling the evaluation of past and present research on Africa and its methodologies;
  3. the knowledge and technical skills required for pursuing original research in their chosen area;
  4. the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field; and
  5. increased proficiency in speaking an African language or language spoken in Africa, and/or in using an African language or language spoken in Africa for academic purposes.


The Centre of African Studies does not offer a PhD course, but every year several of our MPhil students go on to study for a PhD in Cambridge or elsewhere. Requirements for different Cambridge departments vary: a high pass or distinction at the master's level is not uncommon.

Open Days

The University of Cambridge will be hosting its Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 1 November 2019. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.


This course is advertised in the following departments:

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
June 30, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2019