The Master in
African Studies

Africa is experiencing radical changes. Whether it is in the economic, social, environmental demographic or political sphere, African societies are evolving fast. This Master's programme provides the critical distance needed to understand these transformations in all their complexity. The curriculum stands out for its interdisciplinarity, combining approaches from the social, natural and human sciences. It also provides a long-term perspective and gives students the opportunity to study Africa not in isolation, but in terms of the continent's interactions with the rest of the world.

The Master's programme begins with a number of core cross-disciplinary classes. After the first semester, students take more specialised courses and electives. They can choose from a broad range of classes covering topics such as environmental issues, state formation and the development of societies.

Geneva, which houses many international organisations, is a unique place to study these dynamics. This Master's programme also places particular emphasis on experience in the field, and students can take advantage of exchanges with UNIGE's partner universities in Africa. To complete their course, students choose between a «research» option, which includes a fieldwork and a thesis, and a «professionalising» option involving a work placement/internship over several months and a detailed internship report.

Programme length

2 years (4 semesters)

Language of instruction

Knowledge of English is recommended.

Conditions of registration

Admission Conditions

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree.
Merit-based admission.


Deadline: 28 February 2024

The Master in African Studies

4 semesters (max. 6 semesters) | 120 credits ECTS
Required courses from the core curriculum (36 credits):
  • Prehistory and precolonial history of Africa
  • Colonial history of Africa
  • Environment
  • Development economics
  • States, territories and development in Africa
  • Critical approach to world divisions
Specialised courses (42 credits)
Electives (12 credits)
Internship or thesis (30 credits)



Student testimonials


Master's students are permitted to go on exchange for one semester maximum, as early as their third semester of study, and may earn no more than 30 credits at another university. Neither the thesis nor the internship cannot be substituted.

Professional Prospects

Africa is a new hub of economic and demographic growth. As its role in the international stage becomes more and more pronounced, so do the social inequalities generated by this growth. Graduates of the programme have the skills needed to understand and address the issues at stake in Africa, and they find work in a variety of sectors such as diplomacy, international organisations and NGOs, the media, industry, including multinationals operating in Africa, or in the promotion and protection of historical and cultural heritage.

Contact information

Ms Maud Preher
T. +41 (0)22 379 37 11
[javascript protected email address]