Master of Arts in African Languages and Cultures

What is the MA in African Languages and Cultures?

The MA in African Languages and Cultures offers a specialized study of the African continent to students with a background in human and social sciences. You will come to a deeper understanding of past and contemporary African societies, taking into account their linguistic, cultural and socio-political complexities. You will thoroughly study Africa’s global role and you will learn to look at contemporary problems from various perspectives. 

What does the course look like? What are the aims of the course?

The one-year programme consists of three components: four general courses on African history, cultural anthropology, language diversity in Africa, and linguistic anthropology; a wide variety of optional courses covering among others globalization, development and urbanization in Africa and the global South; and a fair amount of individual research leading to your master‘s thesis. You will develop additional competences, such as presentation skills, writing skills and skills related to networking and communicating – all of which are highly relevant when entering the job market.

Why study African Languages and Cultures at Ghent University?

As is the case for the BA in African Languages and Cultures, this MA is unique in Belgium. When leaving university as an ‘Africanist’, you will have acquired exceptional knowledge about Africa. You will have job opportunities in development cooperation, diversity and integration management, and north-south policy. Other Africanists work in the cultural sector, in journalism, in international companies and associations dealing with Africa, or do research on African languages and cultures.

What are the central research themes in line with the course?

The department’s research focuses on the languages and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa and more specifically in the Bantu-speaking part of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. Our department hosts linguistic expertise in the fields of Bantu descriptive, historical-comparative and corpus linguistics and lexicography as well as sociolinguistics of (mainly) Eastern and Central Africa. Our expertise in African cultures is situated in the fields of religion, medical and visual anthropology, material culture and popular cultures, especially in Eastern and Central Africa. Expertise in the intersection between language, culture and society relates to African literatures, communicative strategies and discourse analysis, especially in contemporary Central, Eastern and Southern Africa and in the context of conflict resolution.

Full programme