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MASocial Research (African Studies)

University of Birmingham United Kingdom, Birmingham
Tuition fee To be confirmed
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birmingham.ac.uk/...aspx#CourseOverviewTab 

Overview

This is a research programme that focuses on contemporary Africa. It provides you with an understanding of major social, cultural, political and economic developments and provides you with the research training necessary to undertake a social-science based study of contemporary Africa which will enhance your ability to prepare and present to an audience on material you have researched.

African Studies and Anthropology has been ranked second among all Area Studies departments in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014

Programme structure

You will study these modules (full descriptions available below):

Advanced Perspectives on Africa
Research Skills and Methods in African Studies
Introduction to Social Research
Basic Qualitative Research Methods
Basic Quantitative Research Methods
Principles of Social Science Research Methods
You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

The MA Social Research (African Studies) fulfils the requirements for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and successful completion of the course is likely to increase your chances of obtaining ESRC funding for PhD research.

Advanced Perspectives on Africa

This module deals with areas of concern and debate in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa. It is hinged around the concept of the ‘postcolony’ (and the literature concerning it) and its relationship to evolving political cultures and ideas about and/or exemplary instances of articulations in the public sphere. You will be asked to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to your guided and independent reading, then to identify and develop case studies of especial interest to you and to research these in the relevant literatures. The module will make featured use of research in and resources drawn from the Internet so as to explore areas of concern and debate in the immediately contemporary context of ‘breaking news.’

Research Skills and Methods in African Studies

This module is a practical hands-on introduction to research methods which takes you through the process of defining a research topic; identifying and accessing sources, including archival and electronic sources; compiling a bibliography; producing an overview of existing work on the topic; designing a project; establishing a timetable; gaining research permission; the ethics of research; planning and executing fieldwork; using interviews and surveys; using photography, sound and video recording; keeping field notes; archival research; assessing and analysing findings; and writing up.

Introduction to Social Research

This module provides a general introduction to studying research and methods, and to preparing for a dissertation. It emphasises key skills such as searching literature, finding existing datasets, referencing, taking notes, reading and presenting a table of numbers, presenting an argument, and criticising an argument. It continues with consideration of generic issues for research, such as the main principles of ethics for applied empirical research, negotiating access to research sites, the role of theory, the philosophical bases for understanding the social world, and synthesising existing research through focus on the findings rather than the conclusions.

Career opportunities

African Studies graduates develop a range of skills, including oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills, which can be used in a variety of occupations. A snapshot of graduate destinations over a five-year period has identified a variety of career paths, from architecture, to lecturing, to paid research. Historically, over 91% of African Studies students have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating

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Application start
Aug 1, 2017
Pre-deadline
Feb 1, 2017 23:59 (GMT)

This is a pre-deadline and we suggest to apply before this date

Primary deadline
Aug 1, 2017 23:59 (GMT)

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.