Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme

Academic Mobility for African Sustainable Development/AMAS

Master of Arts in African Intellectual History and Cultural


Name of the HEI offering the course: Addis Ababa University (AAU)

Type of academic programme: Masters

Thematic field of study: Governance  and Social Sciences

Title of the academic programme: African Intellectual History & Cultural Studies

Duration in each case (in semesters): Four Semesters or two years (A Semester is covered in 14 weeks/3.5 months).

Masters programs at AAU are all modular in which students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 90 to a maximum of 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).

Objectives (max. 150 words):
(Objectives of the master/doctoral programme in relation to the identified needs and the link to the thematic field(s) proposed; etc.)
The African Studies Program is interdisciplinary in its approach. Students are expected to acquire the analytical and methodological competence to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of African societies.
The objectives of the program are related to the thematic area of Governance and Social Sciences since are intended:
• To transmit and advance, through teaching and research, knowledge about Africa’s indigenous knowledge, socio-economic, institutional, political, environmental and developmental conditions and issues;
• To produce competent scholars who are capable of understanding and analysing Africa’s socio-economic, institutional, political, and developmental conditions from an interdisciplinary perspective;
• To develop critical analysis and communication skills that enables learners to effectively present views;
• To share expertise with the community interested in African affairs and maintain a community service component that promotes panel discussions, symposia, forums, and productive partnerships; and contribute to the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual growth of the community;
• To prepare learners for active citizenship, developing an ongoing interest in national, regional and global development discourses, and building cooperative efforts with others;

Structure and content (max. 400 words):
(Structure and content of the programme, subjects covered; assessment methods; etc.)

The Masters programs at AAU are designed as modular programs, for which modules were developed with work packages and syllabi that determine the activities of the students and the instructors including the outlining the delivery systems. Most of the course activities are student-based where students are strictly required to engage themselves in independent work. Students are therefore assessed on the seminars they write and defend, the laboratory and field work and reports they submit, the continuous assessment by way of quizzes, examinations, discussions, group work, and so on they do. On their part, the respective departments have also developed the required course modules, student and staff manuals, and the necessary regulations and quality control mechanisms that keep the programs in track. Depending on the program each Masters student is required to complete 90 to 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), the average being around 105.

The major courses included in this Program are: Major Themes in African History, Contemporary Issues on African Studies, The Culture of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Culture, Intercultural Philosophy vs. “Ethnophilosophy’ in Africa, Re-visiting Cultural Anthropology in Africa, The Cultural Dimension of Social & Political Development, Popular Culture and Mass Communication, Culture, Identity and Globalization in Africa, Intellectual and Literary Movements in Africa and Literature, Art and Society in Africa

This module embarks on a parallel exploration of the continuities and discontinuities, similarities and dissimilarities of purpose and meaning of the intellectual and cultural movements of Africa across the historical times. Using periodization as a central structuring category, those dialectical but not necessarily progressive inward and outward cultural and quasi ideological movements are discussed against the backdrop of historical events and intellectual engagements. The outstanding segments of the module are:
• Intellectual and literary movements aiming at forging the African Cultural whole; The Negritude Movement; The Pan-African Movement; The dichotomised rubrics surrounding the ideas of arrested modernization vs. aborted decolonization. The struggle for independence and the African cultural project. The cultural and ideological challenges of Globalization.
At grading, each student is required to complete the above mentioned work requirements through the continuous assessment system. Anything above 85 is graded as A, 75-84 as B, 65-74 as C. Generally, Masters students are expected to score B or above. This by default entails a requirement of a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 or above to graduate successfully. All C grades are expected to be repeated and other grades less than that are failing grades. At any stage if Masters students score CGPA of less than 3:00, they are subject to dismissal.

Finally, thesis defence is open to the public with external examiners coming from abroad but mostly from other universities within Ethiopia after their CV in the field are examined by the department examining board. These are rated as excellent, very good and good. Anything below is subject to re-write up or modifications as the case may be.


Learning outcomes (max 200 words):
(The expected learning outcomes in view of the students’ future academic opportunities and employability, the personal competences, and the impact at institutional, national, regional levels)

• A Graduate of African Studies specializing in the area of African Intellectual History and Cultural Studies is believed to have the following profile:
 Competent scholars and analysts who are equipped with the conceptual and analytical tools and theories to research and critically analyse the socio-cultural, cognitive and religious belief systems, philosophies, kinship, social, economic and political and gender issues and value systems, mobility/migration and settlement patterns, land and natural resources tenure and use management systems, and dispute and conflict settlement norms and practices of various hunting and gathering, transhumant pastoralists, and sedentary agricultural and explain similarities and differences of these various societies in Africa;
 Scholars with theoretical, methodological and socio-cultural and intellectual knowledge of the diverse societies of the African Continent and its sub-regions;
 Scholars who could confidently be employed and assigned by various National and Continental and global organizations operating in Africa to design and develop programs that help to promote an understanding of the contributions of black/African Diaspora intellectuals of past and present and their contributions to the development and transformation of African societies and the standing of Africa at the global stage.
 Work as political advisor and analyst on Africa;
 Engage in teaching and research on problems and prospects of identity, citizenship and sate.

Recognition and accreditation obtained:
(The master/doctoral program offered must have been recognised and accredited at the time of this application. The official proof of accreditation can be asked by the Agency for all programmes indicated in this section during project implementation.)

Programs at Public Universities in Ethiopia are automatically accredited through the university Senet decisions
The name of the relevant authority that accredited the program:
All Masters programs after curricula developments are assessed by senior professors of the field, defended at curriculum review conferences, approved by the respective department councils, academic commissions of the relevant college, approved AAU Senate and finally accredited by the Federal Ministry of Education of Ethiopia.

Period of validity of accreditation:

The period of validity prevails until the next program review period which is usually done between 4 to 5 years.



 Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme


Academic Mobility for African Sustainable Development/AMAS

The overall objective of the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility programme is to promote sustainable development and ultimately contribute to poverty reduction by increasing the availability of trained and qualified high-level professional manpower in Africa.