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Masters in African Studies

InformationO curso/CE encontra-se acreditado pela Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior (A3ES).

The Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES), accredited this second-cycle degree programme unconditionally (see the documents here).

The Master in African Studies offers students a deep knowledge of African realities and provides theoretical and methodological tools that will allow future researchers to contribute to differentiated and qualified interventions in African realities. It combines mandatory seminars with optional ones covering different scientific backgrounds. The contents of all seminars have a strong focus on African realities and knowledge. The possibility of students taking 6 ECTS per semester of any MA course of the UP, including 3 ECTS in transversal skills, allows even more transdisciplinary training.

Among the disciplinary fields covered by MAF, are:
  • Anthropology | Cooperation and Development | Cultural Studies | Education Sciences | Geography | History | Literature | Sociology


The MA aims to articulate different scientific and disciplinary areas in order to:

  • Promote an integrated knowledge about African realities;
  • Contribute to the training of qualified experts in African affairs in various areas of scientific and professional activities;
  • Enable the design and implementation of projects in international cooperation and development organizations, including participation in NGOs;
  • Contribute to the transfer of knowledge between the academic universe and society that competes for qualified intervention in the fields of culture, education, economy, politics, society, and science in Africa.
Academic and social project
MAF objectives are generally compatible with the University of Porto’s educational, scientific, and cultural projects. Internationalization, interdisciplinarity, cooperation, development and knowledge transfer are keywords of the MAF and the U.Porto project. MAF students have the option to develop either an academic dissertation, a project or an internship in governmental or non-governmental organizations, related to society, culture or business, all in keeping with this priority. MAF benefits from the participation of UPorto in research networks and international cooperation.

Fields of Specialization

Academic path
Throughout four academic semesters and amounting to 120 ECTS, MAF's degree will be concluded in the 2nd academic year by presenting an academic dissertation, an intervention project or to undertake a professional internship. In any case, they will defend their dissertation or internship report before an academic committee.
Internships and the development of practical projects will have as potential host entities embassies and consulates; NGOs, newspapers and other media and cultural associations of migrants in Africa or Europe, companies performing in African countries.

Professional Abilities

The Master in African Studies has considerable potential, mostly regarding employability. It represents an important contribution to the formation of both Portuguese and African graduates with an interest in cooperation with Africa.
MAF has a significant potential for employment in the areas of Cooperation in the fields of Education, Citizenship, Economy and Environment, through the formation of qualified specialists, and the endowment of a broadband training, within a pluri- and multidisciplinary framework.
Graduates by MAF will have specialized skills in the field of African Studies able to provide services in area  such as:
  • Training, including training of trainers | Technical advice | Collaboration with programs in education, economy, citizenship | Expert advice to enterprises and business companies operating in Africa, considered vital to the Establishment of a responsible and informed collaboration with local communities.

Employment Prospects

MAF students might find placements  in:
  • CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries) | Foundations | Governamental services and administration | NGO’s, namely those connected with cooperation and development aims | NGOs, newspapers and other media; associations of migrants in Africa or Europe | European Community institutions (European Commission, European Parliament, European Council) | International and intergovernmental organizations (ONU, UNESCO, among others).


For more information see:
Candidate webpage | Academic Portal

  Admission requirements: According to Art. 17 of Decree-Law 74/2006, 24th March, students holding the following qualifications will be admitted to application to the Master’s degree in African Studies:
  • Holders of a Portuguese graduate degree (180 ECTS) or legally equivalent;
  • Holders of a foreign graduate degree corresponding to a 1st level of studies according to the Bologna Program in any adherent country;
  • Holders of a foreign graduate degree recognized as adequate by the Faculty of Arts;
  • Holders of an academic, scientific or professional curriculum recognized as adequate by the Faculty of Arts.
We welcome especially candidates holding a Social Sciences degree (History, International Relations, Political Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Economy, among others) but we accept applications from every other scientific area.
Candidates who fulfill every requirement for application will be asked to attend to an interview or to submit a written questionnaire on motivation, experience and foreseen projects.

Working Languages
Seminars are held mostly in Portuguese as most of our international students are Portuguese-speaking (Brazilian, Portuguese speaking African), although several international experts are invited every year and their lectures are usually held in English. Every student is welcome to prepare their assignments, dissertation and/or reports in English, French or Spanish, and every teacher is open to discuss them in at least English.


"The Master's degree in African Studies provides a general understanding of African issues, especially the geopolitical and cultural. For me it was extremely important in terms of acquiring general knowledge about different African realities and, later, to carry in-depth studies on matters of great personal interest, such as the study of literature."

Gessica Correia Borges - student of the Master’s in African Studies 2017/2018


For scientific and academic issues - contact the Course Director: meaf@letras.up.pt
For administrative issues
- contact the Academic Management Office: sga@letras.up.pt
For international mobility students - contact the International Office: sri@letras.up.pt

General information

Official Code: 6101
Director: Hugo Ribeiro da Silva
Acronym: MAF
Academic Degree: Master
Type of course/cycle of studies: Masters Degree
Start: 2016/2017
Duration: 2 Years

Study Plan


  • Masters in African Studies (120 ECTS credits)
  • Master's Course in African Studies (60 ECTS credits)

Main Scientific Areas

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