Universiteit Leiden

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African Studies (BA)

Why Leiden University?

The BA in African Studies draws on Leiden University’s renowned expertise on Africa to bring students a wide range of subjects and themes covering the entire continent. During the programme, you will learn an African language and explore Africa from an internal perspective. By doing so, you will discover that Africa is, in fact, a lens to the world, and that by studying Africa, you are studying the world.

What makes African Studies at Leiden University unique

  • We offer ambitious, highly qualified education, based on our lecturers’ current research.
  • This is an interdisciplinary programme bringing together history, linguistics, art, anthropology, sociology, literature and cultural studies.
  • We support our students in acquiring both in-depth specialist knowledge as well as valuable academic, digital and personal skills.
  • The programme has close connections to the Leiden-based Africa Studies Centre, which is internationally renowned for its expertise and research. Its African collection is part of the University Library and is one of the most extensive collections on this discipline in the world.
  • We work closely with over 100 Leiden University researchers and lecturers who specialise in Africa-related subjects, including colleagues from Security Studies and Governance Studies.
  • The Leiden museum of Ethnology and the Lakenhal museum both have important collections on Africa, and you will be able to study those collections as part of the programme.
  • You will have the opportunity to tailor the programme according to your interests.
  • In your second year you will spend a semester studying at an African university.
  • Our programme is characterised by a personal approach. You will work in small groups of students and in close contact with the lecturers.
  • Leiden is a friendly, historical city, where both Dutch and international students feel at home.

Study at a world-class university

Leiden University is a world-class university that is one of the oldest in Europe. Founded in 1575, we have consistently been building a solid position of scholarly authority that is recognised in the academic and professional worlds. Leiden, and particularly its Faculty of Humanities, is rated consistently high in all the major Dutch and international rankings, with the Faculty of Humanities as one of its top-tier departments.

Our academic staff includes many scholars with an excellent international reputation. Their research contributes to and shapes the debates that our societies engage in every day. Students can participate in that research, as our staff integrate their latest insights into their lectures.

Commitment to freedom

As our students you are important to us, and we will do everything we can to give you the best possible support. As a university, we are committed to freedom: freedom of spirit, thinking and expression, and we will challenge you to become an independent thinker.

Diversity and inclusion

We are convinced that our education can only flourish if everyone within the programme feels supported, respected and empowered to do their best work. We find it important to offer a learning environment that allows for different perspectives and points of view that students bring with them, depending on their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, health, religion, age or socio-economic background. Every new generation sees the world from a new perspective – and our students are the newest generation. We look forward to hearing more about your perspective. Leiden University has been pursuing diversity policy since 2014, with the aim of creating a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment for all staff and students. 
More reasons to choose Leiden University.

Discover the world at the Faculty of Humanities

Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities offers an inspiring and international work environment with room for diversity and reform for employees and students from the Netherlands and abroad. It offers a wide range of education, with students being able to choose from no less than 26 Bachelor’s and 27 Master’s degree programmes. The Faculty’s research is organised within seven institutes and contributes to six research dossiers for research at Leiden University.

In this era of globalisation, humanities are more important than ever. Migration, integration, trade, and technology are blurring the borders between countries and cultures. To be able to cooperate and live together, it is crucial that we understand each other. Humanities offer the insights we need to do this. The Leiden Faculty of Humanities helps you to discover the world!

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