Offering excellent links with universities in Africa for overseas study
Why take this course?
If you are interested in the history, politics and society of those vast areas of the African continent that were previously under French colonial rule, you will find this course to be an exciting opportunity. You will study French-speaking North Africa (particularly Algeria) and sub-Saharan Africa, and the different approaches to colonial rule and contemporary relations.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Focus exclusively on Francophone Africa, within a stimulating and innovative research culture in this field
- Study to fit you, with two research projects shaped around your interests and the option of studying full or part time to meet your needs
- Use our network to enhance your employability prospects, including the chance to work with the BBC World Service
While knowledge of French will provide access to a wider range of source materials, this is not a requirement in order to take the degree programme.
What opportunities might it lead to?
The course will appeal to students who wish to enhance their employability by extending their area of expertise and to anyone with professional experience whose work takes them to French-speaking Africa and who need to gain an in-depth understanding of the region.
The University of Portsmouth is the only university in Europe to offer a course of this kind - there was no other course that I would prefer to do.
Kelsey Suggitt, MA Francophone Africa student 2013
- 1 year full time, 2 years part time
A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 or equivalent with no component less than 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £4,500, part-time students: £2,250 p/a* (2 years).
International full-time students: £10,500, part-time students: £5,250 p/a* (2 years).
*Please note that all fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Languages and Area Studies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
The course is informed by three distinctive intellectual approaches. The first is comparative. The focus is not on a particular nation or area, the examination of connections and relationships across the whole of Francophone Africa. Second, the course studies Francophone Africa within a transnational context, underlining how Africans have engaged with, for example, decolonisation, nationalism, the Cold War, political Islam and globalisation. Third, the course situates the region within its wider global context, with a view to analysing the singularity of the colonial and post-colonial experience of Francophone Africa.
You will take two core taught units, plus one option:
- France and Africa: from the colonial to the contemporary era
- Post-colonial memory in Francophone Africa and France
One option from:
- Europe in the World
- Nation and Identity in Europe
- French Translation
These are complemented by training in research methods, to help you write two extended assignments (dissertation and independent project), under the supervision of a dissertation/project tutor. These assignments will be based around your particular areas of interest and may take the form of, for example, an analysis of primary source material, a dissertation on a particular historical or contemporary issue, a country or regional case study, a project focusing on a particular event, institution or cultural activity (eg an exhibition or museum) or on some aspect of the impact of France’s African empire on contemporary France.
Teaching and Assessment
Teaching is conducted through a combination of lectures, seminars and small-group tutorials. You will also be assigned dissertation/project supervisors to support you in the research and writing of your two extended assignments. We are very much focused on tailoring the course to individual interests and needs and providing excellent student support. Teaching staff are readily available for both individual tutorials and informal discussions. A distinctive feature of the MA Francophone Africa is the wide range of study days, guest speakers and conferences which we organise at the University of Portsmouth every year as an integral part of the course. These enable students to engage with a network of international experts on Francophone Africa, developing their knowledge, skills and contacts for future research and employment.
How are you assessed?
Assessment is normally in the form of an extended essay on a specific topic within a unit, allowing you to specialise on a subject that particularly interests you within the broad topic area of the unit, or (in the case of the Translation unit) by means of translation exercises accompanied by a commentary.
Facilities & Features
One of the most distinctive features of the course – which sets it apart from many other Masters programmes in African Studies – is the importance it places on the study of Africa as a cohesive geographical area. At Portsmouth, ‘Africa’ does not stop at the Sahara desert.
On your Master's, you will be studying with members of CEISR, one of the UK's largest research centres of its kind. These active researchers in the field of Francophone Africa will ensure that your study is connected to the latest developments in the area.
We have four state-of-the-art Sony Virtuoso Language Laboratories, where you can manipulate video, sound, text and Internet sources in a rich, multimedia language-learning environment. Our staff are at the forefront in exploiting the potential afforded by this technology to create their own packages of materials.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Careers & Opportunities
Giving students the knowledge, skills and contacts to go on to relevant employment or further study is an integral part of the course. All students can also benefit from our careers service, helping you to find relevant work experience and employment during your course and after you graduate.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree. We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.
Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2013 have now finished, however our academic tutors are still happy to meet potential postgraduate and part-time students. You can find department contact details in the key facts box on this page.
Department specific events aimed at postgraduate and part-time students are listed below:
- Portsmouth Business School postgraduate and part-time open evenings
Tuesday 9 July, Wednesday 4 September
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions to find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.