European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies (EIMAS)

January 31, 2022

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Location (s):

  • France
  • Germany
  • Portugal
Bordeaux, Bayreuth, Porto


The framing concept of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) EIMAS is “Global Africa”. Current concepts of African Studies focus on a concept of Africa in itself, or as the object of outside influences. Our Global Africa Approach will take Africa and Africans as global players and enhance previous concepts by adding this perspective. The EIMAS provides an integrated approach, focusing on the nexus between Identity, Territory and Sustainability, designed to transcend the limitations of both conventional area studies and global studies, while acknowledging alternative narratives and encouraging active involvement cooperation in and with Africa.


A global perspective on African actors in an Erasmus Mundus framework

Building on their outstanding and internationally recognised strengths in African Studies,

  • the University of Bayreuth, Germany,
  • the Bordeaux Montaigne University, France, and
  • the University of Porto, Portugal,

have developed a Joint Master Programme in the framework of Erasmus Mundus (EMJMD). The “European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies” (EIMAS) will spearhead innovative approaches in teaching African Studies.


On the structural level, the EIMAS will offer students a four-step mobility scheme from the University of Porto (1st semester) to the University of Bayreuth (2nd semester) and the Bordeaux Montaigne University (3rd semester) before they carry out an Africa-based or Africa-related fieldwork or internship, which will result in the writing of a thesis at the university of their choice.

  1. In the first semester, the University of Porto will provide a comprehensive introduction to interdisciplinary African Studies.
  2. During the second semester, the University of Bayreuth will widen the students’ perspectives towards development and cultural dynamics.
  3. In the third semester, the Bordeaux Montaigne University will introduce analytical approaches and provide tools for a practical involvement in contemporary political, ecological and economic challenges.  


Through its innovative training programme, EIMAS will enable the students to acquire a wide range of practice-oriented knowledge of Global Africa, to enhance their analytical and communication skills and to strengthen their ability to work independently, which will significantly increase their employability. The consortium’s wide range of already existing collaborations with academic and non-academic partners such as government representatives, NGOs, corporate and diplomatic protagonists in Europe, Africa and beyond ensures the best possible connection to the global job market.



All milestones have to be indicated in the ISLA which must be submitted until 15 December of the first semester.

a) Introduction weeks

At the beginning of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd semester, an introduction week takes place at each consortium university. The participation in each introduction week is mandatory.

b) Summer and Winter School

The participation in the Bayreuth International Summer School during the 2nd semester and the EIMAS Winter School(s) are mandatory.
Students starting their MA studies in WS 2020 have to participate in the Winter School in their 3rd semester, students starting in WS 2021 or later have to participate in the Winter Schools in their 1st and 3rd semester.
Each student is expected to actively contribute to the organisation of the EIMAS Winter School in his/her 3rd semester.

c) Field work or internship

The beginning of the 4th semester is dedicated to a fieldwork. This can be either a field research or another well-prepared and structured internship of at least twelve weeks.
Each student chooses one supervisor for his/her fieldwork or internship and the final master thesis. The supervisor needs to affirm his/her support by signing the ISLA which includes the working title of the field work and coincidently of the master thesis. The fieldwork has to be consistent with the ISLA.
The travel application for the fieldwork has to be submitted to the EIMAS Consortium Coordinator (EIMASCC) who brings it to the Executive Committee (EC) at least eight weeks before the planned date of departure. (For more information read 6 c) Travel costs.)

d) Thesis writing, submission and evaluation

The master thesis will be written in the 4th semester. The student will get support in the supervision seminar as well as in direct communication with his/her supervisor and two more mentors he/she can choose in consultation with his/her supervisor. At least one of these two mentors has to be member of another consortium university or an associated partner institution. The names of the mentors have to be indicated in the ISLA.
The thesis has to be submitted to the EIMASCC by 30 June of the same year.
The thesis will be evaluated by the supervisor, one Dean and one external advisor.

e) Thesis defence

The thesis defence will take place at the university where the student is enrolled in his/her 4th semester by end of August of the same year. It will be conducted and evaluated by the supervisor and one Dean, who attend the defence physically, and at least one external examiner, who attends physically or via video conference. At the end of the defence, the student will be informed about the result of the thesis as well as the defence.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor degree from a recognised university in the field of social sciences or humanities, e.g.
    • African Languages and Cultures
    • Cultural Anthropology
    • Development Studies
    • Geography
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Public Administration
    • Study of Religion
    • Social Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • or convincing application of other academic disciplines
  • A very good (B) overall grade for the Bachelor programme (see:
  • A very good command of English (CEFR: C1, IELTS: 6.5, TOEFL: 95 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)).
  • Applicants coming from one of the listed countries and having an undergraduate degree taught in English do not have to submit an official certificate that proves their English language skills. List of countries


Deadline: January 31, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

The type of funding for the whole study period has to be indicated in the ISLA.
Regulations for EMJMD scholarship holders are indicated below. Each EMJMD scholarship holder needs to have a European bank account. The bank account where financial support should be paid has to be indicated in the ISLA. Other scholarship holders as well as self-financed students will be held responsible for financing their whole study period including all obligatory activities in order to guarantee the finalisation of their master studies.

  • Type of funding
    EMJMD scholarship holders will receive financial support according to the Erasmus+ guidelines. They do not have to pay any kind of participation or administrative costs for obligatory activities within the EIMAS study plan.
  • Monthly allowances
    Each EMJMD scholarship holder receives a monthly lump sum for the entire duration of the EIMAS study programme (four semesters) according to the Erasmus+ guidelines.
  • General travel costs
    Travel costs, differentiated by the place of origin of the EMJMD scholarship holders, will be paid according to the Erasmus+ guidelines.
  • Travel costs for fieldwork or internship
    Each EMJMD scholarship holder receives up to 1,000.00 € for travel costs (public transportation, economy class) in order to carry out the mandatory fieldwork or internship in the 4th semester.
    For this purpose, a travel application has to be submitted or sent via email to the EIMASCC at least eight weeks before the planned date of departure.

Health Insurance:

  • According to the Erasmus+ Minimum Requirements for the Health and Accident Insurance Coverage of EMJMD Students, the EIMAS consortium has decided to offer the students an insurance package for the entire programme, which is valid at all three study destinations (Porto, Bayreuth, Bordeaux) as well as an additional travel insurance for destinations beyond the EU programme countries where students will go for internships, fieldwork etc.
  • Health insurance costs will be paid only for EMJMD scholarship holders, other students are obliged to take out an insurance on their own. Advice is offered by the EIMASCC.
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