TAFAPDC01U Compulsory course (2. semester): Politics, Development and Change in Africa

Volume 2017/2018

Ma In African Studies


This interdisciplinary course aims at investigating both the particular aspects of, and the inter-connectedness between, politics, development and change in diverse African settings, as well as in relation to Africa’s position in the world. In doing so, the course pays attention to key ideas and discourses on the one hand, and social, political and economic actors and institutions on the other, as they express themselves through/within given empirical contexts.  Core African political and developmental arenas and their dynamic interactions will be explored conceptually, historically, and through contemporary case examples.

Pedagogically, the course consists of three modules. The first is a classroom-based instruction module focusing on critical engagement with theoretical, methodological, empirical and some practical aspects of Politics, Development and Change, through selected course literature. The second module consists of the preparation of an individually defined and written paper which constitutes the first draft of the final exam essay. It will be possible to obtain individual supervision in connection with the preparation of this paper. The third and final module consists of a compulsory opponent phase in which the students’ individual draft papers are presented in small groups, and the students both provide and receive feedback from opponent partners and the lecturer. The course is examined through a final version of the essay that has previously been developed and discussed during the opponent phase.

Learning Outcome

The aim is for the student to acquire the following qualifications:

  • Ability to use the knowledge and theoretical and methodological frameworks acquired during the two core courses of the first semester, to take an interdisciplinary approach to topics relating to politics, development and change.
  • Ability to analyse complex social, political and political-economic phenomena in diverse and changing African contexts.
  • Ability to identify and critically analyse the developmental challenges that Africa faces.
  • Ability to incorporate political and administrative-institutional dimensions into the analysis of Africa’s varied contemporary empirical realities.
  • Knowledge of Africa’s place in international political, social and economic systems,including African countries’ relationships to international aid and to various global policy regimes
  • Mastery of the different stages of the writing process and the methodological and conceptual structuring of a major written assignment. The student must be able to demonstrate the ability to define, specify and analyse the issue that makes up the topic of a major written assignment. The assignment must be interdisciplinary in nature, and the student must, in his or her assignment, demonstrate the ability to present the given topic and the results of the assignment in a systematic form which is accessible to a wider audience.
Combines lectures, classroom discussions and group work, requiring participation and active engagement. Core lectures will be supplemented by a number guest lectures with specific knowledge of key aspects of the themes covered in the course.
Please see the Study Curricula revised 2015 at www.teol.ku.dk/​​cas/​​studentinformation/​​study_curricula
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

June 2017.

Criteria for exam assesment

The grade of 12 is given at the exam when the student demonstrates:

  • Confident ability to identify and define a sub-topic and an issue of relevance to the overall theme of the optional course.
  • Confident ability to independently and critically select relevant literature on the sub-topic to be studied.
  • Confident ability to independently and critically analyse the sub-topic in question and the chosen literature.
  • Confident ability to conduct an interdisciplinary analysis of the sub-topic in question and to place it within the overall theme of the optional course in question.
  • Confident ability to communicate academic material in a clear, concise and well-argued manner.