Programme Description

This course provides participants with an overall understanding of the history, politics and culture of Africa. With a diverse range of sessions, from History, Pan-Africanism and Politics to Languages, Migration, and Music, the course gives an in-depth knowledge of the main academic areas of study regarding Africa. The course comprises a combination of lectures and interactive workshops, as well as museum visits and social events. This is a great opportunity given the prominence that Africa as a continent has gained over the past few years and the vision of Africa Rising, a continent with many job and investment opportunities. Also, within the Arts, we have seen an incredible rise of the presence of African artists in the international art circles which has been extremely stimulating and refreshing for an understanding of arts and cultures.

Supported by the Centre of African Studies

For more information, please see the course handbook:  Understanding Africa online handbook (pdf; 86kb)


Learning Outcomes

  • To provide a broad coverage and an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Africa
  • To provide students with the key information and debates connected to the historical, political, economic and cultural evolution of Africa


Special scholarships for Understanding Africa

CAS at SOAS is offering three bursaries of £500 to help cover the cost of tuition for the Understanding Africa Summer School.

To be eligible, you must apply and hold a conditional or unconditional offer for a place on the Understanding Africa course.

To apply for the CAS bursary, please send a statement explaining why you have chosen the Understanding Africa Summer School and what you hope to gain from the experience, to . (Please make sure to also copy the statement to

The deadline for these scholarships is 29th May.



This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.

Current SOAS students selecting this course as an open option module will not be charged the tuition-fee. For further information and assistance, please contact

“Dr Kamdem went above and beyond for his students. The course was designed in a creative and engaging way, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone felt comfortable asking questions in the class. We went on 4 field trips, listened to music, watched documentaries, and learned to play a Senegalese instrument. I had a great time!” – Thajilah (Understanding Africa, 2019)



For more information please complete our enquiries form

Start of programme: 29 June – 10 July 2020

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry Requirements

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.


Featured Events

2 weeks


Tuition Fees 2020




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