Questions about the Master's degree African Studies


  • Deadline for the payment of the tuition fee/Students' Union fee

    Attention: The payment deadline has been brought forward!

    Each semester you will receive a payment request per e-mail. Check out the payment deadline and take into account that the bank transfer may take up to 7 days. 
    New deadline for the winter semester: October 31st
    New deadline for the summer semester: March 31st

    Further information on tuition fee/Students' Union fee

  • I am finishing my BA in African Studies and would like to be directly admitted in Master. What should I do?

    In order to be admitted as a master student after you're finished with your BA (!it doesn't run automatically!), you have to fill out this form (Formular: Tagesaktuelle Zulassung) and send it to the Admission Office through the Servicedesk: (click on "Direct admission to the consecutive master programme", write to the admission office and attach the form).

    Imagine that your last BA work/exam has been recorded on April 3rd. Then, after a successful "Direct Admission" (Tagesaktuelle Zulassung), you will be registered for master retroactively from April 4th on.  You will be able to download  the registration confirmation from u:space ("Personal Documents" or "Persönliche Dokumente") as soon as the registration is completed by the admission office.

  • I would like to have exams from another course recognized for my African Studies. How does that work?

    You can find the application form for recognition of courses here:

    Please fill in the forms "Ansuchen" (word-document) and "Auflistung" (excel-table). Send the forms and your transcript of records to the department ( Please keep in mind that any e-mail correspondence may only be maintained between u:net-addresses (

    Attention: For recognition of courses for an EC the directorate of studies that offers the EC is always responsible for the recognition of courses. (That means: If an EC is offered by the Department of History, the department's directorate of studies has to decide if courses that were completed anywhere else are recognized for this EC).
    Recognition of the two ECs that the Department of African Studies offers are edited by the directorate of Studies - African Studies.

  • Completion of my Master's degree. What should I do?

    Check your electronic "record of examinations" ("Prüfungspass") to make sure that each exam matches with the right module. You can check the matching with this linked form „Prüfungspass“. In case of doubt or changes, please contact the StudiesServiceUnit (SSS) per e-mail.  

    Your "record of examinations" or "Prüfungspass" (aka "transcript of records" or "Sammelzeugnis") needs to be confirmed by the StudiesServiceUnit before the grade of the Master's thesis can be entered. In order to complete this step, please send your updated transcript of records per e-mail with the subject „Request for Master's degree [name] [matriculation number)]“ to

    ATTENTION: this application can only be sent from your u:account e-mail address:  []. Applications from private e-mail addresses will not be processed.  

    The application for the final exam/Defensio can only be submitted after the SSS has confirmed and entered your Master's thesis grade. The submission runs online through the SSC. Please note that for administrative purposes the defensio takes place at least two weeks after registration.

  • Do I need to provide documents before submitting my Master's Thesis?

    You submitted the following document while starting writing your Master's Thesis:

    Request for Topic and Supervision
    Rules of good academic practice
    Short exposé

    Further information:

  • How does the plagiarism check work?

    Your Master's thesis is first submitted in its electronic version on the online platform Hopla . You do NOT have to submit the hard-bound thesis during ten days after the upload. The hard and electronic versions must be identical! The directorate of Studies is responsible for the plagiarism check.  Should there be no doubt on the matter, the hard version will be passed on to the evaluators. From this step on begins the evaluation process.

  • How does the submission of the Master's thesis work?
    • You can find the formal requirements as well as the submission proceeding in the Leitfaden (in German).
    • A Master's thesis must include, in addition to the abstract in German, an abstract in English as well. 
    • Only front pages in two languages are accepted. Please refer to this document for the formal requirements of the front page: "Deckblatt".
    • Upload your thesis on the platform Hopla.
    • Sign the upload confirmation and send it per e-mail to , after the plagiarism check.
    • Hand in two hard copies of your thesis asap to the SSC during the specific opening hours (Spitalgasse 2, Campus Hof 2, Zugang 2.9, 1090 Wien),  or send it by regular mail.
    • Wait for your grade (max. 2 months) and for an e-mail from SSC.

    More information:

  • Wie läuft das mit der Defensio? Wie finde ich eine/n Zweitprüfer:in? Wie finde ich eine/n Vorsitzenden?

    Before you can apply for the final exam/defensio, your record of examination must have been closed and confirmed. This can take up to four weeks. Your Master's thesis must be evaluated and graded. At least two weeks must separate the registration from the actual defensio. 

    Form Registration for Defensio:

    Beside your supervisor, you will need to find a chairperson and a second evaluator for the examination committee. Choose those persons amongst the professors and lecturers of your department who are entitled to do it.

  • I want to start my Master's Degree in African Studies. What must I do?

    The admission procedure at the University of Vienna is processed centrally. You can find all information about the admission procedure and required documents at:

    Admission precedure African Studies (MA):

    The Master's degree comprises 120 ECTS, with the Master's thesis counting for 30 ECTS.

    Study Plan African Studies (MA)

  • What requirements do I have to meet in order to be admitted to the Master's Degree programme?

    In order to be able to take up the master's degree in African Studies at the University of Vienna, you must have successfully completed a previous degree in the same subject or a relevant subject (bachelor's degree, diploma).

    The admission procedure is determined by the major subject of your Bachelor's degree (African Studies or another relevant field) and by the institution that awarded it (University of Vienna or other university).

    If your degree mainly, but not fully corresponds to the Bachelor’s degree of African Studies of the University of Vienna, you may have to complete up to 30 additional ECTS during your Master’s degree studies. We highly recommend to complete the required courses at the beginning of your studies in order to reduce the risk of failure in Master's degree courses due to the lack of prerequisite knowledge.

    Admission period for the summer semester: end of December to beginning of February
    Admission period for the winter semester: mid-June to beginning of September

    Please consult the following sites from the University of Vienna for general information:

    For further information see: Master's degree (MA)

  • What about the "special field"?

    You can choose from three special fields:

    • African Linguistics
    • African Literature
    • African History and Societies

    You don't have to announce your choice, you just complete the required courses from your chosen special field. 

    That means: You complete 58 ECTS in total in your chosen special field. They are divided into an advanced module (topics and approaches (30 ECTS)) and an in-depth-module (advanced and research-led studies (28 ECTS)).

    The basic module is compulsory for all MA-students. 

    See record of examination

  • When can I start writing my Master's thesis?

    As soon as you have found a topic and a supervisor you can start writing your Master's thesis. In general we recommend to start creating a concept from the third semester of the Master's degree. 

  • How do I find a supervisor for my Master's thesis? Who can supervise a master's thesis in the department of African Studies?

    The following are entitled to supervise and assess a master's thesis:

    • Professors: Bodomo (Language, Literature), Rüther (History)
    • Qualified university lecturers: Sonderegger (History), Zach (History), Tchokothe (Literature)
    • Associate Professor (KV): Englert (History)

    Furthermore, supervision by employees with a doctorate is also possible, if they agree to do so. The topic of the master's thesis must be consistent with the scientific focus of the supervisor. So please ask directly.

    If you want your master's thesis supervised by someone else than listed above, you need a confirmation (via e-mail) from the relevant person from the list, in which they state that they do not want to supervise the master's thesis and have no objections to the supervision by a colleague with a doctorate. 

  • Can I change the supervisor for my Master's thesis?

    A change of supervisor is possible for important reasons ex officio, at request of the student or at suggestion of the supervisor until the submission of the Master's thesis. The change ex officio has to be carried out by the Dean of Students ("Studienpräses"). The change at the request of the student or at the suggestion of the supervisor has to be carried out by the Director of Studies ("Studienprogrammleitung", delegated task).

  • Registration of Master's Thesis

    Write an exposé of your planned master's thesis and discuss it with your supervisor. To formally register your master's thesis, complete the form Request for Topic and Supervision and Rules of Good Acadmeic Practice. Send both documents together with your exposé via Contact form to StudiesServiceCenter Philological and Cultural Studies. Make sure that the ‘Request’ form ("Ansuchen um Thema und Betreuung") has your signature as well as your supervisor’s (scanned). The SSC is in charge of providing the SPL's signature.

    More Information: Master's Thesis (

  • Can I change the topic of my master's thesis?

    You can change the submitted topic of your Master's thesis with a request for change of topic (form).

    You only need to request a change of topic if your new topic completely differs from the original one, if it has nothing to do with the one you submitted. Please note that the topic differs from the title of your thesis: the fact that your title changes in the course of your work and researches is completely normal. This doesn't mean that you're changing topic.

  • How big must the Master's thesis be?

    A Master's thesis has a minimum of 80 pages (including bibliography) in a usual format (for example Times New Roman, 1,5 line spacing). You may write more but you should consult your supervisor about it. 

  • what do I have to prepare for it?

    You have to prepare a 20 minutes oral presentation of your thesis after which you will respond to the evaluation's comments and to the quetsions of the examination committee. 

  • What is an examination committee?

    The examination committee consists of: the supervisor of your Master's thesis, a second examiner and a chairperson.  

  • How do I get my graduation certificate?

    The SSC will send you your electronic graduation certificate per e-mail. The documents are certified by the public authorities' electronic signature (aka "Official Signature" or "Amtssignatur") and are thus official documents. 

  • Graduation ceremony?

    Should you like to celebrate your graduation in the frame of a graduation ceremony in the main ceremonial hall of the University, please register online on u:space - Akademische Feiern. The registration is only possible once your graduation certificate is official and legally binding. 



  • What can I discuss in consultation hours and where can I find the times?

    University staff who have a fixed contract with the University of Vienna offer consultation hours, in contrast to lecturers who only come to the department for their courses.
    The times can be found on the staff page or in u:find. In general, it is always advisable to announce yourself for consultation hours by mail, because it is not impossible that these hours are cancelled (illness, stay abroad, ...).
    Consultation hours can be used to talk to the professor about your studies, to discuss your main focus, to discuss your work, to find topics for your thesis, etc. Take advantage of this offer!