Information for new students

Welcome to the University of Vienna

Admission Procedure
For detailed information on the admission procedure click here.

Tuition fee/Students' Union fee
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Guide for new students
The guide for new students offers a first insight into the most important topics and services for getting started with your studies.

 For prospective students

African Studies are area studies and focuse as such on teaching and research in the fields of history, languages and literatures of African societies.

Students acquire fundamental knowledge about African societies and about their global interconnectedness through various periods of time. We emphasize the link between academic training and the implementation of acquired knowledge into fields of practice.

Academic degrees to be attained: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Arts (MA) and Doctorate (PhD).


Teaching objectives

Our department is eager to introduce Africa as the dynamic and exciting world region it is, yet to refrain from the dissemination of common european stereotypes. Students are strongly encouraged in critical thinking and self reflection about their own culture.  An emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches may facilitate the work on specific topics of interest and simplify the choice of a special field.

The structure of the department and the expertise of our lecturers provide a highly supportive and stimulating learning environment. Students may publish extraordinary papers in the department’s journal Stichproben Wiener Zeitschrift für kritische Afrikastudien.

Our curricula allow the participation in mobility programmes in the Bachelor’s and Master’s study programme alike. Our internationally well connected lecturers are happy to support students in their plans for a stay abroad.

Please keep in mind that a good command of German is required in all our study programmes, as most courses are taught in this language.

Would you like to enrol for African Studies? Great! Here you can find details about the admission procedure. 


The structure of our Bachelor's degree study programme

Our Bachelor's degree study programme comprises 180 ECTS, out of which 120 ECTS need to be completed within the Bachelor's degree curriculum of African Studies. The remaining 60 ECTS need to be completed within extension curricula. 

During the first semester, students are supposed to compelete the introductory and orientation period STEOP. In our department, it is possible to start the STEOP in the winter semester or in the summer semester. In the course of the STEOP, students acquire basic and applied knowledge about African societies regarding linguistics, history and literature.

If you start your studies in the winter semester, you will be able to start studying an African language in addition to the attendance of STEOP courses. At the moment, the department offers the languages Hausa, Swahili and Zulu. In the summer semester of the first year, you should complete the emphasis module (Vertiefungsmodul).

If you start your studies in the summer semester, you should attend courses of the emphasis module (Vertiefungsmodul) in addition to the courses of the STEOP. You will be able to start studying an African language in your third semester.

There are two options concerning your study of African languages:

Option 1: You study one African language profoundly. In the course of four semesters, you attend the module Basis of one African Language and the consecutive module Perfection of one African Language of one single African language. Please keep in mind that language courses always start in the winter semester and continue for three semesters. After the completion of both modules you may attain the level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Please consult the course directory to find out which languages are offered in two modules.

Option 2: You study two African languages. After the completion of the module Basis afrikanische Sprache of your first African language, you can choose the basic module of your second African language.

This graphic chart provides an overview of the two options.


After the completion of the emphasis module (Vertiefungsmodul), you need to choose one of the following three fields as your specialty:

  • History and Societies
  • Literature
  • Linguistics

You will need to write two Bachelor’s theses in your special field.

Please find the recommended course path at the end of the study programme.

Here you can find further information about the BA African Studies.

After the completion of the introductory and orientation period STEOP, you can start the attendance of extension curricula. We recommend to do this as soon as possible. Here is a list of the extension curricula you can choose from.

Our graduates are equipped with the skills to work on issues of African Studies. They have developed profound decision making skills and the ability to Analyse norms and values critically. Furthermore, our they distinguish themselves through motivation and creativity.

If you have any further questions concerning your studies, please consult the department’s student representatives or call our secretary’s office at +43 1 4277 43201.


Please consult this page for general information about your studies at the University of Vienna.


Career prospects

As a graduate of African Studies, your career prospects range from posts at research institutions, publishing houses, archives, museums, govermental and non-gorvernmental organisations to posts at companies that are active in Africa. Furthermore, graduates are qualified to enrol for the Master’s study programme of African studies, or to continue their studies at another university in Austria or abroad. Please consult our alumni page to find out more about the careers of our graduates.


Student mobility

During the Bachelor’s degree programme, students may stay one or two semesters abroad. It is possible to study up to two semesters at a university in the European Union by participating in Erasmus+. Thanks to bilateral agreements, students may also complete a semester at our partner university in Dar-es-Salaam or in Pretoria. Furthermore, it is possible to do an Erasmus+ internship of at least 2 months at an institution within the European Union during the summer break. Keep in mind that the internship must provide relevant experience for your studies or your career in order to be approved. By choosing any of these options, you will be financially supported through a grant. 

Please consult with the vice directorate of studies before your stay abroad to make sure that the courses you intend to choose at the foreign university may be recognised. Otherwise you may face delays in your studies.