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Methods and Skills in Africanist Research


Admission requirements

The course is designed for ResMA African Studies students. Other LU students can join the course with prior discussion with the course coordinator Azeb Amha


This course on research methodologies and research methods prepares you to identify the steps and processes involved from the identification of research ideas to dissemination of results. Topics in qualitative and quantitative methods will be discussed to develop practical mixed method skills. The course has a strong fieldwork orientation. Whatever the appropriate methodological choices for your fieldwork research, the need for a strong reflexive element is emphasised. Through practical excercises, the course will guide you on the conceptualization and clear formulation of research ideas. It will address the way research ideas are developed and presented as excutable research questions; it will assist you in making motivated choices of research tools that you need to deploy to acquire information that answer research questions. The course will bring into discussion socio-cultural contexts and practical considerations in fieldwork that can affect the operationalization of your research. It will stimulate you to reflect on the methodological implications of the decision you make on the outlets of your research results (e.g. digital vs print). Also, different dissemination means may require different ethical considerations, a topic that will be closely examined in the course.

With the experiences of Corona pandemic of 2019/2020 still fresh in the back of our minds, we will also pay extensive attention to and discuss what it would mean if your research and fieldwork plan is forced by an exogenous factor like the Covid-19 pandemic to go online. Next to issues of your own safety and security, what are the methodological implications for interviews, observations and participation in the field if you are forced online? Just a different context, but still the same methods? Do you maybe need to develop different or additional skills to do ‘fieldwork on line’? Interestingly, in this case, both students ánd staf struggle with these questions. Possible answers are not cast in stone at all, or to be found in academic literature for that matter, so in this course we will explore and discuss what has been put forward so far and discuss together what we can learn from these efforts.

Course objectives

After completion of the course, you will be able to

  • Reflect on the implications of methodological approaches in field work situations

  • Formulate research ideas into research questions

  • Apply diverse quantitative and qualitative research methods or tools in research;

  • Identify ethical and intercultural challenges of doing fieldwork and state your views in and preparations for addressing these challenges.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • The total course load is 140 hrs (5 EC x 28/EC)

  • 18 hrs of these will be spent on lectures

  • 6 hrs practical assignment on recording and interview

  • 60 hrs are to be spent on studying literature

  • 56 hrs writing an essay

Assessment method

The assessment will be based on three practical excercises (assignments) and a presentation in class (40%) and one final essay (60%). Attendance of all classes, reading of assigned literature before class, active participation and timely presentation of assignment and final paper are requirements for successful completion of the course.


The final marks for the course are based on the addition of the marks for the practical assgment and the essay


If a student fails to attain a pass for the course on the basis of the evaluation of the individual paper and three assignments, a second chance will be offered to rewrite the essay. Also, a replacement assignment will be offered to students that do not obtain sastifactory marks on the practical assignment.

inspection and feedback

Feedback and motivation for grading will be offered on the practical assignments and on the final essay.
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A list of compulsory and recommended literature will be made available a week before the course starts together with details of the course programme


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website


For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats
E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress please contact the Coordinator of Studies


Not applicable