MA in African Verbal and Visual Arts


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

⚡️ Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

We have temporarily modified programmes to virtual learning classrooms, so that all the scheduled teaching can take place online. Programmes will start in November 2020 and, if required, teaching online and then change to on-campus learning.

This English-taught master’s program builds on knowledge relating to the diversity and creativity in languages, literature, arts, and media in Africa.

The interdisciplinary orientation and subject combinations make the program one-of-a-kind.

The program is conceptualized as a continuation and immersion of the specialization fields offered in the Bachelor Program African Visual and Verbal Arts (Languages, Literatures, Media and Art) at Bayreuth University. These are African Linguistics, Swahili Studies, Literatures in African Languages, and Media/Arts and Curational Studies in Africa.

In addition to gaining knowledge in African languages and linguistics, the program now focuses on a deeper understanding of conditions and norms of language(s) in use; also in its mediated forms and social contexts. Hence, it is the primary goal of this program to convey an enhanced comprehension of culturally encoded knowledge in its various applications and expressions in Africa.

Besides the focus on language, the program also offers an intense engagement with theories and methodologies of literature, media, art, and curatorial studies that further enriches the knowledge of various cultural verbal and visual expressions in Africa.

Fields of Employment

Apart from pursuing further academic training at universities and research institutions, graduates will be qualified to work in a range of different fields. Possible career paths include:

  • An academic career at higher education institutions or research institutions
  • Intercultural cooperation and cultural work (e.g. the Goethe Institute, foundations/trusts, museums, galleries, libraries)
  • Journalism and public relations
  • Development cooperation
  • Private sector employment (with a focus on the African continent)


In commencing the two-year Master’s program, which is organized in modules, students already bring profound interdisciplinary knowledge on Africa from a relevant Bachelor’s program; e.g., African Verbal and Visual Arts (Languages, Literatures, Media and Art) (B.A., Bayreuth University).
During the second semester by the latest, students can choose to apply this knowledge in a field of specialization: 1 African Linguistics; 2 African Literatures; 3 Arts, Curational Studies and Media in Africa; 4 Swahili Studies; or 5 Multidisciplinary Studies (this option allows for an interdisciplinary immersion in several of these specialization fields).

Interdisciplinary modules compulsory to everyone include theories, methods, and courses in two African languages (Bambara, Hausa, Swahili, or Arabic) that provide students with both academic and communicative skills.

Objectives The Master’s program enables students to develop and specialize in their knowledge and critical thinking in the fields of Linguistics, Literatures, Media, Arts, and Curation in Africa. They further deepen their knowledge in academic work routines and current research trends. In a final Master’s thesis, they will work on an individually chosen research topic in a field of specialization and thus prove their professional and methodological competence Professional Perspectives.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have an academic background in African Linguistics, African Literatures, Curational Studies, and Media in Africa or a related discipline. You require at least a Bachelor grade point average of 2.5 or better (according to the German grading scale). A sound command of written and spoken English (equivalent to B2+ European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required. This can be proven by certificates, degrees from an English language-medium tertiary institution, or BA theses written in English. A basic command of German (A 1 level) is also required and can be obtained during the first year of the program. Commencing the AVVA program is only possible for the winter term (October each year).

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

As one of Germany’s youngest universities, we are able to operate in an unbiased, self-confident spirit of academic freedom, scientific progress, and social responsibility. In line with our vision, o ... Read More

As one of Germany’s youngest universities, we are able to operate in an unbiased, self-confident spirit of academic freedom, scientific progress, and social responsibility. In line with our vision, our top priorities are individual supervision, maintaining high academic standards, and creating programmes of study that take current research into account. Our interdisciplinary focus and the innovative collaboration between many of our disciplines are key features of Bayreuth’s research culture. Read less