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Dissertation topics

A supervisor is appointed for every MPhil in African Studies student as part of the admission process; they will have expertise relevant to the research proposal that you submit with your application. Since the course launched in 2010, our students have written up an impressive range of research projects, as can be seen in the list of past dissertation topics below. Profiles of our dissertation supervisors, based in faculties, departments and colleges across the university, can be viewed here.


  • The Soldier and the State in the Congo Crisis: The Unprofessional Legacy of the Congolese National Army
  • A Special Place for China? How Zambia has used Economic Zones to Attract New Foreign Investment
  • Performance and Identity in Senegalese Urban Culture, 1930-1950
  • Boxing and Sexuality in Lagos, Nigeria, 1950-1970
  • The Presentation of the Griot in Mandé Cinema: Zan Boko (Kaboré,1988), Keïta! L'Héritage du Griot (Kouyaté, 1994) and Bamako (Sissako, 2006)
  • Language Strategies in Dar es Salaam's Bongo Flava Music
  • The Politics of Homosexuality in Uganda
  • Domestic Security Implications of Digital Communication Technologies in Kenya
  • Development of Lamu Port: Connecting Kenya or a High-Modernist Mirage?
  • Spoilers and Violence in South Africa's Transition, 1990-1994
  • Deconstructing Representations of the Darfur Crisis
  • Education and Nation-Building in Tanzania, 1967-1985


  • Implications of Livelihood and Protection Programming in Darfur's Complex Humanitarian Emergency
  • Swollen Shoot Virus and the Gold Coast Cocoa Trade, 1945 - 1957
  • Exploring the Elements of East African Hip Hop Culture
  • Contesting Power: Analysis of the Opposition Political Strategies in the Republic of Guinea (2006-2012)
  • Participant or Bystander? Africa and the International Climate Negotiations'
  • Chinese in Twentieth-century East Africa: Patterns of Economic Activities in Uganda (1980-Present)
  • Juridical Statehood and Extraversion Strategies in Sudan: The Round Table Conference of 1965 and its Aftermath
  • Enemies to Allies? Congo and Rwanda's Dynamic Relationship
  • The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe since 2000: A Case Study of Kwekwe
  • A Piece of Congo': Nationality, Territory and Legal Pluralism in South Kivu
  • Rural Institutions and Political (Dis)order? A Case Study of Chieftaincies in Zimbabwe


  • Epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis and its Treatment in Colonial Northern Ghana, 1900-1957
  • Representation and Parliamentary Independence in Contemporary Ugandan Politics.
  • Zimbabwean Citizenship and Belonging in the Context of Operation Murambatsvina, 2005 - 2013
  • Mobile  Communication Technology and Change amongst  Traditional  Healers in Dar Es Salaam
  • Chiefs in Botswana and the Formative Years of an 'Exceptional Democracy', 1963-1969
  • Namibian English-Language Women's Literature, 1986-2001
  • Modernity, Identity, and Land Tenure Debates in Kenya, 1953-1963
  • Islam in political conflict in Uganda: The role of Nuhu Mbogo and the Sudanese mutiny, 1890-1899


  • Urban Life in Post-Colonial Nairobi and the Socio-Economic Roots of the 2007 Election Violence
  • Memory, Nationhood and Belonging in Biafran Literary Heritage, 1966-2014
  • Educating “Cinderella”: Political Discourse and Agency in the Education of Girls in Colonial Malawi, 1924-1964
  • "God's New Tribe": Education, Media, and Transnationalism in the City of God Church, Accra, Ghana, 1992-2014
  • Networks, Violence and Governance: A Case Study of Masisi, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • An Intellectual History of the 1974 Sixth Pan-African Congress and its Contribution to Pan-Africanism
  • Vagabonds, Femmes Fatales, Saviours: The Politicization of Gender in Rwanda, 1973-2014
  • SADC and South African Foreign Policy in the Zimbabwean Crisis

MPhil Office

Centre of African Studies
Alison Richard Building
7 West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DT
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MPhil administrator: Ms Victoria Jones
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 334396