International Master of African Studies - Bordeaux Montaigne University v1.2

International Master of African Studies
Double Degree

Double Degree with: University of Bayreuth

Mention: Development Studies

Place(s) of instruction: DEFLE, Bordeaux and agglomeration

Constituent: Education, UFR Territories and Communication Sciences

Level of education: BAC +5

ECTS Credits: 120 credits

Initial Formation: Yes

Continuous FormationYes


Double degree, offered for the first time at Bordeaux Montaigne University

The Master titled « Development Studies », an International Master of African Studies (IMAS) cursus, is offered jointly by Bordeaux Montaigne University (France) and Bayreuth University (Germany) where classes are taught in English. It leads to the obtaining of a Master’s degree in Geography « Études du développement » from Bordeaux Montaigne University and a Master’s degree « Development Studies » mention « geography » from Bayreuth University.

Knowledge test procedures 2018-2019: Download the «MRB16 _ Master IMAS DD MCC 2018.pdf» file (39.1 KB)


This master aims at training geographer experts on development, which associations, enterprises, institutions, diplomats, backers, politicians, etc. – have and will have a need for. Indeed, the entire pedagogic staff is certain that beyond the economic and political hazards, the African continent constitutes a deposit of growth and thus of jobs for the next decades and that a firm knowledge on its social, politic, economic and spatial dynamics is necessary to work there.

The vision of Africa which underlies our whole pedagogic commitment is one of a developing continent. Far from the miserable laments of an Africa supposedly at the heart of darkness as well as from the soothing illusions of an emerging and triumphant Rising Africa, it aims at taking into systematic account the social, economic and political evolutions shaping the continent, with the ambition to train the next executives which will be called upon to take the challenges and career opportunities.

This Double Degree is resolutely interdisciplinary since it offers theoretical, methodological and applied education in geography, political science, anthropology and economy. The pedagogy associate classes, seminars, interactive workshops and meeting with people working in Africa. A fraction of the education dispensed is dedicated to the analysis of policies and development projects. Finally, the students are held responsible in the pursuit of a few valorization projects.

Research Backing

The Franco-German partners were brought together on the basis of the excellence of their teacher-researcher, which are among the best Africanist teams of Europe.  The LAM « Les Afriques dans le Monde » Laboratory from Bordeaux, and the African Institute of Bayreuth are at the cutting edge of research on Contemporary Africa, and rival the best Anglo-Saxon teams working on these fields.

On both sites, students have access to all the activities offered by the LAM and African Institute research teams (seminars, exposition, etc.) and have access to libraries, mediatheques, cartographic libraries, etc. Furthermore, in Bayreuth they are closely associated with the cultural activities of the Iwalewa Institute.

Établissement(s) cohabilité(s)/partenaire(s)
Organization of the formation
Content of the formation

The class consists of 6 students: 3 from Bordeaux Montaigne University and 3 from Bayreuth University who each follow the first semester in their home university, the second semester together at Bordeaux Montaigne University and the third semester together at Bayreuth University. The training ends with an internship of at least 4 months, in Africa or in connection with Africa.

The pedagogical practice is guided by the idea that fundamental research, along with applied research, constitutes a resource for understanding the dynamics and contradictions of a situation, diagnosing them and possibly establishing scenarios for action.Master 1

The M1 courses are common to the Master's degree « Études interdisciplinaires des dynamiques africaines » (MIDAF) and half of the courses in the first and second semesters are taught by and at Sciences Po Bordeaux.

At Bordeaux Montaigne University, the first semester raises students' awareness of the diversity and specificities of Africa's natural and geo-economic environments, confronted respectively with the effects of climate change and globalization. Lessons given at Sciences Po Bordeaux complete this refresher course by addressing the social and political construction processes of the continent. A workshop for mediation and popularization/evaluation of LAM laboratory productions is organized.

The second semester also takes place at Bordeaux Montaigne University, the German students of the promotion joining the French students. This semester allows a systemic deepening of African dynamics and an operational opening towards development issues. Half of the lessons are then given in English, especially those concerning African geopolitics, the study of concrete cases of development projects. Two workshops, an introduction to cartography and statistics and a teaching course on the cartography of actor sets complete the educational system.

Master 2

At Bayreuth University, students enter the Master Development Studies with a main specialization in geography. They then focus on the processes of co-construction of development policies, programs and projects and complete their training on the Political Ecology of the Global Change. They are offered two subjects, in political science and/or anthropology, at the discretion of and in consultation with their German tutor. Participation in a conference of development actors completes this semester of training, which is an opening to the practice of development.


The M2 internship is mandatory. By integrating a research team, a public institution, a company, an association or an NGO working in Africa, for a period of 4 months, students are able to appreciate the particularity of the work in this context and put into practice the lessons of previous semesters. 

Diagram of higher education in France:

Test of knowledge :

Download the «mcc-Masters-Compé» file (361.1 KB)