International Programmes 2020/2021

Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies

University of Bayreuth • Bayreuth

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Doctoral degree or degree awarded by
University of Bayreuth
In cooperation with
Teaching language
  • English
  • French

Courses are held in English (90%) and French (10%).

Programme duration
6 semesters
Only for doctoral programmes: any time
Application deadline


Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

BIGSAS is part of the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence (EXC 2052) at the University of Bayreuth and brings together excellent young scholars in a structured and innovative doctoral programme in the field of African Studies. Through the close collaboration with six partner universities in different regions of the African continent, it strengthens African and European academic networks. The doctoral training is based on research in a vital interdisciplinary environment with group mentorships, individual research training plans, specialist training (focusing on academic as well as transferable skills), early integration into the international academic community, and individual career planning.

Course organisation
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International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Integrated study abroad unit(s)
  • Specialist literature in other languages
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
  • Content-related regional focus
Integrated study abroad unit(s)

The doctoral studies at BIGSAS include periods of field work abroad, conference participation, and summer school participation.

Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution
In Germany, students at all higher education institutions must pay a semester contribution. This payment (at the University of Bayreuth: 107.81 EUR per semester) has nothing to do with tuition fees; rather, it covers your contributions to student services and the student government. At the University of Bayreuth (which combines the campus in Bayreuth and our new faculty VII located in Kulmbach), it includes a "semester ticket" that allows you to use public transport in the region.
Costs of living
The cost of living in Germany, e.g., accommodation, food, clothing and recreational activities, is about average compared to other European countries. Living expenses are significantly lower than in countries like Denmark, Luxembourg or Switzerland but rather high compared to countries like Poland, the Czech Republic or Italy. Compared to other large German cities, such as Munich, Berlin or Hamburg, Bayreuth's low cost of living and affordable housing make the city and the region particularly attractive to young people and families.The DAAD website will tell you what living expenses to expect in Germany:
Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university
Scholarships awarded via the International Office International Doctoral Students Submit the following documents next to your application: Enrolment certificate | Copy of your passport and residence permit | Letter of recommendation from your supervising professor at the University of Bayreuth | Exposé and time-line for your doctoral research | CV Please check:
Academic admission requirements

BIGSAS invites applications from candidates whose dissertation projects fit into the field of African Studies. Applicants must have a Master's or an equivalent degree in one of disciplines represented at the graduate school with a very good result. Applications may be sent in English, German, or French. The working language of BIGSAS is English.

Language requirements

Applicants need to have excellent skills in English.

Application deadline


Submit application to

Possibility of finding part-time employment

There are many ways for international students in Germany to earn money while they study, for example, as wait staff, academic assistants or private tutors, but there are some restrictions. For more detailed information, please visit:


Accommodation for students
Bayreuth and Kulmbach have a number of student dormitories (both private dormitories and dormitories offered by the Association for Student Affairs) and a vast array of private rooms available. Under no circumstances should you assume that you will be assigned a room in the student dormitories! You will need to actively search for a room on your own – either in a private dormitory or on the private market.

More information regarding accommodation for students is available here: Please also read the DAAD’s information.

Accommodation for international guests
All other international guests are requested to register via the Welcome Services Database (WelSe).

Accommodation for short visits
For short visits, we recommend searching for accommodation on Airbnb. In addition, a limited number of apartments are available in the Alexander von Humboldt Guest House.

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Career advisory service

Career advisory services are provided by other university departments.

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Accompanying programme
  • Visa matters
  • Pick-up service
Support programmes for international students
Administrative support, IT support via the IT Service Centre of the university, gender and diversity programme, individual coaching
Supervisor-student ratio

University of Bayreuth

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The location of BIGSAS © BIGSAS

International, innovative, and interdisciplinary in research and teaching

The University of Bayreuth is a dynamic campus university with about 13,500 students. Beyond the interdisciplinary research focus and excellence in teaching, the university has a clear vision of social responsibility and entrepreneurship. 

We have a close network of strategically selected, international research partners and have strategic partnerships with universities around the globe. A wide range of innovative BA, MA and PhD programmes as well as our international summer schools are conducted in English. Presently there are around 1,770 international students from more than 100 countries on campus. Focus areas in research include Nonlinear Dynamics, Polymer and Colloid Science, Molecular Biosciences, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, New Materials, African Studies, High Pressure and High Temperature Research, Cultural Encounters and Transcultural Processes, Innovation and Consumer Protection, Food and Health Sciences, Energy Research and Energy Technology, Governance and Responsibility.

Our university has an outstanding staff-student ratio. Our high performance levels, multidisciplinary collaborations and scientific excellence result in high ranking positions. In the 2019 THE ranking “151 under 50”, the University of Bayreuth achieved a top position among the best universities in Germany. We have proven expertise in campus and curriculum internationalisation, which is confirmed by the results of the extended internationalisation audit conducted by the German Rectors’ Conference, a close and successful project cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and a number of Alexander von Humboldt Awards for our international management and service

Welcome to our one-of-a-kind campus in Bavaria!
It is both the heart of our university and a source of inspiration. It is where friendships are made, collaboration is initiated, and ideas are conceived, ensuring that our university remains a beacon of innovation. Scientific exchange profits tremendously from the wide variety of disciplines our communicative campus brings together. That is probably why the University of Bayreuth has been able to celebrate so many awards and honours for its scholarly accomplishments.

83 Current number of doctoral students
144 Current number of alumni

University location

University of Bayreuth
Universitätsstraße 30
95447 Bayreuth