The PhD Programme


Area Studies – as the study of particular cultural, national or geographic regions – refers to interdisciplinary research fields which draw on a variety of methods and academic perspectives, ranging from established disciplines such as History, Political Science, Sociology, Political Economy and Cultural Sciences to newly emerging academic fields as, for instance, New Political Geography and Global History. By analysing the implications of globalisation processes for different world regions, Global Studies are strongly linked to Area Studies. While “Global Studies” is a very successful emerging research field in most parts of world, African universities are only recently beginning to offer corresponding study programmes.

Global and Area Studies – as a combination of political, social and cultural as well as historical approaches to the study of modern and contemporary globalisation processes and the comparison of world regions – offer the scientific basis of this PhD programme to develop an understanding for the dynamics of peace and security in Africa.

Since Africa is faced with global challenges in particular ways, the study programme pays special attention to regional perspectives on globalisation processes and – in light of the continent’s specific contemporary challenges – to the multifaceted aspects of peace and security in Africa.

Structure of the programme

The duration of the programme is three years. It is a structured doctoral training programme. This includes the following:

The training takes place at both universities; it is based on multiple supervisions, learning agreements, interdisciplinary dialogue and regular course work to assist the research and writing process of the dissertation.

During the three-year PhD programme students take part in a range of courses (60 Credit Points), develop their research proposal, regularly hand in draft chapters and write their PhD thesis (120 Credit Points).

In addition to their studies at Addis Ababa University, PhD students also train at the the Graduate Centre Humanities and Social Sciences of the Research Academy Leipzig by means of a semester abroad. This way, students are partly integrated in the structured PhD training programmes at the Graduate Centre Humanities and Social Sciences at Leipzig University. This term abroad, which includes research seminars, colloquiums, method workshops and a summer school, allows for a direct connection of the PhD qualification at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia to the PhD education at Leipzig University in Germany.

Language of Instruction

The PhD seminars are taught completely in English. German courses in preparation of the study period in Leipzig will be offered in cooperation with the Goethe Institute in Addis Ababa.


The PhD programme “Global and Area Studies (with a special emphasis on Peace and Security in Africa)” offers a joint doctorate from the Leipzig University and Addis Ababa University. For every candidate the respective faculties sign a co-tutelle agreement.

Course Programme