Master of Arts Programme in History

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally have either (a) a Bachelor’s degree of the University of Botswana of at least second class, second division, with an average of at least 65% in History or Archaeology courses, or (b) a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification, which in the opinion of the History Department is of the same standard, from a recognized university or equivalent institution of higher learning.

Applicants who do not meet the above requirements may be considered for admission after the Department has satisfied itself that the candidate has the capability to complete the programme successfully.In all cases, the questions of whether an applicant is qualified, and of which applicants shall be given preference if there are more qualified applicants than can be admitted, shall be determined by the History Department on the basis of its judgment of the candidate’s academic abilities. In making this determination the Department may take into account the applicant’s academic record, the applicant’s work experience, and any other information provided by the applicant; and may interview the applicant and require the applicant to undergo further assessment at the Department’s discretion.


Full-time: 2 years (i.e. 2 semesters of coursework and 2 semesters of Dissertation or 3 semesters of coursework and 1 semester of Research Essay).

Part-time: 3 years (i.e. 4 semesters of coursework and 2 semesters of Dissertation or Research Essay).

Course Structure

(all courses 3 credits, except Dissertation Courses HIS 662 & HIS 751)

Core courses

HIS 601 History Research Methodology

HIS 602 Philosophy of History

HIS 603 Historiographical Issues in Pre-colonial Southern Africa

HIS 604 Historiographical Issues in Modern South Africa

Optional courses

HIS 611 Introduction to the Economic History

HIS 612 Case Studies in the Economic History of Africa

HIS 613 Political and Economic Aspects of Imperialism

HIS 614 Cultural and Environmental Approaches to the History of Imperialism

HIS 615 History of Religion in Africa

HIS 616 Religion and Power in Botswana

HIS 627 Archaeology for Teachers Special Topic courses (optional)

HIS 651 Special Topic I

HIS 652 Special Topic II

HIS 653 Special Topic III

HIS 654 Special Topic IV

Special Topics currently approved by the History Department Board:

Historiography of Conquest & Response in Africa

Historiography of the African Diaspora

Historiography of Labour Migration in Southern Africa Khoesan History in Southern Africa

Impact of the Two World Wars on Botswana

History of Film with special Reference to Africa

The British South Africa Company and the Bechuanaland Protectorate, 1888 - 1913

Seretse Khama and the Independence of Botswana, 1949 - 1980 Military History of Botswana

Other optional courses

With the approval of the History Department Board, candidates may take courses offered by other Departments which shall be counted as substituting for optional History courses. Appropriate courses from the Master’s level programmes of the following departments will normally be approved: African Languages and Literature, Theology and Religious Studies, Sociology (Development Studies), Political and Administrative Studies, and Environmental Science. Courses from other departments may be approved especially in the case of courses relevant to particular research projects proposed by candidates.

Dissertation courses (core)

HIS 662 Research Proposal for Dissertation

The proposal must be accepted by the History Department Board before a candidate proceeds to HIS 750.

HIS 750 Dissertation

Candidates conduct research under the supervision of a Supervisor or Supervisors assigned by the History Department Board. The Dissertation must conform to all guidelines laid down by the History Department Board concerning format, structure, etc. The length of the Dissertation shall be as laid down in General Regulation 40.714.

In pursuit of academic excellence