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Communicating Research


Admission requirements

The course is compulsory for students in MA African Studies and open to second-year students in ResMA African Studies. Others after consultations with the instructors.


African studies are a multi- and inter-disciplinary field of knowledge production. At this stage of the study programme students have returned from their research internship project in Africa or in an Africa-related setting in the Netherlands/Europe. The course Communicating Research aims students to learn how to translate research to different audiences, i.e. academic, popular and decision-makers, so communication is key. The course consists of two blocks. In the first block, students will use visual and digital tools to start the process of ordering their research data and the process of ‘writing’ their thesis. These techniques are a continuation of the use of various methodologies to translate research into text and visuals, as was already part of the course ‘Researching Africa in the 21st Century’ (semester 1). Students will make a choice to write a textual or multi-modal thesis. In the second block students will learn communication skills for a targeted audience through a workshop ‘Pitch your research project’ and a workshop ‘Policy brief writing’.
The course is thus set up as follows:

  1. Visual and digital analysis and presentation tools: a block of three interactive training workshops in which the students discover their research outcomes and find their way to publish (thesis) . Publication of results implies many choices. The process of making these choices and being conscious of the analysis the student makes will be guided in this part of the course. These choices relate to the form the student chooses for the publication of the results. For this part of the course students will discuss articles, work on publication skills in different formats, and develop their presentation skills.

  2. Interactive communication skills and employability: a block of two interactive training workshops, including “Pitch your research project” and “Policy brief writing”. These workshops are practical (learning-by-doing) and closely linked to students’ experiences. The workshops aim to increase students’ employability and will help students to get a clearer picture of their research findings and to pass their message to a targeted audience. It should be noted that another workshop in ‘Moderating discussions and Q&A’ has already been provided at the start of the first semester enabling students to practice these skills throughout their studies.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students:

  • Have understood how to proceed from data to presentation of research;

  • Have the skills to use the digital environment for the development of their thesis;

  • Have the skills to develop an attractive presentation of research for a specific audience;

  • Have understood how to understand their own process of data gathering and how from that phase go to a stage of writing the thesis, or of developing a multi-modal product.

  • Have developed specific communication skills that help to increase their employability, including pitching their research project and writing a policy brief;

  • Are able to present their research results in verbal and visual ways for a wider audience.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars/workshops

  • Assignments

Assessment method

To complete this course successfully, students will be assessed on the following aspects. The final mark is established by determining the weighted average.

  • Mindmap: visualisation of research data/findings and their linkages (assignment 1) - PASS

  • Visual story (assignment 2) - 30%

  • Video pitch (assignment 3) – 30%

  • Policy brief (assignment 4) – 40%

  • Reflection report on the course and the student’s own development (assignment 5) - PASS



Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A reading list with online sources and some print copies will be made available prior to the start of the course.


This has to be filled out by the key-user of the department.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats


Not applicable.