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The First Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in African Studies

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EIMAS - Seminar

Information for (Prospective) Students


1. Course Language:

All courses of the EIMAS (except language courses) are conducted in English.


2. Duration:

One EIMAS circle usually starts on 1st September and ends two years later on 31st August. During the entire study period, the students will be registered in each of the three consortium universities (University of Porto, University of Bayreuth and Bordeaux Montaigne University).


3. Mandatory Mobility:

The EIMAS mobility path is determined for the first three semesters:

  • 1st semester: University of Porto
  • 2nd semester: University of Bayreuth
  • 3rd semester: Bordeaux Montaigne University

The 4th semester will be conducted at one of the consortium universities the student chooses. This will be stated in the Individual Student and Learning Agreement (ISLA) latest by beginning of December of the third semester.


4. Milestones

All milestones have to be indicated in the ISLA which must be submitted until 15 December of the first semester.

a) Introduction weeks

At the beginning of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd semester, an introduction week takes place at each consortium university. The participation in each introduction week is mandatory.

b) Summer and Winter School

The participation in the Bayreuth International Summer School during the 2nd semester and the EIMAS Winter School(s) are mandatory.
Students starting their MA studies in WS 2020 have to participate in the Winter School in their 3rd semester, students starting in WS 2021 or later have to participate in the Winter Schools in their 1st and 3rd semester.
Each student is expected to actively contribute to the organisation of the EIMAS Winter School in his/her 3rd semester.

c) Field research or internship

The beginning of the 4th semester is dedicated to a fieldwork. This can be either a field research or another well-prepared and structured internship of at least eight weeks.
Each student chooses one supervisor for his/her field research or internship and the final master thesis. The supervisor needs to affirm his/her support by signing the ISLA which includes the working title of the field work and coincidently of the master thesis. The fieldwork has to be consistent with the ISLA.
The travel application for the fieldwork has to be submitted to the EIMAS Consortium Coordinator (EIMASCC) who brings it to the Executive Committee (EC) at least eight weeks before the planned date of departure. (For more information read 6 c) Travel costs.)

d) Thesis writing, submission and evaluation

The master thesis will be written in the 4th semester. The student will get support in the supervision seminar as well as in direct communication with his/her supervisor and two more mentors he/she can choose in consultation with his/her supervisor. At least one of these two mentors has to be member of another consortium university or an associated partner institution. The names of the mentors have to be indicated in the ISLA.
The thesis has to be submitted to the EIMASCC by 30 June of the same year.
The thesis will be evaluated by the supervisor, one Dean and one external advisor.

e) Thesis defence

The thesis defence will take place at the university where the student is enrolled in his/her 4th semester by end of August of the same year. It will be conducted and evaluated by the supervisor and one Dean, who attend the defence physically, and at least one external examiner, who attends physically or via video conference. At the end of the defence, the student will be informed about the result of the thesis as well as the defence.


5. Performance Monitoring and Evaluation:

a) Performance monitoring

Each semester the student needs to obtain 30 ECTS.
Which of the optional modules the student has chosen needs to be indicated in the ISLA.
The national language courses (module 8) are highly recommended in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd semester. Those activities, although not accredited, and the voluntary participation in other courses in the EIMAS will be incorporated in the Diploma Supplement.

Attendance of 75% of the lectures, presentation sessions and seminars is compulsory.
In order to complete a module, the student needs to take an exam, either in a written form (test or paper) or an oral examination determined by the lecturer at the beginning of the course.
If the student does not successfully complete a module due to failure, he/she has the possibility to repeat the exam once on a fixed date in the same semester. If the student fails the Master thesis, he/she has to repeat the module by registering again in the same university without getting any further financial support.
In case of disease and missing more than 25% of a module, the repetition of a module or other requirements need to be decided on individual basis.

b) Evaluation

In each semester and for each module, the student will be evaluated according to the national grading system.
The overall results of each semester will be transferred into the EIMAS grading system by converting them 1. into percent and 2. into a scale ranging from A(+) to D(-) and F. This process enables the joint and unambiguous determination of a final grade.
Since the French national grading system does not allow a bijection for 16, 14 and 12, these results will be converted into 90%, 75% and 60%. Plus and minus will only be regarded in the exams but not in the overall grades. The lecturer of the respective module decides for the Portuguese 10 and the German 4,0 and 1,0 whether it is D or D- and A+ or A by taking the student’s oral participation in the course into account.


6. Funding and Finances:

The type of funding for the whole study period has to be indicated in the ISLA.

Regulations for EMJMD scholarship holders are indicated here and on the websites of Erasmus+ (see below).
Each EMJMD scholarship holder needs to have a European bank account. The bank account where financial support should be paid has to be indicated in the ISLA. Other scholarship holders as well as self-financed students will be held responsible for financing their whole study period including all obligatory activities in order to guarantee the finalisation of their master studies.
Information on the tuition fees at the three consortium universities can be found here.

a) Type of funding

EMJMD scholarship holders will receive financial support according to the Erasmus+ guidelines. They do not have to pay any kind of participation or administrative costs for obligatory activities within the EIMAS study plan.

b) Monthly allowances

Each EMJMD scholarship holder receives a monthly lump sum for the entire duration of the EIMAS study programme (four semesters) according to the Erasmus+ guidelines.

c) General travel costs

Travel costs, differentiated by the place of origin of the EMJMD scholarship holders, will be paid according to the Erasmus+ guidelines.

d) Travel costs for field research or internship

Each EMJMD scholarship holder receives up to 1,000.00 € for travel costs (public transportation, economy class) in order to carry out the mandatory field research or internship in the 4th semester.
For this purpose, a travel application has to be submitted or sent via email to the EIMASCC at least eight weeks before the planned date of departure.

The travel application has to include:

  1. Cover letter (including the exact dates and a short explanation of the purpose for the travel)
  2. Cost budget
  3. Exact itinerary
  4. Confirmation letter of the host institution (if applicable)
  5. Three flight quotations (if applicable)
  6. Proof for requested costs (if applicable; e.g. participation or entrance fees)
  7. Request for advance payment (if applicable)

Travels can only be brought to account and reimbursed within three months after return.
Overpaid advance payments have to be refunded. No reimbursement without receipt.

>> more information on EMJMD student scholarships


7. Health Insurance:

According to the Erasmus+ Minimum Requirements for the Health and Accident Insurance Coverage of EMJMD Students, the EIMAS consortium has decided to offer the students an insurance package for the entire programme, which is valid at all three study destinations (Porto, Bayreuth, Bordeaux) as well as an additional travel insurance for destinations beyond the EU programme countries where students will go for internships, fieldwork etc.

Health insurance costs will be paid only for EMJMD scholarship holders, other students are obliged to take out an insurance on their own. Advice is offered by the EIMASCC.


8. EIMAS Services:

The EIMAS consortium is closely cooperating with the International Offices and the Gender and Diversity Representatives of each consortium university. The EIMASCC is the principal point of contact for all EIMAS members and can connect them with the responsible institutions and persons in all matters like

  • visa and housing support
  • administrative support
  • academic support.


9. Code of Conduct:

The EIMAS consortium follows the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity of ALLEA (All European Academies) to conduct good research practices by following the principles:

  • Reliability in ensuring the quality of research, reflected in the design, the methodology, the analysis and the use of resources.
  • Honesty in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and unbiased way.
  • Respect for colleagues, research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and the environment.
  • Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organisation, for training, supervision and mentoring, and for its wider impacts.


10. Leave of Absence and Interruption of Studies:

A leave of absence and an interruption of studies as well as an earlier quitting of the university in the 4th semester before having obtained all required credits are not envisaged and only possible for solid reasons. They need to be decided in individual cases.


11. Appeal Procedure:

Any kind of complaints should be referred to the EIMASCC. If a direct consultation is not possible, it is the task of the Student Representatives to collect complaints and pass them on. In cases of sexual harassment or xenophobic and racist attitudes the EIMAS Gender and Diversity Representatives should be informed immediately. Herewith I confirm that I have read the Agreement on EIMAS Key Elements and Milestones and that I agree with it in all points. I understand that misbehaviour can lead to an immediate exclusion of the programme.


If you want to apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship, please also visit the website of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) for more information.
Furthermore, please carefully read the Erasmus+ Programme Guide to be aware of the eligibility criteria.


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