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2018/19 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5211M Youth in Africa: Politics, Society and Livelihoods

30 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr. Akin Iwilade

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will offer an interdisciplinary exploration of the role of youth in modern African states. It will focus on the ways in which youth are made and unmade as a social category, and how social, political and economic processes are not just shaped by youth, but also shape youth. It will draw on interdisciplinary theoretical debates around power politics, self-making, agency, violence and identity to highlight how youth are implicated in the disruptions of power relations, economic structures and social values across Africa and the profound ways in which they may shape its future. These will help students to understand the complex life choices that younger people have to make in contemporary Africa, in the face of a rapidly changing and globalizing world.


This module aims to help students understand key issues relating to how youth are created as a social category, their roles in the politics, economics and social life of modern Africa states. The module also aims to ground students in the multiple interdisciplinary theoretical debates around power politics, self-making, agency, violence and identity and the interesting ways in which the youth category relates to them.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will:
1. Understand the different meanings of youth and how different spatial, temporal, historical and political-economic contexts shape these meanings.
2. Be able to apply nuance to the place of youth as disruptors and as (re)producers of different forms of identities and categorizations in Africa.
3. Gain an appreciation for the livelihood choices being made by younger people across Africa in the face of often difficult conditions
4. Understand the multiple impacts of social, political and economic uncertainties on youth


The module will start by addressing the contentious definitions of youth in the literature and explore how contexts can impact on it. There will be flexibility in the topics covered in a given academic year to accommodate new trends and issues. However, as an indicative list the module may include topics such as:
• questions around youth identities, hybridities and imagination,
• the influence of social media on youth politics,
• how youth impact on political participation and on violence
• recruitment, reintegration and coercion of child soldiers in many African conflicts and the implications for peacekeeping
• how masculinities and femininities, are shaped by youth in contemporary Africa
• youth mobilities and the impact of diaspora youth cultures and politics.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings12.002.00
Group learning11.001.00
Private study hours275.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Reading for lectures: 5 Hours Per week= 50 Hours
Seminar Preparation: 5 Hours Per Week= 50Hours
Formative Feedback essay preparation and writing: 30 Hours
Formal Assessed Essay preparation and writing= 145 Hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In order to monitor student progress and prepare them for the formal coursework assessment, students will be required to submit a 1000 word literature review on the conceptual and theoretical literature on youth. This essay will not be formally assessed although it will be marked for advanced critical knowledge of the meanings of youth and comprehensive feedback will be offered. This is important in part because it ensures that students have a grasp of the youth concept before they write their formal assessed essay. On completion, students are expected to have met the first learning outcome.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 end of term Essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 01/05/2018


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