Study at AOI


The Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation is an interdisciplinary research institute in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University. Our Master’s and Doctoral students have been disciplinarily affiliated with Music, Visual Arts, History and English, although there is no restriction on the disciplinary affiliation of students wishing to pursue an advanced degree in the institute.

From 2026, the institute will also have its own MPhil and PhD degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts, which will allow students from a wide variety of backgrounds to pursue research projects less beholden to disciplinary strictures than to knowledge interests.

Since the inception of the institute, AOI students have produced theses and dissertations that have made significant advances in various disciplinary fields, and have also experimented in radically innovative ways with academic writing and conventions. This includes the first digitally curated online PhD’s submitted at Stellenbosch University, the first Master’s and Doctoral degrees submitted in the field of jazz studies at Stellenbosch University, artistic-led degrees and historical and archive-based studies that connect in important and innovative ways to the institute’s involvement with the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS).

The list of completed postgraduate research projects can be perused here.

Students at the institute are expected to take part in a weekly postgraduate seminar, to disseminate their work through publication and conference presentations, and to be active academic citizens. They are supported and mentored to do this.