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MA Critical Theory and Cultural Studies

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  • Objectives
    This is a truly interdisciplinary course that will give you a comprehensive introduction to the critical tradition that shapes today’s Human and Social Sciences, as well as the opportunity to apply theories to contemporary cultural phenomena. Approaches to issues of representation, identity, power, meaning and ideology thus include, but also extend beyond, the established British Cultural Studies paradigm. The course builds on the scholarly relation between the theoretical and applied or practical aspects of research in the humanities, thereby preparing you for theoretically informed research in disciplines beyond Cultural Studies. You will be able to draw on the expertise of the teaching team in areas such as literary theory, continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies and political theory.
  • Entry requirements
    This course will certainly appeal to you if you are a Cultural Studies or Humanities graduate with an interest in further studies that emphasise theoretical approaches while maintaining a focus on their application to cultural events and practices.
  • Academic Title
    MA Critical Theory and Cultural Studies
  • Course description
    Key facts

    -The Centre for Critical Theory in the Department of Cultural Studies is one of the largest postgraduate operations within the Arts Faculty, with a population of 40 students in any one year, and providing a vibrant intellectual environment in an organised and informal way. 
    -The Department also benefits from the input and close collaboration of other Departments within the School of Modern Languages and from the Institute for Comparative Cultures, the Centre for Post Conflict Cultures, as well as staff from Schools and Departments in the Faculties of Arts, and Business, Law and Social Sciences. 
    -The Department is strongly international and offers excellent opportunities for staff, postgraduate students and undergraduate students to benefit from its wide range of international collaborative arrangements.
    -The School of Modern Languages and Cultures provides the perfect environment to learn to apply Cultural Studies approaches to diverse social, cultural and political ‘texts’ and to situate the discipline in the critical tradition upon which it continues to draw

    Course Content

    This innovative course combines the Department’s expertise in the key critical theoretical discourses in the Humanities with its interests in concrete cultural practices.

    Core modules are either Subject and Sign after Fraud and Saussure or Social and Political Theories, plus Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice

    Current optional modules on this course include subjects such as:

    -Mass Media 
    -Technology, Science, Life 
    -Poststructuralism and Writing 
    -Critiques of War

    You also have the opportunity to choose a module from another MA course altogether. Modules are typically taken from courses such as:

    -Twentieth Century French and Francophone Literatures 
    -Film Studies 
    -American Studies 
    -Landscape and Culture 
    -Architecture and Critical Theory 
    -Visual Culture

    Please note that all module details are subject to change.

    You will be assigned both a personal tutor and dissertation tutor to guide you through your coursework.

    Course Structure

    You may follow the MA in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies over 1 year, full-time (October to September) or part-time over 2 to 3 years.

    If you decide to study as a full-time student, you will be expected to take two core modules in your first semester and two optional modules in your second semester, plus a dissertation over the summer period.

    You do have the option to study the course over 24 or 36 months as a part-time student, depending on your individual circumstances.

    The teaching on this course is largely seminar-based, which will allow you to actively engage with thinkers as diverse as Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall, Pierre Bourdieu and Judith Butler.

    This is supported by lectures providing the philosophical background to such theorists’ work.

    For the convenience of our part-time students, teaching for this MA programme usually occurs at 7pm (traditionally on Tuesday and Thursday evenings).

    You will be encouraged to develop the scholarly tools required for doctoral research through a 5,000-word written assignment for each module you complete.

    The dissertation module is assessed by a written work of up to 20,000 words – this is usually submitted in early September.

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