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MA Critical Theory and Politics

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  • Objectives
    In collaboration with the School of Politics and International Relations, this MA will provide you with a thorough understanding of the close connections between Critical Theory and key contemporary Political and Social Theories. Critical Theory is an immensely rich field of intellectual endeavour that has emerged from a continuous dialogue with theories of both society and politics. This innovative MA enables you to engage with this dialogue and its relevance to contemporary phenomena. You will be equipped with an advanced knowledge of the most significant developments in the tradition of critique and contemporary political thought. Teaching staff from the Department of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, the School of Politics and International Relations, and other participating Schools offer expertise in areas such as social and political theory, international relations, philosophy and cultural studies.
  • Academic Title
    MA Critical Theory and Politics
  • Course description
    Key facts

    • 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 the Centre for Critical Theory, the Centre for SSGS, as well as staff from the Centre for Post-Conflict Cultures and other Departments within the School of Modern Languages and in 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 Politics and International Relations was rated 24/24 for its teaching by the Quality Assurance Agency and ranked in the top ten of UK departments in the most recent Guardian Education guide.

    Course Content

    The course is specifically designed to equip you with a thorough understanding of the relevance of Critical Theory for the key contemporary liberal, post-Marxist and radical political theories that shape today’s world.

    Modules taken in the School of Politics and International Relations will therefore enable you to apply critical theories to concrete political phenomena and to study methodologies of political research, such as:

    • Globalisation
    • The ‘War on Terror’
    • Feminism
    • International Human Rights

    The dissertation provides practice in theoretically informed and independent research. The MA in Critical Theory and Politics therefore serves as an ideal preparation for doctoral studies in these areas.

    Core modules include Subject and Sign or Sound and Political Theories, plus one module from Politics.

    Current optional modules on this course include subjects such as:

    • Mass Media
    • Postcolonialisms
    • Technology, Science, Life
    • Poststructuralism and Writing
    • Critiques of War
    • Everyday Life

    Modules offered by the School of Politics and International Relations may include:

    • Globalisation and its Discontents
    • Europe after the Cold War
    • Security Studies
    • International Political Economy
    • The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-2004

    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 Politics over one year, full-time (October to September) or part-time over two years.

    Full-time students take two modules per semester from either School before completing a dissertation over the summer months, which must be submitted in September.

    All taught modules are assessed by written work of 5,000 words, which is submitted towards the end of the semester in which the module is taught.

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

    There are no examinations. All course work and dissertations are double marked within the School as well as being examined externally.

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