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MA Critical Theory

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  • Objectives
    The MA in Critical Theory is thoroughly interdisciplinary in its outlook, drawing on a wide variety of critical theories developed in the humanities and social sciences. It provides an indispensable survey of a range of theoretical approaches that constitute the contemporary critical intellectual vocabulary in the humanities. Critical Theory is an exciting and dynamic field encompassing diverse intellectual approaches to literature, culture, society, and politics. This MA combines a broad-based introduction to the general field of Critical Theory with an individual learning pathway that will enable you to apply theories to phenomena of your own choosing.
  • Entry requirements
    This course will be of particular interest to you if you have an Arts or Social Sciences degree and are considering future doctoral research in these disciplines.
  • Academic Title
    MA Critical Theory
  • Course description
    Key facts

    -The Centre for Critical Theory and the Department of Cultural Studies comprise 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 Post-Conflict Cultures and the Institute for Comparative Cultures as well as staff from 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.

    Course Content

    Through two core and two optional modules, as well as your dissertation, this course enables you to draw on a wide variety of critical theories developed in the humanities and social sciences.

    To balance the broad theoretical scope of the taught classes, you will have the opportunity to focus on areas of individual interest in your essays and dissertation.

    Core modules are Subject and Sign after Freud and Saussure and Social and Political Theories.

    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 of the many relevant MA programmes that run at Nottingham. 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 over 1 year, full-time (October to September) or part-time over 2 to 3 years.

    Full-time students take four modules in all - two core modules in the first semester and two optional modules in the second semester, plus a dissertation (worth 60 credits).

    Part-time students can complete this course within 24 or 36 months, depending on their circumstances.

    The largely seminar-based teaching will allow you to both learn about, and critically engage with, theoretical approaches such as Marxism, the Frankfurt School, Postcolonialism and Poststructuralism.

    This is enhanced by a series of lectures taking you, step by step, through the critical tradition that runs from Kant right through to Heidegger and beyond.

    Written coursework also encourages the development of the scholarly tools required for doctoral research, and many of our graduates do go on to do PhDs.

    All taught modules are assessed by written work of 5,000 words, which are 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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