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MA Diversity, Culture and Identity

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  • Objectives
    As a whole, the programme aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of: -The key theoretical debates surrounding issues of cultural differences and inequalities in local and global (post-national) contexts. -The main political movements reflected in, and fostered by these debates. -The ways in which these debates come to bear on issues of social policy and provision. -The ways in which social policy and provision shapes cultural differences and inequalities. -How social scientists investigate the social world and makes choices about different methods of research. -The main sources of data derived from social surveys and other systematic collections, and an in-depth critical grasp of the methods used to collect and analyse such data. -How to critically evaluate the outcomes of social policy interventions.
  • Academic Title
    MA Diversity, Culture and Identity
  • Course description
    The MA Diversity, Culture and Identity capitalises on departmental strengths in anthropology, gender studies, social policy and sociology and combines them in a distinctive way. The MA is interdisciplinary and focuses on issues of social and cultural difference (age, gender, sexuality, ‘race', postcoloniality, disability), power, policy and social justice. While many of these are key themes in MA programmes in Cultural Politics or Identity Politics elsewhere, this MA is distinctive insofar as it brings theoretical perspectives to bear directly on social policy issues. As such, it provides both essential intellectual skills for students interested in more vocational training and a rigorous programme of study for more theoretically oriented students who wish to have an applied element in their studies.

    Course Structure - Full Time Students
    An overview of the MA Diversity, Culture and Identity is provided in tabular form below. The first two semester periods are for teaching and assessment of core and topic-track modules, while the third semester is devoted to the dissertation (details in section 7 below). During each semester period, full time students must successfully complete 60 credits towards the 180 credit total (for details on part-time study see below). The taught component of the course is structured around a coherent programme of core modules comprising two-thirds (80 out of 120) of the taught element, together with optional modules comprising one-third of the taught element (40 out of 120 credits). The core modules are comprised of a 40 credit module, Key Issues in Identity Politics and Policies, together with 40 credits of research training modules. The optional modules (outlined below) are drawn from a range of modules taught both within and out-with CASS each of which closely fits with the overall aims and objectives of the course.

    A separate booklet (the CASS postgraduate module handbook) provides more information on all core and optional modules currently available for CASS postgraduate students.

    - Key Issues in Identity Politics and Policies (module runs across both semesters)

    Sem 1 - Research Training Modules (choose 2 of the following)

    (10) 36939 - Philosophical Issues in Applied Social Research
    (10) 35702 - The Research Interview
    (10) 35703 - Survey Questionnaire Design
    (10) 36932 - Ethnographic Practice

    Sem 2 - Research Training Modules (choose 2 of the following)

    - Central Issues in Applied Social Research
    - Qualitative Data Analysis
    - Quantitative Data Analysis*
    - Computing with SPSS*
    *these two modules must be taken concurrently

    Optional Modules
    (you must select 40 credits over semesters 1 & 2)

    -Comparative Social Policy
    -‘Community', Conflict and Social Policy
    -Crime, Deviance and Social Control
    -Current Issues in Gender and Development
    -Disability Policy, Identity and Society
    -Encountering Development: Why Gender Matters
    -Feminism, Politics and Power
    -Gender Bodies, Gendered Selves
    -Other(ed) Bodies: Anthropology of gender and sexual diversity

    Course Structure for Part-time Students
    The master's programme was designed for both part-time and full-time students. The design elements can be seen both in the timetable and the timing of modules. Part-time students complete all the compulsory parts of the course in year one. Subject to successful completion of the core modules, students can begin initial dissertation research in semester 3. In year 2, they complete the optional modules (with lectures and seminars scheduled so far as possible to ensure they only need be absent for work for one morning or afternoon a week) completing their dissertation in Semester 6.

    Core Modules (complete 80 credits of core modules in year 1)

    - Key Issues in Identity Politics and Policies (module runs across both semesters)

    Sem 1 - Research Training Modules (choose 2 of the following)

    - Philosophical Issues in Applied Social Research
    - The Research Interview
    - Survey Questionnaire Design
    - Ethnographic Practice

    Sem 2 - Research Training Modules (choose 2 of the following)

    - Central Issues in Applied Social Research
    - Qualitative Data Analysis
    - Quantitative Data Analysis*
    - Computing with SPSS*
    *these two modules must be taken concurrently

    Optional Modules (choose 40 credits in year two, please see list above)

    Dissertation
    Upon successful completion of 120 credits of course work, all students must complete a modest piece of supervised research, which is undertaken during the Summer Period.

    Internship
    The MA Diversity, Culture and Identity programme offers possibilities for interested students to undertake a short ‘internship' working for the Commission for Racial Equality.

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