The MA in Music (Contemporary Music Studies) examines aspects of methodology, repertoire studies and cultural theory within a wide-ranging programme of investigation into the role of contemporary music in the society for which it is created.
You'll explore the key methodologies appropriate for scholarly study of the music of the present and recent past, such as oral history and contrasting approaches to musical ‘close reading’.
Musical repertoires, and notions of repertoire, are examined, and you are encouraged to ask such questions as whether the boundaries often considered to exist between, for example, ‘contemporary concert music’ and ‘popular music’ are still meaningful for practitioners, listeners and scholars today.
Various approaches to cultural theory are viewed in the light of what they might bring to the study of contemporary music of different kinds.
The understandings developed in your coursework culminate in the methods and approaches demonstrated in your dissertation.
This gives you the opportunity to address particular challenges of studying and writing about the music of our time arising from your own musical and theoretical enthusiasms.
The programme appeals to a wide range of students concerned to develop their understanding of today's music and keen to harness this to relevant intellectual skills.
While designed as an open-ended programme of study that can subsequently be applied in many ways within, and outside, the musical profession, it will be of special value to those preparing for further postgraduate research, and those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries.
You choose three modules from a selection that currently includes:
The programme is designed with careful consideration of the opportunities, challenges and intellectual demands presented by careers in music, such as:
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Led by Dr Mel Jordan, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, the Contemporary Art Practice programme has specialist pathway leaders in order to facilitate a distinct engagement with specific areas of contemporary art practice. The programme is delivered through four pathways: Critical Practice (led by Jeremy Millar), Moving Image (led by Jane Wilson), Performance (led by Professor Nigel Rolfe) and Public Sphere (led by Mel Jordan).
The Contemporary Art Practice programme enables us to incorporate practices that exceed the specificity of the well-established disciplines of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. Contemporary Art Practice engages with contemporary modes of art production, dissemination and debate. It facilitates specialisation through its pathway structure enabling students to engage with a particular approach to developing their own art practice. The teaching methodology we employ is not technologically or materially determined however students are expected to utilise appropriate and specific means in which to manifest their ideas. Contemporary Art Practice students have access to all facilities within the School of Fine Art.
Critical theory has emerged as an essential intellectual framework for art criticism but what is its potential as a tool within the production of contemporary art? Studio-based and primarily focused on supporting the development of the artistic practice of its students, the Critical Practice pathway offers regular seminars exploring emerging ideas and bodies of theory as well as opportunities to work with organised forms of knowledge such as public archives and institutions.
Moving Image is aimed at artists using film and video, and practitioners working in the areas of documentary film, film and fiction cinema as well as practitioners who wish to draw upon, challenge and re-map established realms of Moving Image based practices. The diversity of approaches employed in the Moving Image pathway reflects the new reality of contemporary moving image.
Performance happens in the ‘here and now’ and not the ‘there and then’. Unlike many practices, where time is historic, and the image presented is necessarily an archive or record, ‘being and doing’ are more immediately significant in live time, and the expectation is that – in the contemporary – artists are often presenting work that is not made in advance but rather happening now!
Public Sphere is a major research area in the School, and the pathway supports expanded engagement with art and its publics as well as art’s social function. Social art practices have featured as a key force in the rise of the global biennale as well as being utilized by the Occupy Movement. Therefore questions about public space, participation, collaboration and collective action are becoming essential principles within the production of contemporary art both in terms of practice and theory.
Your application should be for MA Contemporary Art Practice and you will have to specify in which Pathway you wish to study: Critical Practice, Moving Image, Performance or Public Sphere.
The programme offers:
This course looks at the way that museums, galleries and other cultural institutions are changing to meet the needs of the 21st century. The MA has been designed for students who wish to work as curators, arts organisers, museum professional and other cultural managers and who want to know in particular how these institutions face contemporary issues. It looks at the changing role of cultural provision and how agencies, festivals and flexible organisations shape, house, fund, and disseminate culture today. The course also gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the contemporary debates about working practices in cultural institutions, and the changing context in which organisations operate.
The course concentrates on professional practice and you will work closely with institutions such as Tate Britain and the Museum of London, and conduct case studies into creative projects run by organisations as diverse as the Victoria and Albert Museum, smaller independent galleries and London-based festivals and arts organisations. Classes are taught off-site at other institutions, and involve professionals from the sector as much as possible to give you an understanding of vocational issues and a close involvement in the workplace.
You will examine key issues and themes in the museums and gallery sector, and explore how these are dealt with not just in theory, but also on a day-to-day basis by leading institutions. You will learn about the challenges faced by museums and galleries, how they confront them and how they are developing innovative practices in relation to their collections, exhibitions and audiences.
Gaining professional knowledge is an important part of the course and you will be able to meet curators and museum professionals. The University also assists students to gain internships, work placements and to work on professional projects.
The teaching team are curators, museum and gallery professionals, as well as university academics. You will be taught through seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and workshops, together with independent, student-directed study where students develop their own project. If you are interested in studying the broader theoretical context of museum and gallery issues you can also take modules from other courses taught in the Department, such as Art and Visual Culture MA.
Assessment methods include written coursework - essays, presentations, proposals and project reports as well as a final 10,000–12,000-word Major Research Project.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.
You will choose five modules from the list of option modules below.
Modules on this course have been designed as partnerships with Tate and the Museum of London.
Graduates will have the skills to work in a variety of positions in the cultural sector, including in the post of curator, consultant, arts and media strategists and advisers, funding officers or education and interpretation officers.
This course gives you the chance to study English literature in a modern university environment, while taking advantage of the wealth of resources offered by London's rich cultural life. You will examine literary texts in the wider context of cultural production and relate them to the social, historical and political circumstances from which they emerge.
The course team consists of academic specialists who make use of the many nearby museums, galleries and libraries in their teaching. The course will be of particular interest to those wishing to prepare for further study at MPhil or PhD level, and those teaching English who want to gain a further qualification and investigate recent and current developments in the field.
The English Literature: Modern and Contemporary Fictions MA at the University of Westminster is designed to offer a coherent programme of postgraduate study that allows for both chronological range and specific topical focus. It gives you the opportunity to revisit and reinvestigate the texts, critical practices, institutions and periods that make up the discipline in order to see it in new and exciting ways.
It consists of three core modules. 'Themes and Problems in Modern and Contemporary Fictions' introduces students to current major themes in contemporary literature. In particular, students examine the ways in which contemporary texts engage with and mediate ongoing crises and conflicts post-2001. 'Materialities, Institutions, Contexts' enables students to identify key aspects of the material and institutional contexts in which literary studies emerged and developed. Students on the core modules develop advanced skills of argument, synthesis, research and presentation.
The Dissertation, which can be written on an appropriate topic of your choice, is also a core module. The option modules provide an opportunity for you to deepen and extend your knowledge of a range of periods, issues and forms across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.
You will choose four modules from the option modules listed below.
An MA in English Literature provides students with skills in researching, writing, critical thinking, articulating, synthesizing and conveying ideas, which enable students to pursue a wide range of careers.
Many students who undertake a Masters in English wish to pursue PhD study or careers in the education sector, media, journalism, publishing, and library and information work.
A Masters in English shows the ability to communicate effectively and to a high standard. The ability to articulate and transmit ideas clearly prepares students to enter careers in advertising, marketing and PR.
This pathway focuses on cutting-edge developments in literature. It uses notions of ‘writing’ and of the ‘present’ as gateways into contemporary debates about the historical present, the nature of time, and the difficulties of periodisation. Special attention will be paid to questions of technology, innovation, and social change. Our approach to contemporary material will be genuinely interdisciplinary and we will explore how such writing plays a role in current theoretical debates, engages with contemporary philosophy, and is transformed within the context of digital culture.
We are home to one of the largest and most diverse groups of staff in this field of any department in the country, and expertise in late-twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture brings together perspectives that are regional and transnational, theoretical and historicist. Distinctively, the pathway will also give you the opportunity of working with our leading postcolonial scholars, and to think about contemporary cultural production in global contexts of reception.
The pathway is delivered by a strong team of specialists in contemporary literature and culture, with particular expertise in digital cultures, technology, narrative theory and the contemporary novel. Staff on the contemporary pathway include Mark Currie, Sam McBean, Andrew van der Vlies, kitt price and Zara Dinnen, whose research interests and publications address topics in digital culture, new media, popular culture, contemporary fiction, American Fiction, science and technology, time, feminism, queer theory, temporality and the theory of narrative.
A range of option modules will enable you to study major novelists and poets from national literary traditions within and beyond an Anglo-American frame. The core module, ‘Writing and the Present’, equips you with a set of critical vocabularies with which to engage historically, formally and philosophically with contemporary literature. The pathway as whole thus facilitates a twin focus on the notions of writing and the present, encouraging you to examine the most urgent intellectual issues of our time that relate to the notion of ‘the contemporary’, not only in academic contexts but also in lived social experience.
The pathway combines specially-designed core modules with the opportunity to select further options from across the whole range of MA modules on offer in the Department of English. You may also opt to take a cognate elective module offered by the Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and by other Colleges of the University of London.
This course offers you the chance to study Contemporary British History at an advanced level in a strong research environment in central London where you can choose from a wide range of options taught by experts in the field. It also includes economic, social, cultural, political and diplomatic history. Our unique course covering contemporary historiography and research methods leads to careers in research, journalism, the civil service, politics, teaching and finance.
Our Contemporary British History course will provide you with training in and experience of the historical analysis of issues that are central to understanding contemporary Britain. While we focus on the study of British history over the past century, we also recognise that you can’t understand British history without reference to other countries and regions, in particular the Empire/Commonwealth, Europe and North America.
Alongside teaching you the techniques, skills and knowledge relevant to your interests and research needs, we will equip you for both independent research and analysis in primary and secondary material, and train you to write at an advanced level. We will foster your intellectual development and independent learning ability, which you will need to continue your own professional and personal development.
To provide you with a distinctive programme with which to proceed on to a PhD and to study contemporary British history at an advanced level, preparing you for a career both in academia and/or in journalism, the civil service, consultancy, teaching, publishing and elsewhere.
If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study alongside this.
If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with two to four hours a week of teaching through lectures and seminars in your first year, and two to four hours in your second year. Alongside this we will expect you to undertake 24 hours a week of independent study in your first year and 12-24 hours in your second year.
For your dissertation we will provide six hours of supervision and we will expect you to undertake 500-600 hours of independent study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
We assess the majority of our modules through coursework, although modules from other departments may differ. We will assess your dissertation module through a 15-000 word essay.
King’s College London is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Our MA course allows students to explore new approaches to contemporary literature and examine the innovations, diversity and practice of writing now. You will have the chance to read a range of work (including novels, poetry, drama, memoir, and creative non-fiction) from contemporary writers, and you will be encouraged to consider the relationship between contemporary writing and current theory.
York is a fantastic place to be if you love books and reading. Each year, the city celebrates its literary heritage with the York Literature Festival, for which our programme organises several events. In recent years, our students have had the chance to attend talks and readings by Margaret Atwood, Germaine Greer, Will Self, Carol Ann Duffy, Mark Gatiss, Ian McMillan, and Michel Faber. As part of your MA, you will have the opportunity to attend free workshops, writing sessions and readings as part of your degree experience.
This MA is structured so that students take four taught modules, and a dissertation. There are three terms in the year, and you should expect to take two modules each term as a full time student, and one module each term as a part-time student. All modules are compulsory.
Classes take place once a week for each module. There are three terms across the year, and each term runs for three weeks. You can study part-time (taking one module each term) or full time (two modules each term). Classes are taught during the week, and often take place in the early evening.
Critical perspectives on Contemporary Literature - This is the first module that students take, and it is designed to be a foundational module which provides opportunities for critical reflection and fosters research and writing skills. You will engage with a range of theoretical debates in contemporary literary study.
British Literature: The State of the Art - This module allows students to investigate current trends in British fiction, poetry and drama. You will read new and established writers and assess the dominant issues in contemporary British literary culture.
Contemporary American Writing - This module considers the diversity of new writings in English and theories of the post-colonial condition. You will read recent writing in English from the Caribbean, Africa, India, Canada or Australasia and consider the historical, cultural and political issues that arise from post-colonial texts.
Post-Colonial Literatures - On this module, students have the opportunity to debate the impact and importance of American writing from the late twentieth century until the present day. You will consider the formation of American identities and ideologies through studying a range of contemporary literature.
The aim of all our teaching is to help you become a better writer and literary critic, to challenge you to consider new ideas and concepts, and to support you in understanding the complex connections between literature, theory, and contemporary debates. The MA is taught by weekly two hour seminars for each module. You will have the opportunity to discuss the week’s reading with your tutor and with the rest of the group, in a friendly and intellectually stimulating learning environment. We offer special writing workshops to help students make the transition to postgraduate writing, and students also have the opportunity to work with the Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
We are a dynamic, engaged, and research-active team who are committed to providing our students with a cutting-edge education. Our postgraduate teaching is based on current research interests and projects, and is inspired by the contemporary debates informing current literary studies. In addition, MA Contemporary Literature students have the opportunity to organise a one-day literary symposium as part of their postgraduate experience, and the MA Coordinator works to support students throughout the year.
You will encounter a range of assessment including essays, annotated bibliographies, reflective writing, and presentations. Assessment opportunities are designed to help you develop your skills as a writer, researcher, and as a literary critic, and also to help you prepare for future employment. Most modules are assessed by one piece of coursework (usually 5000-6000 words) and you will have the chance to discuss your ideas and get formative feedback throughout the term. The dissertation is the intellectual culmination of your postgraduate experience. You will submit your dissertation proposal in January and work with your supervisor during the year, submitting your final piece (12,000 words) in August. This process helps you to become an independent researcher and you will be required to manage your own academic project.
Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.
York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.
The MA Contemporary Performance Practice is a practical, interdisciplinary course that will introduce you to a range of approaches and concepts, which are vital to the making of live performance in and in response to the world today. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge to function in contemporary performance environments, as a performer, maker, collaborative practitioner and researcher.
Drawing upon the excellent facilities for making live performance at New Adelphi and MediaCityUK, this course also provides the entrepreneurial and employability skills you need to function as a practitioner in the wider creative industries.
This course will also allow you to extend and develop skill sets through interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration, mirroring working environments within the creative industries. You will develop the ability to think dynamically, act originally, collaborate and function effectively in creative workplaces, integrating theoretical concepts, creative practice and real world skills.
You will also, through the core modules and final project, develop your own contemporary performance practice, culminating in the presentation of a significant piece of work, which you can then go on to use in professional contexts.
MA Contemporary Performance Practice offers you the opportunity to develop and refine your current practices, learn about new skills and approaches and engage with the issues most relevant to making performance in the world now.
Through the course you will:
From the outset, you will work in an interdisciplinary fashion. Your induction will include a creative collaborative project, that will acclimatise you to the ways of working on the programme and other students.
Programme modules are delivered through practical workshops, keynote lectures, seminars, and artist-led residencies. Seminars and student-centred symposia initiate independent work, and foster and facilitate collaborative partnerships and small group work. Adaptability of graduates is considered a core vocational outcome that reflects the hybridity of global culture and is an essential strategy for learning on the programme.
The programme fosters an intensive laboratory research culture intended to explore practice, deconstruct ideas, identify needs and skillsets and apply acquired knowledge to the construction of new modes of practice. At the core of this culture is the encouragement to consistently triangulate theory and reflection with personal practice. Philosophically the programme embraces diversity, innovation and accessibility through these student-centred approaches.
Assessment is via a balanced combination of formative and summative opportunities for each module, which promotes and responds to a fluid and processual development of your practice. Formal opportunities to write are combined with oral presentations, a range of performance outcomes and online portfolios.
You will be assessed through:
Digital Performance Lab at MediaCity UK.
Theatre, studio and specialist rehearsal spaces and acting studios at New Adelphi.
Graduates will be able to work in a range of environments from the cultural sector to future media, interactive design and production, small scale touring, venue based and independent production, theatre-making, performing and writing, community arts practices and applied theatre-making with defined sectors.
People who work in the field of contemporary performance are able to work across a wide range of applied areas of creative design and application. This ranges from traditional arts settings to the fields of interactive design, new media production and, as the use of digitally driven interfaces increases, into more commercially driven areas of work. Contemporary performance experts can have a broad set of skills from devising and composition, to technical design, production management, programming, script-development, video editing and post-production skills.
Potential employers include arts venues and organisations, educational providers and film companies. Skills employed in the making of contemporary performance, such as independent and collaborative problem solving, gathering and synthesis of elements, understanding and integration of the needs of a range of stakeholders, can be used to address many areas of creative practice. Graduates will also be equipped through the programme to pursue careers as individual, self-employed practitioners working across forms and disciplines.
The programme has links with the following organisations and begins each year with a creative intensive, led by a key contemporary performance practitioner:
Graduates of this programme will be well prepared, through its mix of theoretical and practical research, to pursue practice based MPhils/PhDs, which will build on and develop further practices established within the MA.
Explore your passion for contemporary literature and the way it can be used to help our understanding of society. You will examine current developments and critical issues in the past 30 years of literature on a course that provides an international and cross-cultural outlook.
Whether your interests lie in the postcolonial world or you have a fascination with women's writing or contemporary gothic literature, this challenging course will allow you to study recent volumes of poetry, research cultures and explore novels and films relating to current debates. You will use key theoretical models and concepts to gain a greater understanding of how we study literature and the motivations and historical events that have driven the authors you choose to read.
Taught by a team with an international reputation for their research in diverse areas, ranging from Caribbean culture, history and literature to cultural representations of the 2007-08 credit crunch across literature, stage and screen, this course will expose you to new ideas and will encourage you to question them.
Check out our twitter feed @BeckettEnglish for up-to-date information on staff and student events, short courses and fun happenings around the school.
Research Excellence Framework 2014
Research Excellence Framework 2014: 38% of our research was judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in the Communication, Culture and Media Studies, Library and Information Management unit.
You will learn how to use a range of cutting-edge theoretical approaches to texts, while you will be able to draw upon the course team's research and teaching strengths in contemporary women's writing, postcolonialism and popular fiction.
You will acquire a well-informed, critical understanding of current developments, questions and critical issues in the field of contemporary literatures and develop the transferable skills needed to undertake independent research into contemporary literatures and associated criticism and theory.
*These modules rotate on an annual basis. Not all modules listed may be available in your year of entry.
You will graduate with the expertise and confidence to add your voice to the latest literary criticism. You could decide to explore your chosen area further, get your findings published and work towards an MPhil or PhD, and then pursue a career in academia. Having built on and developed a range of transferable skills such as advanced planning and critical engagement, you will also be well prepared for a variety of careers in the civil service, teaching, journalism or publishing.