The term ‘cultural studies’ first of all refers to the study of cultural policy at all levels of policy-making and management in the public sector (local, regional, national, international). Cultural policies are anchored in legal texts and best practices. Our programme has a strongly practice-based approach to these policies. ‘Cultural studies’ also refers to a specific type of analysis and interpretation of culture. This approach to cultural studies is mainly indebted to the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Our KU Leuven team has always been an active contributor to this particular field as well.
The MA in Cultural Studies places the following emphases:
The Master of Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that aims at preparing the student for a wide range of executive functions in the cultural field (cultural mediation, criticism, media, heritage). In order to achieve this goal, the programme offers a combination of theoretical and practical modules.
At the end of the programme, graduates:
As both a hands-on and theoretically oriented programme, the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies prepares students for careers in a wide range of fields. On the one hand, many graduates become public servants and cultural policy officers at all levels of government (local, regional, national, international). On the other, many graduates enter the large field of creative industries (music, television, print and online media). The programme's regularly updated internship database provides a good overview of the possibilities open to students of cultural studies.
A fair number of students combine their studies (in 2 years) with a teachers' training programme, which prepares them for a teaching career. Students eager to find their way in the cultural sector should realise, however, that working in culture rarely entails a nine-to-five job. Special qualities such as passion, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, teamwork and good verbal and communicative skills are crucial. This programme in aims to hone those qualities.
The MA Cultural Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of contemporary culture.
Students are introduced to a variety of perspectives and traditions as well as to the creative interface between such disciplines.
The programme addresses art and the city, the culture industries, politics and globalisation, and media in the information age, as central themes.
It incorporates the basic themes and leading figures of classical Cultural Studies as well as the latest developments in Cultural Studies and Cultural Theory.
You will take two core modules together with a selection of individual modules, and complete a Masters dissertation.
You take option modules to the value of 60 credits. Modules can be chosen from across Goldsmiths departments and centres.
Around half of students completing this programme progress to PhD level, and others go into practical work – in the creative industries and in NGOs in a great number of countries.
High-level knowledge of cultural research; transferable skills within social and critical theory, aesthetics and performance, communication and multimedia; ethnography skills; critical appreciation of current debates in the media, the culture industries and the wider contemporary cultural environment.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Communication and Media Studies at Lancaster is ranked first in The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide Subject Rankings, 2016. This degree provides students with the theoretical and methodological grounding they need to carry out independent research in media and cultural studies.
The course introduces you to the key texts, debates and thinkers in media and cultural studies, ranging from the work of classical cultural theorists through to contemporary writing on new media, globalised culture, science and technology studies, and queer theory.
You will be encouraged to reflect critically on the role of popular media in structuring our everyday lives. The course examines the role of media in reproducing, disseminating and challenging hegemonic power relations, as well as thinking through the ways in which gender, sexuality and ‘race’ are constructed in global media cultures.
This is not a vocational or practice-based degree. However, it is a degree that will teach you skills in critical thinking, independent research, and analysis highly relevant for development and innovation in the cultural and media sectors.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
This programme takes an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to the study of contemporary culture and cultural theory.
Adopting transcultural perspectives, we encourage investigations into the questions of identity and representation; the urban realm as a site of intense cultural production; and instructive tensions between spatial, textual, visual and material forms that both shape and are shaped by cultural contexts, specific practices, various image and media technologies and theoretical debates.
In engaging with the complexities of visual knowledge and the technological mediations of images, texts and objects, the programme encourages critical reflections and research methodologies in which image and visual practice contribute to the research corpus and serve as critical tools of investigation.
In exploring social and political conditions in which cultural expressions take place, especially the local and global processes of transformation and contestation, the programme offers a unique focus on the diverse manifestations of material cultures and cultural landscapes.
Multidisciplinary and critical comparative approaches are key facets of the discipline of cultural studies and we welcome students coming from varied academic backgrounds and cultural traditions.
The programme combines seminar and tutorial work with group discussions, class presentations, essays and longer research projects (dissertations).
Both core courses and some option courses employ innovative pedagogies that encourage critical and theoretical reflection through engagement with visual production, visual essays and multimedia presentations.
Option courses are drawn from architecture, history of art and other Schools within the wider University.
By following this programme students will benefit from the following learning outcomes:
Acquire a thorough grounding in key terms, debates and theories framing urban cultural and visual studies.
Expand and refine critical appreciation of current developments and discourses related to urban cultural studies and visual culture.
Acquire and/or further develop their capacity to think in both images and texts, and explore theoretical questions through the engagement in spatial and visual practices.
Acquire and /or further develop their abilities and skills for curating and presenting visual and spatial research.
Gain critical, analytical, interpretative and representational skills that are transferable to both academic and other professional settings.
Throughout the programme, your learning will be supported by guest seminars and critical reviews, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops, field trips and events and directed towards events hosted by the University and other cultural institutions within the city.
This programme is an ideal stepping stone towards advanced study in cultural studies and any related field. This in itself could lead to an ongoing academic career, or a role in education. You may otherwise take the critical, analytical, interpretive and representational skills and apply them in almost any professional setting.
Discover the richness and diversity of new writings in English with this distinctive degree, which focuses on literature from across the Commonwealth and the theoretical issues that emerge from colonial and postcolonial literatures.
You’ll develop your understanding of research in literary studies through a core module, but then choose from optional modules which look at the histories, contexts, structures and language that give postcolonial and colonial texts their uniqueness.
We focus on literature, but the programme also introduces you to other forms of cultural production such as music and cinema – and you’ll think about the relationships between literary studies and disciplines such as geography, anthropology and history. Supported by our Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, you’ll gain a cross-disciplinary insight into how writers from around the world have engaged with issues such as identity, place, independence, development and race among many others.
The University of Leeds was the first UK university to establish ‘Commonwealth Literature’ as an academic discipline at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We’re still leading the way in research and teaching, supported by the expertise of staff within and outside of the cross-disciplinary Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.
You’ll study in a supportive environment with access to extensive resources for your research and placing literature and culture in their historical and political context. Microfilm collections of American, Indian and South African newspapers, parliamentary papers relating to the British Empire, US government and presidential files, the Church Missionary Society Archives, the Black Power Movement archive and British documents on the end of empire, foreign affairs and policy overseas are just some of the resources at your fingertips. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore your interests and gain key skills.
This programme is also available to study part-time.
You’ll take one core module in your first semester, introducing you to the challenges, methods and approaches used in researching literature and allowing you to develop your skills. You’ll also choose one of our optional modules, before studying another two in your second semester.
You can choose all of your modules from within postcolonial literary and cultural studies, but you also have the option to expand your studies by choosing one from those available across the School of English, from the early medieval period to contemporary literature.
By the end of the programme, you’ll demonstrate the skills and knowledge you’ve developed when you submit your dissertation or research project on a postcolonial literary or cultural topic of your choice.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
You’ll have weekly seminars in each module where you discuss the themes and issues arising from your reading, and you’ll be able to enhance your learning by attending the wide range of research seminars and talks by visiting speakers that we arrange throughout the year. However, independent study is a vital part of the degree, as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.
Most of our modules are assessed by a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you submit at the end of the semester in which you studied the module. You may also be expected to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work, or give presentations in your seminars.
This programme will equip you with a wide range of high-level transferable skills which are valuable in a wide range of careers.
You’ll be a confident researcher who can work independently as well as within a team. You’ll be a strong communicator, both verbally and in writing, and be able to think critically and analytically. In addition, you’ll have a strong level of cultural and critical awareness, and you’ll be able to look at a situation from different points of view.
All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you’ll have the skills to pursue a career in fields including teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you’ll be well equipped for a career in academia.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website
Whether it is the history of Europe, the development of modern European literature or the art of Rome that fascinates you, the Research Master's specialization are an excellent choice for talented students who want to prepare themselves for an international academic career. Indeed, the diversity of interests of our teaching and research staff will allow you to specialize in almost any subject, and the space we offer within the Master's specialization for research and studies at home and abroad allows you to put together a training programme that perfectly meets your wishes.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/hlcs
Within the Master's programme in Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies, you can choose between three English-taught Master's specializations:
1. Historical Studies
Students can specialize in any historical theme from antiquity to the present day. Many students specialize in Ancient History, Medieval History, Cultural History from 1500 to the present, the History of Dutch Catholicism, Gender studies, Modern Political History, Globalisation and Presented History. Students, working in small numbers, will pursue their own specialty and discuss developments in contemporary historiography, debate research ideas and critique other's writings and research.
2. Literary Studies
If you have completed your Bachelor's degree in one of the classical or modern languages and have strong ambitions to conduct international research, this programme is your springboard to an academic career in literary studies. The specialization admits students of various languages and literatures, including German, French, Spanish, English (both American and British), Dutch, Ancient Greek and Latin as well as other languages and literary studies. Central to this programme is the attention paid to methods of textual interpretation and New Philology. Students select courses to fit the needs of their specialism and discuss contemporary developments and research ideas. Whether you prefer ancient Greek tragedy, contemporary American literature or Dutch poetry, the new Literary Studies Research Master's is very well suited for talented students wishing to contribute to (inter)national research in this field.
3. Art and Visual Culture
If you are interested in visual and material culture from Antiquity to the present and aspire a career in international scientific research in the fields of art, visual culture or classical archaeology, Radboud University Nijmegen is pleased to offer a two-year research Master's specialisation which offers exactly that. This programme is based on the unique cooperation of the departments of Classical Archaeology, Cultural Studies and Art History, allowing a broad perspective on the visual heritage of western culture from classical antiquity to the present as well as specialist training.
The Research Master's in Art and Visual Culture is designed for highly motivated students who are interested in the art and visual culture of Europe from classical antiquity to the present, and have ambitions for an international career in these fields.
The HLCS institute greatly values the close interaction between students and top researchers, which is why our courses are open only to small numbers of students working under the supervision of experienced professors. At the start of the first year, you will choose a tutor (always an excellent researcher with relevant expertise) who will personally guide your development as a specialist in your field. Regular meetings with your tutor will ensure the steady increase of your academic skills. They will also offer the opportunity to exchange research ideas at an advanced level. Your tutor will help you apply for international funding to support research trips and the attendance of conferences, as well as guide the preparation of your PhD proposal, which is an integral part of the course programme.
During the Master’s programme you will gain a broad perspective on the humanities in general because of the collaboration between the programmes of Historical Studies, Literary Studies, and Art and Visual Culture. Through your personal Master’s research, you will also have concentrated on a very specific phenomenon in your own field. This combination of broad and specific focus will open a lot of doors for you. Our research programme has produced graduates that are appreciated by employees for their research skills as well as their insightfulness and analytical skills, and who have not only learned how to delve into large quantity of data and master it but also how to place their results in a larger context.
In short, at the end of the programme you’ll:
- Have acquired heuristic research skills at an advanced level.
- Have gained general knowledge of leading perspectives, theories, concepts, and paradigm shifts in the humanities and advanced knowledge specifically for own field.
- Be able to engage in the public debates regarding issues in the humanities.
- Have acquired English academic writing skills and have practiced writing a publishable scholarly article and a proposal for a PhD project.
- Have started to build up a professional international network.
Academia and beyond
This programme is initially intended to prepare its students for an academic career, in particular as PhD researchers. About half of our graduates find such a position in the Netherlands or abroad. The other half also obtain academic positions with research orientated duties. Examples include:
- Researcher at a cultural or scientific organisation or research centre
- Assistant of a senior researcher
- Teacher at an institution for higher education
- Policy-making official in the fields of culture and science
- Editor in the field of historical or cultural scholarship
- Staff member of a publishing company or and text agency, usually with regard to scientific, historical or cultural journals
- Curator of a cultural heritage institution or in the museological sector
- Consultant for a political party
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/hlcs
On this programme we interrupt theory with practice, and practice with theory – we aim to engage you, intellectually and critically, and with enthusiasm, in a cultural studies project that questions everything.
The MPhil/PhD programme offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of culture. We'll introduce you to a wide variety of perspectives and traditions, animated via a creative interface between disciplines.
You'll develop a fundamental grounding in social and cultural theory, cultural studies and cultural research, as well as skills in ethnography, digital media, textual and audio-visual analysis.
The programme encourages you to deploy these methods to articulate your appreciation of crucial debates in the public domains of the media, the culture industries, formal and informal institutions, and in the wider contemporary cultural scene.
Many students write text-based theses, but approximately one third of our candidates produce theses that incorporate practical work in media and/or arts.
Initially, you register for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme to train you in the research methods you will need to complete a PhD.
You can apply to upgrade to PhD registration when you have satisfactorily completed an agreed part of the research and training programme; this usually happens after 18 months if you are studying full-time, or 24 months if part-time.
You should aim to complete and submit your PhD thesis within an agreed period, usually three to four years for full-time students, and four to six years for part-time.
If you decide not to upgrade to PhD registration, you can submit your thesis for an MPhil after two years if you are studying full-time, or after three years if part-time.
With the agreement of your supervisor, you can change your registration from full to part-time or vice versa; the necessary form is available from the Student Records Office.
North American applicants especially should note that the British system does not include preparatory taught classes or examinations as part of the MPhil/PhD programme, except for an initial module in research methods.
Research students are normally co-supervised by one staff member from the centre and a staff member from the academic department whose expertise is best suited to your needs.
Often one supervisor will see you for a term or two and then the other co-supervisor will take over for an extended period, depending on the sort of work you are undertaking at the particular point in time.
Some students are single-supervised by a member of the Centre's staff. In cases of co-supervision, you will normally meet with one co-supervisor at a time.
You'll be able to draw on wide-ranging and interdisciplinary supervisory teams and if your thesis is partly by other media, specialist supervision will be provided. For example:
Research topics are wide ranging; from the historical and comparative study of literature, art and architecture to the future of digital media and the informational city; from border cultures in Malaysia, Mexico or South London to the future of the self-organizing city; from philosophical considerations of Heidegger's idea of Technik, to empirical studies of new forms of work in the information society.
A College-wide programme of research training is provided, which involves an induction module (which all students should attend), introduction to information technologies and the use of library and bibliographic resources, basic training in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and sessions on research planning, presentation skills and ethics.
Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.
Written thesis and viva voce. It is possible to submit work in other media, by arrangement.
Throughout the research degree you will develop skills in ethnography and cultural research, and be able to deploy these to articulate your appreciation of crucial debates in the public domains of the media, the culture industries, formal and informal institutions and in the wider contemporary cultural scene.