The MLitt in Cultural Identity Studies is a one-year taught programme run by the Cultural Identity Studies Institute (CISI), part of the School of Modern Languages. The programme explores the contemporary problem of collective identities as modelled by and expressed in national culture.
The taught portion of the course consists of four compulsory modules and a range of optional modules held over two semesters. Classes are delivered through a mixture of lectures (with around 20 students) and seminars (which vary from individual one-to-one teaching up to ten students). Modules are assessed through coursework; there are no final exams for this programme.
You will spend the summer months focusing on researching and writing a final dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.
Each module typically comprises:
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
This course is ideal if you wish to pursue media, communications and cultural inquiry in order to develop a media-based career.
On this course you will cover all aspects of media, communications and cultural studies, from exploring cultural theories and concepts such as Marxism, post-Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism and globalisation, to the developments and debates around media and cultural industries such as TV, film, print media and the internet. You will analyse the politics of identity in the context of media and cultural representations, especially in the changing media and web landscape.
You’ll be taught by staff who have strong research profiles with publications in the area of cultural studies theory, culture and politics, tabloid culture, reality television, psychoanalysis, television history and industry, the globalisation of media and culture, contemporary trends in the television industry, as well as travel writing.
You will become a member of the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures (CRFAC), giving you access to a diverse programme of research seminars, symposia and special events organised in collaboration with institutions such as the British Film Institute. Your studies are complemented by visiting lectures given by media and cultural industry professionals such as film makers and scholars from other institutions.
Roehampton's location in London is ideal for media and culture students as you can take advantage of your location by immersing yourself in the wealth of creative cultural institutions and media companies that the capital has to offer, unrivalled by any other city in the UK.
On the course, you will gain an in depth understanding of the role of the media in everyday life, and of its relation to culture and formations of identity and subjectivity.
You will be introduced to, and evaluate, a number of influential and important communication theories and concepts associated with the public sphere, globalisation, promotional culture, media organisations and new media, as well as discourse analysis.
You will engage with the politics of identity in the context of media and cultural representations and explore debates around social difference through a consideration of various defining conditions including gender, class, ethnicity, history, nationality, sexuality, taste and consumer choices.
You will also explore the representation of social reality and the social self in both mass and new media. By focusing on a range of non-fiction formats including reality television, ‘unscripted’ video, user-generated content and the development of the social web, you will address established and newer scholarly debates concerning ‘truth telling’, confession, surveillance and the production of knowledge about the self and its place in the world.
You’ll end the year by undertaking a dissertation or research project which will give you the opportunity to deepen your research skills and knowledge about a topic of particular interest to you.
Some of the modules we currently offer include:
The MA helps students prepare for successful careers in communications and the cultural industries including film, journalism and publishing. Students may opt to do media research or further academic study.
The media play an important role in entertaining and informing the public – but they also make up a huge industry that employs thousands of people worldwide. This programme will give you an insight into both aspects of the media industries, as you analyse their cultural and economic dimensions.
You’ll explore the full range of media production, from individual bloggers to huge corporations. Taking an international approach, you’ll study the development of contemporary media to understand current trends. It’s a truly interdisciplinary programme, drawing on communication and cultural studies, economics, anthropology, business and management studies, sociology, politics, law, literature, art history and music.
Guided by leading researchers in the field, many of whom are involved in our Media Industries Research Centre, you’ll gain an insight into how television, film, music, online media, newspapers, magazines and advertising are produced, and what it’s like to work in each industry.
Our School has a range of fantastic facilities to support your studies. The 58-seat Phil Taylor Cinema is equipped with Dolby Digital sound and high-definition projection facilities, as well as projectors for 16mm and 35mm film.
You can also work on your own projects in our 44 editing suites, equipped with Avid Media Composer editing software and Adobe Creative Cloud. The fully equipped TV studio also has a large green screen area, lighting and photo-flash facilities. We also have a track and dolly, sliders, Glidecam and various cranes, and you’ll have access to a new photographic dark room.
We also run a loans service where you can borrow a range of HD digital camcorders and various Canon stills cameras to help with your project work.
You’ll develop your knowledge of the full range of media industries through core modules that run in each semester.
You’ll be introduced to issues and debates in media studies as well as the impacts of developments such as digitalisation and marketisation. Then you’ll explore the organisational dynamics of industries such as television, film, music, digital media, newspapers, magazines and advertising to consider what it’s like to work in them.
Throughout the year, you’ll also be preparing for your dissertation through the Dissertation and Research Methods module. Your dissertation is a major independent research project on a topic of your choice, which you submit at the end of the year.
Alongside the compulsory modules, you’ll be able to tailor the programme to suit your own interests by selecting from a range of optional modules on topics such as television narrative, identity and media, political communication, cultural policy, international film industries and public relations, among others.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll complete the MA over two years, instead of one, taking fewer modules each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
MA modules will use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, group learning and project work, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, as an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the subjects introduced in lectures and seminars, and to develop your skills in analysis and research. You should anticipate spending at least 20 hours per week on independent study associated with your modules.
We use different methods to assess your progress, depending on the modules you choose. These are likely to include essays, video or photography work, presentations or project work and reports.
This programme will prepare you for a variety of careers in the management and production of media content, both in the UK and worldwide. You’ll also be equipped to work in communications in broader contexts such as communications and media policy, PR or other cultural and creative industries.
You’ll also be well placed to pursue your research at PhD level, and even pursue an academic career.
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.