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Masters Degrees (Ma Critical Theory)

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This programme offers you the chance to study a range of theories in depth. It engages with modern literary theory, psychoanalytical theory, political theory and theories of visual and aesthetic experience. Read more
This programme offers you the chance to study a range of theories in depth. It engages with modern literary theory, psychoanalytical theory, political theory and theories of visual and aesthetic experience.

You reflect on these areas of thinking in themselves and as they relate to particular literary texts, to post-enlightenment philosophy and to other relevant areas of culture and experience. It is for those interested in writing, reading, language, art, the self, literature and discovering more about the relations between literature and philosophy.

The MA in Critical Theory offers a choice of two core courses that survey a wide range of modern theoretical approaches, and a range of taught options covering postcolonial theory, theories of art, modern approaches to comparative literature, deconstruction and a chance to work in depth on a single key theoretical text and the writings it refers to.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/216/critical-theory

About the School of English

The School of English has a strong international reputation and global perspective, apparent both in the background of its staff and in the diversity of our teaching and research interests.

Our expertise ranges from the medieval to the postmodern, including British, American and Irish literature, postcolonial writing, 18th-century studies, Shakespeare, early modern literature and culture, Victorian studies, modern poetry, critical theory and cultural history. The international standing of the School ensures that we have a lively, confident research culture, sustained by a vibrant, ambitious intellectual community. We also count a number of distinguished creative writers among our staff, and we actively explore crossovers between critical and creative writing in all our areas of teaching and research.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 has produced very strong results for the School of English at Kent. With 74% of our work graded as world-leading or internationally excellent, the School is ranked 10th out of 89 English departments in terms of Research Intensity (Times Higher Education). The School also received an outstanding assessment of the quality of its research environment and public impact work.

Course structure

You take two modules in the autumn term and two in the spring term; one core module (FR866: Literature and Theory) and three optional modules. You are also expected to attend the Faculty and School Research Methods Programmes.

You then write a theory-based dissertation between the start of the Summer Term and the end of August.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

FR866 - Literature and Theory (30 credits)
FR807 - Postmodern French Detective Fiction (30 credits)
EN889 - Literary Theory (30 credits)
EN897 - Advanced Critical Reading (30 credits)
FR872 - Theories of Art in Modern French Thought (30 credits)
CP808 - Writing the Self: Autobiography in the Modern Period (30 credits)
CP810 - Comparative Literature in Theory and Practice (30 credits)
EN852 - Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses (30 credits)
EN857 - Body and Place in the Postcolonial Text (30 credits)
TH831 - Spirituality and Therapy (30 credits)
TH833 - Contemporary Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion (30 credits)
EN876 - Dickens and the Condition of England (30 credits)
EN888 - Extremes of Feeling: Literature and Empire in the Eighteenth Century (30 credits)
EN818 - American Modernism 1900-1930 (Teaching Period I) (30 credits)
EN832 - Hacks, Dunces and Scribblers: Authorship and the Marketplace in the Eig (30 credits)
EN835 - Dickens, The Victorians and the Body (30 credits)
EN842 - Reading the Contemporary (30 credits)
EN850 - Centres and Edges: Modernist and PostcolonialQuest Literature (30 credits)
MT864 - Reading the Medieval Town: Canterbury, an International City (30 credits)

Assessment

The course is assessed by coursework for each module and by the dissertation which accounts for a third of the final grade.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- extend and deepen through coursework and research your understanding of modern literary and critical theory

- study the reading-practices, analytic tools and vocabularies of modern critical thought

- develop your independent critical thinking and judgement

- introduce you to the research methods that facilitate advanced theoretical study of literature

- provide a basis in knowledge and skills if you intend to teach critical theory, especially in higher education

- develop your understanding and critical awareness of the expressive and analytical resources of language

- offer scope for the study of critical theory within an interdisciplinary context, notably that provided by philosophy

- develop your ability to argue a point of view with clarity and cogency, both orally and in written form

- examine this writing in the wider context of literature, culture and philosophy

- provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge

- develop your research skills to the point where you are ready to undertake a research degree, should you so wish.

Careers

Many career paths can benefit from the writing and analytical skills that you develop as a postgraduate student in the School of English. Our students have gone on to work in academia, journalism, broadcasting and media, publishing, writing and teaching; as well as more general areas such as banking, marketing analysis and project management.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Read more
Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Our radical approach cuts across traditional boundaries, fostering dialogue between different schools and disciplines, and we are one of the few universities in the world that bridges the divide between the two great traditions of Analytic and Continental philosophy.

Our MA Philosophy will provide you with a rigorous grounding in modern and contemporary European philosophy. We have leading expertise in critical theory, phenomenology, German Idealism, nineteenth Century German philosophy, aesthetics, existentialism, contemporary French philosophy, philosophy and psychoanalysis, and medical humanities.

You study modules of your choice, develop your research, writing, and employability skills through an intensive Writing Workshop, and prepare an MA dissertation in your chosen area of research.

Our department is widely regarded as among the very best in the UK, having been recognised as one of the top 10 UK universities for research excellence (REF 2014), and being placed in the top 10 in The Guardian University Guide in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

As an alternative to our more flexible MA Philosophy, you can focus your study on a more specific area by following one of the following pathways:

MA Philosophy (Continental Philosophy Pathway)
All of our academic staff work on Continental Philosophy, including classical German philosophy (Kant and German Idealism), Frankfurt School Critical Theory (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), nineteenth-century philosophy (Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche), and phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty). On this pathway you choose from a range of specified topics in these areas, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Continental Philosophy.

MA Philosophy (Critical Social Theory Pathway)
We are the leading centre for Critical Social Theory in the UK with five members of academic staff working on the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), contemporary French thought (Derrida, Foucault, Rancière) and issues in Critical Social Theory, such as activist political theory, theory of recognition, aesthetics and politics, deliberative democracy, and the moral limits of markets. On this pathway you study modules on the Frankfurt School and Contemporary Critical Theory, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Critical Social Theory.

MA Philosophy (Philosophy and Art History Pathway)
Drawing on the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach of the School, our new Philosophy and Art History pathway enables students to get a thorough grounding in philosophical aesthetics. You explore issues in aesthetics and their bearing on other areas of philosophy (such as critical theory or existentialism) and Art History (such as aesthetic practices and curating), and profit from the wide-ranging expertise of our staff in both disciplines. On this pathway you study modules on Philosophy/Aesthetics and Art History (dealing, for example, with Art & Politics, Art, Architecture and Urbanism, or Art, Science & Knowledge), in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Philosophy and Art History.

Our expert staff

Our courses are taught by world-class academics, and over three quarters of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), which puts us fifth in the UK for research outputs.

Our open-minded and enthusiastic staff have an exceptionally broad range of research interests, so whatever questions in philosophy catch hold of your imagination, there is certain to be someone you can approach to find out more.

Recent projects and publications include:
-Béatrice Han-Pile and Dan Watts’ major new research project, The Ethics of Powerlessness: the Theological Virtues Today
-The Essex Autonomy Project, a major interdisciplinary project funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), which aims to investigate the role of autonomous judgment in many aspects of human life
-Peter Dews’ The Idea of Evil, Polity, 2007
-Béatrice Han-Pile, Foucault’s Critical Project: Between the Transcendental and the Historical, Stanford University Press, 2002
-Fiona Hughes, Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: A Reader’s Guide, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
-Wayne Martin, Theories of Judgement: Psychology, Logic, Phenomenology, Cambridge University Press, 2006
-Irene McMullin’s Time and the Shared World: Heidegger on Social Relations, Northwestern University Press, 2013
-Fabian Freyenhagen’s Adorno’s Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly, Cambridge University Press, 2013

Specialist facilities

-Graduate students have access to desk space in the School and many students work there on a daily basis
-A dedicated German-language course for graduate students in philosophy
-Attend our Critical Theory Colloquium
-Attend the Werkstatt, where recent work on phenomenology is presented
-An exciting programme of research seminars, reading groups and mini-courses that help you expand your philosophical knowledge beyond what you learn on your course
-Access a variety of philosophy textbooks and journals in the Albert Sloman Library and in our departmental library

Your future

Many of our philosophy graduates embark on doctoral study after finishing their MA. We offer supervision for PhDs in a range of fields including:
-Continental philosophy
-Critical Social Theory
-History of philosophy
-Applied ethics

Our graduates have also gone into careers in law, the media, local administration, HM Revenue and Customs, and top jobs in the Civil Service.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Dissertation: Continental Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Critical Social Theory (optional)
-Dissertation: MA Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Philosophy & Art History (optional)
-Phenomenology and Existentialism (optional)
-Kant's Revolution in Philosophy (optional)
-Hegel (optional)
-Contemporary Critical Theory (optional)
-Topics in Continental Philosophy (optional)
-MA Writing Workshop (optional)
-The Frankfurt School (optional)
-Philosophy and Aesthetics (optional)
-Collecting Art From Latin America (optional)
-Art & Politics (optional)
-Current Research in Art History (optional)
-Art, Architecture and Urbanism (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-The New Nature Writing (optional)
-Foundations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (optional)
-The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law (optional)
-Human Rights and Development (optional)
-International Trade, Investment and Human Rights. (optional)
-Human Rights for Women (optional)
-Transitional Justice (optional)
-Psycho Analytic Theory (optional)
-Psychoanalytic Methodology (optional)

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The Cultural and Critical Theory MA will give you a sophisticated appreciation of the limits of human understanding, the interdependence of philosophy and theory, and the implications of these for political action, aesthetic sensibility and representation in art and activism. Read more
The Cultural and Critical Theory MA will give you a sophisticated appreciation of the limits of human understanding, the interdependence of philosophy and theory, and the implications of these for political action, aesthetic sensibility and representation in art and activism.

The course offers three distinct pathways:

• Aesthetics and Cultural Theory
• Globalisation, Politics and Culture
• Philosophy and Critical Theory

All pathways provide for the development of an advanced understanding of specialist areas in cultural and critical theory, and effective preparation for doctoral research.

The core course, delivered during the autumn and spring terms, is complemented by a research methods module and two elective modules that offer opportunities for study across the range of humanities provision.

The course culminates in the submission of a specialist 20,000-word (or equivalent) project, which allows you to apply your advanced philosophical and theoretical understanding to an issue or text of your choice.

Taught courses are delivered with a maximum size of 12 students. Supervision for the project, and for pre and post-essay tutorials, is on a one-to-one basis with the appropriate tutor.

Why study with us?

• Opportunity to specialise in aesthetics and cultural theory, political and cultural globalisation, or philosophy and critical theory

• Successful international conferences – for example 'Slavery, Race and Reparative History', 'Globalisation and its Discontents' and 'Complicity', all with visiting scholars from across the globe

• The Philosophy, Politics and Aesthetics seminar series that invites debate from across the College, and hosts visiting scholars to deliver seminar papers twice a month

• A research methods module that improves your skills in independent study, and prepares you for doctoral work as well as for your MA project

• Staff with diverse research interests that span art practices, ethics, aesthetics, Marxisms, Freudianisms, Liberalisms, the political philosophy of international relations and global change, philosophy and filmmaking, literature and visual art, political activism and forms of democracy, and more

Areas of study

Delivered during the autumn and spring terms, the core course consists of a common lecture line and two modules in aesthetics and cultural theory, philosophy and critical theory, or political and cultural globalisation, depending on your chosen specialist area.

You also take a research methods module, which prepares you for the research project by considering the various approaches taken by relevant disciplines, interrogating the requirements of MA-level research and addressing how your intended research topic might best be refined.

The project itself normally consists of 18-20,000 word dissertation (or 12,000 words alongside a video, an installation or studio-based work) in which you apply your knowledge of cultural or critical theory to an issue or text of your choosing. Your work towards this submission is supported by one-to-one project supervision.

The elective modules can take one of three forms:

• a module from one of our other arts and humanities MA courses
• a Higher Education Teaching and Learning Course in which you shadow a tutor in the delivery of a module on the undergraduate programme
• a 10,000-word extended essay with regular one-to-one tutorial supervision.

To find out more about the course syllabus please visit the website:

https://www.brighton.ac.uk/courses/study/cultural-and-critical-theory-ma-pgcert-pgdip.aspx

Careers and employability

About a third of graduates from the Cultural and Critical Theory MA go on to PhD study, equipped with advanced research skills and specialist knowledge of their subject area. Others start or continue work as museum or gallery curators, in arts administration, journalism, social work, education or politics.

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This programme takes a philosophical, theoretical and historical approach to cultural studies, exploring the work of cultural criticism, reception and production through new critical perspectives, interdisciplinary insights and a vast spectrum of applications and opportunities. Read more

This programme takes a philosophical, theoretical and historical approach to cultural studies, exploring the work of cultural criticism, reception and production through new critical perspectives, interdisciplinary insights and a vast spectrum of applications and opportunities.

We study the major traditions of cultural theory, including semiology, deconstruction, feminism, psychoanalysis, and Frankfurt School theories of the aesthetic, the media and technology. This training enables you to shape your thinking critically and develop your interests in a rigorously analytical context.

These theoretical and historical perspectives allow us to tease out the critical charge embedded in the notion of culture itself, and the transformative potential of creative and critical work in the arts and humanities.

Close reading and textuality are at the heart of the course, encouraging you to think critically about issues of modernity and postmodernity, the postcolonial, subjectivity and sexuality.

Diverse and dynamic

Founded in 1987 (as MA Cultural Studies), and situated in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, this programme appeals to students from across the humanities who are interested in a broad range of objects and genres including literature, film and the visual arts, performance, music, and philosophy.

You’ll work alongside students in different creative and critical disciplines and benefit from the diverse research interests of our tutors. It’s a dynamic environment where you’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills in a city with a vibrant cultural life.

Leeds University Library is one of the major academic research libraries in the UK with extensive print, online and manuscript collections. The University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them. The School houses Parallax, published by Taylor and Francis, an internationally distributed journal of cultural theory and analysis.

Course content

The two modules that sit at the heart of this course will develop your understanding of cultural theory over time.

You’ll develop an understanding of the ideas of “commodity” and “commodity fetish” that are central to the study of consumer culture, as well as issues around language, sign and discourse and subjectivity. Then you’ll put this into the context of the development of cultural studies, focusing on thinkers from Rousseau to Kant and Homi Bhabha. You’ll use film and other texts to explore these ideas.

In each semester you’ll also have the chance to specialise when you choose from a range of optional modules. From Derrida and deconstruction to medieval art, representations of the Holocaust, technology and the media, Jewish culture and aesthetic theory, you’ll be able to focus on topics that suit your personal interests.

At the same time, you’ll build your knowledge of research methods and improve your own skills. To demonstrate all you’ve learned, you’ll work towards presenting your research at a symposium in Semester 2 and complete a dissertation on a 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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Cultural Theory 30 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 1 5 credits
  • Advanced Research Skills 2 5 credits
  • Cultural History 30 credits
  • Cultural Studies: Dissertation 50 credits

Optional modules

  • Derrida and Deconstruction 30 credits
  • Reading Sexual Difference 30 credits
  • Beyond the Trench: Collaborative Projects on the History, Remembrance and Critical Heritage of the First World War 30 credits
  • Making Sense of Sound 30 credits
  • Capitalism-Criticism-Contemporary Art 30 credits
  • Feminism and Culture: Theoretical Perspectives 30 credits
  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • Aesthetics and Politics 30 credits
  • Critical and Curatorial Challenges in Contemporary Art: The Documenta Exhibitions at Kassel 1992-2012 30 credits
  • Encountering Things: Art and Entanglement in Anglo-Saxon England 30 credits
  • The Origins of Postcolonial England 30 credits
  • Anthropology, Art and Representation 30 credits
  • Humanity, Animality and Globality 30 credits
  • Technology, Media and Critical Culture 30 credits
  • Individual Directed Study 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Cultural Theory MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Cultural Theory MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

To help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors, we use a range of teaching and learning methods. These include seminars, film screenings, lectures, online learning and tutorials. Independent study is also a crucial component, allowing you to form your own ideas and develop your research and critical skills.

Assessment

Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose. However, among others they may include essays, in-course assessment, group and individual presentations, poster presentations and portfolio or e-portfolio work.

Career opportunities

This programme will develop your critical and cultural awareness and expand your subject knowledge in theories and histories of culture. In addition, it will equip you with sophisticated research, analytical, critical and communication skills that will put you in a good position to succeed in a variety of careers.

Many of our graduates have also continued with their research at PhD level and secured external funding to support them – including AHRC scholarships. A large proportion of our former research students are now developing academic careers in the UK, Europe, Asia, USA and Australia.

Some have taken up posts working as curators and education staff in museums and galleries, as well as in journalism, publishing, arts marketing, public relations, university administration and teaching.

Careers support

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.



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Critical theory has become increasingly important as a way of understanding and intervening in cultural debates. Read more

Critical theory has become increasingly important as a way of understanding and intervening in cultural debates. This programme will allow you to read the work of critical theorists from different fields and approaches with sensitivity and critical insight, as well as exploring the complex dynamics of literature, culture and politics.

You’ll develop your knowledge of research methods in critical and cultural studies through a core module and you’ll choose from a range of options allowing you to explore theories and thinkers that suit your own interests. You can even choose one module from elsewhere in the School of English, giving you the chance to broaden the scope of your understanding.

With the support of active researchers and access to our extensive library and research resources, you’ll be able to learn more about the evolution of critical and cultural debates, while gaining high-level skills that are valuable in a range of careers.

You’ll learn in a stimulating environment with access to excellent resources for your research. The world-class Brotherton Library has extensive holdings to support the study of literature, and our Special Collections are full of archive and manuscript material. The University Library offers full training to help you make the most of them, equipping you with valuable skills in the process.

Course content

A core module in your first semester will develop your understanding of research methods in critical and cultural theory, as well as allowing you to build and improve your research skills. You will also take three option modules, one in semester one and two in semester two. At least two of these modules should be related to critical and cultural theory. Your third option module can be taken from the full range on offer across the School of English.

Throughout the programme, you’ll use different theoretical lenses to explore the complex relationships between art, culture and politics with a specific focus on literature. You’ll also specialise in an area of critical and cultural theory of your choice when you complete a dissertation or research project, which you’ll submit by the end of the programme.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take fewer modules in each year and study over a longer period.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Studying English: Research Methods 30 credits
  • Research Project 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Reading (with) Psychoanalysis 30 credits
  • So Where do you come from? Selves, Families, Stories 30 credits
  • Poetry of Catastrophe: Reading Paul Celan 30 credits
  • Feeling Time 30 credits
  • The Magic of Mimesis 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Cultural Theory (English Studies) MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Cultural Theory (English Studies) MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll generally have two-hour 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. You’ll also benefit from supervisions throughout semester 2 with your dissertation supervisor.

However, independent study is a vital part of the degree as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.

Assessment

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. The research project/dissertation is 12,000-15,000 words in length.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with a wide range of advanced 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 be well equipped to pursue a career in a wide range of fields depending on your interests. These could include teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you’ll be in a good position to develop a career in academia.

Careers support

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.



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This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines. Read more

This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines.

You will explore the variety, dynamism and relevance of political theory in the modern world, gaining an insight into political thought and practical application of political ideas.

You will consider the various ways in which theory is vital to understanding a range of urgent and pressing problems (such as terrorism, global poverty, social cohesion, immigration, censorship, war and the environment) in contemporary politics and address the practical implications of these ideas.

Throughout the course you will build a portfolio of in-depth study of many of the defining events and dynamics of modern society, across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, providing an understanding of the world that will prove invaluable in further academic study or a range of postgraduate careers.

The Political Theory and Cultural Values Research Group is an active team of enthusiastic academics, pursuing cutting-edge research into a wide variety of strands of political thought.

The Political Theory Centre is part of the White Rose Association for Political Philosophy, linking you into the complementary political theory teams at York and Sheffield Universities.

Links with the Leeds Centre for Democratisation afford excellent opportunities for discussing the application of many of the ideas studied on the programme. Political theorists form part of a large department of political studies, including International Relations and Development, which additionally provide an auspicious context for the study of applied theory.

Course content

Through compulsory and optional modules, this programme will offer you:

  • the chance to engage in in-depth critical analysis of political thought
  • the opportunity to examine the nature of freedom, justice and equality
  • a firm grounding in political analysis
  • a critical insight into the defining events and dynamics of modern society
  • a rigorous grounding in the dominant paradigms of political science
  • the chance to personalise your programme.

You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.

If you are a part-time student, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Political Theory in Action 30 credits
  • Advanced Political Analysis 30 credits
  • POLIS MA Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • The Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity 30 credits
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • Political Economy of Resources and Development 30 credits
  • European Defence and Security Analysis 30 credits
  • The Rise of China 30 credits
  • American Foreign Policy 30 credits
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • International Political Economy 30 credits
  • International Relations and the Environment 30 credits
  • Global Justice 30 credits
  • Research Methods 30 credits
  • Political Theory in Action 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Politics (Political Theory) MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Politics (Political Theory) MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Teaching is tailored for interactive small-group work, and uses a combination of lecture and seminar-discussion modes.

Teaching on political theory modules is predominantly seminar discussion-based, while other modules include more lecture-oriented material.

You will be expected to do a significant amount of preparatory reading before each session, and emphasis will be on student-led discussion to build critical and reflective confidence in a group environment.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by varying combinations of exam and coursework, depending on the module.

Career opportunities

The emphasis on applied use of political thought, particularly from a transformative perspective, means the critical analytical skills learnt here are of use in a wide range of employment sectors, including the civil service, public sector organisations and the third sector.

Many graduates go on to complete PhDs in Political Theory, having had the opportunity to strengthen their command of a certain area of political thought during their Masters studies.

Careers support

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.



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Critical Methodologies is a unique interdisciplinary taught programme focused on the study and applications of critical theory. Read more
Critical Methodologies is a unique interdisciplinary taught programme focused on the study and applications of critical theory. Students get to explore some of the major modern schools of thought and contemporary theories and practices of interpretation, from Formalism and Structuralism through Barthes and textuality to queer theory, psychoanalysis and feminism, and materialist and postcolonial theories. The course also gives students the opportunity to follow their own interests from a wide range of optional modules across humanities and social sciences, all of which draw on the varied and lively research culture of King's in these fields.
Leads to careers in universities, the media, arts, teaching and journalism.

Key benefits

- Unique interdisciplinary programme focused on the study and applications of critical theory.

- Wide range of optional modules across humanities and social science disciplines.

- Located in the heart of London.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/critical-methodologies-ma.aspx

Course detail

- Description -

This interdisciplinary programme is centred around a core module in critical theory. This introduces students to the main debates in current critical theory, through exploration of a series of key texts. It explores theories and practices of reading, from Formalism and Structuralism through Barthes and textuality to queer theory, psychoanalysis, materialist and postcolonial theories. In addition to this core module, students take options from a list of modules linked to critical theory in a range of subjects. There is also a dissertation on a topic linking the concerns of the core module to the material of the options.

- Course purpose -

For students with arts & humanities degrees who wish to further their knowledge of critical theory and its practice across a range of fields and/or to prepare for PhD study. To develop a knowledge of the broad implications of critical theory, and the skills of interpretation and analysis in relation to specific fields of study.

- Course format and assessment -

Taught core and optional modules assessed by coursework and/or examination plus a compulsory dissertation.

Career prospects:

Many students go on to pursue research in humanities subjects; others have developed their skills in teaching and journalism, the media, arts, and work in other related bodies.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 21 universities worldwide (2016/17 QS World University Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

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The MA in Digital Media is unique in its combination of practical and theoretical approaches to contemporary media and technology- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-digital-media-technology-cultural-form/. Read more
The MA in Digital Media is unique in its combination of practical and theoretical approaches to contemporary media and technology- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-digital-media-technology-cultural-form/

The established and exciting degree is designed to help you understand digital transformations in media, culture and society and apply this understanding in practice, in the media and creative industries and in further research. You will be equipped with skills that can be applied to current and future developments in digital media, social media, computing and other aspects of technology.

The MA in Digital Media educates aspiring media practitioners and academics as well as early and mid-career professionals who seek to reflect on their roles in a structured and stimulating learning environment designed to give all students up-to-the-minute knowledge of digital media and the skills to apply that knowledge to future developments.

The MA offers two pathways:

-Pathway 1 is a theory programme where you learn about developments in digital media and technology from a wide range of perspectives

-Pathway 2 is a theory and practice programme where you improve your skills, understanding and experience in one of the following areas:

Documentary
Image making
Journalism
Writing

Acclaimed academics and practitioners

Benefit from the experience and expertise of one of the world’s leading media and communications departments. You'll be taught by theorists and practitioners of international standing: Sarah Kember, Joanna Zylinska, Graham Young, Tony Dowmunt, Angela Phillips, Julian Henriques and David Morley.

Work placements and internships

The MA in Digital Media regularly attracts offers of work placements and internships. Recently these have come from Google, The Science Museum and N1creative.com.

Facilities

Our students have access to state-of-the-art facilities including well-equipped lecture and seminar rooms, exhibition spaces, computer facilities and digital media suites.

The department is also currently host to the renowned philosopher of media and technology, Bernard Stiegler and students will have access to his modulein Media Philosophy as well as priority access to the innovative and popular option After New Media. Designed to complement the MA in Digital Media, this course provides a framework for thinking about the current media environment as well as future forms of human and computer interaction.

An established record

The MA in Digital Media has been redefining media theory and practice since 2004. Our students become proficient in:

the history, sociology and philosophy of digital media
the application of critical conceptual skills to specialist areas and future forms of media
multimedia skills in image making (photography, video, animation, graphic art) script writing, journalism and documentary
MA Digital Media students have access the pioneering option ‘After New Media’, a non-assessed online module which explores the themes of self mediation, ethical mediation and intelligent mediation, and develops a framework for thinking about 'life' after new media. As befits a course of this kind we will be combining media, and exploring their pedagogic potential – uniting digital-online technologies with more traditional teaching formats, such as reading groups, seminars and an end of year symposium.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Sarah Kember.

Modules & Structure

The programme consists of:

Two compulsory core modules
Pathway 1 - between two and four option modules (worth 60 credits) OR
Pathway 2 - a two-term practice block (worth 30 credits) and either one or two option modules (worth 30 credits)
The dissertation or the practice/theory project

Assessment

Seen take-home paper; essays; dissertation or practice/theory project and other production work in the area of documentary, image-making, journalism or fiction.

Programme overview

This is an exciting programme which offers a critical, contextual and practical approach to digital media and technology. It problematises approaches to the 'new' media in academic and professional debate, especially those which overemphasise the potential for radical social change led by a homogenised technology itself.

The programme is defined by its resistance to technological determinism and its insistence on the importance of addressing the social and historical contexts within which a range of media technologies are employed. In order to provide a contextual framework and facilitate the conceptualisation of digital media and technologies as fully cultural forms and processes, the programme will draw on a range of disciplines including: media and cultural studies, sociology, anthropology and philosophy. However, the programme will remain focused on key contemporary concerns about the potential role of digital media in society and on refiguring the contours of the 'new' media debate.

The programme offers two pathways. Pathway 1 addresses central theoretical and conceptual concerns relating to digital media. Pathway 2 combines theoretical analysis and practical work, offering students the opportunity to explore new media theories and concepts in practice. Pathway 2 is primarily aimed at students who already have some experience in one of the areas on offer: documentary; digital photography and image making; journalism; writing. It is meant to appeal to media industry professionals who are keen to reflect critically on their practice within a structured learning environment, graduates of practice-based courses but also those who have gained their practical experience in documentary; digital photography and image making; journalism or writing in informal settings.

Programme structure

The first compulsory core course is Digital Media - critical perspectives and this is taught in a small workshop format in the Autumn term. This course functions as a foundation for the second core course and offers students a map of the key debates in digital media. The course is taught in ten two hour workshop sessions and is supported by the provision of one-to-one tutorials.

The second compulsory core course is Technology and Cultural Form - debates, models, dialogues and this develops questions of technology, power, politics and subjectivity which were introduced in the first core course. The first part of this course highlights the key conceptual concerns of a contextualised approach to digital media plus the relevant debates and models formulated by key figures in the field. The second part of this course aims to generate a dialogue between theoreticians and practitioners around some of the most intellectually stimulating, contentious and contemporary ideas in the field without necessarily seeking a resolution. This course is taught in ten two hour workshop sessions during the Spring term and is supported by the weekly provision of one-to-one tutorials.

Students are required to take options from the lists provided by the Media and Communications, Anthropology, Comparative Literature and Sociology Departments as well as the Centre for Cultural Studies. Examples might include: After New Media, Nature and Culture, Cultural Theory, Globalisation, Risk and Control, Embodiment and Experience, Political Communications. Options are taught primarily through lectures and seminars and take place in the Autumn or Spring terms.

Each student's option profile is discussed with the programme convenor in order to ensure that the balance of subject-specific topics is appropriate for the individual concerned. Option courses are taught primarily through lectures, seminars and tutorials and take place in the Autumn or Spring terms.

All students are required to produce either a 12,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed by the student and supervisor or a practice/theory project in the area of documentary, photography and image making, journalism or fiction. The length of the practical element is dependent on the media and the form used and will be agreed in advance with the supervisor. It will, however, be comparable with practical projects undertaken in practice MA programmes in the relevant field. Students undertaking the practice/theory project will also be expected to submit a 3-4000 word analysis of their practice which locates it within the theoretical debates explored in the MA as a whole. This essay may be presented as a separate document or as an integral part of the project depending on the nature of the project and by a agreement with both theory and practice supervisors.

Programme outcomes

The programme's subject specific learning outcomes require students to analyse and contextualise developments in digital media and technology with reference to key debates in the history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy of the media. Students who opt for the practice/theory pathway will also be required to produce material of publishable or broadcast standard and to evaluate the ways in which theoretical and practical insights intersect. All students will develop a wide range of transferable qualities and skills necessary for employment in related or unrelated areas. These are described by the Quality Assurance Agency as: 'the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development'.

By the end of the programme students will be able to:

-Map and critically evaluate key debates in the field of new media
-Analyse and contextualise current and future developments in digital media and technology
-Evaluate and articulate key historical, sociological, anthropological and philosophical approaches to the study of digital media and technology
-Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of at least four differing areas of inquiry
-Demonstrate an advanced level of conceptual knowledge and (where relevant) practical skill appropriate for a sustained piece of work in the field
-Prepare and deliver clearly argued and informed work
-Locate, retrieve and present relevant information for a specific project
-Manage a complex array of competing demands and work effectively to a deadline
-Work resourcefully and independently
-Think critically and/or work practically within a given context

Skills

We provide graduates with skills that are cutting edge: in the critical analysis and/or creative production of digital media; in the disciplinary knowledge and conceptual frameworks necessary for current and future forms of media and technology; in the awareness of how digital media and technologies are re-shaping society from the ways we communicate (through social media and web 2.0) to the increasingly ‘smart’ environments in which we live.

Careers

Our programme provides a theory and practice pathway and prepares students for work in the following areas:

-media and creative industries; advertising, marketing and PR (graduates of the MA Digital Media have found work with Virgin Media, Google, the BBC and other leading organisations worldwide)
-research and academia (graduates from this programme have gone on to study for PhD degrees in higher education institutions around the world and also here with us)
-media production and new media art (graduates have exhibited, published and produced work in photography, journalism, TV, documentary, film and multimedia)

Graduate Ekaterina discusses her career:

"I work for a company, called Visual DNA, which already sounds like life happening After New Media. The company is the largest data provider in Europe and is totally multinational. We actually try to analyse human visual DNA, you memories, feelings, thoughts about the future, anticipations, etc by creating personality quizzes where instead of verbal answers we tend to use images.

My role is as Creative Developer. It involves working with images from concept to finding/shooting and post-production. My qualifications perfectly matched what they’ve been looking for, Digital Media rocks!

My tip for the new-to-be-graduates is this: physically go to places and companies and talk to people. It really opens up loads of possibilities, and when I tell someone where I’ve graduated from they look impressed, and there is some sort of respect coming from them."

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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Critical theory is a rich and diverse field of enquiry that has emerged from a continuous dialogue with theories of both society and politics. Read more
Critical theory is a rich and diverse field of enquiry that has emerged from a continuous dialogue with theories of both society and politics.

Taught in collaboration with the School of Politics and International Relations, this innovative MA provides students with a thorough understanding of the close connection between critical theory and key contemporary political and social theories that shape today’s world. Therefore, it serves intellectually as ideal preparation for doctoral studies in these areas. Students undertaking this MA join a thriving postgraduate community in the Department of Cultural Studies. Reading groups, work-in-progress presentations by doctoral students, visiting speakers and research seminars by staff create a lively, stimulating, and supportive learning environment.

Course Structure

The MA in Critical Theory and Politics can be pursued either one year full-time or two-three years part-time – and we do our best to accommodate the needs of part-time students.

Modules offered may include:
• Postcolonialisms
• Social and Political Theories
• Sovereignty and Conflict
• Technology, Science, Life
• Visual Culture
• Globalisation and its Discontents
• Europe after the Cold War
• Security Studies
• International Political Economy
• The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-2004

All students are assigned personal tutors as well as dissertation tutors to guide them through their coursework.

Teaching staff from the Department of Cultural Studies, the Centre for Critical Theory, the School of Politics and International Relations, and other participating schools, offer expertise in a range of areas including social and political theory, international relations, philosophy, and cultural studies.

Assessment

Taught modules are assessed by a 5,000-word assignment and students also submit a 20,000-word dissertation. There are no examinations.

Additional Entry Requirements

Candidates whose first language is not English must achieve an overall score on the British Council IELTS test of at least 7 with no less than 6 in each element; or a TOEFL score of 600 with at least 4.5 in the Test of Written English (TWE); or a TOEFL score iBT score of 100, with no less than 19 in any element. Test results should be no more than two years old.

Careers

Written coursework encourages the development of the scholarly tools required for doctoral research, and many of our graduates go on to pursue further studies at doctoral level. The course also provides students with a high degree of cultural awareness and literacy useful for careers in the media, advertising and public relations.

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This MA programme is especially designed for those with an interdisciplinary background who wish to more fully comprehend core issues and approaches within International Relations post 9/11. Read more
This MA programme is especially designed for those with an interdisciplinary background who wish to more fully comprehend core issues and approaches within International Relations post 9/11.

At the dawn of a third millennium, the pace of integration among the world’s regions and populations is breathtaking. Powerful forces – the emergence of transnational economies, the lightning speed of global communications, and the movement of peoples, cultures and ideas into new settings – are reshaping notions of citizenship, society and community.

At the same time, however, older religious hatreds, sectarian violence and new fundamentalisms are recasting existing states and disintegrating individual, national and international notions of security. Such dynamics demand that we rethink why we are and where we are today, but also reconsider historical interpretations of past change within and among the world’s regions. To understand the global condition requires a thorough and sensitive understanding of diverse interests, ethnicities and cultures. The purpose of this new postgraduate award in International Relations (IR) is to foster within students a global perspective and encourage a multicultural awareness of contemporary problems.

Why study with us?

IR is a vital and dynamic field of intellectual inquiry that offers an interdisciplinary exploration of human interaction. It is not so much a single discipline; rather it is a study of a particular type of behaviour whose comprehension requires the insight and methods of a number of disciplines. Although your MA is set within a strong political and sociological framework, the course is enhanced through the support of Law, History, and American Studies.

IR provides an opportunity to engage with and adapt to changing international, national and regional realities post 9/11. The security implications of the events of 9/11, and the impact of global developments on everyday lives, are present in the public mind as never before. The Palestinian question, western intervention and civil war in Iraq, nuclear proliferation, international crime and terrorism are just some of the recurrent themes that have taken on a new urgency and demand our attention.

IR develops critical awareness, conceptual understanding, sound research methods, and originality in the application of knowledge. Your MA will provide you with an appropriate set of intellectual skills to enable more informed and effective participation in an ‘ever-changing’ global context. Current social, political and economic globalisation demonstrates the inexorable importance of the ‘international’ and the increased relevance of this knowledge dimension at both academic and practice levels.

Course content

International Relations is a vital and dynamic field of intellectual inquiry that offers an interdisciplinary exploration of human interaction. Students undertaking the course will come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and it is not assumed that all students will have similar abilities or skills. It is not our aim to encourage further specialisation along the line of a student’s first degree but rather to complement existing knowledge and build upon transferable capabilities. Overall this is a unique opportunity for graduates both with and without International Relations training to study at a very high level for a postgraduate degree with global relevance.

Our aim is to foster a set of intellectual skills to enable more informed and effective participation in an ‘ever-shrinking’ global society. This goal is to provide a rigorous and intellectually challenging foundation in approaches to the study and practice of international relations while developing an understanding and sensitivity to key issues in diverse areas of the modern world. The MA offers an exciting opportunity for graduates to develop their understanding of international affairs both theoretically and through their own or others’ experience.

Course modules (16/17)

-International Relations Theory: Great Debates, New Directions
-Major Organisations in the International Order
-Methodology and Research Design in International Relations
-The Peoples’ Republic of China: Foreign Policy Dilemmas
-European Integration
-America after 9/11
-The Politics of Latin American Development
-The International Politics of the Post-Soviet Space
-The Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
-Politics of International Communications
-Dissertation
-The International Relations of the Pacific Rim
-The Political Economy of East African Development
-Comparative Transnational Criminology
-European and International Human Rights
-National Security, Terrorism and The Rule of Law
-Political Economies of International Development
-The Politics of Aid

Methods of Learning

The Master’s award in International Relations is designed to provide a rounded education and broadly based qualification for UK graduates and equivalently qualified foreign students, particularly those who lack an international dimension through their previous study. It is awarded after completion of a mixture of taught courses and a programme of research. The MA lasts at least one year (if taken full time, two years part time), and is to be taken by persons with honours degrees (or equivalent achievement). Also on offer (and commensurate with this standard of education) are advanced short courses leading to Postgraduate Certificates and Postgraduate Diplomas in IR.

In common with all universities, certain elements of the course are compulsory and other elements chosen. To be awarded the MA in International Relations each student must achieve 180 credits at Master’s level (here called CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme)). This includes 40 CATS of compulsory modules in International Theory, 20 CATS of compulsory methodology and research training, and a 60 CATS compulsory dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words. Compulsory modules define the intellectual basis of IR as a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary subject while providing a firm foundation in theoretical issues and debates. They also develop the cognitive skills for specialist study and the practical skills for research. You gain the remaining 60 CATS through a wide choice of designated modules. All modules build upon the research and teaching expertise of individual tutors, and cover a wide range of themes in diverse areas of the globe – not just North America and Western Europe but the Middle East, Latin America, China and the Pacific Rim among others. A key aim is to develop a sensitivity and awareness of varied geo-political settings while comprehending the impact of change upon states, societies and individuals. Students are taught to discuss international problems to a high standard while applying the ways of analysis adopted by IR scholars to a range of issues.

We hope all candidates might be encouraged and enthused to achieve the MA. Yet we also recognise that some students may prefer to study in ‘stages’ – funds or time permitting. This is why we provide a named Postgraduate Certificate and a named Postgraduate Diploma. A Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations is available if students successfully complete 120 CATS points but do not complete the 60 CATS dissertation. Alternatively, there is the opportunity to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate in International Relations by successfully gaining 60 CATS points including 40 CATS of IR theory but excluding 20 CATS of methodology/research and of course the 60 CATS dissertation module.

All of this gives you, the student, the added flexibility of opting in or out of awards as personal or financial circumstance change. It gives the added incentive of an identifiable and quantifiable award at each stage of study while consistently encouraging and widening your participation in postgraduate enterprise. This strategy also enables an individual to complete their study within a timescale suitable to their own specific needs. Multiple points of entry (February and September) over a one or two year cycle further facilitate this.

Schedule

At Master’s level study, we aim to encourage student-led debates and exchange of ideas. Modules will typically alternate fortnightly between classes on campus and online learning activities. Each module incorporates a variety of teaching methods in class, including workshops, student presentations and discussions of primary and secondary materials (such as film, images, documentary sources and online resources). Online learning activities include online seminars, discussion boards, podcasts and blogs.

Full-time students get six hours of timetabled contact per week, part-time students have three hours. This does not include individual tutorials or dissertation supervision.

Independent study and assessment time equate to approximately 18 hours per week full time or nine hours part time.

Assessments

Your MA in International Relations is assessed through a variety of types of coursework and the dissertation. Assessment items include essays, literature reviews, presentations and research reports. There are no examinations. All coursework reflects the high level of intellectual demands associated with a taught MA and has the aim of developing a range of oral and written skills. You need to be prepared to commit yourself to substantial reading and thought for successful completion of an MA. This time includes preparation for assignments, seminars and the dissertation element.

Although teaching strategies vary according to individual modules, considerable emphasis is placed upon student-based learning in order to foster effective critical participation and discussion as overall course objectives. This means lectures and tutor-led teaching provide overviews of major theories and themes but the seminar or workshop is where learning is consolidated, exemplified and used in more student-centred contexts.

Modules typically make use of current case study material, video teaching media as well as practical exercises and the more traditional lecture and seminar activities. Tutorials are very important in facilitating and directing the learning of cognitive skills on a personal basis – by working within the context of your individual needs, appropriate goals can be set, for example, in relation to essay preparation and feedback.

At each stage you are encouraged to plan and organise your own learning. This allows greater time to be spent on critical evaluation – so reinforcing and extending your learning experience. Mixed methods of teaching and learning are utilised in seminars to achieve aims and outcomes, including tutor input, structural discussions, small group work, presentations, guided reading of designated course material, and wider reading appropriate to Master’s level. Student-led presentations and small group work develop your transferable skills and enhance your capacity for critical reflection. The academic essay has a central function in every module in allowing you to engage with and reflect upon the key skills required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in IR. Coursework for all modules, but particularly in methods modules, allows students to acquire skills that they will then use in the dissertation.

Facilities and Special Features

-Strong staff expertise.
-Enthusiastic teaching team providing a supportive atmosphere for research.
-The core modules consider classic texts and the very latest thinking on international theory.
-Focus on the study of distinct global regions not just Europe, North America or the West.
-All students are assigned a personal tutor and will be encouraged to form study groups with colleagues.
-Guest speakers are a feature of this MA.
-Students will find the course team warm and approachable.

Careers

Previous students have used our MA in a variety of ways. It can be a bridge to further study – with several former students having gone on to do a PhD. As a prestigious qualification, it can enhance career opportunities in a wide range of occupations, for example, teachers have used the course to gain curriculum knowledge and career progression. Many students take the course purely because they have enjoyed History as a degree or as a personal interest and wish to pursue the subject further.

Progression to a taught postgraduate course is a path chosen by those wishing to further their careers, those intending to pursue further research and those who seek principally to satisfy their own intellectual interests. Successful completion will lead to the award of MA. This will complement a candidate’s existing qualifications. Additionally, it is envisaged that the programme’s breadth and depth will provide you with a suitable background for careers in public and private sectors where there is a need for international expertise.

The award of MA demonstrates an intellectual flexibility and high level of analytical, written and verbal skills. Increasingly, employers are looking for graduates with skills and knowledge which are not found (or perceived by employers to be found) among many recent graduates. This MA will give you, the graduate, a distinctive product in a highly competitive and expanding graduate employment market. Employers report that a person with a background in International Relations is more likely to find a career in the rapidly changing international environment than a person with another form of postgraduate qualification.

The MA IR thus aims to provide you with a suitable foundation for careers in both private and public sectors where there is a need for international sensitivity. Students wishing to engage in later doctoral research (where we have capacity) or in careers within voluntary organisations, civil and diplomatic service, international organisations, research posts or journalism will particularly benefit from it. We now have excellent links with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Members of European Parliament and representatives from the United Nations, as well as a number of pressure groups.

In sum, our core purpose is to nurture not only a robust intellectual flexibility but also the high levels of analytical, written and verbal skills attractive to employers from globally focused agencies and business. Our aim is to provide you with an excellent background and competitive edge for further study or a wide variety of careers in an ever-expanding job market.

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This innovative, interdisciplinary MA provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the critical tradition that shapes today’s human and social sciences. Read more
This innovative, interdisciplinary MA provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the critical tradition that shapes today’s human and social sciences.

Taught by an interdisciplinary team with expertise in areas such as literary theory, continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies and political theory, the course will appeal to students, especially those graduating from cultural studies or general humanities degrees, who are interested in further studies that emphasise theoretical approaches while maintaining a focus on their application to contemporary cultural events and practices.

The largely seminar-based teaching allows students to actively engage with thinkers as diverse as Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Pierre Bourdieu and Jean Baudrillard, whilst exploring key critical theoretical discourses in the humanities and their application to concrete cultural practices.

Students join a thriving postgraduate community and are encouraged to take part in the Department’s various reading groups, Work in Progress seminars, visiting speaker lectures, and research seminars which combine to create a lively, intellectually stimulating, and supportive learning environment.

Course Structure

The MA in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies may be followed one year full-time or two-three years part-time – and we do our best to accommodate the needs of part-time students.

Full-time students take two core modules in the first semester and two optional modules in the second semester – one of which can be chosen from another related MA programme – and submit a dissertation. Part-time students complete this allocation within 24-36 months.

Core modules may include:
• Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice
• Material Cultures and Everday Life
• Research Skills
• Social and Political Theories
• Subject and Sign after Freud and Saussure

Optional second semester modules may include:
• Mass Media
• Postcolonialisms
• Culture Industries
• Visual Cultures

All students are assigned a personal tutor as well as a dissertation tutor to guide them through their coursework.

Information about our research interests and publications is available at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/clas/research/index.aspx

Assessment

All taught modules are assessed by a 5,000-word assignment, submitted towards the end of the semester in which the module is
taught. Students also submit a 20,000-word dissertation, usually in early September. There are no examinations.

Additional Entry Requirements

Candidates whose first language is not English must achieve an overall score on the British Council IELTS test of at least 7 with no less than 6 in each element; or a TOEFL score of 600 with at least 4.5 in the Test of Written English (TWE); or a TOEFL score iBT score of 100, with no less than 19 in any element. Test results should be no more than two years old.

Careers

Written coursework encourages the development of the scholarly tools required for doctoral research, and many of our graduates go on to pursue further studies at doctoral level. The course also provides students with a high degree of cultural awareness and literacy useful for careers in the media, advertising and public relations.

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Music is a vital form of cultural expression that shapes and is shaped by society around it. This programme allows you to study the critical theories and perspectives that have influenced the way we study music – how it is composed and performed as well as the role it plays in different communities. Read more

Music is a vital form of cultural expression that shapes and is shaped by society around it. This programme allows you to study the critical theories and perspectives that have influenced the way we study music – how it is composed and performed as well as the role it plays in different communities.

Core modules will allow you to explore issues in musicology such as race, class, gender, sexuality, popular music and mass culture, as well as how music has been received and interpreted and how musical ‘canons’ are formed. You’ll also develop your understanding of research methods in musicology, and have the chance to gain knowledge of aesthetic theory or editing and archival studies, allowing you to balance critical and applied forms of musicology.

In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules from across the School of Music allowing you to focus on topics that interest you, from performance or electronic and computer music to composition and psychology of music.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. The Special Collections housed in our beautiful Brotherton Library contain significant collections of music manuscripts, rare printed music and letters from composers and critics to help inform your work.

We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

Course content

You’ll study core modules that develop your understanding of both critical and applied forms of musicology. One of these will allow you to explore issues and topics that have emerged in the past few decades – questions of race, gender, politics, deconstruction and more. You’ll also choose one or two from a cluster of optional modules, giving you an insight into editing and archival studies or introducing you to aesthetic theory.

In addition, you’ll have the chance to pursue another area of musical interest when you select from a range of optional modules. Whether you’re interested in computer music or psychology of music, or you want to continue to improve your performance or composition skills, you can pick one module allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in a field outside of musicology.

Throughout the year you’ll study a core module that develops your knowledge of research methods in music and musicology, laying the foundations for the rest of your studies. You’ll also be able to put the research skills you gain into practice if you choose to do a dissertation by the end of the programme – an independently researched project on a topic of your choice. Alternatively, you can complete a major editorial project, producing an extended edition of professional standard based on original musical sources.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

You’ll study the two core modules below and then choose either - the Dissertation (60 credits) or - the Editorial Project module (60 credits).

  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits

Optional modules

Then you’ll choose one or two from the three musicology modules below, and one more from the full list of optional modules offered across the School of Music.

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Short Editorial Project 30 credits
  • Editorial Project 60 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Applied Musicology MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Applied Musicology MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods including seminars and tutorials, as well as vocal/instrumental lessons with our expert tutors. We’re also making more and more use of online learning. However, private study is also integral to this programme, allowing you to pursue your interests more closely and develop research and critical skills.

Assessment

To help you build diverse skills, we also assess you using different methods depending on the modules you choose. These could include presentations, essays, literature reviews, recitals and performances or project work; however, optional modules may also use alternative methods such as recitals and composition portfolios.

Career opportunities

This programme will give you in-depth subject knowledge, as well as specialist knowledge and skills in a different aspect of music studies to broaden your understanding. It will also allow you to gain key research, critical and communication skills that are in demand in a wide range of industries and sectors.

Graduates from the programme move on to a variety of careers. Recent graduates have entered areas such as arts management, librarianship, recruitment, and freelance teaching and performance. Many graduates go on to further study at PhD level in the UK and USA.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Careers support

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.



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The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Read more

The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Combining workshop models of teaching and learning, and ‘live’ projects with leading arts organisations, the MA provides the skills required for a successful career in the arts or a research degree. For 2017/8, we are introducing some exciting new areas of specialisation within the programme.

The programme is committed to the idea that writing – of all kinds – is a creative practice that requires imagination as well as good literary skills and expert knowledge. Students on the MA are presented with many opportunities to develop and apply the skills required by various writing formats from the review and catalogue essay, to fiction and other forms of speculation. The unique structure of the programme allows for specialisation and the freedom to explore novel approaches to writing. 

The Critical Writing in Art & Design programme combines lectures, specialist writing workshops and ‘crits’ as well as live projects with external partners. Previous partners have included the Royal Opera House, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and Turner Contemporary in Margate. Recognising that the media is undergoing considerable change, the MA also offers opportunities to work with professionals working print and online publishing, broadcasting and podcasting. Students on the programme enjoy opportunities to share classes and to work on shared projects with other students across the RCA including our sister programme, the Critical Practice pathway in the Contemporary Art Practice programme in the School of Fine Art.   

Founded in 2010, the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme will launch a set of new specialisms in autumn 2017: Publishing and New Media; Creative Writing; and Art Theory. Students follow a shared, core programme as well as their chosen specialism. This will enable students to develop focused and expert skills within the RCA’s new 15-month MA framework. The specialisms allow a close focus on the particular needs of individual students, delivered through small group seminar teaching and one-to-one tutorials.

Graduates of the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme have published their MA work as books for publishers around the world including MIT Press, China Machine Press, and Zero Books. Others write regularly for the art press (including titles such as Art Monthly, Frieze and Eye Magazine). Some graduates of the programme have gone on to doctoral study at the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and Goldsmiths. Others work in editorial positions in art and design magazines, or as curators and programmers in galleries and museums and other arts organisations in Europe, China and North America. 

Critical Writing in Art & Design students have a strong track record of producing ‘live’ publications with the support of the programme. These include the Albertopolis Companion produced by the graduating class of 2015 or ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 19501978, an anthology from 2014. Other live projects include Of and For Turner Contemporary, a series of texts exploring a remarkable building on the Kent coast. Students on the programme are encouraged to publish their writing on a dedicated Critical Writing in Art & Design website during their studies.

From 2017, the programme is primarily located in the RCA's newest facilities in White City



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This course is currently under suspension for the current academic session. However, it may return. Please see the website for updates. Read more
This course is currently under suspension for the current academic session. However, it may return. Please see the website for updates: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/

Aberystwyth University’s MA in Film Studies focuses upon the advanced study of cinema. Normally, you will already have attained a degree of expertise in film studies or in a cognate area before starting the course and you will be ready to study film at a more advanced level by mastering theoretical, historical and empirical approaches to the subject.

This MA in Film Studies course is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of the development of film and film theory, taking in the development and intersections of both Hollywood and European cinemas and popular and 'alternative' cinemas. You will also have the opportunity to study specific movements within cinema, such as the changing manifestations of German Expressionism, American film noir and avant-garde movements; you will do so by studying philosophical, aesthetic, social and cultural influences.

This course will enable you to interrogate a wide range of factors which inform the production, distribution and reception of film, including a range of cultural and aesthetic contexts, the representation of class, ethnicity and gender, changing and shifting film marketing and distribution practices, and the study of a range of film fans and audiences. You will also receive a thorough grounding in key theoretical traditions and research methods within film studies which will prepare you for the production of a 15,000 word dissertation (on a topic of your choice) at the end of the course.

The MA in Film Studies will provide you with essential research, historical and analytical skills designed to support your future career progression either in the cultural and critical industries or in academia. Throughout the MA, staff will be happy to advise you on potential progression, after your MA, to PhD study. For profiles of previous MA Film Studies students, which outline their experiences on the MA and their subsequent career progression, see: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/tfts/study-with-us/masters/former-ma-profiles/

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.

See the website http://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/film-studies-masters/

Suitable for

This degree will suit you:

- If you wish to engage in the advanced study of cinema.
- If you are ready to take on the subject in theoretical, historical and empirical terms;
- If you aim to pursue a career in film journalism, criticism or analysis, film historical work or arts administration, or if you wish to progress to PhD study;
- If you wish to sharpen your academic rigour and develop a cache of critical evaluative, communication, and time and project management skills.

Course detail

The MA in Film Studies focuses on the importance of film within an ever-changing global environment. As a student, you will be encouraged to investigate the ways in which technologies and social changes have impacted, and continue to impact upon different aspects of film, including filmic representation and the ways in which film has been taken up within broader cultural contexts. You will also receive a thorough grounding in key theoretical traditions and research methods within film studies, and will be alerted to the historical developments that have marked film as a medium, focusing on historical case studies in order to think about changes and continuities throughout film history. While you will be introduced to a broad array of filmmaking traditions, you will focus particularly on the interrelations between Hollywood and European cinemas.

The MA will introduce you to different ways of understanding film: as entertainment, as art, as an industry, and as a cultural medium through which identities, histories and ideologies are both represented and negotiated. You will be taught by active researchers in the field of film studies, with a broad array of expertise and knowledge particularly in British, French, Russian and Hollywood cinemas, avant-garde, experimental and cult film, film history and representation, film genre and star studies, and fan, audience and reception studies. As such, the MA aims to enrich your knowledge of film’s importance through different methodological and theoretical approaches to the subject, and to sharpen your own research and study skills in the process.

The MA in Film Studies is run by the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, one of the largest and most significant departments of its kind in the UK, and has a particularly vibrant postgraduate and research culture (including an annual postgraduate conference). Based in Aberystwyth University’s Parry-Williams Building, the Department boasts superb facilities including: 36 digital and HD editing suites; over 40 industry standard HD and digital cameras: a new HD, digital television studio; three fully-equipped theatre spaces (seating approximately 100 people each); and much more. We also maintain close links with Aberystwyth Arts Centre's digital 3D cinema. The cinema has a vibrant and lively film programme including the annual Abertoir horror film festival of Wales.

Format

The course is taught over one year (if taken full time), and three years (if taken part time). The MA encompasses a total of six (out of a choice of seven) taught modules (120 credits in total) covering film theory, research methods, film history, film representation, documentary and avant-garde film, film marketing and distribution, and film audiences. In order to complete your MA, you will then apply your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits. The dissertation is a substantial piece of scholarly research totalling no more than 15,000 words. It will be on a subject of your own choice, informed by discussions with your designated dissertation supervisor in the Department.

Assessment

The taught part of the course is delivered and assessed through lectures, seminars, oral presentations and essays. Successful completion of your dissertation leads to the award of an MA.

Employability

Every aspect of the Aberystwyth Master’s in Film Studies programme is designed to enhance your employability. The benefits of the course for employment are twofold: not only will you possess first-rate, subject-specific knowledge of film history and theory, but you will also be equipped with widely applicable skills and abilities that will suit many employment contexts.

Alongside the development of your subject-specific knowledge, an especially noteworthy strength of this course is its emphasis on group discussion and individual student presentations (which will enable you to develop your team work and communication skills). As an emerging film academic your strengthened research and critical faculties will make you a strong candidate for any post where ideas and topics need research, analysis, discussion, expansion and classification. The pattern of research and analysis you will undertake in this course creates highly marketable skills which will, upon graduation, stand you in excellent stead for entry into employment. The course will also provide you with the training and skills you will need if you decide to progress to PhD study.

The dissertation element of the course will enable you to develop and demonstrate an array of professional qualities and skills. You will do this by reflecting on the methods and approaches you have encountered in the study programme and then identifying and creating appropriate methodologies for your own research work. Success in this area of study proves to prospective employers that you take the initiative to develop and improve your research and project management skills.

Find out how to apply here https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/

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Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life. The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. Read more
Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life.

Overview

The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. What is politics for - to bring real freedom and equality for all human beings, to realise justice, or to prevent human beings from killing one another in large numbers? What do we owe the global poor? Can we close our borders? Where does power lie in democracies?

Course Content

You’ll be encouraged to explore these topics, and others, in greater depth and from different perspectives across a variety of optional modules which draw on our internationally recognized teaching and research strengths in analytical political philosophy, intellectual history and critical theory.

The MA also features a regular research seminar, where the best current work in political theory is presented by staff and eminent guest speakers from all over the world.

Modules
You'll study one core module:
-Approaches to Political Theory

Plus, five optional modules from a range of subjects:
-Analytical Political Philosophy
-Contemporary Issues in International Political Economy
-Critical Theory
-Critical Theories of International Political Economy
-Ethics and World Politics
-New Security Challenges
-State, Space and Globalisation
-Topics in the History of Political Thought
-PhD Proposal in Political Theory module

Our range of modules allow you to study issues connected with toleration, continental political theory, legal theory and political integrity.

A 10-12,000 word dissertation allows you to apply the relevant method to a problem of your choosing.

Careers

From political research to journalism, marketing and HR, a masters degree in Political Theory leads to a broad range of career opportunities. You might find yourself working for:
-Central or local government
-Non-governmental organisations
-Community and voluntary organisations
-A Social enterprise
-A university
-Accountancy and banking orgs
-Law firms
-Media companies
-International and global development bodies / organisations

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