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Masters Degrees (Material Culture)

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The History of Design and Material Culture MA focuses on both objects from everyday life and representations of them since the eighteenth century as a basis for research and analysis. Read more

The History of Design and Material Culture MA focuses on both objects from everyday life and representations of them since the eighteenth century as a basis for research and analysis.

The course allies theory and practice in seminar-based discussions that embrace various methodological issues and perspectives, including Marxism, discourse theory, phenomenology, semiology, museology, gender, race, class, memory and oral testimony. Depending on the material you analyse in your essays and seminars, as well as the dissertation topic you choose, you can also emphasise your own intellectual and subject-specific interests.

Since its inception in the late 1990s, the MA has garnered a national and international reputation as one of the pioneering and most successful programmes of its kind. As a research-led course, it harnesses the academic expertise of staff with a recognised wealth of teaching and research excellence in subject areas such as fashion and dress history, the history and theory of advertising, photography and the mass-reproduced image, and heritage and museum studies.

Under guidance, you will be encouraged to explore the relationship between theory and practice and to develop your own skills as an independent researcher, thinker and writer.

Course structure

The History of Design and Material Culture MA draws on the wide-ranging academic expertise of staff in the fields of the history of decorative arts and design, dress history, material culture, museology and social history.

It stimulates innovative and interdisciplinary study in the history of design and material culture in both their western and non-western contexts, considering the relationship between local, national and international patterns of production, circulation, consumption and use.

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, study visits and tutorials. Considerable emphasis is placed on student involvement in the weekly seminar readings and discussions within the two thematic core modules, Exploring Objects and Mediating Objects.

Based at Pavilion Parade, a Regency building overlooking the famous Royal Pavilion, teaching takes place close to the seafront and city centre amenities.

Syllabus

Exploring Objects

The Exploring Objects module introduces you to a series of different research methods and historiographical approaches, as you interrogate and make sense of designed objects in terms of how they are designed, produced, circulated, consumed and used in everyday life. It covers the period from the late eighteenth century to the present time and typically involves discussion and debate on the following themes, theories and methods: Marxist and post-Marxist historiography; production and consumption; gender and taste; phenomenology; object-based analysis; the use of archives; and 'good writing/bad writing'. It also introduces you to the academic rigour of postgraduate dissertation research.

Mediating Objects

This module complements Exploring Objects by focusing on the mediation between 'this one' (the object itself) and 'that one' (the object as represented in word and image). On one level, it examines how objects are translated in various texts and contexts, from museum and private collections to photographs, advertisements, film and fiction. On another level, it examines how objects are transformed through the embodied processes of everyday rituals such as gift-giving and personal oral and collective memories. The module therefore deals with the idea of intertexualities and how the identities of things and people are phenomenologically bound up with each other. By extension, you examine objects in relation to ideas concerning sex, gender, class, generation, race and ethnicity.

Dissertation

The centrepiece of your MA studies, the dissertation is a piece of original writing between 18,000 and 20,000 words on a research topic of your own choosing. It allows you to pursue a specific research topic related to your own academic and intellectual interests in a given area of the history of design and material culture, for example fashion and dress, textiles, ceramics and glass, product design, interior design and architecture, graphic communications, advertising and photography, film, museums, collecting and curating, and design pedagogy. The dissertation is largely based on primary research, often using specialist archives and surviving historical material.

Facilities

This course makes use of the University of Brighton Design Archives, which include the archives of the Design Council, Alison Settle, FHK Henrion and the South of England Film and Video Archive.

Close professional contact with national institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as with local collections and centres of historical interest (such as Brighton’s unique Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, with its internationally famous collection of decorative art from the 1890s onwards), present research opportunities for students registered on the course.

The course is closely linked to our arts and humanities research division through a joint research lecture series, and we have successfully encouraged high achievers to register for the MPhil/PhD programme.

The student environment also includes the thriving postgraduate Design History Society as well as opportunities for conference presentation, professional contact and career development in the field.

Careers and employability

The course has an extremely healthy track record in helping students to take up careers in related areas of employment and further study. Many of our postgraduates have succeeded in finding work as lecturers, curators, journalists, designers and design consultants, while many others have pursued doctoral research, most often also securing prestigious funding from the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council).



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This ground-breaking, internationally acclaimed masters programme offers you a unique opportunity to investigate Gaelic culture – entirely through the language of the Gaels themselves. Read more
This ground-breaking, internationally acclaimed masters programme offers you a unique opportunity to investigate Gaelic culture – entirely through the language of the Gaels themselves.

This masters course gives you a chance to study in-depth the extraordinary transformations affecting the Gaelic world during recent centuries up to the present day, drawing upon the wealth of material culture, literature, tradition, and language of the people of the Highlands.

You may already be knowledgeable on the tradition, material culture and history of different Highland districts. By placing them in a wider regional context through your studies, with a specific focus on material culture – the many objects made and used in the Highlands – you will attain a deeper understanding of the world of the Gaels, both past and present.

The course is taught in Gaelic, from a Gaelic perspective, by internationally recognised scholars

Special Features

• Loans for tuition fees are available from the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.
• It is available to study entirely online
• You can fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments.
• Emphasis on developing skills in fieldwork, oral interviewing and archival research
• Building strong links with local communities, local and national museums and agencies
• You can study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip or masters degree.

Modules

PgCert

Core modules are:

Material culture and European ethnology
Research methods
Settlement and land use

PgDip

Core modules are:

through the centuries
big questions of today.
You will also choose one option module which may include:

the stability of the earth environment,
lifestyles and neighbourhood,
migration and life impact

Msc

To achieve the award of MSc, you must complete a research dissertation

Locations

This course is available online with support from Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI, Slèite, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, IV44 8RQ

Study Options

You will study through supported online learning using the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
Assessment by formal exams, projects, field work
You are also required to attend an induction session offered face-to-face at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI on the Isle of Skye or through distance online delivery
This course may be studied by international students from your home country

Funding

From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

See Scholarships tab below for full details

Top reasons to study at UHI

Do something different: our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum which often reflects the unique environment and culture of our region and closely links to vocational skills required by a range of sectors.
Choice of campuses – we have campuses across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Each campus is different from rich cultural life of the islands; the spectacular coasts and mountains; to the bright lights of our city locations.
Small class sizes mean that you have a more personal experience of university and receive all the support you need from our expert staff
The affordable option - if you already live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland you don't have to leave home and incur huge debts to go to university; we're right here on your doorstep

How to apply

If you want to apply for this postgraduate programme click on the ‘visit website’ button below which will take you to the relevant course page on our website, from there select the Apply tab to complete our online application.
If you still have any questions please get in touch with our information line by email using the links beow or call on 0845 272 3600.

International Students

If you would like to study in a country of outstanding natural beauty, friendly communities, and cities buzzing with social life and activities, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland should be your first choice. We have campuses across the region each one with its own special characteristics from the rich cultural life of the islands to the bright city lights of Perth and Inverness. Some courses are available in one location only, for others you will have a choice; we also have courses that can be studied online from your own home country. .http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international

English Language Requirements

Our programmes are taught and examined in English. To make the most of your studies, you must be able to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken and written English and provide certified proof of your competence before starting your course. Please note that English language tests need to have been taken no more than two years prior to the start date of the course. The standard English Language criteria to study at the University of the Highlands and Islands are detailed on our English language requirements page http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/how-to-apply-to-uhi/english-language-requirements

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The programme is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the museum, heritage and arts sectors with a focus on non-Western art and culture, and both tangible and intangible heritage. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in the museum, heritage and arts sectors with a focus on non-Western art and culture, and both tangible and intangible heritage. It will suit practicing museum and heritage professionals who are interested in strengthening their knowledge of contemporary debates in critical museology, critical heritage studies and material culture studies. With its interdisciplinary focus, it will suit students interested in broadening their expertise across anthropology, art history and archaeology. It will also provide an excellent postgraduate foundation for students interested in pursuing PhD research concerned with museums, heritage, and material/visual culture in Asian, African, Middle Eastern and transnational/transcultural contexts.

This interdisciplinary programme brings together anthropological, art historical and archaeological perspectives to explore the interconnecting fields of museums, heritage and material culture studies. The MA disprivileges Western museum and heritage discourses and practices, and explores tangible and intangible cultural heritage as spheres of global interaction.

The MA will equip students with a theoretically-informed critical understanding of museums, heritage and material/visual culture. Taught across the Department of Anthropology and School of Arts, the MA provides a unique opportunity to learn about current debates in World Art and World Heritage, combining ethnographic, art historical and archaeological approaches.

Students will be introduced to a wide range of thematic and theoretical issues, and will have the opportunity to curate a small exhibition in the Curating Cultures module, and put into practice anthropological research techniques in the Ethnographic Research Methods course.

Situated in London’s ‘Museum Mile’, a few hundred meters from the British Museum, and with its own Brunei Gallery, SOAS provides a unique environment in which to study the cultural heritage of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Programme Overview

The programme consists of 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits.

All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules listed here - https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-museums-heritage-and-material-culture-studies/

Students are advised to take one or both of the recommended modules listed below or may wish to select from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or the School of Arts (Departments of Centre for Media Studies, History of Art and Archaeology or Music) options lists.

The remaining credits can be selected from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology list or the School of Arts options. See below for a detailed programme structure.

Language Entitlement Programme:

Many students choose to pursue a language through the SOAS Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

Teaching & Learning

Students taking the MA in Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies will have the opportunity to achieve:

- A critical awareness of contemporary theoretical debates in museum studies, cultural heritage studies, and material/visual culture studies;
- A familiarity with the distinctive contributions of anthropology, art history and archaeology to these interdisciplinary fields;
- A critical awareness of World Art/World Cultures/World Heritage, with an emphasis on SOAS’s regional specialisms (Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as transnational/diasporic contexts;
- An understanding of ethnographic approaches to tangible and intangible heritage research;
- Experience of object-based knowledge and museological research methods.

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Course content. Material culture - the study of archaeological material remains - is at the very heart of archaeology. Studying objects gives you a route into any field you choose, and the combination of theory, analysis and experimentation makes this course unique. Read more

Course content

Material culture - the study of archaeological material remains - is at the very heart of archaeology. Studying objects gives you a route into any field you choose, and the combination of theory, analysis and experimentation makes this course unique. Experimental archaeology gives us new insights into the processes involved in the production, use, discard and deterioration of material culture.

This course interweaves practical and theoretical approaches to material culture. You'll explore the theory underpinning our understanding of the material world through ethnoarchaeological studies while developing invaluable practical skills: from analysis of use-wear and residue traces, building reference collections, to making short documentaries for the heritage sector.

This course is also available as an MA.

Information for international students

  • If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability:
  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing and no less than 6.0 in all other components
  • PTE: 61, with a minimum of 61 in Writing and no less than 55 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 169 in all other components
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 23 in Writing and a minimum of 21 in all other components
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components


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This course enables you to apply the study of ancient material and visual culture to a particular historical and geographical context. Read more
This course enables you to apply the study of ancient material and visual culture to a particular historical and geographical context. You’ll undertake specialist research training in art, numismatics and epigraphy that will equip you for further PhD study in these fields, or for a career in museum work or education.

The course includes a core module in Approaching Ancient Visual and Material Culture, plus a core language module, as well as the Core module in Rome. You will also select one optional module at Warwick.

Students on the MA in Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Rome will participate in the British School at Rome’s ‘City of Rome’ postgraduate course, a two-month residential programme. This involves a busy schedule of expert presentations and onsite seminars.

Admission to the course in Rome is subject to the discretion of the BSA/BSR and cannot be guaranteed. Students are responsible for funding their travel to Italy and for accommodation costs in Rome.

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This course enables you to apply the study of ancient material and visual culture to a particular historical and geographical context. Read more
This course enables you to apply the study of ancient material and visual culture to a particular historical and geographical context. You’ll undertake specialist research training in art, numismatics and epigraphy that will equip you for further PhD study in these fields, or for a career in museum work or education.

The course includes a core module in Approaching Ancient Visual and Material Culture, plus a core language module, as well as the Core module in Greece. You will also select one optional module at Warwick.

The MA in the Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Greece is the first in the UK to give you access to the postgraduate training courses of the British School at Athens, an institute for advanced research based in Greece. You will have the opportunity to spend two to three weeks in Athens or Knossos, following a full programme of site visits and seminars from visiting scholars.

Admission to the course is subject to the discretion of the BSA/BSR and cannot be guaranteed. Students are responsible for funding their travel to Greece.

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Book History is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary study that examines the book as an artefact in material culture. Read more

Book History is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary study that examines the book as an artefact in material culture. This programme brings together theory and practice in new and innovative ways. We study the production, circulation and reception of books from manuscript to e-books, paying attention to the histories of reading and authorship.

The programme integrates traditional bibliography, advanced theoretical approaches, training in special collections, and hands-on experience. You will be taught by leading experts at the University’s renowned Centre for the History of the Book. Field trips and work placements will allow you to take advantage of the exceptional collections in Edinburgh.

The programme attracts outstanding students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. The degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Programme structure

You will complete two core and two option courses, along with training in research methods. You will then complete a supervised, independently-researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Compulsory courses:

  • Cultures of the Book
  • Working with Collections

Option courses may include:

  • Critical Theory: Issues and Debates
  • Shakespeare's Sister: Archival Research and the Politics of the Canon
  • Sex and God in Victorian Poetry
  • Exploring the Novel
  • Censorship

Work placement/internship opportunities

Work placements allow students to take advantage of the exceptional resources in Edinburgh for the study of books in order to gain hands-on experience that will be beneficial in their future careers.

Placements may take place internally, for example in the Centre for Research Collections at the University Library, or externally with several partner organisations.

You will receive training from the placement supervisor, and will undertake well-defined projects in the course of your placement, such as cataloguing, conservation, collation, digitisation and other kinds of work.

You will reflect on your placement in a poster presentation, and it will provide material for an academic essay. Regular academic oversight of the work placement will be provided by the Course Organiser.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme, you will have a firm grasp of:

  • the extensive range of media forms and technologies, from manuscript to electronic text
  • the issues surrounding conservation, cataloguing, digitisation, and the display and management of collections
  • advanced archival research methodologies in manuscript and print

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with the detailed knowledge and research skills you need to progress to a research degree and continue a career in academia; or you may pursue a career in publishing, libraries, and the cultural heritage sector. You will graduate with a number of highly transferable skills in communication, project management and analysis that will give you an advantage, whatever your chosen career.



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Are you interested in exploring classical material and visual culture, and its impact upon subsequent historical conceptions of antiquity? If so, this course is the ideal foundation for a career in museum work or education. Read more
Are you interested in exploring classical material and visual culture, and its impact upon subsequent historical conceptions of antiquity? If so, this course is the ideal foundation for a career in museum work or education. It also equips you for further PhD study in related fields.

You will undertake specialist research training in art, numismatics and epigraphy, with museum visits forming an important part of the programme. Teaching comprises two core modules — one language module and the other focusing on issues of reception, historiography and museum display — plus your choice of optional modules.

Options can be taken from within the Classics Department or you may decide to study a module from a related department, such as History of Art. Over the summer, you will complete a supervised dissertation, enabling you to research independently an area of personal academic interest in more depth.

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The MA is for people with a personal passion for material culture, materials innovations, crafts, designs, heritage, and the cultural issues which they present. Read more

The MA is for people with a personal passion for material culture, materials innovations, crafts, designs, heritage, and the cultural issues which they present. Some are social scientists rethinking the engagement of anthropology, ethnography and material culture; others are designers or makers exploring cultural and social issues.

About this degree

Students will study anthropological and material culture theory, apply social science and ethnographic methodologies to the problems of design, explore the technical, aesthetic and symbolic properties of materials, and examine how these interact with production technologies and consumption choices. They will develop understanding of how working with materials, crafts, and design helps us to rethink, understand, and critique socio-cultural issues in ways beyond other disciplines, and in cutting-edge anthropological ways.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), a departmental seminar series and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Materials, Anthropology and Design

Optional modules

  • Anthropology of the Built Environment
  • Art in the Public Sphere
  • Mass Consumption and Design
  • Anthropology and Photography
  • Social Construction of Landscape
  • Ethnographic Film
  • Archaeobotanical Analysis in Practice
  • Archaeometallurgy 1: Mining and Extractive Technology
  • Archaeometallurgy 2: Metallic Artefacts
  • Archaeological Glass and Glazes
  • Interpreting Pottery
  • Lithic Analysis
  • Archaelogical Ceramics and Plaster
  • Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Several courses entail practical instruction, including visits to product design companies and trade fairs; archaeological field sites; Kew Botanical Archive and the British Museum. Assessment is through unseen examination, long essays, research methodology project and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Materials, Anthropology and Design MA

Careers

The unique combination of scientific and social science training offers students career pathways in a range of areas including:

  • design research
  • design consultancy and policy
  • heritage and museums
  • materials consultancy: advising industry on different materials, old and new, and their technical and aesthetic properties
  • product marketing
  • fashion marketing and buying
  • academia (PhDs, lecturing)

Employability

In addition to analytic and ethnographic skills honed by the core academic training, graduates develop a solid grounding in materials and design literacy, communication and interpersonal skills, new ways of thinking about culture and society and presentational and studio groupwork skills. 

Our graduates are equipped to collaboratively engage with different materials and design approaches for working alongside, and in conjunction with, designers, engineers, heritage professionals, environmentalists, materials scientists, and others with a pragmatic interest in materials and design.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is a world leader in anthropological work, specialising in material culture, and also a pan-disciplinary leader in materials innovation and making. This MSc is the only specific design anthropology programme with a material culture emphasis, and the only one dedicated to seriously exploring materials and making in cultural terms.

The programme involves interdisciplinary engagements in: looking at materials expertise across London through visits to makespaces and materials libraries; a project for an external design client (in commerce, heritage, or the third sector); weekly high-profile academic speakers on material culture; and optional vocational seminars in the Spring Term. In some years we facilitate participation in conferences or workshops abroad.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance to the British Museum and the British Library. UCL's own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology

68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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This MA provides a broad based training in social science approaches to the analysis of material and visual media. Read more

This MA provides a broad based training in social science approaches to the analysis of material and visual media: ranging from art, photography, film and media within visual anthropology, to consumption, museum anthropology and cultural heritage, landscape and genres (such as clothing and the built environment), within material culture.

About this degree

The programme covers a range of contexts such as production, exchange and consumption, and uses anthropological perspectives based on the comparative study of societies, historically and culturally. Skills training is given in social anthropological field research and analysis, and in specific methods for the study of material and visual forms.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Critical Issues

Optional modules

The following is a selection of possible option modules:

  • Anthropology and Photography
  • Advanced Topics in Digital Culture: Ethnographies of the Digital
  • Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye
  • Art in the Public Sphere
  • Social Construction of Landscape
  • Issues in Power and Culture
  • Anthropology of the Built Environment
  • Mass Consumption and Design
  • Risk, Power and Uncertainty

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, group presentations and discussion, tutorials, independent directed reading, interactive teamwork, laboratory and practical work, video, film and web based courses. There will also be visits to museums, galleries and other relevant sites. Assessment is through coursework, unseen examination and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Material and Visual Culture MA

Careers

The programme can lead to careers in a wide range of areas such as architecture, media, commerce and aspects of development work where an emphasis on the material and visual environment is central.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Project Officer, British Council
  • Senior Administrator, LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • Senior Officer in Marketing and Communications, Singapore Economic Development Board
  • Event Co-Ordinator, Tate Britain
  • Social Enterprise Consultant, Sisterhood for Development and Sisterhood Handicrafts

Employability

The programme is designed as an advanced research degree providing exposure to a vanguard and creative field within anthropology and related disciplines. Students learn how to apply ethnographic theory and methodology in material and visual culture to a wide range of case studies highlighting material culture in the wider world - ranging from art, through photography, clothing, consumption, cultural memory, monuments and the built environment.

The degree can lead to further doctoral research or careers in a wide range of areas such as architecture, media, museums, business and aspects of development work where an emphasis on the material and visual environment is central.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology is the world's leading centre for the study of material and visual culture. We publish the Journal of Material Culture and several relevant book series, and have nine specialist staff in this field.

The department is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK. Our excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercises and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology

68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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As the only named Master’s programme within the UK devoted to Charles Dickens, this programme studies the author in a place that perhaps offers more Dickensian associations than anywhere else in the world. Read more
As the only named Master’s programme within the UK devoted to Charles Dickens, this programme studies the author in a place that perhaps offers more Dickensian associations than anywhere else in the world.

It combines a focus on both the local and the global author through compulsory modules contextualising the variety of ways in which Dickens engaged with the social, cultural and political issues of his age. Interdisciplinary approaches are employed, using Dickens as a focus, to consider the relationships between19th-century fiction and journalism, the Victorians’ engagement with material culture, and their fascination with the body and its metaphors.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/219/dickens-victorian-culture

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; two core modules and two optional modules. You are also expected to attend the Faculty and School Research Methods Programmes.

You then write a dissertation on a subject related to Dickens and/or Victorian culture between the start of the Summer Term and the end of August.

Modules

In 2015 the following three specialist modules were available: EN836 Dickens and the Material Culture of the Victorian Novel, EN876 Dickens and the Condition of England, EN835 Dickens, the Victorians and the Body. Students would be required to take at least two. These should be considered indicative of the types of modules available, which may vary from year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

EN835 - Dickens, The Victorians and the Body (30 credits)
EN836 - Dickens and the Material Culture of the Victorian Novel (30 credits)
EN876 - Dickens and the Condition of England (30 credits)
MT864 - Reading the Medieval Town: Canterbury, an International City (30 credits)
MT865 - Encountering the Holy: Devotion and the Medieval Church (30 credits)
EN842 - Reading the Contemporary (30 credits)
EN850 - Centres and Edges: Modernist and PostcolonialQuest Literature (30 credits)
EN852 - Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses (30 credits)
EN857 - Body and Place in the Postcolonial Text (30 credits)
EN862 - Contemporary Arab Novel (30 credits)
EN865 - Post-45: American Literature and Culture in the Cold War Era (30 credits)
EN866 - The Awkward Age: Transatlantic Culture and Literature in Transition, 18 (30 credits)
EN872 - Provocations and Invitations (30 credits)
EN888 - Extremes of Feeling: Literature and Empire in the Eighteenth Century (30 credits)
EN889 - Literary Theory (30 credits)
EN897 - Advanced Critical Reading (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)
EN834 - Imagining India (30 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by a 5-6,000-word essay for each module and a 12,000 word dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide excellent postgraduate-level study that deepens and extends your understanding of work in the field of Dickens and Victorian culture

- develop your understanding of, and engagement with, the critical and methodological paradigms that inform the field of studies in Dickens and Victorian culture

- develop your independent critical thinking and judgement

- develop your research skills in the relevant field so as to provide a pathway for you to undertake PhD work in the area of Dickens and Victorian culture

- build upon and extend an already-established reputation at Kent for distinction in the learning and teaching of Dickens and Victorian culture.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website (http://www.kent.ac.uk/english/staff).

- Dr Vybarr Cregan-Reid:

Lecturer in English and American Literature
Nineteenth-century literature and culture, especially representations of nature and the environment, time, history, queer theory; sublimity; ecology and psychogeography.

- Dr Sara Lyons:

Lecturer in Victorian Literature
Nineteenth-century literature and culture; Victorian poetry and critical prose; fin-de-siècle aestheticism and decadence; the interrelations between literature, religion, secularism in the long nineteenth century.

- Professor Wendy Parkins:

Professor of Victorian Literature
Victorian modernity; gender and sexuality in the 19th century; the Victorian novel (especially Dickens, Gaskell, Collins); literature of the fin-desiècle period; aestheticism and William Morris.

- Dr Catherine Waters:

Professor of 19th-Century Studies
Victorian literature and culture, especially fiction and journalism; Dickens; Sala; George Eliot; literature and gender.

- Dr Sarah Wood:

Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature
Creative critical writing; 19th and 20th-century poetry and fiction, especially Robert Browning and Elizabeth Bowen; writing and visual art; literary theory; deconstruction, especially Derrida; psychoanalysis; continental philosophy.

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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This MA offers an intellectually dynamic introduction to one of the most exciting eras in literary history. Read more
This MA offers an intellectually dynamic introduction to one of the most exciting eras in literary history.

Grounded in and administered from the Centre for Studies in the Long Eighteenth Century, this is an interdisciplinary MA programme that builds upon the expertise and common research interests of 18th-century researchers and teachers across the Faculty of Humanities. The Centre provides an excellent research context for the MA programme and any further postgraduate work that will arise from it.

Among the teachers involved in this MA are Jennie Batchelor (English), Jonathan Friday (History and Philosophy of Art), Donna Landry (English), Paddy Bullard (English) and Ben Thomas (History & Philosophy of Art).

The Eighteenth-Century Studies MA is also available at Canterbury and Paris (https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/221/eighteenth-century-studies-paris). After spending your first term at our Canterbury campus, you relocate to our Paris centre for the spring term to study in the heart of historic Montparnasse.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/220/eighteenth-century-studies

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; two core modules and two optional modules. You are also expected to attend the Faculty and School Research Methods Programmes.

You then write a dissertation or an editorial project between the start of the Summer Term and the end of August.

Modules

In the 2014/15 academic year the following two core specialist modules were available: EN832 - Hacks, Dunces and Scribblers: Authorship and the Marketplace in the Eighteenth Century and EN895 - Jane Austen and Material Culture. These should be considered indicative of the types of modules available, which may vary from year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

EN832 - Hacks, Dunces and Scribblers: Authorship and the Marketplace in the Eig (30 credits)
HI826 - Literary Undergrounds and Anarchists in the Basement (12 credits)
HI874 - Religion and Society in Seventeenth-Century England (30 credits)
MT864 - Reading the Medieval Town: Canterbury, an International City (30 credits)
MT865 - Encountering the Holy: Devotion and the Medieval Church (30 credits)
EN834 - Imagining India (30 credits)
EN835 - Dickens, The Victorians and the Body (30 credits)
EN836 - Dickens and the Material Culture of the Victorian Novel (30 credits)
EN842 - Reading the Contemporary (30 credits)
EN850 - Centres and Edges: Modernist and PostcolonialQuest Literature (30 credits)
EN852 - Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses (30 credits)
EN857 - Body and Place in the Postcolonial Text (30 credits)
EN862 - Contemporary Arab Novel (30 credits)
EN865 - Post-45: American Literature and Culture in the Cold War Era (30 credits)
EN866 - The Awkward Age: Transatlantic Culture and Literature in Transition, 18 (30 credits)
EN872 - Provocations and Invitations (30 credits)
EN876 - Dickens and the Condition of England (30 credits)
EN888 - Extremes of Feeling: Literature and Empire in the Eighteenth Century (30 credits)
EN889 - Literary Theory (30 credits)
EN897 - Advanced Critical Reading (30 credits)
EN818 - American Modernism 1900-1930 (Teaching Period I) (30 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is by a 5-6,000-word essay for each module and a 12-15,000-word dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- extend and deepen through coursework and research your understanding of eighteenth-century literary, visual and material culture and its political and cultural contexts

- develop your understanding of, and engagement with, the critical and methodological paradigms that inform the field of eighteenth-century studies today

- develop your independent critical thinking and judgement.

- introduce you to the research methods that facilitate advanced study in the field

- provide a basis in knowledge and skills for those intending to teach eighteenth-century studies, especially in higher education

- provide an interdisciplinary context for the study of eighteenth-century literary, visual and material culture.

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

- 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.

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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Study at the cutting edge of post-medieval archaeological investigation. Historical Archaeology is the study of relatively recent documented periods, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Read more
Study at the cutting edge of post-medieval archaeological investigation.

Why choose this course?

Historical Archaeology is the study of relatively recent documented periods, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It is one of the most rapidly expanding aspects of archaeology, dealing with many exciting issues that relate directly to the world we have inherited today, drawing on a diverse range of material and documentary sources.

The skills you develop working with material culture, landscapes and archival sources, as well as presenting short papers and writing essays and your dissertation, will provide an unrivalled insight into the past and present and prepare you for a wide range of jobs and careers, as well as further research.
-Explore dynamic and globally significant themes, from capitalism to colonialism.
-Gain practical training in analysing and interpreting evidence, from excavations and standing buildings to landscapes and material culture.
-Develop knowledge and skills that will give you a head start in many heritage, historic-environment and other post-graduate careers and research.
-Study in the archaeological capital of Britain – experience historical archaeology in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, libraries and internationally important archives, resources and collections in York.
-Receive career and research advice and guidance from staff with significant professional knowledge and experience.

What does the course cover?
The MA in Historical Archaeology examines themes such as the development of consumption and capitalism, colonialism and globalisation from British and international perspectives. It builds out from the unique experience of Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to consider the global impact of changing economic, political and cultural values as the modern world took shape.

We examine data sources including excavated material alongside material culture from museums and collections, standing buildings, landscapes and documentary sources of all kinds, which relate to both the UK, its former colonies and the wider world.

Who is it for?
This course is ideally suited for students from a wide range of backgrounds, which need not necessarily include Archaeology. The course appeals to anyone interested in the material culture and landscapes of the post-medieval period. Past students have included graduates of History, Art History, Heritage, English Literature and many more subjects, as well as mid-career professionals looking to enhance their knowledge, expertise and qualifications.

What can it lead to?
The course provides you with highly valued and transferrable skills, knowledge and experience essential for a wide variety of careers. Many students go on to further study or take up employment with a range of organisations both within and outside the heritage sector, including the civil service and law firms, heritage consultancies and museums.

Careers

This course will give you a thorough grounding in the rapidly growing field of Historical Archaeology and equip you with valuable skills and experience for a career in this and related fields. It also provides valuable transferable skills which are recognised across a wide range of professional graduate careers.

By the end of the course you will:
-Be familiar with current research agendas and a broad range of issues in historical archaeology.
-Have detailed knowledge of topics and themes using material from Britain, Europe, North America, Africa and the Caribbean.
-Have developed key skills to organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner in written form and in presentations.
-Have undertaken an extended piece of independent research on a topic of your choice in the field of historical archaeology.
-Have delivered a short lecture on a chosen topic in historical archaeology.

Course postgraduates have gone on to work with many organisations, including landscape and environmental consultancies, professional bodies, heritage organisations such as English Heritage and the National Trust, the media and museums.

Others have used the skills gained to pursue careers in other sectors, including:
-Local government and development
-Civil service and law
-Chartered surveying
-Computing and IT services
-Business and administration
-Marketing and public relations
-Education
-Accountancy and financial services

Others have gone on to pursue PhDs in the UK and overseas.

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Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical and social significance of works of art, artefacts and other cultural products from classical antiquity to the present. Read more

Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical and social significance of works of art, artefacts and other cultural products from classical antiquity to the present.

Art is an expression of the human spirit. The study of art deals with cultural, social, religious, political and aesthetic meaning in the time it was created, the present and the eras in between. Think of how the Greek mythology of Narcissus – who has been portrayed in countless sculptures and paintings over the ages – was used by Freud to name a psychological disorder and is today used by politicians to symbolise the flaws of modern society. And think of how the destruction of art, be it by Byzantine iconoclasts, sixteenth-century Dutch protestants, or present-day adherents of IS, teaches us that the emotional and political significance of art goes far beyond the loss of objects.

The research Master’s in Art and Visual Culture studies the relationship between art, the past and the present from various angles, including the interpretation of the cultural contexts of visual expressions and their transformations throughout the ages up to now. This programme is geared towards classical archaeologists, art historians and cultural scholars alike. You’ll gain insight into general humanities methods and theories as well as those specific for those three fields. You can then go to focus on your own topic in the field of Art-Historical, Cultural Studies and Archaeology.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/arts-culture ;

Europe and ‘its worlds’

The programme welcomes students with interest in all forms of art and visual culture. Our own research primarily focuses on Europe and ‘its worlds’, including how European artefacts interact with and differ from the rest of the world. Our research studies artefacts in the broadest sense, ranging from the more traditional forms as sculptures, paintings and architecture to modern ones as film, digital art, the performing arts and even fashion. All our research is performed in collaboration with scientists from other fields within the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS). We are joined in thirteen themed research groups .

Why study Art and Visual Culture at Radboud University?

- We teach you to look at the physical, artistic and visual qualities of an artwork or artefact, seen from the perspectives of three different disciplines: Classical Archaeology, Cultural Studies and Art History.

- In your first year, you take several courses with students from the other HLCS research Master’s specialisations in Historical Studies, and in Literary Studies. This unique construction will allow you to view your own field from the perspective of the other humanities.

- A personal tutor will guide you throughout the entire programme. He/she will give you advice on how to tailor our programme to best suit your interests, act as a sounding board for your research ideas, and help you make the right connections in the academic arena.

- You’ll receive thorough preparation for PhD research, including the writing of a publishable scholarly article and a proposal for a PhD project.

- This programme strongly encourages you to go abroad for at least a semester. Students can use our connections to other universities (IRUN network ) and research institutes to find a place that meet their academic interests.

Our research in this field

Any research done by students of the Master’s in Art and Visual Culture will be supervised by a researcher at the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS) in Nijmegen. HLCS research focuses around the theme Europe and its Worlds and questions whether ‘Europe’ consists of different worlds, how it is addressed, how it differs from the rest of the world, and how it interacts with other worlds. Researchers from a variety of humanities disciplines collaborate in thirteen different thematic groups to explore the spaces, cultural practices, beliefs, texts and ideas related to Europe and its World.

Thematic research groups

There are art and cultural scientists in many of these thematic groups. Although all the groups could be of interest to an art and cultural researcher, our experience is that the following generate a lot of interest among the Art and Visual Culture students:

- Matter And Culture: Analysis, Discourse & Aesthetics of/in Material Culture

The common framework of this group is research into material culture as the bearer of meaning in the broadest sense.

- Creative Industries: Society, Culture and Aesthetics in the 21st century

This group aims to gain a socio-cultural understanding of the creative industries. The group views the creative industries as a dynamic sector of autonomous and applied arts that range from theatre, music, media, literature and museums; to gaming, film, fashion and television, as well as to design, arts education, heritage and festivals.

- Memory, Materiality and Meaning in the Age of Transnationalism

This group studies the material as well as immaterial media and forms of embodiment through which we create memory through meaning-making and performative practices.

Master’s thesis topics in Art and Visual Culture:

For their Master’s thesis research, students can work together with researchers from one of the HLCS research groups or choose a topic in a non-related area. A small sample of thesis topics that you could research in this programme:

- Understanding the Post-Pompeian Era: Wall painting in the Roman Empire (AD 79-395)

- Crime in a Nordic Space: The Production of Space in Forbrydelsen

- William Marlowe in his time: an eighteenth-century view painter rediscovered

- Unravelling the Fabrics of Time: A New Materialist Perspective on Slow Fashion Becomings

- A Pyramidal Structure along the Via Appia. Documentation and reconstruction

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/arts-culture



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The V&A/RCA History of Design MA and MPhil/PhD programmes are known internationally for an intellectually vigorous approach to the history of design and material culture. Read more

The V&A/RCA History of Design MA and MPhil/PhD programmes are known internationally for an intellectually vigorous approach to the history of design and material culture. Offered jointly by the RCA and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), we teach and research cultural, social, economic, political and technological history through artefacts and our interactions with them. Projects and expertise range across global geographies, from the fifteenth century to the contemporary, and draw on cognate areas such as geography, performance studies and design practice. 

Programme Description

History of Design is a full-time, 240-credit, enhanced RCA MA (unlike the standard UK 180-credit MA). It is delivered in a 15-month format, (September 2017 – December 2018). Home/EU students in History of Design can opt to undertake the second part of their studies (the dissertation ) on a part-time basis (June 2018 – March 2019). This innovative structure has been designed to give students greater flexibility to combine full and part-time modes of study. *Please note the part-time option is not available to international students for visa compliance reasons. Further details are available on Tuition Fees and MA Entrance Requirements.

Students in History of Design combine a shared core programme with teaching in their chosen pathway: Design & Material CulturePerformance, or Photography.

Core programme teaching includes intensive training in artefact-based research, archival research, primary and secondary source analysis and interpretation, social and economic history and key theoretical concepts and approaches for understanding the history of design and material culture.

Specialist pathway teaching in areas such as fashion, architecture and urbanism, theatre and performance, subcultures, technology in early modern Europe and contemporary history enable students to work closely with the kinds of historical questions, methods, sources and arguments distinctive to each area.

The combination of core skills courses and specialist content enables students to develop both specialist expertise and a strong basis in artefact-based history and its communication to diverse audiences. The pathways allow a close focus on the particular needs of individual students, delivered through small group seminar teaching and one-to-one tutorials.

Teaching on the V&A/RCA MA in History of Design combines seminars, workshops and lectures with individual tutorials, study visits and time working with the collections of the V&A. Unique and extensive access to V&A collections and curatorial expertise supports independent research, and students have opportunities to join Museum projects, including exhibition and collections development and research. Access to workshops and technical expertise at the RCA also supports independent work and allows creative responses to programme briefs, and the College offers unusual opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, architects and engineers. Assignments combine academic and public-facing work. Termly presentations hone public-speaking skills and confidence, and written assignments allow students to develop extended academic arguments and writing skills. The project portfolio, a self-directed body of work that applies the skills of the design historian to live, public-facing projects, allows students to take advantage of the unique creative environments of the RCA and the V&A.

In September 2017, the programme has been co-located with dedicated study and teaching space in the RCA's newest facilities in White City and the V&A. Journey time between the two sites is c. 30 minutes. Students also make use of facilities and learning spaces across the RCA's Kensington and Battersea sites.



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