The 2-year Master’s programme in Semiotics provides interdisciplinary background and gives a theoretical base for application of semiotic ideas to a wide variety of disciplines and scientific study. The programme binds together the theory of semiotics and three core modules - cultural semiotics, biosemiotics and sociosemiotics.
The tradition of excellence in semiotic theory in Tartu was established by Juri Lotman in 1960s, the founder of semiotics of culture and the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School, as well as the oldest journal of semiotics, Sign Systems Studies.
This transdisciplinary programme supports a range of research topics in visual and urban cultural studies, with a particular interest in place and memory, semiotic landscapes, materiality of writing, photography and visual knowledges, curatorial practices and multimodality in representation of research. Your research project will benefit from academic collaborations across architecture and history of art in ECA, and from co-supervision with staff in sociology, comparative literature, Canadian studies, Chinese cultural studies, social history and religious studies. You will also benefit from our collaborative exchanges and contacts with local and international research networks, cultural and heritage institutions and archives.
These programmes enable you to study cultural phenomena, practices and texts at an advanced level, critically engaging with theories and methodologies of transdiciplinary cultural research. Your projects will benefit from the diverse research expertise of staff from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, from our collaborative exchanges with colleagues across ECA and a broad range of contacts with local and international research networks, cultural and heritage institutions and archives.
For the MSc by Research you are required to complete two courses selected in discussion with your supervisor, providing methodological and theoretical grounding for your research project, and a 20,000-word dissertation based on your independent research.
In addition to regular meetings with your supervisor, you will participate in postgraduate seminars and conferences and have opportunities to experiment with publications and curatorial projects.
All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.