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The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa is designed both as an end qualification in itself and as a platform preparing students for more advanced graduate work.

It typically suits students falling into one of the following three categories:

- students planning to pursue further research, which may involve at a subsequent stage the acquisition of a doctoral degree and a career in higher education;

- students willing to pursue a career or professional activity, for which advanced knowledge of the religions of Asia and Africa and of the theoretical and practical issues involved in their study is essential: arts, media, teaching, NGOs and charities, interfaith dialogue, consultancy for governmental agencies or the private sector, religious institutions, museums, and more.

- students who wish to pursue the academic study of religions as a complement to their personal experience and commitments: religious ministers and clerics from all confessions, believers, yoga and meditation practitioners; anyone interested in specific religious traditions or in religion as an essential dimension of life, and in the critical and experiential enhancement that their academic study may offer.

The MA Religions of Asia and Africa at SOAS offers the premier postgraduate curriculum in the U.K. for the study of the religions of Asia and Africa. It covers a wider range of religious traditions than most comparable programmes, whether in the U.K. or abroad: Buddhism in nearly all its doctrinal and regional varieties, Asian and African Christianities, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastrianism as well as the local religious cultures of Asia and Africa.

The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse, offering advanced learning in theories and methods in the study of religion as well as in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological and textual approaches to the study of particular religious traditions. It ensures students can benefit from the unique opportunity to tap cutting-edge academic expertise and library facilities on Asian and African religions as part of a spirited, cosmopolitan student community and within the intense religious and cultural scene of London.

Email:

Phone: 020 7898 4217

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/

Structure

Overview:
1. Students take taught courses (half and/or full units) equivalent to three units in total from the list of taught courses.

2. The 4th and final unit is a Dissertation.

3. Languages: Students in the MA Religions of Asia and Africa may substitute one of their taught courses for a language course (most are taught in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures).

Note: Students wishing to take other SOAS courses relevant to their studies but taught outside the department may do so with the written approval of the tutor of the relevant course, the Department's MA Convenor and the Faculty's Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

Programme Specification

MA Religions of Asia and Africa Programme Specification 2012-13 (msword; 223kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions-and-philosophies/programmes/mareligions/file80695.doc

Employment

An MA in Religions of Asia and Africa from SOAS equips students with important knowledge and understanding of different cultures, history and beliefs across the regions of Asia and Africa. As well as subject expertise, students develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional careers in the private and public sectors as well as essential skills necessary to pursue further research. These include: the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources - often both in the original or other relevant languages; analytical skills to assess critically the materials relevant to a specific issue; written and oral communication skills to present, discuss and debate opinions and conclusions; and problem solving skills. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Welcome to the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at SOAS, University of London. The Faculty is home to the departments of Anthropology & Sociology, Art & Archaeology, History, Music, Study of Religions and the Centre for Media Studies, as well as a number of subject specific Centres.

The study of arts and humanities has been central to SOAS activity since 1917. All Faculty staff are specialists in regions as well as disciplines, and all subjects taught at undergraduate level within the Faculty can be combined with other disciplines across the School. Indeed, the range of course options and combinations is a distinctive characteristic of studying at SOAS, with the option of studying language units included within all our degrees.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework Music, which was already ranked highly, has risen to 5th in the UK, with over half of its publications judged ‘world-leading’; History of Art and Archaeology has seen a dramatic rise up the league tables, from 17th to 8th (out of 25), coming in the top 5 nationally for the quality of its publications. This is just one indication of the international importance of the research activity carried out by academic staff, and staff research provides the basis of teaching activity in the Faculty.

At postgraduate level the Faculty is committed to providing stimulating courses that enable students to study particular countries or regions in depth, and to explore comparisons and contrasts across the major areas of Asia and Africa. The programmes are designed to provide students with the knowledge they need to understand the nature of other societies and cultures, and to form ideas about the past, present and future of the complex and multicultural world in which we all live.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Oxford Brookes University is the home of the Centre for Medical Humanities, which is renowned nationally and internationally for its innovative and cutting-edge scholarship. Read more
Oxford Brookes University is the home of the Centre for Medical Humanities, which is renowned nationally and internationally for its innovative and cutting-edge scholarship.

The MA History (History of Medicine) is a distinctive strand within our MA History. The strands offers you the unique chance to focus specifically on the social, scientific and cultural history of medicine, as well as the relationship between medicine and the humanities (history, philosophy, sociology, literature and art) through a course of research training. It also gives you the flexibility to pursue taught modules in other aspects of history if you wish.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/history-of-medicine/

Why choose this course?

- You will benefit from being taught by a team of nationally and internationally recognised scholars. We are all active researchers and we include all aspects of our own research on the course, teaching specialist modules in our areas of expertise and supervising dissertations in our specialist subjects.

- The knowledge and expertise you gain is grounded in the latest scholarship within the field.

- You will have the opportunity to conduct advanced research on a dissertation subject of your choice.

- The course provides an excellent preparation for students intending to continue with PhD research. It will also be of interest to health care professionals and to graduates in history or the social sciences seeking further personal development.

- All classes are held in the evening. There are no exams - assessment is by written work only.

We welcome further enquiries – please contact the MA Subject Co-ordinator, Dr Viviane Quirke, or the History Programme Administrator, Poppy Hoole, email:

Teaching and learning

The MA course is taught through small-group seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Assessment is entirely by written work. There are no examinations.

Specialist facilities

Oxford Brookes is home to the Centre for Medical Humanities (CMH). The Centre was established in early 2015. It marks an exciting expansion and diversification of the work previously conducted through the Centre for Health, Medicine and Society which over the past 15 years has been the beneficiary of substantial support from both Oxford Brookes University and the Wellcome Trust. The CMH is building on this track record of outstanding research and grant successes, innovative teaching, career development and public outreach. Engaging with the expanding field of medical humanities, the CMH brings historians of medicine together with scholars from History, History of Art, Philosophy, Social and Life Sciences as well as Anthropology and Religion. It thus aims to foster genuine interdisciplinary collaboration amongst staff and students through a range of new research and teaching initiatives, which reflect the new concerns with the relationship between medicine and the humanities in the twentieth first century.

Students have access to Oxford Brookes University’s special Welfare collection, as well as numerous local medical archive resources. They also have access to the world famous Bodleian Library, a copyright library, which houses all books published in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In addition to the Bodleian and its unparalleled collection of books and rare historical manuscripts, there are affiliated libraries such as Rhodes House, home to the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, and the Vere Harmsworth Library of the Rothermere American Institute, where students will find one of the finest collections of publications on the Political, Economic and Social History of the United States from colonial times to the present.

Oxford is a lively centre for events, exhibitions, seminars and open lectures in various specialist areas of history, which staff and students at Brookes regularly attend.

It is also an easy bus or train ride to London for convenient access to a wider resource of historical materials. These include various seminars and lecture series offered by the University of London and the Institute of Historical Research. In addition, The National Archives at Kew, The British Library and other specialised libraries will be of particular interest to students.

Oxford is also within easy reach of other archival collections in Birmingham, Cambridge, Reading and Bristol.

Careers

Students who have completed an MA have developed a variety of careers. A significant number have gone on to undertake PhD study and secondary school history teaching. Others have taken up careers in archive management; law; accountancy; local government and the civil service as well as GCHQ - all jobs which require excellent research and analysis skills.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

The department boasts a wealth of research expertise and is home to two important research centres:

- Centre for Medical Humanities (CMH)
The centre seeks to promote the study of medical humanities. , It is one of the leading research groups of its kind in the UK and has research links with a wide network of associates, both national and international. The centre also provides associate status opportunities to researchers from outside the University who wish to advance their studies and gain experience in the field.

- Centre for the History of Welfare
The centre provides a base for collaboration between all those with an interest in the history of welfare both within Oxford Brookes and across the wider academic and professional communities. It acts as a focus for research in this field. It aims to support and disseminate research which makes connections between historical research and current welfare policy, and thereby fosters links between historians of welfare and policy makers.

Research areas and clusters

Our thriving research and postgraduate culture will provide you with the ideal environment in which to undertake a research degree on a broad range of topics from 16th century to the present day, and to engage in interdisciplinary research. Research skills are developed in preparation for your dissertation and provide a potential pathway to PhD study.

You will have the opportunity to work alongside scholars of international standing as well as receiving comprehensive training in research methods. Principal research areas in which our teaching staff specialise include:
- History of fascism
- History of race
- Social history
- History of crime, deviance and the law
- History of religion from the Reformation onwards

As well as meeting to discuss and analyse central texts in the field, each group undertakes a number of activities. This includes organising work-in-progress seminars, and offering support and feedback for external grant applications.

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Do you want to explore deeper the key issues in the field of philosophy of religion and ethics?. Are you looking to develop your professional or academic career path?. Read more
Do you want to explore deeper the key issues in the field of philosophy of religion and ethics?

Are you looking to develop your professional or academic career path?

On the MA Philosophy of Religion and Ethics programme you will explore a variety of questions - for example: Are there shared human values? How do we negotiate different belief systems in pluralistic societies? Is there a conflict between science and religion? Do people with different religious views have the same morals? Is life without God meaningless? You will be taught by a vibrant community of philosophers, pursuing original research on a wide range of topics on which expert supervision is available.

We also offer this programme by distance learning.

Taught by experts – you will study alongside some of the finest minds in Philosophy. We are ranked second among all Philosophy departments in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Friendly and relaxed atmosphere – staff within the Department of Philosophy are very approachable and happy to offer additional advice on academic performance.

Small classes – teaching on the masters-level modules involve mainly small-group seminars allowing you to really get to grips with the learning material.

Be a part of an active postgraduate community – you will join a lively and stimulating Department where you can contribute to on-going research activities, including research seminars and events such as our weekly speaker series and various workshops, reading groups and conferences throughout the year.

Access to a wide range of services – as a postgraduate student you will have access to services such as the Academic Writing Advisory Service and the Bank of Assessed Work which will aid your transition from undergraduate to postgraduate level, or back into academia after a time away.

About the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion

The School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion offers a variety of forward-thinking postgraduate study opportunities and is home to a dynamic and friendly community of staff and students, pursuing original research on a wide range of topics.
The School is made up of the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Theology and Religion, both of which were ranked second among other departments in the country in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise.
The Departments are closely linked, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary study, but have also developed links more widely, in order to explore synergies with other disciplines.
The Department of Philosophy has links with the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, the International Development Department, the Birmingham Business School, the School of Psychology and the Birmingham Law School. In addition, the Department includes the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, which was founded in 2001 to address the practical and theoretical issues raised by globalisation. Global Ethics has natural affinities with Political Science and International Studies, as well as the Institute of Applied Social Studies.
The Department of Theology and Religion has extensive formal and informal links with a wide range of academic and religious institutions across five continents. It has also built up excellent relationships and partnerships with Birmingham’s many different faith communities; this offers an ideal context to study religion in its contemporary as well as its ancient cultural contexts. These relationships, coupled with our large international community of postgraduates, means you will be studying in a diverse, yet well-connected environment.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Development and expansion in undergraduate studies in religion and belief, together with the expansion of national and international ‘faith awareness’ initiatives, has resulted in a high demand for postgraduate studies within this discipline. Read more
Development and expansion in undergraduate studies in religion and belief, together with the expansion of national and international ‘faith awareness’ initiatives, has resulted in a high demand for postgraduate studies within this discipline.

The programme explores the impact and influence religion and belief has on social structures, community, politics, economics, policy (education), citizenship, culture & identity, sexuality, pluralism, spirituality, and national & international relationships. The MA also introduces critical analysis of ethics, systems of belief, human rights and social justice issues and the application of these concepts within lived environments from diverse religious perspectives.

The programme is of interest to both graduates and practitioners who wish to specialise further in Religion, Culture & Society. Graduates may wish to extend their knowledge to prepare for academic and professional careers in the private or public sector.

INDUSTRY LINKS

The RCS team at UCLan have a wide variety of links with local, national and international faith and intercultural forums, faith schools and academic institutions, all of which provide valuable contacts for students wishing to enter professions related to Teaching, Ministry, inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue and relations. RCS also work with charity organisations both home and abroad and global outreach programmes. Further details and contacts are available from members of the RCS teaching team.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Students may study the MA full time over one year or part time over two or three years. In either case students will be required to successfully complete six MA modules and one MA dissertation (the dissertation is equivalent to 3 x modules). Each module requires an estimated 2 hours class contact per week plus extensive reading and dedicated personal study.

We strive to give our students key employability and transferable skills which will serve them in the world of work. Our assessment practices illustrate a move away from exams and essays per se and incorporate a move towards a more inclusive assessment which benefits our diverse student body. Assessment strategies include coursework, individual and group presentations, individual and/or group projects, reviews and ICT interaction.

OPPORTUNITIES

Religion, Culture & Society (RCS) also includes field trips to national and international places of interest such as; Rome, Istanbul, Auschwitz, Liverpool Cathedrals, Ladywelle Pilgrimage and Shrine, the Hindu Temple etc. Although these trips are optional to MA students, they aim to draw attention to shared values, beliefs and practices, and supports students in achieving a mutual appreciation of different faiths and traditions. The international trips in particular aim to develop an experienced awareness of cultural heritage, traditions and practices of different faiths, and widen students’ appreciation of how those faiths and belief systems interact within lived environments, communities and in different social settings. Thus enhancing not only MA provision but also the learning experience and the environment where that learning experience takes place.

The programme is of interest to both graduates and practitioners who wish to specialise further in Religion, Culture and Society. Graduates may wish to extend their knowledge to prepare for academic and professional careers in the private or public sector, including local government, race relations officers, ministry, equality/diversity training officers, social services, social welfare, community development, youth work, research, education and communication support workers, lecturing in further or higher education. Practitioners may wish to update their knowledge or gain a higher qualification for personal or professional development. The programme will also appeal to working individuals who are interested in the range of topics offered and do not wish to specialise in a rigidly defined Theology based MA programme. In addition, many students are currently seeking Masters’ programmes as a way of weathering the economic recession.

RCS offers progression routes onto PGCE courses for graduates wishing to develop a career in teaching. There are also opportunities to further study for PhD or professional doctorate.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The MA in Religion, Culture & Society brings together disciplines of Theology, Philosophy, Sociology and International Relations – a very innovative, exciting and challenging post-graduate degree award.

The whole philosophy of the Religion, Culture and Society MA is to promote inclusively, encourage reflection on interfaith dialogue and highlight the important contribution religion and belief can make to community cohesion and the combating of religious prejudice and discrimination (QCA & DfES, 2004). The MA evaluates how and why the role of religion and culture has changed within society, and explores the impact and influence of religion and belief within economical, political and social constructs. Religion and faith is critically analysed within the framework of theistic and atheistic approaches to sexuality, spirituality, human rights, territory and space and cultural relationships. The application of classical and contemporary theological and philosophical concepts and theories of faith are examined in relation to lived environments.

The MA in Religion, Culture and Society embodies and supports the objectives outlined in the AHSS 2007-2012 strategy, is aligned to Theology and Religious Studies benchmarks, HEQ (2008) descriptors and is situated specifically within a social science framework. The course supports a pluralistic perspective on and within religion and belief traditions, and engages with a range of methods of study, explores a number of interesting and challenging modules and includes and a diversified range of assessment practices.

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Containing 60 percent of the world’s population, Asia is the setting for many of the most important political issues in the world today. Read more
Containing 60 percent of the world’s population, Asia is the setting for many of the most important political issues in the world today. These issues include the rise of China and India, economic dynamism of the Asian-Pacific area, regional integration (ASEAN, SAARC, Shanghai Cooperation Organization), security hotspots (Korean Peninsula, Taiwan Straits, India-Pakistan, the ‘global war on terror’), democratic transition and consolidation, the survival of non-democratic regimes, and identity conflicts of ethnicity, religion and language. To understand these and other political processes, this MSc programme draws upon the concepts and methods of the sub-disciplines of comparative politics (political sociology and political economy) and international relations. The evidence from Asia will also reveal the relevance and limitations of the concepts and methods derived from North American/European settings and suggest ways in which they may be modified. The expertise available in the Department enables students to concentrate on one of the sub-regions of Asia, (East Asia. South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia) should they choose to do so. Alternatively, they may follow a more comparative approach by selecting a mixture of units covering different sub-regions.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/mscaspol/

Programme Specification

MSc Asian Politics Programme Specification 2012 (pdf; 191kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/mscaspol/file80041.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Courses are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught courses (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

- Lectures

Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

- Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Learning Resources

- SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world.

The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (L&SS)

Welcome to the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at SOAS. The faculty is the largest in the School in terms of student and staff numbers and consists of the departments of Development Studies, Economics, Financial and Management Studies, Politics and International Studies and the School of Law, as well as the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Sciences, the Centre for Gender Studies, the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the Centre of Taiwan Studies and a number of department-specific centres. All five departments offer undergraduate programmes, and all but Finance and International Management offer joint undergraduate degrees which can be combined with other disciplines from across the School. Each department also offers a range of masters-level programmes with a regional or disciplinary specialism, as well as a postgraduate research programme. The range of course options and combinations is one of the most distinctive characteristics of studying at SOAS and all students are given the option of studying an Asian or African language, either as part of or on top of their degree.

Staff in the faculty come from all over the world and combine regional knowledge with disciplinary specialisms. Teaching draws heavily on academic staff’s individual research which allows the faculty to maintain a large portfolio of courses, often exploring cutting-edge issues. Many faculty members have played a significant part in public debates and policy-making in relation to Asia and Africa. Academics in the faculty are regularly consulted by governments, public bodies and multilateral organisations including the United Nations and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, European Commission, DFID and other country-specific organisations and NGOs.

-Excellent student satisfaction for Faculty of Law and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (LSS) at SOAS, University of London has performed extremely well according to the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).

Department of Politics and International Studies

The Department’s academic staff are leading and highly-regarded scholars in their fields and most have knowledge of one or more languages of their regions of interest, in addition to their disciplinary specialism.

Staff members conduct cutting-edge research on the politics of the Global South, with expertise in nationalism, urban politics, political violence, security, migration and diaspora mobilization, Islamic political and intellectual history, transitional justice, politics of multiculturalism, international relations theory, gender, comparative political economy, human rights, and the study of ideologies.

View Degree Programmes - http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Religion and faith are major influences on social, cultural and political life around the world. This interdisciplinary MA draws on a range of perspectives to study the public roles of religious communities and individuals. Read more

Religion and faith are major influences on social, cultural and political life around the world. This interdisciplinary MA draws on a range of perspectives to study the public roles of religious communities and individuals.

You’ll think about theological and philosophical responses to issues in the public sphere, the place of religion in public policy on issues such as discrimination and multiculturalism, and the bonds that tie individuals to their communities. Using approaches from sociology, religious studies, theology, history, anthropology and philosophy among others, you’ll also learn about the research process.

Core modules will introduce you to key issues and approaches, and you’ll choose from optional modules to explore topics that suit your interests such as religion and gender, Muslims and multiculturalism, or remembering the Holocaust. Guided by experts in an active research environment, you’ll gain an insight into the significance of religion in the public sphere.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

In your first semester you’ll take a core module that develops your understanding of the research process, equipping you with a range of skills from different disciplines. You’ll learn about interviewing and other forms of fieldwork as well as working with legal and historical documents, the use of theory and ethics among others.

A second core module in the following semester will build your knowledge of the role of religion in public life, focusing on issues such as the meaning of secular and post-secular society, tolerance and religious freedom, multiculturalism and globalisation. By the end of the year, you’ll be able to showcase the knowledge and skills you’ve gained with your dissertation – an independently researched project on a topic of your choice – and you can even choose to extend your dissertation to go into greater depth.

You’ll also have the chance to select from a range of optional modules. These will allow you to specialise in topics that suit your interests, from religion and global development to Islam in the modern world. You’ll take two optional modules if you do the standard dissertation, or you can swap one for the extended dissertation.

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

There are three compulsory modules throughout the year including the Dissertation (60 credits). You’ll then choose two optional modules, or just one if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits).

  • Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods 30 credits
  • Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • Modernity and the Jews 30 credits
  • Science and Religion Historically Considered 30 credits
  • Sin, Public Discourse and Public Life 30 credits
  • Religions and Global Development 30 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender 30 credits
  • Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State 30 credits
  • Religion, Politics and the Future: From Apocalypse to Utopia 30 credits
  • Theology and Public Life 30 credits
  • Research Project (Theology and Religious Studies) 30 credits
  • Special Options in Theology and Religious Studies 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Religion and Public Life MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Religion and Public Life MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules use a combination of lectures and seminars, which allow you to discuss the issues arising from your lectures and reading. Independent study is also an important element of this programme, as it allows you to develop your skills and gives you space to form your own ideas.

Assessment

We also use a range of assessment methods. These usually include essays, but some modules may involve project reports and presentations. Modules taught by other Schools within the University may also use different methods.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with diverse and in-depth subject knowledge, as well as strong political and cultural awareness. These are all valuable in a wide range of careers – and you’ll also have advanced skills in areas such as analysis and interpretation, oral and written communication, and different types of research.

Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors including the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.

We offer plenty of support to boost your employability, including an impressive array of research training offered by the School, the University Library and the Leeds Humanities Research Institute. The School also has a dedicated postgraduate employment advisor who can offer tailored careers advice.

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 MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Read more

Multicultural, Multi-Disciplinary MA

The MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Students analyse imperial ascendancies, race and racial theories, nationalist movements, postcolonial experiences, the rise of neo-colonial thought, multiculturalism and interculturalism, and the implications of globalisation and development for the modern world.

This MA allows students to combine the specialisation of postgraduate research with the adaptable skills training of a multi-disciplinary approach. Students benefit from the legacy of an MA programme established in 1994; the programme has continuously re-invented itself in changing ideological climates while maintaining its primary goal: to offer a critical education in the cultural discourses of power.

Careers

MA in Culture and Colonialism graduates have gone on to careers in development work, NGOs, law, university lecturing, publishing, media, journalism, community work, teaching (primary and secondary), film-making, advertising, and the Civil Service. The programme has a particularly strong record in research training: a high proportion of its students have proceeded to doctoral programmes in Ireland, Britain and North America, with many of them winning prestigious funding awards.

Teaching Staff

The programme's teaching staff over the years has been drawn from the disciplines of English, History, Political Science and Sociology, Economics, Irish Studies, Film Studies, Spanish, French, Archaeology, German, Italian, and Classics, and is supplemented by Irish and international guest lecturers.

Programme Outline

The full-time degree taken over a twelve-month period from September. The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April), with the summer period devoted to completing the dissertation. A two-year part-time option is also available. Students take six taught modules together with a (non-assessed) research training seminar, and produce a 15,000-word dissertation (30 ECTS) on a topic of their choice.

Programme Modules

Central Modules

EN541 Colonialism in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Cultural Theory
This module focuses on issues of identity, political agency and representation. It offers an introduction to twentieth-century theorisations of colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially in relation to cultural production, and their implications for twenty-first century socio-political thought. The distinctive position of Ireland in relation to postcolonial theory is considered, together with other national and international contexts. Some of the theorists discussed include Fanon, Said, Spivak and Ahmad.

SP544 Decolonization and Neo-Colonialism: The Politics of 'Development'
The phenomena of development and underdevelopment in those lands that have experienced colonial rule have been theorised in two broadly contrasting ways in social science: the modernisation perspective, which derives from the northern hemisphere by and large, and a series of counter-perspectives (such as structuralism, dependency, neo-Marxism and world systems theory), whose exponents hail from the southern hemisphere in the main. The module also considers the issue of how much light modernisation and counter-perspectives can shed on the Irish experience of development and underdevelopment.

HI546 Studies in the History of Colonialism and Imperialism
This module introduces students to some of the key thinkers and concepts in the writing of British imperial history. The work of scholars such as J. A. Hobson, Ronald Robinson and Jack Gallagher, Peter Cain and Tony Hopkins, Chris Bayly, Alan Lester and John Darwin will be discussed. Concepts such as finance imperialism, informal empire, the official mind, gentlemanly capitalism, colonial knowledge, imperial networks, and bridgeheads will be examined from a critical perspective. Students will be asked to read key texts, undertake wider reading and research to help put these key texts in context, comment on their readings, and present their own ideas as the basis for class discussion and debate.

Research Seminar (compulsory but not examined)
This module provides a training in research, analysis and writing techniques appropriate to the programme, as well as individual consultations on the formulation of dissertation topics. The seminar will take place throughout the year.

Option Modules (two chosen)

EN547 Literature and Colonialism
This module considers the relationship between literary modes and aesthetics and political power. It analyses literature connected to the British Empire and its former colonies, discussing English, Irish, Indian and African writers in relation to colonial power structures, nationalist movements and postcolonial developments. Genres covered include imperial adventure fiction, travel writing, late-Victorian urban Gothic, modernist and post-modernist fiction and poetry, postcolonial writing, and the twenty-first century multicultural novel.

EC535 Political Economy, Colonialism and Globalization
The aim of the module will be to identify the fundamental concepts of globalization by analysing the various ideologies, systems and structures that underpin the progression of global capitalism through the ages. Underlying philosophical theories will be linked with political, legal sociological and economic ideals that are often the driving forces behind these processes.

EN573 Travel Literature
The genre of travel writing includes a vast array of literary forms from journals to letters, ambassadorial reports, captivity narratives, historical descriptions, ethnographies, and natural histories. The appearance of such accounts explodes in the early modern period in an era of expanded travel for purposes of trade, education, exploration, and colonial settlement. This module looks at a range of documents from different historical moments to track the development of this important genre, including the emergence of travel writing by women.

EN549 Cinema and Colonialism
This module considers the relationships between colonialism and the theory and practice of cinema. Seminars may address the following themes: the Hollywood genres of the ‘Western’ and the ‘Vietnam movie’; postcolonial theories of cinema; Cuban cinema; cinema of anti-colonial revolution; neocolonialism and Irish cinema; African cinema; gender, colonialism and cinema; and Western representations of imperialism.

HI588 Studies in Regional Identities
This module introduces students to concepts of regional identities and explores various interpretative approaches to regional identity. Students will examine the role of history, language and religion in the construction and perpetuation of regional identity and will consider the relationship between regions and nation states. This is a team-taught module. While the content may vary according to the availability of staff from year to year, it will include Irish and European case studies.

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We're committed to developing our postgraduates into skilled researchers who can conduct rigorous research using a variety of methodologies and methods- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-sociology/. Read more
We're committed to developing our postgraduates into skilled researchers who can conduct rigorous research using a variety of methodologies and methods- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-sociology/

Goldsmiths’ research in sociology covers a range of areas, including:

art and literature
deviance
education
the sociology of governance and regulation
theories of industrial society
health, illness and psychiatry
interpersonal relations
knowledge
politics
‘race’ and ethnicity
class
religion
values in society
childhood and youth culture
the body and society
social aspects of the life sciences and bio-medicine, science and technology
the expansion of capitalism on a world scale
urban studies
gender and the sexual division of labour
culture and communications

We emphasise the importance of the relationship between you and your supervisor: we ‘match’ you with a supervisor whose current active research interests and expertise are compatible with your chosen topic of research.

You will be assessed by a thesis and viva voce.

The MPhil programme offers the opportunity for you to continue your research to a PhD.

The Sociology MPhil programme is recognised by the ESRC for excellence in research training.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Postgraduate Research Officer, Sociology.

Department

Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
9th in the UK and 45th in the world for this subject area**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research***

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2015
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.

Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.

Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.

Skills

You'll develop advanced research training covering a wide range of qualitative and quantitative sociological methods, and an ability to develop advanced and extended forms of written argument and scholarly practice.

Careers

Possible careers cover:

Academia
Social research in applied areas like health or urban regeneration
Research consultancy
Practice-orientated work
Work in the arts and cultural industries
Publishing

How to apply

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body. You should look at the staff research interests to see if we are the right department for you and whether there is a member if staff who may match your research interests.

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application.

This should be in the form of a 1,500-3,000-word statement of the proposed area of research and should include:

delineation of the research topic
why it has been chosen
an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
a brief list of major secondary sources
the name of a staff member who you believe would be interested in acting as your supervisor

Funding

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

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This Master's degree in politics will give you an advanced understanding of 2 increasingly interconnected phenomena in world politics. Read more
This Master's degree in politics will give you an advanced understanding of 2 increasingly interconnected phenomena in world politics: the responses of states, international institutions and non-governmental organisations to the opportunities and challenges of globalisation; and the enhanced international, economic and political influence of emerging powers such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. We explore key international institutions, such as the World Bank and the Group of Twenty (G20), as well as key non-governmental actors such as Amnesty International. The programme uses concepts, theories and evidence from the study of international relations, comparative politics and public policy to understand real-world policy problems across different sectors of the global economic and political system. This course will appeal to students who wish to learn more about international public policy and cutting-edge issues in the study of world politics; it brings together a unique body of UK and international students with a passion for world politics and, in many cases, relevant policy experience.

The first core module examines the emerging powers of Brazil, Russia, India and China, among others, from a comparative, interdisciplinary perspective and in the context of global politics. The other core module takes an in-depth look at global governance and the responses of national and international institutions to globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, war and conflict, nationalism and religion, and international political economy. The culmination of the programme is applying the concepts and methods you have learnt to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree draws on comparative politics and the study of public policy to help you build an innovative and flexible intellectual framework for understanding current real-world problems.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. Read more
This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. The programme has its theoretical foundations in international relations and political science, using these as tools to explore and analyse the region's domestic and international politics and current concerns, including sectarianism and persistent authoritarianism. Particular attention is given to the intersection between Islam, conflict and development. Recognising that Islam is at the centre of urgent discussions and disputes today, the programme looks into key issues including Muslim identity, religious extremism and violence, and the impact of American foreign policy in the region, including the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ongoing conflict within Syria. The programme also uses interdisciplinary scholarship to help you make comprehensive, balanced analyses of contemporary Islam and the Middle East in relation to the UK and the world.

The core module explores the domestic political structures and international relations of countries in the Middle East. You can then choose to either study how ideas of ethnicity and nationalism generate identities as well as tension and conflict, or consider how theories and institutions of global governance have arisen in response to the impact of globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You go on to choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree is a unique course, offering insights into the history and politics of the Middle East and a balanced understanding of issues pertaining to Islam in the modern world.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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This Master's degree in politics considers how ethnic, national and religious identities intersect and how they cause conflict and violence within and between states. Read more
This Master's degree in politics considers how ethnic, national and religious identities intersect and how they cause conflict and violence within and between states. In Western countries, many majority ethnic groups are bemoaning a loss of national identity and sovereignty, while smaller nations and ethnic-national groups press for devolution or independence at the expense of larger nation-state formations. Religiously inspired conflict, especially, but by no means only, in the Muslim world, is a further major source of global insecurity. This programme draws on research in comparative politics, history, sociology, cultural and genetic anthropology, political theory and international relations to offer comprehensive, balanced analyses of contemporary political controversies. Alongside theoretical approaches, we will examine ethnic and national conflict via a wealth of real-world case studies that cover every corner of the globe. The programme provides the analytical tools you will need to examine problems of national, ethnic and religious conflict in their broader political context.

The first core module will give you a deep understanding of the concepts of ethnic group and nation and the range of approaches and analytical models available to explore case studies from different time periods and places. You will then consider the pressing issue of population change, including its economic, military, political and international implications. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, war and conflict, nationalism and religion, and international political economy. The culmination of the programme is applying the concepts and methods you have learnt to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree is distinctive, combining theoretical and critical perspectives on nationalism, ethnicity and conflict with empirical approaches and real-world case studies.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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This Master's degree in politics, policy and management is ideal if you are working, or seeking a career, in public policy research and implementation. Read more
This Master's degree in politics, policy and management is ideal if you are working, or seeking a career, in public policy research and implementation. You will gain an advanced understanding of the ideas, interests and institutions that contribute to the making of policy across a wide range of areas, including healthcare, society and social care, migration, the environment, education and macroeconomics. This programme will give you insights into how policy choices are made, in comparison to policy developing by default, without clear choices or the establishment of priorities and strategies.

Alongside this, you will also consider management in the public sector, analysing the issues involved in making decisions about how public services are managed. You will explore how the different parts of national and local government interact and how the private sector is involved in the implementation of public policy. Overall, you will acquire the essential skills needed for the systematic analysis of government policies and for the professional practice of policy formulation and implementation.

The programme is highly topical, considering up-to-the-minute concerns and real-world debates within contemporary UK politics.

The first core module explores how individuals, institutions and interest groups, inside and outside of government, drive, formulate and implement public policy. You will consider case studies of real-world policy issues and the processes by which key decisions are reached and applied. The second core module looks at theories of, and innovations within, public management. You will explore the history of public management and consider how public administration has been revolutionised in the last 20 years. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree will equip you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the central issues and current trends that face professionals working in public policy, whether as advisers, civil servants, managers or campaigners.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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This Master's degree in politics explores pressing contemporary issues using political theory and sociology. Our focus is on the nature and workings of political power and authority and we will consider the relationships between states and societies and the place of politics and power in everyday life. Read more
This Master's degree in politics explores pressing contemporary issues using political theory and sociology. Our focus is on the nature and workings of political power and authority and we will consider the relationships between states and societies and the place of politics and power in everyday life. As well as reading key classical texts of political theory and sociological analysis, we also analyse real-world contemporary problems and address fundamental questions of political power and social order. Topics studied include sovereignty, territory and state building, property and law, the legitimacy of political authority, democracy, violence and pluralism. As well as choosing option modules from the Department of Politics, you can select options from the Department of Psychosocial Studies and the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, thus offering you access to historical and psychosocial approaches to theory, politics and the social sciences.

The core modules will give you the theoretical framework and confidence to explore and deepen your knowledge in the subjects you are most interested in. You will examine political power, how it originates and operates at an individual, social and political level, its relationship to sovereignty and the state, and how it intersects with issues such as justice and human rights, civil identity, democracy and economics. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, nationalism and religion, war and conflict, 'race', racism and postcolonial studies, psychoanalysis, and gender and sexuality. You can take options from the Department of Politics or from the Department of Psychosocial Studies and the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation or a research portfolio on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree will enable you to develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of the main ideas and current trends and directions in social and political theory.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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This programme is intended for students who hold a BA (Honours) degree or equivalent in another discipline, but who wish to acquire a knowledge of Theology and Religion at a level which would permit them to undertake further study in the subject. Read more
This programme is intended for students who hold a BA (Honours) degree or equivalent in another discipline, but who wish to acquire a knowledge of Theology and Religion at a level which would permit them to undertake further study in the subject.

Course structure

Four option modules; dissertation.

Core Modules

-Graduate Diploma dissertation

Optional Modules

-Optional Modules in previous years have included (2 choices from):
-Landscapes of Worship in Contemporary South Asia
-Literature and Theology of the Old Testament
-New Testament Theology
-Topics in Christian Ethics
-Death, Ritual and Belief
-The Making of Modern Christianity: Medieval and Reformation Europe
-Christian Theology: Essential Questions I
-Christian Theology: Essential Questions II
-God, Freedom and the Soul
-Philosophy and the Christian Tradition
-One further 20 credit module offered by the Department of Theology & Religion at Levels 1 or 2

Plus 2 choices from:
-Aramaic
-Biblical Theology
-Advanced Greek Texts
-Religious Innovations
-New Testament Ethics
-Issues in Old Testament Studies
-The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent
-The First Urban Churches
-Religion and Film
-Religious Violence in the Reformation Era
-Emotion and Identity in Religion
-The Sociology of Conservative Protestantism
-The Postmodern God
-1 Peter and the Petrine Tradition (English)
-1 Peter and the Petrine Tradition (with Greek)
-The Theology of Thomas Aquinas
-Marriage and Family in Christian Social Teaching
-War and Peace in the Orthodox Tradition
-Gospel, Mission and Empire
-The Letters of John and the origins of Gnosticism (English)
-The Letters of John and the origins of Gnosticism (Greek)
-The Historical Jesus
-Reading Greek Sources about the Historical Jesus
-Jesus Christ in the Twentieth Century
-Faith and the Experience of War in the Christian World
-Religions in Sub-Saharan Africa
-Religious Difference in the Reformation World
-The Doctrine of the Church from the Fathers to the Present

Learning and Teaching

As a student on the Graduate Diploma, you will receive on average 7.5 hours of timetabled contact per week. This will include a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Timetabled contact is only the beginning of your learning. It provides a starting point for your development as an independent learner. Typically, classroom teaching and learning will form nearly 25% of the time you will spend on your studies; you will be expected to spend the remaining 75% of your time on independent research.

The culmination of the process of your becoming an independent researcher is the Dissertation, a large research project that counts for one third of your marks. This gives you the opportunity to engage at an advanced level with creative cutting-edge research at the forefront of the discipline, working on a topic of your choice. For the dissertation you will have a supervisor who will guide and discuss your research with you. The dissertation represents the cumulative development of skills in analysis, synthesis, presentation and interpretation that the degree programme aims to foster.

In addition to all this the Department also has an extensive programme of research-related activities that you are warmly encouraged to attend. These include several research seminar series and public lectures from high-profile guest speakers and visiting scholars; the University also frequently hosts eminent and well-known visiting speakers.

Other admission requirements

It is also ideal if you have already studied theology and religion to first degree level in another country, and wish to become familiar with the critical approach to these subjects that is typical in British public universities. When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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The MA in Celtic Studies is a unique distance learning programme which offers students interested in Welsh and Celtic Studies the opportunity to study various aspects of the history, literature and cultural heritage of the Celtic regions in their own homes. Read more
The MA in Celtic Studies is a unique distance learning programme which offers students interested in Welsh and Celtic Studies the opportunity to study various aspects of the history, literature and cultural heritage of the Celtic regions in their own homes.

Course Overview

This multidisciplinary Master's degree allows students to study a wide variety of subjects in the following fields: early and late medieval history and literature, folklore, gender studies, the sociology of language, Arthurian literature, religion, spirituality and iconography.

In Part One students will be introduced to the study and research methodology skills required to undertake a postgraduate programme and they will complete modules on the history of the Celts and the legends of the Mabinogi. In addition to these three compulsory modules students will choose from one of the following pathways:
-Culture and society (Welsh Folk Life, the Sociology of the Welsh Language)
-Medieval (the Celtic Arthur, Women in the Middle Ages: sources from the Celtic regions)
-Sanctity and Spirituality (The Cult of Saints in Wales, Celtic Otherworlds – from the druids to the monastic voyage tale)

Students will then be allowed to take any other module from one of the above pathways or Beginners' Welsh (a total of six modules in all). In Part Two students are given the opportunity to research in detail a topic which has particularly appealed to them and write an extended dissertation. They will be allocated a supervisor to help guide them through their dissertations.

No previous knowledge of the Celtic languages is required for this programme, as students study texts in translation and the programme is taught through the medium of English. However, students may choose to study Welsh as part of the programme and it is also possible for students who are fluent in Welsh to study their modules entirely through the medium of Welsh (see MA Astudiaethau Celtaidd) or receive supervision and communication in Welsh, but opt to write their assignments in English.

Modules

-CYCS7020 Conceptualizing the Celts
-CYCS7015 Y Mabinogi
-CYCS7021 The Celtic Arthur and the Matter of Britain
-CYCS7005 Women in the Middle Ages
-CYCS7004 Welsh Folk Life
-CYCS7016 The Sociology of the Welsh Language
-CYCS7007 The Female Saints of Wales
-CYCS7019 Celtic Otherworlds
-CYCS7018 Welsh for Beginners

Key Features

If you would like to learn more about the history, literature, religion and cultural heritage of the Celtic regions, this course is ideal for you. You’ll be able to choose from a wide range of interesting topics and choose to specialise in a pathway that suits you. Since the course is a distance learning programme, you do not need to move to Lampeter and sacrifice your day job, as you can study from the comfort of your own home using our VLE (virtual learning environment) and the course content and reading material we provide.

We’ll guide you through some of the most important texts ever written in the Celtic languages and help you read critically. You’ll learn where to find the most important sources on the Celtic peoples, Arthurian literature, modern folklore, druids and Celtic saints and how to question the various versions of the past that have been put forward by historians, linguists, folklorists and archaeologists. You’ll gain research skills which will be a sound basis for further study, as well as a range of important skills which can be easily transferred to the workplace.

If you would like to work quickly, you can register on the programme on a full-time basis, but if you have a full-time job and family commitments, you can complete as few as two modules per year. This also allows you to spread the cost over a number of years and makes the course very affordable. If you are interested in learning one of the Celtic languages, you can choose to learn Welsh with us and you will be able to attend our intensive language residentials if this suits you.

We have students in America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium and Mongolia, as well as many in Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland. You do not have to come to Lampeter to follow this course, but you are always very welcome to come and meet your tutors. We also collaborate with the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and some of our MA students are supervised by staff from the centre who also offer great expertise in Celtic Studies.

Assessment

The modules are assessed by a variety of assessment methods: 5,000-word essays, short assignments, linguistic exercises, reviews, reports and one 15,000-word dissertation.

Career Opportunities

This course is ideal for those who want to learn more about the history, literature and cultural heritage of Wales and the Celtic regions in order to improve their job prospects. Many of the students who undertake the course on a part-time basis are already in employment and wish to gain a postgraduate qualification as a possible means to promotion or change of job role. Former students include journalists, writers, storytellers, teachers, lecturers, editors and people who work in the tourist or heritage industries. Many of our students have also gone on to further research in Celtic Studies at PhD level.

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