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Masters Degrees (Twentieth Century)

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The MA pathway in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature will enable you to explore the complex cultural histories of literatures in English from the twentieth century to the present, and offers advanced training in the practice of close textual study, history and theory. Read more

The MA pathway in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature will enable you to explore the complex cultural histories of literatures in English from the twentieth century to the present, and offers advanced training in the practice of close textual study, history and theory. Individual modules trace the paradoxes of modernity within the intersecting discourses of aesthetics, education, economics, ethnicity, nationalism, legality, science, sexuality and urbanization.

The programme can be taken over one year full time or two years part time.

Introducing your degree

The MA pathway in the long twentieth century will give you the opportunity to specialise in the literature and culture of modernity. It is taught by world-leading experts who are as passionate about the subject as you are, and is linked to the Southampton Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing. It will empower you to conduct advanced-level research and independent thinking in theory, history, and criticism; to make effective use of archives, manuscripts, and research libraries; and examine how modern and contemporary writing influences the public understanding of climate change, economics, conflict, medicine, religion, security, and more. Not only will you emerge with an internationally-recognised masters degree from a top Russell Group university, you will also acquire the critical thinking and writing skills that will give you the competitive edge, either as a future scholar or as a professional in areas such as broadcasting, creative writing, secondary school teaching, librarianship, museums and galleries, publishing and roles in the heritage industry.

Overview

Our pathway in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature allows you to specialise in the literary culture and history of the long twentieth century. It is taught by leading experts in the field and has a unique link to the Southampton Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing .

The MA English Literary Studies (Twentieth Century and Contemporary) will enable you to work independently in the field; to explore how genres, authors, and texts participate in wider public discourses concerning race, gender, embodiment, disability, climate change, science, globalization, and sexualities; to examine the interface between literary and visual cultures; and to evaluate unique publications and archival resources specific to the period. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of critical and research methods appropriate to the period; raise your awareness of the historical and critical reception of literature and culture in the long twentieth century; and empower you to explore the nuances of literary meaning in the contested cultural field of twentieth-century public culture.

View the programme specification document for this course.

Career Opportunities

An MA in English Literary Studies is excellent preparation for a career in teaching, publishing and arts administration. Graduates of our programme go onto professional careers in writing (from journalism to fiction), education, international PhD programmes, teaching, broadcasting, and varied work in the creative industries. Former graduates and alumni return to give talks throughout the year, and you will help you make the most of the opportunities here.

A number of our graduates have gone on to careers in teaching, journalism, media and found the year-long course invaluable in shaping and developing their voice.



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This course will examine the diverse ways in which twentieth century British history has been understood, and will offer specialist study linked to your own interests. Read more
This course will examine the diverse ways in which twentieth century British history has been understood, and will offer specialist study linked to your own interests. You will also have the opportunity to develop relevant research skills.

Why study Greater Britain in the Twentieth Century?

This degree offers flexible study, either full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years), of key aspects of the history of Britain and Ireland in the twentieth century. It is taught by leading researchers in their fields, and students attracted to this degree pathway will benefit from the latest research and historiography. You will also have the opportunity to gain research skills in areas such as historical data basing, historical statistics and oral history.

The dissertation will provide an opportunity for you to further develop and demonstrate advanced research skills, particularly important if you are interested in doctoral study.

The MLitt in Greater Britain in the Twentieth Century is also a pathway on the MLitt in Humanities with Specialisation programme.

What's great about Greater Britain in the Twentieth Century?

As the leading History department in Scotland for research output at international standard (RAE2008 results), we offer students an unparalleled opportunity to experience teaching at the sharp end of current research scholarship. Postgraduate students participate in many aspects of our programme including our regular research seminars.

"Study at Dundee was a rewarding experience in a welcoming academic community"
Blair Smith, postgraduate student.

Who should study this course?

As well as being a research preparation degree for students who intend to proceed to a PhD, this course also caters directly for students who wish to take their first degree to a higher level of advanced study, for either career development or merely general interest.

The course starts in September each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis or 24 months on a part time basis.

How you will be taught

All the core teaching is conducted 5.30-7.30pm to allow attendance by part-time and full-time students alike. Other classes are scheduled for the mutual convenience of staff and students. A variety of teaching methods will be used, including: small group teaching, supervised study, seminars and presentations.

Learning methods will include oral and written presentations, as well as research essays and a dissertation. One-to-one supervision of a dissertation is designed to promote continuity in the learning experiences provided and students with the opportunity to work on a topic of their own choosing (subject to approval by the tutor).

What you will study

The course is made up of the following modules:

Approaches to the Study of Twentieth Century Britain (semester 1)
History Skills & Sources (semesters 1 & 2)
our flexible Taught History MLitt module, (semester 2)

plus a History dissertation (summer).

How you will be assessed

Assessment includes essays, skills tests, a presentation and a dissertation. Students whose dissertation fails to satisfy the examiners will be awarded the PG Diploma, provided that the taught elements of the course have been successfully completed

Careers

Students who take this course will gain a solid foundation from which they can proceed to doctoral research.

However, due to the non-vocational nature of a History degree many students also enter jobs unrelated to their course of study. For these students this course provides them with an opportunity to further develop their written presentation skills, as well as the ability to work independently and plan independent research and study.

For those wishing to use their studies more directly, for example in heritage, museum or archivist work, the job market is competitive, and the MLitt will provide students with a chance to further their knowledge and understanding of History and to demonstrate advanced research skills necessary for work in archives or heritage.

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

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Twentieth century Britain is one of the most exciting areas of modern history. With new documents being released every year and new archives being added to all the time, researchers are finding an incredible range of topics to explore, examine and reassess. Read more

Twentieth century Britain is one of the most exciting areas of modern history.

With new documents being released every year and new archives being added to all the time, researchers are finding an incredible range of topics to explore, examine and reassess. Ideal for those interested in questions about Britain’s recent past, this course is designed to develop skills in critical analysis and academic research, enabling you to acquire research skills and to understand and apply research methodologies to the study of twentieth century British history.

The degree consists of four elements which make a total of 180 credits:

20,000-word thesis (120 credits)

Historical Methods (20 credits)

Sites and Sources in Modern British History (20 credits)

Research Skills Training (20 credits)

The courses are assessed in various ways – by examination, coursework and attendance.

About the School of History and Cultures

The programmes in the School of History and Cultures offer students enquiry based learning within a rich and diverse environment to stimulate debate and challenge conventional thinking. Our staff publish widely, and we are developing and consolidating a strong, supportive research culture in the School.

The Department of History is part of of the School and History and Cultures. Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History first in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, and the Department is unrivalled in the geographical and chronological breadth of its research. From medieval Afghanistan to the modern United States, our staff provide expertise across British, European and world history from around 500 to the present day.

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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The programme offers a high quality student experience through a strong programme of study within the field of Church History, encouraging the student to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the history of the Christian church from its inception to the present. Read more
The programme offers a high quality student experience through a strong programme of study within the field of Church History, encouraging the student to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the history of the Christian church from its inception to the present.

Course Overview

The School is part of a university which was established in 1822, with Church History having been a core subject in the theological curriculum from the beginning. Drawing on expertise throughout the Faculty of Humanities, our staff has an international profile in scholarship with published expertise in monasticism and medieval Christianity, Protestant nonconformity, nineteenth century and twentieth century religious thought as well as Christianity in Wales.

The School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies has a vibrant research culture and MTh students are encouraged to participate in research seminars.

There are two parts to the MTh. Part I consists of six taught modules, on completion of which the student progresses to Part II, a 15,000 word dissertation. The MTh comprises three compulsory modules and three options, devised in such a way as to equip the student with essential knowledge of key aspects of the Christian tradition, along with a dissertation on a specialist topic of the student’s choice.

The Compulsory modules comprise Study Skills which introduces students to the basic skills needed to be a successful researcher including how to access and utilize bibliographical resources. Two further modules at the start of the programme provide the student with an overview of two key epochs in Christian history, namely the patristic or early church period, and the Protestant Reformation. The Church Fathers and the Making of Doctrine introduces the way in which Christian faith developed and was formularized by its leading theologians and thinkers during the first five centuries while The Reformation provides an insight into the way in which Christian Europe responded to the challenge of renewal during the sixteenth century and beyond.

The student is required to complete three of the four option modules which cover medieval Christianity (Cîteaux and the Growth of the Cistercian Order and St Thomas Beckett: Archbishop, Martyr, Saint), popular Protestantism during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (The Evangelical Revival in England and Wales), and religion and society during the twentieth century (Christianity, Culture and Society in Twentieth Century Britain).

Modules

-Study Skills for Theology and Religious Studies
-The Church Fathers and the Making of Christian Doctrine
-The Reformation
-The Cistercian World 1: Citeaux and the Growth of the Cistercian Order
-Thomas Becket: Archbishop, Martyr, Saint
-The Eighteenth Century Evangelical Revival in England and Wales
-Christianity, Culture and Society in Twentieth Century Britain
-Dissertation

Key Features

The programme is based upon an established pool of expertise in related concerns, and covers a range of projects undertaken over a number of years:

Staff are research active and regularly attend academic conferences.

Study cutting edge areas of academic interest

The staff expertise represents a considerable bank of knowledge and skills that will underpin this programme and will ensure student experience a high quality educational experience.

In addition Students will benefit from the:
-Opportunity to specialise in the chosen area of Church history
-We have a long and distinguished tradition of specialist teaching in church History
-Vibrant research culture

Assessment

Assessment is usually based on written work in the form of long and short essays, reports, book reviews and reflective pieces.

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education, ministry and research. The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Latin American Studies at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Latin American Studies at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

Research in Latin American Studies at Swansea is interdisciplinary with strong links to American Studies through the Centre for the Comparative Study of the Americas (CECSAM). Our focus is twentieth-century Latin American fiction and testimonial writing with particular expertise in Argentinian Studies.

Key Features of MA by Research in Latin American Studies

An MA by Research in Latin American Studies gives you the chance to pursue a project based around your own passions and interests, leading to a qualification which can open the door to an academic career or boost employment prospects outside academia (typically in the private sector, the Civil Service, or education).

Latin American Studies research programme will give you the freedom to explore a topic of your own choosing and develop a methodology under the close supervision of two experienced academics but without attending regular classes as required in taught programmes.

As a student enrolled on the MA by Research in Latin American Studies, you will be supervised closely by two experienced academics in your field. Typically, you will meet them fortnightly in the first term and at regular intervals thereafter. Meetings are logged and goals agreed each time.

All research students in Latin American Studies are required to attend skills and training courses at College and Institutional level. They give presentations to other research students and staff at departmental seminars and the annual departmental postgraduate symposium in June and the College of Arts and Humanities conference in October. Advanced research students may have opportunities to teach undergraduate tutorials and seminars. You have a budget (currently £200 per year) to attend conferences outside Swansea.

MA by Research in Latin American Studies degree typically lasts from one year (full-time study) to two years (part-time study).

The MA by Research in Latin American Studies is ideal for those who want:

- an MA qualification in niche areas where taught programmes are not offered;

- the experience of a research degree without committing to a PhD, while retaining the option of upgrading to MPhil or PhD.

Research proposals are invited on any topic in Latin American Studies for which staff can provide supervision. It is advisable to email a member of academic staff in the appropriate area before applying.

Research Interests

Areas of special interest within Latin American Studies include:

• Twentieth century prose and poetry

• Women’s writing and feminist theory

• Contemporary Spanish American film

• Spanish American nation building

• Afro-Latin American Studies

• Twentieth century Argentine literature and culture

• Welsh Patagonia

• Twentieth century Colombian literature and culture

• Twentieth century Cuban literature and culture

• Wilderness and Eco Literature



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Our History MLitt course offers you detailed investigation into the periods of history that interest you the most, together with thorough research training. Read more
Our History MLitt course offers you detailed investigation into the periods of history that interest you the most, together with thorough research training. You will gain skills in various historical approaches as well as practical skills in areas such as oral history or historical databases.

Why study History at Dundee?

This degree offers flexible study, either full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years), in wide areas of the history of Britain, Scotland, Europe, Russia and North America. Themes range across political, cultural, military, religious, economic and social history, taught within a department of research specialists. You will also have the opportunity to gain research skills in areas such as palaeography, historical data basing, historical statistics and oral history.

The dissertation will provide an opportunity for you to develop and demonstrate advanced research skills, particularly important if you are interested in doctoral study.

Students can choose either a generic MLitt in History, or named pathways in:
Global Empires
Greater Britain in the Twentieth Century
Scottish History

The MLitt in History is also a pathway on the MLitt in Humanities with Specialisation programme.

What's so good about History at Dundee?

As the leading History department in Scotland for research output at international standard (RAE2008 results), we offer students an unparalleled opportunity to experience teaching at the sharp end of current research scholarship. Postgraduate students participate in many aspects of our programme including our regular research seminars.

"Study at Dundee was a rewarding experience in a welcoming academic community"
Blair Smith, postgraduate student.

Who should study this course?

As well as being a research preparation degree for students who intend to proceed to a PhD, this course also caters directly for students who wish to take their first degree to a higher level of advanced study, for either career development or merely general interest.

How you will be taught

The course starts in September each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis or 24 months on a part time basis. All the core teaching is conducted 5.30-7.30pm to allow attendance by part-time and full-time students alike. Other classes are scheduled for the mutual convenience of staff and students. Due to this a variety of teaching methods will be used, including: small group teaching, supervised study, seminars and presentations.

Learning methods will include oral and written presentations, as well as research essays and a dissertation. One-to-one supervision of a dissertation is designed to promote continuity in the learning experiences provided and students with the opportunity to work on a topic of their own choosing (subject to approval by the tutor).

What you will study

All our History MLitt degrees have a common core module (40 credits):

History Skills and Sources (semesters 1 & 2)
If you are enrolled on the general History degree, you then choose two further modules, either specialist modules:

Global Empires (semester 1)
Approaches to the Study of Twentieth Century Britain (semester 1)
Interpretations in Scottish History (semester 1)
History of the Book (semester 2)
or one or two of our flexible modules, where you choose the topic:

Taught History MLitt module, (semester 1)
Taught History MLitt module, (semester 2)
All students then complete a History dissertation (summer).

If you are enrolled on a specialist degree, then you replace the semester 1 flexible module with the relevant specialist module. Visit the course webpage for full details:

Global Empires
Greater Britain in the Twentieth Century
Scottish History

How you will be assessed

Assessment includes essays, skills tests, a presentation and a dissertation. Students whose dissertation fails to satisfy the examiners will be awarded the PG Diploma, provided that the taught elements of the course have been successfully completed.

Careers

Students who take this course will gain a solid foundation from which they can proceed to doctoral research.

However, due to the non-vocational nature of a History degree many students also enter jobs unrelated to their course of study. For these students this course provides them with an opportunity to further develop their written presentation skills, as well as the ability to work independently and plan independent research and study.

For those wishing to use their studies more directly, for example in heritage, museum or archivist work, the job market is competitive, and the MLitt will provide students with a chance to further their knowledge and understanding of History and to demonstrate advanced research skills necessary for work in archives or heritage.

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

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Our taught MA pathway in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literary Studies offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. Read more

Our taught MA pathway in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literary Studies offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study within the field. Our commitment to research-led teaching means that students are able to explore the cutting edge of the discipline - from the beginnings of the literature of revolution, to life writing, to contemporary US crime narrative. We provide an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment for students of all backgrounds and nationalities.

Our programme offers up-to-date training in research methods and skills. You will choose three modules, at least two of which are from within the pathway, and you will write a dissertation on a subject related to twentieth- and twenty-first-century studies.

An MA in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Literary Studies is often the platform for further research at PhD level, as well as providing an excellent grounding for jobs in education, the arts and the media.

Course Structure

If you choose to take this named pathway, you will be expected to select at least two modules from those available within the pathway and to write your dissertation in an area related to it. Your third optional module may, if you wish, be chosen from the full list of MA modules on offer in the Department. Students may, with permission, take one module from other modules on offer elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. All students must take the core Research Methods and Resources module and the dissertation alongside their three optional modules.

Core Modules

  • Research Methods and Resources
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

Typical modules might include:

  • Modern Poetry
  • Literatures of Slavery
  • Modernism and Touch
  • Life Narratives
  • Representing the Self: From Sophocles to the Sopranos
  • Post-War British Drama
  • The Contemporary US Novel
  • The Writing of Poetry
  • Blood and Soil: Regionalism and Contemporary US Crime Narrative.

Modules are subject to staff availability and normally no more than five of the above will run in any one year.

Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to indicate your choice of modules as well as to provide a personal statement.

Course Learning and Teaching

One of the distinctive features of the Durham MA in Literary Studies is that it permits both a broad-based, eclectic study of literary topics from the earliest periods of literature to the present and the possibility of specialisation through designated pathways in such areas as Medieval and Renaissance Studies or Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Studies. All students take 3 modules, taught in small seminar groups of up to 10, with each module generating eighteen hours of contact time (9 seminars x 2 hours) over the academic year. A strong emphasis is placed on independent research, and seminars usually involve a considerable amount of preparation, including short presentations and workshop activities.

All students register for the Research Methods and Resources module, which generates an additional 20 hours of teaching over the academic year. Again, a strong emphasis is given to independent research. Written work for the RMR module involves significant preparation for the MA dissertation (and in some cases for doctoral study later on). The MA dissertation is supported by 3.5 hours of dedicated individual supervision time. Drafts of the dissertation are read and commented upon by the supervisor.

Throughout the taught MA degree programme, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in a lively series of staff-postgraduate research seminars, usually involving invited guest speakers from the UK and beyond.



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This absorbing MA gives you the opportunity to study and reflect on major 20th century events, such as total war, the rise and fall of communism, the collapse of the European empires, the changing place of women in western society and the decline of traditional religious belief. Read more
This absorbing MA gives you the opportunity to study and reflect on major 20th century events, such as total war, the rise and fall of communism, the collapse of the European empires, the changing place of women in western society and the decline of traditional religious belief.

You’ll be able to:-

explore the features that made the twentieth century unique
study social and political developments that most defined the character of the twentieth century
focus in-depth on particular countries or themes that interest you
develop the research skills needed to complete your 15,000 word dissertation on the topic of your choice
This programme will appeal to a wide range of students, including those who’ve recently or have decided to return to university later in life.

The structure of the course provides a good grounding for those intending to proceed to doctoral research.



Students study two 30-credit core modules and four 15-credit research training modules, culminating in a 60- credit dissertation.

Why History?

Breadth of expertise

The interests of our staff and PhD students are extremely diverse and span the medieval, early modern and modern periods.

Their work encompasses political, social, cultural, economic, military and diplomatic history, across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

Active seminar programmes, linked to our research centres and MA programmes, enable staff and postgraduates to present their work and listen to eminent visiting speakers.

These are our on-going seminar series:

Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Eighteenth-Century Worlds
Contemporary Cultural and Social
History
International Slavery
Contemporary History and Policy
New Research (run by our postgraduate students)
Recent conferences and workshops have addressed ‘Religion in the Spanish Baroque’, ‘Text and Place in Medieval and Early Modern Europe’, ‘Re-thinking Post- Slavery’ and ‘British Nuclear Culture’.

Taught programmes that prepare you for future research

By pursuing our programmes you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need to carry out further research towards a PhD.

Our MA programmes are taught by research-active experts who bring their knowledge of, and passion for, their subjects into the seminar room.

Teaching takes place in small-group seminars or workshops and through one-to-one tutorials, as we believe this leads to the best collaboration between students and staff.

We offer programmes in:-

Cultural History
Eighteenth-Century Worlds
International Slavery Studies
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Twentieth-Century History
You can also pursue an MRes in History or a vocational Masters in Archives and Records Management.

Support and skills training for PhD students

As a postgraduate research student you’ll receive comprehensive skills from the Graduate School, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and History Department.

This will equip you with the research skills you need to successfully complete your PhD.

Our PhD programmes place a strong emphasis on independent research and study, culminating in a 100,000-word dissertation. Two supervisors (normally experts in your chosen field) who will advise and support you through the process.

Our commitment to postgraduate students

We welcome enquiries from all postgraduate students interested in studying here and will give you all the academic, practical and pastoral support we can.

Students have a voice here and are represented on the School Postgraduate Committee. There’s also a dedicated staff – student liaison committee to oversee our MA and PhD programmes.

Postgraduate studentships and bursaries are often available.

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This Master's degree in modern and contemporary literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity. Read more
This Master's degree in modern and contemporary literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity.

You will also have the chance to analyse the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, using the contexts of post-war reconstruction, decolonisation, the fate of avant-garde art, and theories of postmodernity and globalisation. The emergence of international literary paradigms during the twentieth century is reflected in the choice of texts from British, American and post-colonial contexts.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Enables you to gain a thorough grounding in the key concepts of modernism, modernity and the contemporary.
You will be introduced to key texts and paradigms that shape our conception of literature from the early twentieth century to the present.
Opportunities to join a number of graduate seminars and reading groups, and occasional discussions with practising novelists and poets.
Birkbeck is at the geographical centre of London’s research library complex, a short distance from the British Library, Senate House Library and the Institute of Historical Research.
Senate House Library has an outstanding collection of literary periodicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, while the nearby University College London Library also has an important James Joyce archive. The Poetry Library at London’s South Bank Centre is rich in twentieth-century poetry.
Birkbeck's School of Arts hosts the internationally acclaimed Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, which regularly features visiting poetic practitioners.

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Build a pathway, tailored to your personal and professional interests, through a range of optional modules and individual research projects. Read more
  • Build a pathway, tailored to your personal and professional interests, through a range of optional modules and individual research projects
  • Includes a unique pathway in public history and public engagement delivered by staff actively engaged in the media and eminent researchers in material culture
  • Focus on building your own research network and engagement in social media
  • Work with academics at the cutting edge of research

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • USA and China
  • Early modern emotions
  • Bolshevik visions
  • Violence and conflict in twentieth century Africa
  • Building a new Jerusalem: the emergence of the Labour Party at the turn of the twentieth century

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Thanks to the possibility of building your own pathway within our MA programme, you can specialise in your preferred area.

You may continue your academic development with doctoral research, or pursue a career as a teacher, archivist, or in museums. Many of our students have specialised in local history and later progressed to jobs in the heritage and conservation sector.

In addition, your experience of individual research will help you to develop valuable transferable skills. You will have demonstrated your ability to understand and apply complex ideas; to collect and analyse large quantities of information; to manage your own time and motivate yourself; to construct reasoned and articulate arguments; and to reach carefully balanced judgements. This should equip you to embark upon a range of professional careers.



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The Philosophy of Language MA is designed for students with a particular interest in philosophy and ways in which its principles and teachings can be applied to the study of language. Read more
The Philosophy of Language MA is designed for students with a particular interest in philosophy and ways in which its principles and teachings can be applied to the study of language.

The study of language has given rise to a number of distinctive philosophical problems that became central to Western philosophy in the nineteenth century and that have dominated research and discussion in the twentieth century.

Our philosophy modules give you a thorough grounding in philosophical insights, as you engage in critical reflection on the relationship between sociopolitical context and philosophical debate. You explore the history of philosophy from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century, examining the variety of critical and analytical traditions that have emerged from those foundations.

Philosophy of language modules examine the influence of philosophical theories on the analysis of language, focusing on the critical analysis of the relationship between the philosophy of language and linguistics.

Course structure

The programme is designed for both full-time and part-time students, with a flexible framework that can fit in with your professional and personal commitments. Modules are taught across the two semesters, usually in nine sessions per semester.

In addition, you are expected to work independently and engage with reading and research in your subject area. You will be offered support through tutorial supervision and the university's online virtual learning environment.

Areas of study

The Philosophy of Language MA covers semantics, pragmatics (minimalism and contextualism), the philosophy of language, grammar, language variation and attitudes, language and identity (class, age, gender, ethnicity, social networks), language in interaction (politeness, speech accommodation, cross-cultural communication), feminist theory and linguistic theory, and ethnocentrism/racial prejudices in colonial discourse.

You approach these topics by: analysing and evaluating aspects of philosophy that have had significant influence on the general understanding of what language is and how its use interacts with, and exploits, context; engaging with philosophical frameworks starting with Frege, through to Russell and Wittgenstein, which attempt to account for meaning in language; and evaluating philosophical foundations of critical theory that have contributed to debates on the understanding of history, politics and the nature of meaning.

Modules:

Grammar and the English Language
Semantics: Word Meaning
Pragmatics, Meaning and Truth
Topics in Sociolinguistics
Research Methods
Dissertation

One from:

Discourses of Culture
Semantics/Pragmatics Interface: Approaches to the Study of Meaning
Cultural and Critical Theory module

Careers and employability

The Philosophy of Language MA prepares you for careers in linguistics, linguistic anthropology, forensic linguistics, speech therapy, sign language, journalism, writing, English language teaching, politics and sociology.

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A pathway degree combines specialisation with flexibility. It is suited both to those of you who are beginning a journey towards a PhD in a particular field, and to those of you who wish to further develop undergraduate or personal interests. Read more
A pathway degree combines specialisation with flexibility. It is suited both to those of you who are beginning a journey towards a PhD in a particular field, and to those of you who wish to further develop undergraduate or personal interests. The pathways have emerged from clusters of excellence and expertise in the Department and relate directly to our Research Schools of Architectural History and Theory, British Art, Medieval Art and Medievalisms, Modern and Contemporary and Sculpture Studies. We therefore have concentrations of staff working in these areas, and related lectures, colloquia and site visits taking place.

The Sculpture Studies pathway

If you select the Sculpture Studies pathway you could choose options which take different approaches to a range of three dimensional objects across different periods, spanning from the Anglo Saxon period to contemporary explorations of the idea of ‘sculpture’, which during the twentieth century underwent a dramatic series of changes, ranging from early twentieth century notions of ‘direct carving’ and ‘truth to materials’ in the work of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, to the found, ‘readymade’ objects of the Dadaists and surrealists in Europe, to a wide range of other kinds of three-dimensional objects made from unusual, non-art materials, installation art and other kinds of ‘mixed media’ works from the 1950s in internationally diverse geographic locales.

In order to complete the degree, at least two of your four option modules and your dissertation must be completed in Sculpture Studies. Beyond this, the programme structure provides the flexibility for you to either specialise entirely in Sculpture Studies, or to select up to two of your option modules from art history modules outside the field, or from modules offered by other humanities departments and interdisciplinary centres. Training will be offered in both general and pathway-specific research skills, which will prepare you for the development of a sustained independent research project for your dissertation, on which you will work closely with an academic supervisor who is expert in the field.

Degree Structure

Taken full-time, the one-year MA in History of Art (Sculpture Studies) consists of:
-Autumn and Spring Terms: A core module focusing on Research Skills and Methods in History of Art, including pathway-specific sessions.
-Autumn Term: Two taught modules of your choice; an option is always offered on historiographical and theoretical approaches to art history.
-Spring Term: Two further modules of your choice.
-Summer Term and vacation: A dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words.

Taken part-time over two years, you would do one option in each of the Autumn and Spring terms, and work on your dissertation during the Summer terms and summer vacation.

Each option is taught by weekly two-hour seminars and assessement is in the form of a 4,000 word essay. Field-trips to view art and architecture are included in the programme, as appropriate.

The Research Skills and Methods in History of Art module, which is taught on a fortnightly basis across the Autumn and Spring Term, culminates in the production of a dissertation synopsis, on which the module is assessed.

The programme culminates in the production of a 15,000-20,000 dissertation, produced under the supervision of a member of staff. The work accounts for 50% of the final degree mark.

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This Military History MA offers an in-depth study of warfare on land, sea and air across a range of periods and continents, from the Classical Age to the present. Read more

About the course

This Military History MA offers an in-depth study of warfare on land, sea and air across a range of periods and continents, from the Classical Age to the present.

The core modules on the course examine:

- the Royal Navy in the twentieth century.
- warfare in ancient and medieval times.
- the impact of the French and Industrial Revolutions on warfare in the age of 'total war'

Optional modules give students the opportunity to study the Second World War, warfare in modern Africa and, additionally, the programme draws on Brunel’s expertise in intelligence studies. Students have the chance to take an optional module in this area with Brunel's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies (BCISS).

Students will also complete a 15,000 dissertation on any military history topic, drawing on the wide expertise of staff in the department.

Aims

The MA in Military History will provide students with a systematic understanding and critical awareness of debates and interpretations of military history.

Students will gain a comprehensive and practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in specific subject areas.

Students will be encouraged to extend and develop their analytical, evaluative and critical capacities, and increase their ability to reflect on their own learning and intellectual development.

The MA in Military History will give students transferable skills in writing, discussion, analysis, and independent judgement.

Students will also work independently, thus demonstrating initiative and the ability to organise their time and work through their research project (a dissertation) of 15,000 words.

Course Content

The MA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Compulsory modules:

Dissertation
War in History, 1789 to present
The Royal Navy in the Twentieth Century
European Warfare in the Age of Muscle.

Optional modules:

Intelligence History: Failure and Success
The Second World War
War and the Military in Modern African History
International Security

Special Features

Taught by internationally recognised academics in the field of Military History, Naval History, War Studies, Intelligence History and Security/Intelligence Studies.

Situated in London, the MA Military History has established links to world-renowned archives and libraries based in and close to London including the Caird Library (National Maritime Museum), The National Archives and the Imperial War Museum, among others.

Students on the MA Military History can automatically receive membership to the Royal Institute for International Affairs.

Students have access to the Specialist Angus Boulton Military History library held at Brunel University.

The MA in Military History regularly invites guest speakers to lecture on specialist subjects. Previous speakers have included, Professor Ilan Pappe (University of Exeter), Emeritus Professor Avi Shlaim (Oxford University), Sir Tony Brenton (Cambridge University), and Professor Brian Holden-Reid (KCL).

Research at Brunel

The Isambard Centre for Historical Research
The Isambard Centre for Historical Research brings together scholars at Brunel whose work examines the tensions inherent in the transnational connections that have shaped the modern world. The Centre takes its title from the University’s namesake, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. During the nineteenth century, the dockyards, steamships and railways that he built, revolutionised transportation and communication, helping to create the infrastructure that underpinned increasing global trade. People, products, ideas and cultural artefacts were all transmitted along these routes, producing transnational exchanges that stretched across traditional political, cultural and geographic divides. But such processes helped to make borders as well as transcend them. They stimulated anxieties that led to new efforts to control, define and regulate ownership, identity and exchange. Attending to these dual impulses is crucial if we are to understand the social, cultural and political landscapes of the modern world.

Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies
Brunel's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies (BCISS) is a University Inter-Disciplinary Research Centre, taking in members from the School of Engineering and Design, School of Law, and from the Department of Economics and Finance from the School of Social Sciences, as well as core members from the Department of Politics and History. BCISS is the first academic Centre established in the UK to deal specifically with intelligence issues, policy and institutions. Established in November 2003 the Centre aims to promote and develop social science and policy-oriented approaches to intelligence.

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The MA in Visual Arts and Culture at Durham is a distinctive interdisciplinary programme that invites students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the visual arts and of visual culture. Read more

The MA in Visual Arts and Culture at Durham is a distinctive interdisciplinary programme that invites students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the visual arts and of visual culture. To study visual arts and culture is a way of paying attention to phenomena that are literally everywhere. The concept of ‘visual culture’ acknowledges the pervasive nature of visual phenomena, and signals openness towards both the breadth of objects and images, and the range of theoretical and methodological perspectives needed to understand them adequately. Drawing upon research strengths across the departments that contribute to the programme, the MA in Visual Arts and Culture encourages you to take a broad view of geographical and chronological scope, while allowing you to engage with a wide range of visual phenomena, including fine art, film, photography, architecture, and scientific and medical imaging practices.

The importance of critical visual literacy in the contemporary world cannot be exaggerated. ‘The illiterate of the future’, wrote the Bauhaus artist and theoretician László Moholy-Nagy, ‘will be the person ignorant of the camera as well as of the pen’. This observation was made in the 1920s, when photography was first used in the periodical press and in political propaganda. The rich visual world of the early twentieth century pales in comparison with the visual saturation that now characterises everyday experience throughout the developed societies and much of the developing world. But the study of visual culture is by no means limited to the twentieth century. Turning our attention to past cultures with a particular eye to the significance of visual objects of all kinds yields new forms of knowledge and understanding.

Our programme facilitates the development of critical visual literacy in three main ways. First, it attends to the specificity of visual objects, images and events, encouraging you to develop approaches that are sensitive to the individual works they encounter. Second, it investigates the nature of perception, asking how it is that we make meaning out of that which we see. Finally, it investigates how our relationships with other people, and with things, are bound up in the act of looking.

Course structure

The course consists of one core module, two optional modules and a dissertation. The core module sets out the intellectual framework for the programme, offering a broad overview of key conceptual debates in the field of Visual Culture, together with training in analysis of visual objects of different kinds, an advanced introduction to understanding museum practice, and key research skills in visual arts and culture. The optional modules provide further specialised areas of study in related topics of interest to individual students, and the 12,000-15,000 word dissertation involves detailed study of a particular aspect of a topic related to the broad area of visual culture.

Optional modules

Previously, optional modules have included:

  • Critical Curatorship
  • History, Knowledge and Visual Culture
  • Representing Otherness
  • Negotiating the Human
  • Digital Imaging
  • Cultural Heritage, Communities and Identities
  • Current Issues in Aesthetics and Theory of Art
  • Ethics of Cultural Heritage
  • Monumental architecture of the Roman Empire in the Antonine and Severan periods
  • Art in Ecological Perspective
  • Texts and Cultures I: Visual and Verbal Cultures (Early Modern)
  • Energy, Society and Energy Practices
  • German Reading Skills for Research
  • French Reading Skills for Research

The Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) brings together scholars from across and beyond Durham University in order to provide a dynamic setting for wide-ranging interdisciplinary research and debates about visual culture, a field that entails the study of vision and perception, the analysis of the social significance of images and ways of seeing, and the attentive interpretation of a range of visual objects, from artworks to scientific images. 

Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

The Centre brings together scholars from across and beyond Durham University in order to provide a vibrant and dynamic setting for wide-ranging interdisciplinary research and debates about visual culture. The Centre provides a focus for cutting-edge research on visual arts and cultures: it aspires to train new generations of scholars through innovative postgraduate programmes, it fosters informed debate both nationally and internationally, and it offers an engaging, open environment for researchers at all levels.

CVAC takes a generous view of what constitutes visual culture and it is broad in both geographical and chronological scope, encouraging debate about the range of approaches, methods and theories that are most generative for research on visual phenomena. Durham’s current visual culture research includes the study of word and image, art and religion, medicine and visual representation, film, the history of photography, architecture, urban culture, heritage and philosophical aesthetics. It also includes the development of pioneering visual research methods and the study of vision.

Durham’s location itself provides a rich and inspiring environment for this field of research. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes Durham Cathedral; its acclaimed Oriental Museum is a significant asset which houses three Designated Collections, recognised by the Arts Council as nationally and internationally pre-eminent; alongside an outstanding collection of twentieth-century and contemporary art. CVAC has many established relationships with major national and international cultural organisations, and aims to develop further its links with museums, galleries and heritage sites.

For further information on the Centre see http://www.durham.ac.uk/cvac



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Open for 2016 entry, Royal Holloway's MA in European Philosophy offers one of the few Masters-level programmes in the country to specialise in the 'European' tradition in philosophy. Read more
Open for 2016 entry, Royal Holloway's MA in European Philosophy offers one of the few Masters-level programmes in the country to specialise in the 'European' tradition in philosophy.

Drawing on core research and teaching strengths in 19th and 20th-century French and German thought, the MA gives students the opportunity to study the development of European philosophy from Kant’s critical philosophy onwards, with a focus on German Idealism, the German phenomenologists and the Frankfurt School on one side, and the French philosophical movements in the 20th Century from Bergson and the existentialist movement through to poststructuralism and psychoanalysis.

Options focus a variety of topics and thinkers, focusing on the Continental tradition in political philosophy, the Frankfurt School, the role of aesthetics in the development of European thought, and more.

Subject to validation.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/philosophy/coursefinder/maeuropeanphilosophy.aspx

Why choose this course?

- you will be able to explore key issues, thinkers and texts from the European tradition on one of the few programmes in the country to specialise in European philosophy

- academic staff have a broad range of interests including German Idealism, the Frankfurt School, French and German phenomenology, poststructuralism, and modern European political theory

- the flexible structure of the course allows students to concentrate on European philosophy, or to also engage with a broader range of options

- we offer some studentships and bursaries in support of students taking the MA

- you will have access to the vibrant intellectual community provided by being a part of the University of London.

Department research and industry highlights

- Members of the teaching staff have a wide range of expertise, having published major works in a number of areas and on a number of figures, including Adorno; Aesthetics and Subjectivity; Altruism; Hegel; Deleuze; French and Continental Philosophy; Greek and Roman Aesthetics; the Holocaust and the Postmodern; Music, Philosophy, and Modernity; Richard Rorty; Romanticism to Critical Theory; Scepticism; Schelling; Time and Politics.

Current projects include:
- examining the possibilities offered by aesthetics, and music in particular, for developing a non-cognitive model of thinking

- investigating the coherence of the notion of tacit knowledge, and its implications for knowledge more generally

- tracing the development of modern French thought to its origins in German Idealism

- imagination in ancient aesthetics

- a pragmatist theory of deliberative democracy

- arguments in defence of associative duties

- psychoanalytic and post-Nietzschean conceptions of agency and selfhood

Course content and structure

- Programme structure
Advanced Topics in Philosophy (1 unit)

Two courses from among:
Contemporary Continental Political Thought (½ unit); The European Philosophical Trajectory (½ unit); and Twentieth Century French Thought (½ unit).

Two half-unit option courses from available options

Dissertation (1 unit)

Core course units:
- Advanced Topics in Philosophy (1 unit)
The aim of this course is to allow students to engage with cutting edge research from across the range of philosophical sub-fields. The course also allows students to develop their understanding of the nature of philosophy and the diversity of philosophical methods, as well to further improve their abilities at written and oral communication of philosophical ideas and arguments. The course will be taught by a number of philosophers who teach on the wider MA programmes, and will be divided into four parts, each presenting a five week introduction to a topic researched by the academic. It will allow students enrolled on the different MA Philosophy streams to compare approaches, and see their own specialism within a wider philosophical context. The module will be taught via a two hour weekly seminar.

- Contemporary Continental Political Thought (½ unit)
The course addresses key questions and arguments concerning the relationship between identity, power, meaning and knowledge, through examination of key figures in contemporary Continental political thought and philosophy. Specific content varies from year to year, but may include key texts from Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno, Sartre, Lacan, Irigaray, Foucault, Ranciere, and Deleuze & Guattari.

- The European Philosophical Trajectory (½ unit)
The unit will involve ten two-hour seminars on key figures in European Philosophy. The course will run through a number of central figures and problems from Immanuel Kant to the work of Jacques Derrida and Theodor Adorno. Texts will not necessarily be read in their entirety.

- Twentieth Century French Thought (½ unit)
This course will trace the development of French philosophical thought from its early assimilation of Husserl’s phenomenology to later post-modern and post-structuralist thinkers. The course is research-led, and so specific philosophers covered on the course are subject to change, but indicative philosophers would include Gabriel Marcel, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, and Alain Badiou.

- Dissertation on European Philosophy (1 unit)

Elective course units:
- Anglo American Political Theory (½ unit)
- Continental Aesthetics (½ unit)
- The Frankfurt School (½ unit)
- The Future of Phenomenology (½ unit)
- Human Rights (½ unit)
- Identity, Power and Political Theory (½ unit)
- Legacies of Wittgenstein (½ unit)
- Neo-Platonism (½ unit)
- Identity, Power and Radical Political Theory (½ unit)
- Political Concepts (½ unit)
- Post-Holocaust Philosophy (½ unit)

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- a knowledge of the broad range of philosophical approaches adopted in the European tradition, such as phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and transcendental empiricism

- detailed understanding of some of the key philosophers in the European tradition

- an ability to read complex philosophical texts with an appreciation of the role of style and context in their composition

- an understanding of the broader philosophical landscape, and the place of European philosophy within it.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and would be prepared for careers in a wide range of areas. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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