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Course content

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

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

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

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

Course Structure

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Additional Entry Requirements

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


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

Visit the Critical Theory and Cultural Studies (MA) page on the University of Nottingham website for more details!




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