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Full time & Part time September MA Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

About the course

This interdisciplinary Master's degree explores critical and cultural debates across disciplines in the arts and humanities, offering you the chance to examine work in a diversity of media, including print culture, painting, film, new media and popular culture. It combines a thorough exposure to contemporary critical methods and debates with a diverse range of advanced study options.

In consultation with tutors, you will be able to build a dynamic programme of study that allows you to follow themes and issues across different disciplines, and develop your interests accordingly.


  • Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject.
  • In the

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Entry Requirements

Students should have a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject: English, history, philosophy, visual culture, media studies, or an interdisciplinary programme with a strong humanities or arts component.

We also welcome applicants with non-traditional qualifications and/or other kinds of experience or professional training. Your suitability will be assessed at interview.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Content

Where is Birkbeck, University of London


Student Profile(s)

Simon Bird

4095.jpg Despite being best known for playing Will in The Inbetweeners, a hit British sitcom on E4, Simon Bird never dreamt of becoming an actor.
'English was the only subject I was any good at, and everyone just assumes that you will become a journalist or a teacher; but I had always wanted to write for television.'

However, while studying for his English BA at Queen's College, Cambridge, he became a member of the Cambridge Floodlights, the infamous comedy troupe that spawned the likes of Clive Anderson, Sasha Baron Cohen, John Cleese, Stephen Fry and David Mitchell. This experience gave him a taste for performing. 'I guess in the back of my mind I had dreamt of starring on TV but had never really taken it too seriously.'

'After finishing my BA, despite having an agent, my career hadn’t yet taken off, and it still felt like a hobby, so I decided to study for an MA in Cultural and Critical Studies at Birkbeck. Although it was a full-time course, the evening classes suited me perfectly, as I could spend my days writing and my evenings studying. I was surprised to see that I was one of the youngest in my class, but it was nice to learn with such a mixed group of people.'

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London

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