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Cultural & Critical Studies (MA)

Course Description

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.

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.
Flexible interdisciplinary programme, which allows you to assemble a course of study suited to your individual needs.
Gives you the chance to cross disciplines and explore topics in literature, film, other media, history, and cultural and critical theory.
Aimed at people with wide-ranging, interdisciplinary interests in the humanities and those interested in contemporary theoretical debates.

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), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Visit the Cultural & Critical Studies (MA) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

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.'


Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Students should have a good honours degree, second class or above, in: 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 Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

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