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Course content

This multidisciplinary Master's programme explores debates on 'race' and racism, multiculture and postcoloniality. It explores connections between histories of empire and contemporary social formations and inequalities in the UK, and considers how local debates on 'race' and racism are shaped by the global geopolitics of the twenty-first century.

The programme explores debates on empire and the formation of modern Britain and contemporary transnational political communities, social identities and urban cultures. The MA aims to draw connections between interlocking colonial histories across the globe and our ordinary, local, everyday life here in contemporary Britain.

The programme focuses on subjects such as histories of colonisation, systems of slavery, the concept of 'race' and the invention of 'the West'; colonial cultures, class, nationalisms, 'respectability' and the invention of 'whiteness'; histories of criminalisation and imprisonment; human rights; 'the war on terror'; diaspora, place and belonging; psychoanalysis and 'race', 'hybridity', 'mixedness', 'whiteness', 'race' and 'beauty' and 'race', gender, sexuality and desire. It offers the opportunity to study a wide range of different subjects in this broad multidisciplinary area.

The MA is convened by academics who have interests in racialisation, postcoloniality, urban multiculture and psychoanalysis. You can also choose from a range of option modules convened by other academics in other departments across the College.

This innovative, interdisciplinary postgraduate programme will be of interest to those who want to develop careers in social research, education, law, journalism, youth and community work, urban planning, housing, politics, the arts and cultural industries, health and social care, and numerous other areas. It will also be of interest to those who wish to pursue an academic career in sociology, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, psychosocial studies, or in the social sciences or humanities more generally and to those who simply wish to develop an advanced understanding of 'race' and racism, multiculture and postcoloniality.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

The programme introduces you to different historical and political debates and theoretical perspectives in the broad multidisciplinary area of 'race' and racism, multiculture and postcoloniality.
You will participate in a vibrant, stimulating and diverse intellectual environment. There is a Race Forum and several other research institutes at Birkbeck that focus on relevant subject areas.
The programme is flexibly designed for students from all backgrounds to pursue their own particular research and professional interests.
The MA draws from sociology, cultural studies, history, urban studies, literary studies, psychosocial studies, philosophy and politics.
The Department of Psychosocial Studies has a formal link with the University of São Paulo, Brazil. This link enables students on this programme to undertake an optional module at the University of São Paulo as part of their programme of study at Birkbeck.
You will join a flourishing and diverse postgraduate student community and a growing research culture. Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books, journals and learning resources in sociology, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, psychosocial studies and related disciplines. You will also be able to use the rich research resources nearby including Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (the LSE Library), the SOAS Library and the British Library.
There are also research institutes which focus on relevant subject areas such as the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck Law School Centre for Law and the Humanities and the Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice and reading groups such as the Postcolonial Studies Reading Group.

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), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.

Visit the Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity (MA/PGDip/PGCert) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

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