The context underpinning this MA is the need to understand and respond to the problems and challenges generated by the UK’s diverse society. Cultural and religious diversity is capable of promoting a culturally rich, open-minded society able to draw on a wide range of perspectives in confronting social, economic and political challenges at local, national and international levels. Conversely, a diverse society has the capacity to harbour deep divisions which can lead to problems of ghettoisation, social and political disengagement, inequality, resentment, mistrust, insecurity and discrimination. The need to address such difficulties and the aspiration to achieve a thriving diversity demands dialogue to increase interaction and understanding between different sectors of the community.
The MA in Dialogue Studies will provide Masters level teaching and experience catered to the demands of such efforts. It is intended to the equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to effectively engage in and lead meaningful dialogue advancing intercultural interaction, community cohesion and proactive citizenship. It aims to develop reflective practitioners and students of dialogue equipped to examine and evaluate theories of dialogue and carry them forward with appropriate adaptations and innovations. A distinctive and innovative feature of the programme is a placement with the Dialogue Society in London during which students will develop their skills through active participation in the work of this charity.
The structure of the MA in Dialogue Studies is as follows:
Semester 1: - Approaches in Dialogue (30 credits) core module - Learning and Research Skills (30 credits) core module - Students to choose one optional module (15 credits each)
Semester 2: - Dialogue Work Placement (45 credits) core module
Summer Dissertation (60 credits) core module
Optional modules may include: Optional modules can be drawn from modules such as those listed below, although the precise list of available modules may vary from year to year. - Approaches to European Integration:History and Practice - Comparative European Politics - Diplomatic Law - The Changing International Agenda
Teaching & Assessment
The programme has three components: taught modules in the 1st semester; a placement at the Dialogue Society in the 2nd semester; and a dissertation to be completed by a September deadline.
The taught modules consist of a number of weekly 2 hour seminars. These modules provide students with theoretical and substantive knowledge, key learning and research skills, and an opportunity to interact with staff and other students. Assessment will vary between modules but typically will involve presentations, coursework, and essays.
The placement with the Dialogue Society in the 2nd semester will allow students to gain experience working for an NGO. Students will be involved in planning, organising and evaluating seminars; planning, organising and evaluating community events; and attending Dialogue Society training events which provide key leadership and communications skills. The placement will be assessed by a reflective diary.
The dissertation will be on a topic of the student’s choice relating to intercultural dialogue, community cohesion, diversity, citizenship or conflict resolution. Students will be assigned supervisors who they will meet on a regular basis.
Students will be expected to buy textbooks for modules and additional costs may be incurred for travel to placement activities in London.
SPIRE is a thoroughly international school, and is particularly welcoming to international students, as well as providing plenty of opportunities for home students to broaden their horizons.
We have staff with educational backgrounds in a wide variety of countries, such as Columbia, Canada, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, Romania, and Turkey, who present their research all around the world. Students have the opportunity to hear visiting lecturers from various different countries, arranged through our ERASMUS partnerships.
International students will join established international communities at Keele, and will find plenty of support mechanisms in place to help them make the transition to study in the UK.