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University of Brighton, Full Time MA Degrees

We have 27 University of Brighton, Full Time MA Degrees

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Working across the disciplines of architecture, art and cultural geography, our Architectural and Urban Design MA combines critical debate and creative practice to help you develop as a designer who will plan the urban environments of the future. Read more
Working across the disciplines of architecture, art and cultural geography, our Architectural and Urban Design MA combines critical debate and creative practice to help you develop as a designer who will plan the urban environments of the future.

You will benefit from a supportive studio environment, two field trips and a variety of workshops and seminars, taught by active practitioners in architecture and urban design. You will engage with research on the analysis of cities and lead your own projects, speculating as to how cities will evolve and be used in the future.

The course is highly experimental and aims to stretch your imagination and critical ability. You will produce innovative portfolios and learn about the issues of global urban environments, expanding your knowledge beyond the usual subject boundaries.

Academic context

Urbanism and urban design are ambiguous terms that surround and reflect both the physical and mental attributes applied to the built environment.

The material of roads, pavements, buildings, railways, bridges and so on represents the physical. The mental is represented by narratives, histories, personal perceptions and anticipations.

The two sensibilities combine to form a layered knowledge of the city, which could be compared to a mature palimpsest or to semi-obscured archaeology. In this context, we study the city with emphasis on the space of the private realm and its seamless engagement with the public domain.

Why study with us?

• Experimental course that stretches your imagination and critical ability.

• Focus on the urban realm: the experiential aspect of cities and the gap between planned and lived.

• Field trips to cities including London, Berlin, Marseille, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

• Teaching staff who are also practitioners in architecture and urban design.

• Guest lectures from leading figures such as Anthony McCall, Stefano Rabolli Pansera, Katy Beinart and Peter Clash.

• Alumni network of professional architects, academics and urban designers.

Areas of study

The course is taught over 3 semesters over 12 months.

Design 1: Urban Strategies
This module introduces you to design strategies, methods and issues pertinent to your design studio, helping you to explore the potential of different approaches to design. There is a strong emphasis on the development of conceptual ideas and their correlation with the development of design strategy, helping you to articulate your individual position as a design practitioner.

Design 2
Design 2 aims to consolidate and extend the priorities, ideas and strategies established in Design 1. You will explore architectural and urban ideas in more depth and complexity. The emphasis here is on curiosity and speculation, supporting the development of methods to help with enquiry, reflection and debate.

Independent Project
The independent project runs concurrently and is concerned with your identification of places of ‘conflict’ and negotiations of space. The module encourages experimentation in a specific field of study. Students have developed projects in fields of architectural and artistic practice, creative design, techniques of communication or new technologies.

Critical Readings
The Critical Readings module will develop your skills in critical practice through an analysis of cultural, historical, theoretical and practical issues in architecture. It provides the opportunity to carry out initial investigations into the ideas that will drive your Masterwork project.

Research Skills and Training
Research Skills and Training introduces you to the challenges involved in designing, implementing and disseminating a research project. You will develop a written proposal that can inform the development of your Masterwork project, encouraging you to consider how your investigations contribute to the academic knowledge in your field.

The Masterwork is the final stage of study, requiring you to perform as a self-reflective critical researcher and lay down the foundations for innovation in your future practice. You will develop your project from an agreed research proposal, which may be either a text-based dissertation or a design-led research project with critical reflection. You will be asked to focus the areas of interest that have developed in your previous practice and studies, identify research questions and develop research methods, bringing critical investigation and creative responses together.


• You will benefit from a new Masters Centre including studio space, tutorial areas and shared creative spaces.

• Modelling and construction workshops: timber and metal, dedicated 'wet' modelling bay, plastic dying facility, drill press, spray booth, vacuum former, strip bender, plastics oven, hot wire cutter and spot welder; further workshops available by arrangement with rapid prototyping and laser cutter.

• IT facilities include 3D paper and printer, plotters, scanners and a reprographics suite.

• Software includes Adobe suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Professional), VW2010, Cinem 4D, Premiere, Blender, AutoCAD, Maya and Rhino.

• Library facilities include additional computing equipment, digital and hard copy specialist library facilities, and specialist collections.

Careers and employability

The Architectural and Urban Design MA gives you a deep understanding of the issues involved in contemporary practice. As you evolve your own specialist work, you will discover ways to reimagine and reshape the contemporary urban environment.

Our graduates have gone on to be professional architects, academics and urban designers in the UK, Vietnam, Russia, Palestine, Japan, Taiwan, Kenya, Turkey, Lithuania and other countries. Among our alumni are award-winning architects Wei Jiang and Quang Nguyen, who are based in Shanghai and London respectively.

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The Master of Architecture (MArch) RIBA Part II course is a highly creative, research-led and professional two-year masters rooted in studio laboratories and driven by individual enquiry. Read more
The Master of Architecture (MArch) RIBA Part II course is a highly creative, research-led and professional two-year masters rooted in studio laboratories and driven by individual enquiry. The MArch course is prescribed by the ARB and validated by RIBA, giving exemption from RIBA Part II.

We are part of the vibrant range of arts and humanities courses that the university has to offer. Our distinct research-led approach filters through all aspects of this course, with rigorous inquiry fusing innovation, regulation and social commentary. This student-focused approach offers the opportunity for you to investigate your personal architectural agenda, developing your own critical position and design language prior to entry into the profession.

The studio laboratories are driven by tutors’ personal research agendas and all staff are actively engaged within this field of enquiry as academics or practitioners. The stimulating mix of practitioners and academics across the course builds conversations, with visiting lecturers and critics further feeding the dialogue. Recent visiting lecturers have included Neil Denari, Perry Kulper, Chris Thurlbourne, Michael Jemtrud, and our close links with practice ensure stimulating review panels. We place critical thought at our core and look forward to you joining the conversation.

Course structure

We want you to emerge from the course as an assured designer, confident in your approach, ideals and aspirations and with the ability to communicate this to the wider world. Over the two years you will be challenged to define your own critical position, and evolve your personal language of design and representation. The course will assist you in this through a gradual deepening of understanding, and by providing you with the tools with which to critically reflect upon design strategies and to navigate the wider contemporary debate on architecture.

The design laboratories form the backbone to the course. The other individual elements of the course increasingly intertwine with this over the two years to provide a final systematic understanding of architecture as a holistic entity.

Year 1: Strategy

There are four elements of the course (modules) covered in the first year and these are organised such that you will only ever address two at any one time. Design forms the backbone of the year and is divided into two elements that run consecutively across the whole year. The third element, or module, is technology and this runs through the first half of the year and is then replaced by Humanities and Design Theory in the second half of the year.

Year 2: Integration

Year two is also formed of four elements (modules). Design encompasses the whole year in the form of the master thesis, with the technology and professional studies elements of the course plugging into this as the year progresses. Architectural humanities runs in the first term in the form of the Humanities Research Project. Once this is completed technology then takes its place in the course diagram and runs through to the end of the year integrating itself into the design proposal.


The course is centred around the studio and through this aims to reflect the nature of architectural practice. Teaching is rooted in problem-based learning, such as through critical studio briefs, and a research-based approach to problem solving. You will therefore be asked to critically engage with and reflect upon the subject matter, and to learn through your own research and enquiry. One-to-one tutorials, group discussions, seminars as well as lectures by academic staff and visiting practitioners all act to assist in evolving your ideas.

The studio laboratories are derived from the tutors’ own field of enquiry as academics or practitioners. You are given the opportunity to apply for the studio laboratory of your choice at the start of each academic year.


There are a range of studio laboratories to choose from each year, all of which explore different contemporary design research fields informed by the studio tutors’ current research. Each studio laboratory is supported by two tutors and has a dedicated studio space within which to conduct your explorations alongside fellow students from both years of the course. Find out more:


Careers and employability

On successful completion of the course you will have formed a systematic understanding of architecture, a critical awareness of current problems and a comprehensive understanding of techniques, methodologies and practice. This rigorous and critically engaged basis will form a solid foundation upon which to build your professional architectural career.

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Our Arts and Design by Independent Project MA is a highly individual course offering you the opportunity to propose and develop your own academic programme in a particular field of craft, design, communication or image-making within a stimulating educational context. Read more
Our Arts and Design by Independent Project MA is a highly individual course offering you the opportunity to propose and develop your own academic programme in a particular field of craft, design, communication or image-making within a stimulating educational context.

A central project forms the core of the course. The project encourages experimentation and innovation in a specific field. You will develop and consolidate your project in consultation with academic staff throughout the course, utilising facilities and drawing on expertise from our other arts and humanities courses, as well as other areas of the university.

There is an extensive programme of lectures, events, films, and seminars throughout. We ask you to keep a critical diary during the course and to write a project report at the end of each year. This report is a considered critique of your studio-based work and decision making.

Course structure

You can study on a part-time or full-time basis:

• Part-time, for two years, is designed to fit in with your professional life and allows more time for reflection. Part-time students work on the course for two days a week – one day on site and one day working independently.

• Full-time, for one year, is an intensive year of study. You work four days a week: two days with the course and two days independently.
Lectures, seminars, reviews and assessments are held at fixed times on Wednesdays. Other patterns of attendance vary according to individual circumstances. During holidays you will be engaged in independent study.

Your work will be predominantly project based, which may comprise of one or more parts focusing on a central theme or idea. A single project or investigation will in most cases sustain a student through the entire duration of the course, but at stage assessment, in consultation with tutors, it may naturally evolve into a new or related area of study.

The nature of the subject demands the continual interaction between research, analysis, and practical realisation, as well as an extended period of development for ideas to become fully meaningful. Throughout this investigation you will receive support and guidance from the course tutors.

Areas of study

As the course develops, there is increasing opportunity for independent and self-directed work, though each student is allocated a personal tutor who oversees the planning and content of individual projects. Besides practice-based work, the course also includes a written element in which you will be asked to reflect critically on the research and development of your project.

The Visual Narrative module includes lectures, themed group events and small practical activities such as the Surprise Project, where you are asked to deliver a surprise though a sequence of six images or objects with the module group as your target audience. From this experience, you learn the nature and importance of surprise in basic storytelling and develop a vocabulary for narrative. In scheduled theme day events, such as Modern Cautionary Tales, you work in groups to challenge your quick-thinking skills in the invention, planning and presentation of a story.

While students accepted on the course should come with the technical skills necessary to fulfil their projects, access to the diverse workshops facilities – for example in bookbinding, letterpress, printmaking and photography – will be made available as appropriate to your project. There is also a substantial specialist library and a full range of computer facilities.

In order to bring together a variety of students and approaches, this course coexists with the Sequential Design/Illustration MA. Both are based at our Grand Parade campus.

Stage 1:

Independent Project (Stage 1)
Visual Narrative: The Art and Design of Storytelling
Practice Based Research Methods

Stage 2:

Major Independent Project (Stage 2)
Applied Research Methods
Completion Statement

Visiting lecturers

We arrange a programme of weekly lectures by a range of practitioners and academics to broaden your experience and understanding of professional issues and activity. Lecturers describe their practice and professional experience, sharing insights about their research methods and discoveries.

The programme is organised to relate to specific stages of the course and varies on a two-year cycle, so part-time students have access to a different set of events in each of their two years of study.

Careers and employability

Because of the diversity of our students and the projects they create, their professional achievements are equally wide-ranging. Successful commercial enterprises have been established, research degrees undertaken, books published, collaborative design groups formed, and work exhibited in major galleries and institutions. Graduates have also participated in festivals and conferences around the world.

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Community psychology brings social change to the forefront of the way that we understand and promote psychological wellbeing. Read more
Community psychology brings social change to the forefront of the way that we understand and promote psychological wellbeing.

It provides an alternative to the standard model of psychological enquiry that foregrounds the individual at the expense of the collective, instead contextualising the difficulties faced by particular communities before seeking to develop solutions through participatory and action-oriented research.

The central focus of this course is to provide knowledge and training platforms that allow you to work towards addressing the institutional marginalisation and disempowerment that drives local and global community issues. It introduces critical, liberation and human rights perspectives, reflecting on traditional modes of scientific enquiry and what they mean for groups and individuals struggling with issues of marginalisation.

Our degree programme is among the few in the country that allow you to work directly with local communities to facilitate social change. With the help of our award-winning Community University Partnership Programme (Cupp), it gives you the opportunity to apply your skills as a psychologist and gain professional experience in the field.

This course will be of particular interest to those interested in developing a career in mental health.

Course structure

The course is primarily taught through intensive teaching sessions where modules run over blocks of two to three days, though some optional modules require weekly attendance.

Through lectures, workshops, seminars and the facilitation of community research partnerships, the course provides opportunities to explore the appropriateness and significance of how we work as community psychologists and to better understand the role of ideology inherent in the creation of an effective community psychology. It achieves this while retaining a degree of flexibility within the syllabus such that you are able to tailor your learning towards the kinds of areas most relevant to your work and interests.

The programme also offers an extended masters route for international students, allowing you to combine the degree itself with an English language course. Depending on your present language level, you will study English for between two and four months before starting your MA.

Areas of study

Community psychology is a culturally relative discipline and therefore takes different forms in different parts of the world. To help you maintain an open-minded approach to the subject, we introduce you to both local and international examples of community psychology in practice.

The syllabus is informed by contemporary research into such diverse areas as homelessness, older adults, disadvantaged young people, LGBT mental health, organisational wellbeing and mental health literacy in Cambodia, as well as by the experiences of our core teaching staff, Carl Walker, Katherine Johnson and Liz Cunningham.

For the Social Research Practice module, you undertake an action-orientation project in a community psychology setting. Those who are working in a related profession can relate the project to their employer's needs; those who aren't have the opportunity to work with community and voluntary organisations including Mind, Age Concern and the Richmond Fellowship.


Community Psychology: Theory and Practice
Research Methods in the Social Sciences
Community and Clinical Approaches to Mental Distress
Social Research Practice


The dissertation forms a focal part of the MA and allows you to gain practical skills as a psychologist by doing fieldwork in the community. Previous students have used the opportunity to:

• do a piece of participatory action research to explore the challenges faced by the growing population of Brazilian women in Brighton
• use life-history narratives to investigate experiences of academic and social acculturation for international students
• work with a local LGBT mental wellbeing service in order to reflect on the way that the development of a community has affected not only the wellbeing but the identities of its members.


We strongly believe that it is our duty to use our knowledge and resources for social benefit, which is why we set up the Community University Partnership Programme (Cupp) back in 2003.

Cupp is an award-winning project that aims to tackle disadvantage and promote sustainable development through partnership with local organisations. Our combined efforts have made a tangible difference to the effectiveness of community sectors and the lives of local people.

As a Brighton student, you will have the opportunity to volunteer through Cupp and work in the community yourself, all the while developing your vocational skills and gaining valuable work experience.

Careers and employability

The course explores processes of social change and participatory engagement and equips graduates with theoretical knowledge, research skills and practical insights for working in the field of community psychology. It also serves as an ideal grounding for the further use and study of participatory modes of enquiry at doctoral level.

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On this MA you will learn to think about your craft in new ways, understand research as a craftsperson and become increasingly expert in your chosen practice and profession. Read more
On this MA you will learn to think about your craft in new ways, understand research as a craftsperson and become increasingly expert in your chosen practice and profession.

Based within a thriving art college environment at the university's central Brighton Grand Parade campus, you will learn from experienced professionals in a welcoming atmosphere that allows craftspeople to discuss and develop their ideas as a community.

You will develop both your creative skills and your ways of thinking. You will work with people who understand craft both as a profession and as a personal expression. Your options within this specialist course can include extensive work with a wide range of materials and professions, with expert provision across metal, ceramics, polymers, wood and more.

Throughout the course you'll be doing research and experimentation using innovative thinking and approaches to craft practice. To get your masters degree, you'll demonstrate both how you work and how you think as a craftsperson, with an extended essay and craft-in-context modules allowing you to develop your ideas around your own practice and the wider context of your craft.

Our MA strives to help you towards exemplary creative output. Through exploration of the traditional discipline categories to the evolution of future interpretations and directions, you will be encouraged to fully engage with what the craft scene is today.

Why study with us?

• Professional opportunities across the craft industry, with options in business and entrepreneurial practice, community outreach and work placements

• Lecturers who are dynamic and active researchers, creative designers, craft practitioners and leaders in their fields – both nationally and internationally

• Departmental expertise in a range of materials and professions, including furniture, ceramics, jewellery, product, polymers and metals

• Cross-disciplinary exploration of sustainability, craft heritage, material experimentation, and environmental, medical and digital technologies

• Fully equipped workshops in wood, metal, ceramics, polymers and composites, with digital technologies supported by a highly skilled team of technical demonstrators

• Department that recognises, nurtures and demonstrates craft's role in and capacity for cultural, social, economic and environmental benefit


While focusing on the physical act of making, the Craft MA also covers the theory of craft, allowing practitioners to conceptualise and contextualise their practice with deeper insight. The history, theory and traditions of craft form a core component in every module, and are delivered through lectures, presentations and studio discussion groups.


Craft Practice
Craft in Context
Research Skills and Training
Creative Enquiry
Masters project


You will be able to choose from a range of modules from across our arts and humanities courses. Options include:

Sustainable Design Presents
Political Economy of Globalisation
Professional Entreprenurial Development
Fine Art: Mentoring
Historical and Critical Studies Dissertation
Professional Entreprenurial Development
Professional Experience with Industrial Placement

Careers and employability

After completing the course successfully, you will be able – as a master of your craft – to take opportunities across the craft professions, either in your own practice as an entrepreneur or in the use of craft for social and community engagement. Craftspeople find these opportunities in a range of fields including fine arts, design, museum curation, teaching, prop making and interior design. The course also provides a route into academia, teaching and research.

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The Creative Media MA is an innovative programme that stays responsive to key developments in contemporary digital media, culture and society. Read more
The Creative Media MA is an innovative programme that stays responsive to key developments in contemporary digital media, culture and society.

It engages with some of the most exciting and pressing cultural and social issues of our time, such as activism, big data, the cultural and creative economy, everyday life, future cities, social wellbeing and identity.

It covers key theoretical debates in media and cultural studies and draws from local, national and global contexts to help you develop the critical and methodological skills that are necessary for researching the role of digital technologies in culture and society.

You will be taught by leading academics in visual communication, social media, smart technologies and media production for social change. Our knowledge-exchange activities engage us with diverse businesses, communities and policy actors including media, publishers, digital companies, community groups and NGOs, which will allow you to make professional contacts during your studies.

The course offers flexible modes of study through online distance or campus learning – full-time or part-time – with entry points in September and February. There are also opportunities to complete shorter programmes at both certificate and diploma level.

Course structure

The Creative Media MA is structured as follows:

Core modules:

Practising Media Research (MA and PGDip)
Professional Media Practice: Industries and Cultures (MA and PGDip)
Dissertation/Project (MA)


Big Data, Culture and Society
Collaborative Documentary Media Production*
Digital Cities
Locative Media
Social and Digital Media Activism
Sonic Media
Media Access in a Networked Society
Participatory Media Production for Social Change*
Digital Media and Web Technologies (Shared option from the Digital Media Arts MA)*
Cultural Theory (Shared option from the Cultural and Critical Theory MA)*

(*On-campus-only mode)

It is possible to complete shorter programmes in Creative Media at postgraduate certificate and postgraduate diploma level.

During your studies, you'll be granted flexibility in content, form and delivery. This flexibility is increased through the availability of online distance education modules. Not only is it possible to switch modes from on-campus to Distance Learning, you may also choose to complete the entire degree through Distance Learning.

Distance learning

Students can complete the Creative Media MA in online distance mode, either through part-time of full-time study. Distance learners follow the same weekly syllabus as on-campus students and engage online on a continuous basis with the teaching staff and their peers.

Each module has a guide that contains detailed information about the module content, readings and assessments, as well as clear instructions on how to engage with it. The University of Brighton’s student intranet system, studentcentral, is used to teach and deliver the modules.

If you are a distance learner, each module sees you: reading the module guide and collected readings to grasp the shape, content and pathway through the teaching material; participating in asynchronous online discussion boards to engage with the weekly topics; and conducting independent research and background reading to support all parts of your module study in preparation for the assessment.

Module tutors facilitate discussion and offer guidance throughout.


• Seminar discussions are facilitated in a number of ways to enable distance learners to participate. These include live video conferencing, online chat rooms and discussion forums.

• Masterclasses, lectures and on-campus seminars are video or audio recorded and uploaded for students to access online on studentcentral within 48 hours of the class. A range of seminars will also be streamed live online.

• All weekly readings are electronically accessible online via the studentcentral reading list.

• All assignments are submitted electronically via studentcentral (with the exception of physical artefacts, which are submitted via postal system).

• One-to-one tutorials are conducted either online either using video conferencing or via a telephone conversation.

Careers and employability

Creative media is both a description of what we do and an instruction for future practice. We take the best elements of media education, creative industries, communication/media studies and literacy theory and offer students a suite of modules that can be customised to fit career goals, family and working patterns, and personal interests.

Graduates of the MA will be able to:

• demonstrate a range of analytical, critical, collaborative practice and professional skills relevant to the digital media sector.
• understand how cultural, social and economic differences operate in mediated environments, and how they are changing with new media technologies.
• use a range of research methods and work within diverse disciplinary and professional paradigms.

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At Brighton, we encourage writing that helps readers and writers to understand, shape and connect with the world beyond the classroom. Read more
At Brighton, we encourage writing that helps readers and writers to understand, shape and connect with the world beyond the classroom. Working with professional writers, you will develop your skills to produce and share stories in a variety of genres.

Through creative workshops, you will partner with supportive lecturers and interdisciplinary postgraduate groups to develop advanced theories and practices that relate to the creative writing process. Both people with and without experience of creative writing should consider applying for this course, which aims to prepare you for a career as a freelancer or portfolio worker.

We have fantastic links with local publishers, writers and creative companies and offer a unique salon series where industry experts offer practical advice and insights. In semester two, you will apply your writing and creative practice in a workplace scenario, while being encouraged to work on your own interests and passions.

If you want to share your work, you have the opportunity to do so through our established student-led anthologies and open mic nights, which form part of Brighton's thriving creative scene.

Why study with us?

• Chance to develop as a portfolio writer and creative practitioner – somebody who can apply good writing to real-world scenarios and work to specific briefs

• A transformative experience that goes beyond looking to get your first novel published, so you can explore copywriting and publishing while nurturing your passion for storytelling

• Guest lectures from publishers and professional writers including Mark Radcliffe and Isabel Ashdown, who runs the Prose Fiction module

• Links with local publishers, writers and creative companies, with placements available across Brighton

• Theatre visits, open mic nights and exciting events, including a short story slam at Brighton festival and writing workshops in Bucharest

• Online journal and in-house creative anthology for you to share your work with other students and the wider community

Areas of study

You will be able to tailor your MA studies to reflect an interest in writing practice, literary theory, community engagement or any combination of these.

We identify the range of modules as intrinsic to catering to diverse creative and intellectual needs and understand that triggers for writing and creative practice can stem from a wide range of places and fields of study.

We have specific modules dedicated to engaging students with the wider Brighton community and local creative industries where they will become a writer in residence and work to link their individual creative practice with a professional scenario.

You will be able to identify teaching and learning opportunities that inspire your creative work and apply this to your professional, academic and personal development and planning.


Core modules:

Practising Rhetoric: The History of Good Storytelling
Creative Writing: Craft and Creative Practice
Research Skills and Training

Optional modules:

Prose Fiction
Creativity module: Placement
The Publishing Process
Poetry: Theory and Craft
Writing the City
The Ethics of Fiction
Twenty-first Century Literature
Performing Gender
Knowing Through Writing
Holocaust Memory
Aesthetics and Philosophy
Cultural Theory
History Making and the Screen Archive South
Grammar and the English Language
Memory and Identity in Postcolonial Cultures
Cultural Memory in Ireland
Gender, Family and Empire
Auto/Biographical Narrative
Visual Narrative
Cultures of Multimedia Authoring and Web Design
Critical and Media Concepts
Issues and Debates: Introduction to Critical Arts Practice
Traditions of Critical Theory
Critical Readings
Moral Thought and Practice
Globalisation and Culture
Aesthetics and Philosophy
Foundations of Critical Theory
Meaning and Truth
Discourses of Culture
Writing for Academic Publication
Literature and Conflict
Auto/Biographical Narrative Communication, Memory and Communication

Careers and employability

Our Creative Writing MA will develop your confidence with creative and critical writing and enhance your communication skills, which are highly valued in a range of professions including publishing, teaching, creative industry management, marketing, PR, journalism, health and wellbeing.

The ability to write for an audience is also fundamental for people working with social media and the web, and this course will ensure that you are able to produce writing that will be effective in these and other work-based scenarios.

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The Cultural and Critical Theory MA will give you a sophisticated appreciation of the limits of human understanding, the interdependence of philosophy and theory, and the implications of these for political action, aesthetic sensibility and representation in art and activism. Read more
The Cultural and Critical Theory MA will give you a sophisticated appreciation of the limits of human understanding, the interdependence of philosophy and theory, and the implications of these for political action, aesthetic sensibility and representation in art and activism.

The course offers three distinct pathways:

• Aesthetics and Cultural Theory
• Globalisation, Politics and Culture
• Philosophy and Critical Theory

All pathways provide for the development of an advanced understanding of specialist areas in cultural and critical theory, and effective preparation for doctoral research.

The core course, delivered during the autumn and spring terms, is complemented by a research methods module and two elective modules that offer opportunities for study across the range of humanities provision.

The course culminates in the submission of a specialist 20,000-word (or equivalent) project, which allows you to apply your advanced philosophical and theoretical understanding to an issue or text of your choice.

Taught courses are delivered with a maximum size of 12 students. Supervision for the project, and for pre and post-essay tutorials, is on a one-to-one basis with the appropriate tutor.

Why study with us?

• Opportunity to specialise in aesthetics and cultural theory, political and cultural globalisation, or philosophy and critical theory

• Successful international conferences – for example 'Slavery, Race and Reparative History', 'Globalisation and its Discontents' and 'Complicity', all with visiting scholars from across the globe

• The Philosophy, Politics and Aesthetics seminar series that invites debate from across the College, and hosts visiting scholars to deliver seminar papers twice a month

• A research methods module that improves your skills in independent study, and prepares you for doctoral work as well as for your MA project

• Staff with diverse research interests that span art practices, ethics, aesthetics, Marxisms, Freudianisms, Liberalisms, the political philosophy of international relations and global change, philosophy and filmmaking, literature and visual art, political activism and forms of democracy, and more

Areas of study

Delivered during the autumn and spring terms, the core course consists of a common lecture line and two modules in aesthetics and cultural theory, philosophy and critical theory, or political and cultural globalisation, depending on your chosen specialist area.

You also take a research methods module, which prepares you for the research project by considering the various approaches taken by relevant disciplines, interrogating the requirements of MA-level research and addressing how your intended research topic might best be refined.

The project itself normally consists of 18-20,000 word dissertation (or 12,000 words alongside a video, an installation or studio-based work) in which you apply your knowledge of cultural or critical theory to an issue or text of your choosing. Your work towards this submission is supported by one-to-one project supervision.

The elective modules can take one of three forms:

• a module from one of our other arts and humanities MA courses
• a Higher Education Teaching and Learning Course in which you shadow a tutor in the delivery of a module on the undergraduate programme
• a 10,000-word extended essay with regular one-to-one tutorial supervision.

To find out more about the course syllabus please visit the website:


Careers and employability

About a third of graduates from the Cultural and Critical Theory MA go on to PhD study, equipped with advanced research skills and specialist knowledge of their subject area. Others start or continue work as museum or gallery curators, in arts administration, journalism, social work, education or politics.

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Our Cultural History, Memory and Identity MA examines the origins, forms and effects of cultural constructions of history and memory, with a practical focus on the skills and methods involved in the making of new historical accounts and representations. Read more
Our Cultural History, Memory and Identity MA examines the origins, forms and effects of cultural constructions of history and memory, with a practical focus on the skills and methods involved in the making of new historical accounts and representations.

Emphasising the close relation between academic study and broader cultural interest in the past and its significance in everyday life, the programme enables the investigation of various cultural forms and practices, from oral history and autobiography to television and virtual reality.

The course comprises three pathways:

• Cultural Memory
• Making Histories: Public History and Heritage
• ‘Race’, Nation and Ethnicity

The general concerns of the masters programme are developed in relation to these pathways, each of which explores a particular field of enquiry with its own distinctive thematic and methodological focus. The pathways also provide the basis for the PGCert and PGDip awards.

Why study with us?

• Chance to specialise through one of three pathways: Cultural Memory; Making Histories – Public History and Heritage; or Race, Nation and Ethnicity

• Practical emphasis on the skills and methods involved in the making of new historical accounts and representations

• Lecturers with expertise across cultural, social and political history, cultural studies, literary studies, film and visual studies, and the history of ideas

• Interdisciplinary approach informed by cultural and critical theory

• Close relationship to the University of Brighton's Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories

• Flexible modes of study for students with personal or professional commitments


Cultural memory pathway:

Cultural History: Concepts, Theories and Methods
Cultural Memory in Ireland: Conflict Resolution and the Irish Troubles OR Holocaust Memory
Research Methods
Research Project
Optional module

Making histories pathway:

Making Histories: Making the History of Brighton and Hove
Slavery in the Atlantic World OR Britain in the Second World War
Research Methods
Research Project
Optional module

'Race', nation and ethnicity pathway:

Constructions of Britishness: Histories, Cultures and Identities
The Making of the Black Atlantic: Transformations of History, Representation and Identity OR Memory and Identity in Postcolonial Cultures: Fictions and Histories
Research Methods
Research Project
Optional module

To find out more about the course content please visit the website:


Careers and employability

The knowledge, intellectual skills and confidence acquired through study on this MA provides excellent training for doctoral research. All CHMI students are encouraged to participate in the rich programme of seminars, symposia and conferences, which includes an annual postgraduate conference organised by the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories, the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, and the School of Humanities. CHMI graduates have a direct route on to our Humanities PhD programme, but have also gone on to doctoral research at other universities.

CHMI students have used the MA to secure work in the education, heritage and museum, health and voluntary sectors, and the course has proved attractive to those looking to develop their careers by augmenting existing skills and experience or by opening new professional paths within their workplace or organisation. We have established a small number of voluntary work placements for our students with the local community history group, Brighton and Hove Black History, and hope to maintain this opportunity as well as establish further volunteering opportunities in future.

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Our Digital Media Arts MA is taught both at the University of Brighton and at Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is a digital culture agency where a key part of its work is education and professional development (PPD). Read more
Our Digital Media Arts MA is taught both at the University of Brighton and at Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is a digital culture agency where a key part of its work is education and professional development (PPD). Through short technology labs and courses they help empower the digital artists and creative engineers of tomorrow.

We have developed the course in the context of Brighton’s status as one of the main centres of the media economy, adopting an interdisciplinary approach that allows you to use and develop your existing skills in an environment that encourages both innovation and high-quality production.

The course provides excellent training for artists, designers and arts professionals wishing to seek a career in the creative industries, offering expert education in the areas of interaction design, social media, programming, digital film, installation, public art and interactive art. You will learn core digital media production skills, explore a broad range of creative digital practices, and access the most up-to-date developments and critical debates in the discipline.

While our professional studio environment enables you to explore the full creative potential of digital media arts practices, we also encourage live project work so that you gain direct experience and develop valuable links to the digital media and wider cultural industries.

The course offers a suitable route and an appropriate academic grounding for PhD study, as has been evidenced by recent student progression on to PhD programs at the University of Sussex, Goldsmiths, Plymouth University and The University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Areas of study

The course is designed to support your individual development and creativity as an artist and producer and is based around an essential core of practice-based learning, underpinned by a programme of theoretical lecture series, artist talks, seminars, workshops, tutorials and independent study.

You will learn core digital media production skills. Specialist workshops have included processing, motion graphics and sound art.

The course supports an interdisciplinary approach that enables you to develop existing skills and experiences in an environment that encourages both innovation and high quality production. Live project work in modules throughout the course will help you gain direct experience and develop valuable links in the digital media industries and wider cultural industries.

Modules will be relevant and up-to-date in this fast changing and evolving digital climate, allowing for flexibility to expand into new areas of development. Examples of theses areas include screen based web design, social media and interactive installations and also including using data analytics, coding, programming and hacking.

You will be taught by a diverse and experienced lecturing team, all of whom are creative practitioners.

The course offers a flexible mode of study for students, either as a part-time route (two years) or full time (one year).


Cultures of Media Authoring and Web Design
Virtual Culture and Network Practices
Practice based Research Methods
Beyond the Screen: Interactive Installations
Presenting a Body of Work
Critical Theory: Media Concepts Research Paper

There will be an increasing emphasis on engaging with script and code, which is particularly pertinent to practical modules as they include the building blocks of developments for creative design, and web applications. These include the following languages - CSS, Flash, Processing, Pure Data, ActionScript 2.0 and 3.0, Wordpress, PHP, HTML5, Javascript, jQuery. MFC, C, OpenGL, Java and Lingo.

We encourage students to create work through the use of open source data and engaging with hacker ethics, which are concerned primarily with sharing, openness and collaboration, rather than using commercial software.

Student work

The Digital Media Arts MA at Brighton develops your production skills and unique artistic approach. Over the course, you will build a substantial body of digital artwork that will help you get ahead in the fast-moving and competitive new media industries.

You will create your art and design work using a range of digital technologies, producing screen-based work, interactive installations, social media interventions and soundscapes. All students produce work for the assessment show towards the end of the course.

Careers and employability

The Digital Media Arts MA is a practical course that teaches a range of skills in digital development and design that you can apply outside of university. The course aims to empower digital artists and critical engineers of tomorrow, in exploring the creative thinking that is critical to working effectively with technology.

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This MA course has emerged as a direct result of our work with local practitioners and senior leaders in educational establishments. Read more
This MA course has emerged as a direct result of our work with local practitioners and senior leaders in educational establishments. The course builds on existing structures to further integrate academic study with work-based learning and research.

The revised structure ensures a coherent and supportive student experience throughout the programme which comprises of core modules that can be applied in a variety of different areas.

Our programme reflects the expectation that practitioners work in wider networks with colleagues and alongside expert facilitators, including the university teaching team. A key premise of this programme is its flexibility. You can tailor the syllabus to allow you to pursue individual interests and professional development needs across the entire course.

Studying with us, you will graduate with an in-depth and critical understanding of theory and research. The focus is on learning and teaching in a breadth of educational contexts which are responsive to individual students’ circumstances, settings and situations and modules are designed to complement and extend professional commitments. Teaching and assignment submissions are scheduled to fit around your existing work.

The course takes one year of full-time study or up to three years of part-time study to complete depending on any level-7 credits gained from prior learning. To graduate with an Education MA you need to achieve a total of 180 credits. More information about this can be found in the entry requirements section.


Scholarships are available for this course. Please click the link below for more information.

Course structure

The flexibility of our programme means that studying for the Education MA allows you to pursue your individual interests and professional development needs across the entire course.

The number of modules taken enables a manageable workload as well as further opportunities for formative assessment.

You will learn through a mixture of lectures, taught sessions, tutorials, online learning, group work, independent study and through work-related activities.

Areas of study

You will begin the programme with a focus on current issues reflecting on roles, responsibilities and interests. You will be supported to explore these issues from prospective within the broader context of policy and current research.

Subsequently, you will undertake critical thinking about practice, teaching and learning that will lead to an enquiry into an issue of professional relevance. This enquiry is a helpful and formative small-scale project which acts as a useful preparation before starting work on you MA thesis. The outcomes of the enquiry are intended to have a direct impact on pupils, colleagues and the wider education field, in addition to your own professional understanding.


Students on this course will:

• develop systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of debates and developments in education as a field of study
• undertake systematic and critical reflection and debate in the light of current and emerging policy contexts
• engender an understanding of and commitment to professional learning and development and its place for the practitioner and subsequent practice
• develop a thorough understanding of the principles of research in the context of learning and development to facilitate research literacy
• develop conceptual understanding that enables critical evaluation of current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline and evaluation of methodologies
• develop skills, knowledge and understandings and apply this learning to current / future roles, responsibilities and career aspirations

Part-time route

You will study up to five modules, split over two to three years depending on any recognition of prior learning. These modules build on and extend previous study and learning and provide a coherent and supportive learning journey towards achieving the MA Education.

Year 1:

• Engaging with Professional Development (20 credits)
• Critical Perspectives on Education (40 credits)

Should you wish to withdraw from the course after having successfully completing 60 masters-level credits, you exit with a Postgraduate Certificate Professional Education Studies (PGCert PES).

Year 2:

If you have any recognition of prior learning (normally level-7 credits from a PGCE or PGCert) you will join the programme at this stage.

• Professional Learning through Enquiry (40 credits)
• Designing your Research Proposal (20 credits)

Should you wish to withdraw from the course after having successfully completing 120 masters level credits, you exit with a Postgraduate Diploma Education (PGDip).

Year 3:

You will complete your studies by undertaking an appropriate small-scale research project to produce your dissertation.

• Research project (60 credits)

Full-time route

You will study four modules which are designed to build on and extend previous study and learning and which provide a coherent and supportive learning journey towards achieving the MA Education.

This route allows you to complete your studies over a calendar year (normally September-September). The overall aims of the MA are addressed through a reduced number of modules in order to achieve a manageable workload with opportunities for formative assessment.

Teaching semester 1 (October–February)

If you have any prior learning (normally level-7 credits from a PGCE or PGCert) you will begin the programme from the third module.

• Critical Perspectives on Education (40 credits)
• Developing a Practice-based Research Proposal (40 credits)

Should you wish to withdraw from the course having successfully completing 80 masters-level credits, you exit with a Postgraduate Certificate Professional Education Studies (PGCert PES) Award.

Teaching semester 2 (February–June)

• Professional Learning through Enquiry (40 credits)

Should you wish to withdraw from the course having successfully completing 120 masters-level credits, you exit with a Postgraduate Diploma Education Award (PGDip).

• Dissertation (60 credits)

Careers and employability

This course will further your professional development, allow you to progress your expertise within the field of education and enhance your employability for leadership roles.

Enhanced knowledge of educational issues and specialist areas of interest are attractive to a wide range of employers and typical career moves after graduation include promotion to senior leadership teams, advisory roles or promotion into a different education sector including those with capacity to influence policy.

Our graduates have commented on the ways that the MA in Education has positioned them for senior and leadership roles, for making a career move and improving their skills and professional potential.

The course also provides a springboard for further study at a doctoral level, either through PhD or EdD routes.

MA conference
Every June we host an education research conference as part of our MA. It provides an opportunity for both full-time and part-time MA students to learn about local practitioner research findings and to network with colleagues and local partners as well as EdD and PhD students too.

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The English Language MA gives you the opportunity to investigate language in its social and cultural contexts. Read more
The English Language MA gives you the opportunity to investigate language in its social and cultural contexts.

You will examine theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation, language contact, language and identity; analyse the role of language in social relationships and practices; and look at how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.

The programme equips you with high-level research skills that you can apply in your dissertation, which allows you to address an issue of particular interest with the knowledge you have gathered throughout the course.

Course structure

The programme is designed for both full-time and part-time students, with a flexible framework that can fit in with your professional and personal commitments. Modules are taught across the two semesters, usually in nine sessions per semester.

In addition, you are expected to work independently and engage with reading and research in your subject area. You will be offered support through tutorial supervision and the university's online virtual learning environment.

Areas of study

The English Language MA covers semantics, pragmatics (minimalism and contextualism), the philosophy of language, grammar, language variation and attitudes, language and identity (class, age, gender, ethnicity, social networks), language in interaction (politeness, speech accommodation, cross-cultural communication), feminist theory and linguistic theory, and ethnocentrism/racial prejudices in colonial discourse.

You approach these topics by: examining theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation; analysing the role of language in social relationships and practices; and examining how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.


Grammar and the English Language
Semantics: Word Meaning
Pragmatics, Meaning and Truth
Topics in Sociolinguistics
Research Methods

One from:

Discourses of Culture
Semantics/Pragmatics Interface: Approaches to the Study of Meaning
Cultural and Critical Theory module

Careers and employability

The English Language MA prepares you for careers in linguistics, linguistic anthropology, forensic linguistics, speech therapy, sign language, journalism, writing, English language teaching, politics and sociology.

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Founded on a strong dynamic between students and staff, the Fine Art MA is for disciplined artists who want to develop their work both through personal tutorials and interaction within an informed, ambitious peer group. Read more
Founded on a strong dynamic between students and staff, the Fine Art MA is for disciplined artists who want to develop their work both through personal tutorials and interaction within an informed, ambitious peer group.

The course is taught by a group of experienced and well-connected artists and curators. You follow a highly personalised programme of study and contribute to the overall group experience in a weekly series of lectures, seminars and crits.

You will have the opportunity to exhibit your work and curate group exhibitions, while also completing an extended essay and slide presentation for your assessment and as the basis of your future professional practice.

Why study with us?

• Highly personalised programme of study that allows you to pursue your own artistic vision
• Chance to exhibit your work and curate group exhibitions
• Teaching staff of practising artists, curators and researchers, all with strong contacts in the art world
• Student body of mature and disciplined artists
• Prime location in one of the UK's most lively and creative cities
• Excellent local galleries run by former Brighton students
• Access to dedicated shared studio space at nearby Phoenix Gallery for full-time students

Course structure

The course runs for 12 months full-time and 24 months part-time.

Regular seminars, tutorials and crits take place each Tuesday and Wednesday. Most students are part-time and attend each Tuesday in Year 1 and each Wednesday (plus Tuesday evening) in Year 2. Full-time students attend group activities on both of these days and spend the rest of the week either researching or working in our shared studios.

Part-time students research and make work in their own studios outside the university and use College facilities (such as workshops or libraries) for practical and presentation purposes. All students have access to the Postgraduate Project Space to install and exhibit work.

Areas of study

The course is split into two main sections. Both involve elements of theory and practice – together with portfolio and visual documentation preparation – and culminate in assessed exhibitions.

Section 1:

The first section (one year part-time or six months full-time) concentrates on the identification and development of your chosen mode of practice, with a degree of re-evaluation and experimentation being the norm.

You will display and discuss your work within a group to form a social and professional bond with your fellow students. You will also attend lectures and seminars given by the regular staff team and visiting guest speakers.

Section 2:

The second section prepares you for the final assessment exhibition. This involves regular crits and group meetings. You will present a seminar linked to your work, develop your professional practice and networking skills, and receive tutorials on the extended essay that you write during the summer vacation.


Reconfiguring Practice: Proposal and Presentation
Research and Practice Methodologies: Seminar and Research Diary
Consolidating Practice: Exhibition/Visual Documentation
Research and Practice Methodologies: Student Presentation
Critical Essay
Fine Art Mentoring (optional module)

Careers and employability

As well as going on to become practising fine artists, our graduates take up jobs in galleries including Fabrica Gallery, Chrysalides House Art School and Gallery, and Pallant House Gallery.

Many go on to lecturer and research positions at universities including University of the Arts London, University College Falmouth, Northbrook Metropolitan College, and the Malta College of Fine Art and Technology.

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This MA explores how contemporary politics, conflict and debates about human rights and security are informed by the processes of globalisation. Read more
This MA explores how contemporary politics, conflict and debates about human rights and security are informed by the processes of globalisation.

You will study topics including human rights and humanitarian intervention, the world economy and the changing global order, global governance and the United Nation system, the growth of global networks and movements, global security, conflict resolution and peace-building, international relations and law, global poverty and development, and the politics of sustainability and environmental decline. Because globalisation transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries, our MA takes an interdisciplinary approach to challenge conventional political and international relations approaches.

There are two core modules: Globalisation and Global Politics, and Conflict, Security and Human Rights. You can also select two optional modules to focus on an area of particular interest, for example human rights and humanitarian intervention, global environmental politics, the Middle East, conflict resolution, genocide, international relations theory, the nature of warfare, and global ethics.

Course structure

On the Globalisation: Politics, Conflict and Human Rights MA, you will:

• study key developments and issues in relation to politics, conflict and human rights.
• consider these areas within the context of contemporary globalisation
• be encouraged to develop an informed and critical understanding of contemporary globalisation
receive close tutorial support.
• be able to pursue a wide range of careers as well as opportunities for further postgraduate research.

The programme is founded on the notion that politics, conflict and human rights must now be understood in the context of contemporary globalisation.


Globalisation and Global Politics:

This module begins by examining a range of approaches to globalisation and global politics before exploring the processes, institutions and ideologies that are widely considered to be driving them. For example, economic globalisation is studied in relation to the financial crisis of 2008 and wider debates about global economic disorder. In particular, the emphasis is on fostering an informed understanding of contemporary globalisation through study of critical theories, debates about power, patterns of global poverty and inequality, and development responses.

In relation to claims about a shift in global power, the rise of China and its implications for the Asia-Pacific Region and the rest of the world are explored. At an institutional level, the Human Rights Council, the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights are examined. The politics of global sustainability is considered in relation to the formation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, the politics of a transnational/global movement is investigated through the study of La Via Campesina.

Conflict, Security and Human Rights:

This module examines contemporary conflict, security and human rights debates in relation to globalisation and the evolution of global politics. Areas and issues examined include: the relationship between global security and international relations theory; conflict resolution theory and the prospects of conflict resolution in Syria; state building and peace-building in Somalia; and a global NGO (Amnesty International) dedicated to monitoring conflict and human rights abuses.

Environmental security is considered within the context of global environmental decline, focusing in particular on Moscow’s apparent resource-based approach to international relations. As for human rights, the major theories and critiques are examined, with specific reference to humanitarian intervention and the emergence of the concept of human security. In this vein, the politics of movement under contemporary globalisation is explored by studying the Geneva Convention and the rights of refugees.


Research Methods

PLUS Two from:

Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention
Cultural and Critical Theory (International Relations Theory)
Global Environmental Politics
Conflict Resolution and the Irish Troubles
Legacies of Warfare
Global Ethics
A Learning and Teaching option

Careers and employability

This MA is relevant to careers in the public sector, teaching, the media, the legal profession, business, journalism, management and human resources, as well as to further research. You may also seek work in development, charities, non-governmental organisations and the environment, as well as the European Union and the United Nations.

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The History of Design and Material Culture MA focuses on both objects from everyday life and representations of them since the eighteenth century as a basis for research and analysis. Read more
The History of Design and Material Culture MA focuses on both objects from everyday life and representations of them since the eighteenth century as a basis for research and analysis.

The course allies theory and practice in seminar-based discussions that embrace various methodological issues and perspectives, including Marxism, discourse theory, phenomenology, semiology, museology, gender, race, class, memory and oral testimony. Depending on the material you analyse in your essays and seminars, as well as the dissertation topic you choose, you can also emphasise your own intellectual and subject-specific interests.

Since its inception in the late 1990s, the MA has garnered a national and international reputation as one of the pioneering and most successful programmes of its kind. As a research-led course, it harnesses the academic expertise of staff with a recognised wealth of teaching and research excellence in subject areas such as fashion and dress history, the history and theory of advertising, photography and the mass-reproduced image, and heritage and museum studies.

Under guidance, you will be encouraged to explore the relationship between theory and practice and to develop your own skills as an independent researcher, thinker and writer.

Course structure

The History of Design and Material Culture MA draws on the wide-ranging academic expertise of staff in the fields of the history of decorative arts and design, dress history, material culture, museology and social history.

It stimulates innovative and interdisciplinary study in the history of design and material culture in both their western and non-western contexts, considering the relationship between local, national and international patterns of production, circulation, consumption and use.

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, study visits and tutorials. Considerable emphasis is placed on student involvement in the weekly seminar readings and discussions within the two thematic core modules, Exploring Objects and Mediating Objects.

Based at Pavilion Parade, a Regency building overlooking the famous Royal Pavilion, teaching takes place close to the seafront and city centre amenities.


• Exploring Objects

The Exploring Objects module introduces you to a series of different research methods and historiographical approaches, as you interrogate and make sense of designed objects in terms of how they are designed, produced, circulated, consumed and used in everyday life. It covers the period from the late eighteenth century to the present time and typically involves discussion and debate on the following themes, theories and methods: Marxist and post-Marxist historiography; production and consumption; gender and taste; phenomenology; object-based analysis; the use of archives; and 'good writing/bad writing'. It also introduces you to the academic rigour of postgraduate dissertation research.

• Mediating Objects

This module complements Exploring Objects by focusing on the mediation between 'this one' (the object itself) and 'that one' (the object as represented in word and image). On one level, it examines how objects are translated in various texts and contexts, from museum and private collections to photographs, advertisements, film and fiction. On another level, it examines how objects are transformed through the embodied processes of everyday rituals such as gift-giving and personal oral and collective memories. The module therefore deals with the idea of intertexualities and how the identities of things and people are phenomenologically bound up with each other. By extension, you examine objects in relation to ideas concerning sex, gender, class, generation, race and ethnicity.

• Dissertation

The centrepiece of your MA studies, the dissertation is a piece of original writing between 18,000 and 20,000 words on a research topic of your own choosing. It allows you to pursue a specific research topic related to your own academic and intellectual interests in a given area of the history of design and material culture, for example fashion and dress, textiles, ceramics and glass, product design, interior design and architecture, graphic communications, advertising and photography, film, museums, collecting and curating, and design pedagogy. The dissertation is largely based on primary research, often using specialist archives and surviving historical material.


This course makes use of the University of Brighton Design Archives, which include the archives of the Design Council, Alison Settle, FHK Henrion and the South of England Film and Video Archive.

Close professional contact with national institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as with local collections and centres of historical interest (such as Brighton’s unique Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, with its internationally famous collection of decorative art from the 1890s onwards), present research opportunities for students registered on the course.

The course is closely linked to our arts and humanities research division through a joint research lecture series, and we have successfully encouraged high achievers to register for the MPhil/PhD programme.

The student environment also includes the thriving postgraduate Design History Society as well as opportunities for conference presentation, professional contact and career development in the field.

Careers and employability

The course has an extremely healthy track record in helping students to take up careers in related areas of employment and further study. Many of our postgraduates have succeeded in finding work as lecturers, curators, journalists, designers and design consultants, while many others have pursued doctoral research, most often also securing prestigious funding from the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council).

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