The MA Cultural Geography (Research) was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography.
Twenty years later and Cultural Geography is one of the most dynamic sub-disciplines in contemporary geography. Our course reflects this dynamism, exploring the relationships between our physical world, human identity and mobility. We combine core concepts with research methods training and interdisciplinary scholarship and practice. We develop this alongside innovative placements and research engagements with some of world’s top cultural institution, located on our doorstep in London.
The MA in Cultural Geography (Research) combines the vibrant research of the outstanding Social, Cultural and Historical Geography group with cutting edge teaching.
Thematically cultural geography focuses on the interconnections between place, landscape, environment, mobilities and identity, and thus has profound relevance for the contemporary world. Our graduates go on to work in a range of sectors, including the arts and cultural sector, publishing, planning and urban policy, private and public sector research work as well as many carrying on to further doctoral study.
The course attracts a diverse range of students from a range of backgrounds, not just those with geography degrees. To see more about the activities around the MA Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, please look at our research group blog Landscape Surgery.
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
Assessment is by coursework only. Formative feedback and detailed ongoing discussion of work before final submission is a central part of the teaching ethos of the course. Students also have significant autonomy in the selection of topics for coursework and dissertation allowing them to develop particular interests and specialisms.
This programme is delivered in a single stage, equating to either one-year of full-time study or up to five years of part-time study.
Study Cultural Geography (By Research) at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll be well placed to progress to PhD study or to a rewarding career in your chosen field. This research-based programme sees more than 50% of graduates progress to doctoral study.
This programme is structured to maximise graduate employability and further education prospects, with transferable skills sessions, career development sessions and workshops taking place to help graduates you achieve your career ambitions. We help our students to work on their PhD applications, and also help to arrange placements with some of the world’s top cultural institutions – including the V&A Museum, the Museum of London, the British Library, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Geographical Society.
In this Master’s degree you will acquire conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study social and cultural geography at postgraduate level. You will engage with questions that interrogate the foundations of inequality, the relationship between power and dissent, identity and belonging, race, gender, cultural change and conflict. Representations of cultural landscapes and critical cartographies are used to explore the geographical imagination of the world from local to global scales.
UK-focused and international case studies are used to illustrate critical, contemporary challenges, from understanding the dynamics of inequality in a city like London to the cultural processes underpinning the rise in populist politics and social movements across the world. To support the development of learning in areas that are of particular interest, you can choose option modules from a wide variety of subject areas such as urbanisation, culture and development, social anthropology, politics, religion and society.
In addition to core content, you will learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on a subject that appeals to you, as well as develop skills to conduct independent research in both academic and non-academic contexts.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.
In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.
Teaching is via lectures, seminars, presentations and fieldwork.
On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.
On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.
On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.
On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.
Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.
On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.
All assessment is by coursework. You also write a 15,000-word dissertation.
If you are interested in theoretical and empirical developments in cultural geography, this course will help you understand the cultural landscapes of rural and urban environments throughout the world.
You will explore key themes in cultural and historical geography, connecting theory and practice with disciplines throughout the humanities and social sciences.
This course is recognised by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as providing training appropriate for PhD research.
Academic English preparation and support
If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.
Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent. You could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.
This course comprises 120 credits of core and optional modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation. You will be allocated an appropriate dissertation supervisor who will oversee your progress.
You can choose from geography modules or options from other schools/departments across the University, subject to approval.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.
Recent graduates have gone on to pursue fully-funded postgraduate research and successful academic careers. Others are working in the creative industries, or public and voluntary sectors.
Employability and average starting salary
100% of postgraduates from the School of Geography who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,721 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £29,847.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Career and professional development
Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.
Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunitiesand one-to-one discussions.
This programme's emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars who are leaders in their field.
Research may be in any area of social, urban, environmental, development, political, economic, historical or cultural geography that is supported by the Human Geography Research Group. It is co-delivered with the University’s Graduate School of Social Science.
The programme can stand alone as a masters degree, or form the first year of a ‘1+3’ ESRC-backed PhD programme.
Students who successfully complete this programme will:
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.
We offer a balance between general and specialist research training. The programme combines lectures, practical work, workshops, essays, seminars and one-to-one supervision of independent research leading to delivery of a dissertation.
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:
The emphasis on independent research allows you to work closely with scholars at the cutting edge in order to advance your own research passions. A highlight of the programme is the postgraduate conference where you present your research to colleagues.
The University of Edinburgh has an unbroken record of teaching and research in the earth sciences going back to 1770, when Robert Ramsay became the first Professor of Natural History.
James Hutton and Arthur Holmes were prominent among those who set an academic tradition in Edinburgh that continues today with the University achieving top ratings in earth sciences teaching and research.
Our interactive and interdisciplinary research environment allows us to tackle difficult research questions, from causes of past glaciations to interactions of earth, climate and society. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise: 66 per cent of our research was rated within the top two categories – world-leading and internationally excellent.
Our location at the King’s Buildings campus – home to most of the University’s science and engineering research – benefits our work too. Our King’s Buildings neighbours include external institutes such as the British Geological Survey; our proximity to them strengthens these research links.
As a research student, you will be affiliated to one of our research institutes, benefiting from an excellent peer-supported network.
As groupings of researchers with related interests, the institutes provide a forum for development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early career researchers.
The School receives strong backing from industry, particularly in areas such as hydrocarbons and carbon capture and storage. We receive support from the EU and from major UK research councils, including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.