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Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory MA

Course Description

Choose Kingston's Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory MA

This programme offers a unique approach to the study of critical theory, referring to traditions in modern European thought in which philosophy opens out onto critical diagnoses of the historical present. It grounds its problems and concepts in the appropriate philosophical context, with particular reference to Kant, Hegel and Marx. It will prepare graduates for a wide range of careers in education, the arts, politics and public policy, and also provides preparation for doctoral research.

Key features

You will benefit from high levels of staff-student contact, including individual tutorials, from versatile and internationally recognised teaching staff with a wide range of interests, projects and publications.

You will be part of a large, supportive community, studying with committed and engaged peers.

The course is based at the UK's leading Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, enabling you to attend and participate in research events with visiting international speakers.

What will you study?

You will take four taught modules and prepare a dissertation on a topic of your choice. You can choose from a range of module options, balanced by a shared central core of texts, concepts and problems.

You will study the two main traditions of critical theory – the Frankfurt School and French anti-humanism – and their background in Kant, Hegel, Marx and in 19th-century European philosophy more generally. The course includes work by thinkers who have become influential in the past couple of decades – Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Antonio Negri and Jacques Rancière.


Short exercises, essays, and 15,000-word dissertation.

Research areas

This course is taught by internationally recognised specialists at the dynamic Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy.

Since its inception in 1994, the CRMEP has developed a national and international reputation for teaching and research in the field of post-Kantian European philosophy, characterised by a strong emphasis on broad cultural and intellectual contexts and a distinctive sense of social and political engagement. In each of the last two research assessment exercises, RAE 2008 and REF2014, 65% of the research activities of the CRMEP were judged 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', with 25% of its outputs for REF2014 judged 'world-leading'.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

Critique, Practice, Power
Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
Philosophy Dissertation

Optional modules

Art Theory: Modernism, Avant - Garde, Contemporary - delivered and assessed in English
Contemporary European Philosophies - delivered and assessed in English
German Critical Theory - delivered and assessed in English
Kant and his Legacy - delivered and assessed in English
Kant and the Aesthetic Tradition - delivered and assessed in English
Nietzsche and Heidegger - delivered and assessed in English
Philosophy of Art History
Recent French Philosophy - delivered and assessed in English
Topics in Modern European Philosophy - delivered and assessed in English

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Visit the Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory MA page on the Kingston University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Alumni discount - 20+ Awards

All undergraduate alumni qualify for 10% off postgraduate taught course fees.

Value of Scholarship(s)



All Kingston Undergraduate alumni will receive 10% off postgraduate course fees.

Application Procedure

Automatically assessed on application, please ensure you state that your undergraduate degree was awarded by Kingston University.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a good (upper-second [2:1] or first-class honours, or the equivalent) undergraduate degree in Philosophy or a related subject. Applicants with other kinds of qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

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