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Social and Cultural Geography (MA)

Course Description

This Master’s degree in geography will give you a thorough understanding of contemporary approaches to critical social and cultural geography, engaging with questions of inequality, identity and belonging, power and dissent, culture and conflict, critical cartographies, the spatiality of social inequalities, and the representation and power of cultural landscapes. You will develop your knowledge in the fields of social and cultural geography and understand their relationship to the wider field of human geography.

The compulsory modules explore cultural encounters, cultural change and conflict, and identity and power in the contemporary world, using case studies from the UK and internationally. You will acquire the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study geography at a postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including anthropology, Geographic Information Systems, postcolonial studies and urbanisation. You will also learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most and to conduct independent research in both academic and non-academic contexts.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This distinctive Master's degree combines theoretical and critical approaches to social and cultural geography with real-world case studies.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
The structure and teaching of the programme is informed by the critical, socially-engaged research of academics in the Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies.
The department is at the forefront of research into social and spatial inequalities, urbanisation and environmental change with active research in these fields.
The department is one of the hosts of the Living Maps project and our students have the opportunity to access activities and research centres across the College, including the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
Our location in Bloomsbury puts us at the heart of academic London. You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck and the British Library, which is 5 minutes' walk away.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

Visit the Social and Cultural Geography (MA) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Bursary - Single Award

Applications are invited for one 'Postgraduate Taught' Bursary worth £6,000, to be awarded to a candidate with an outstanding academic record who shows high potential for strong performance on one of the School's 'Postgraduate Taught' programmes.This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the departments listed below; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This £6,000 award is in the form of a bursary (i.e., there is no 'fee waiver' but the bursary may be used towards payment of fees). If awarded to a part-time student, the bursary will be paid for two years of PGT study.Please note that in order to apply for funding you must also complete an application for a place at Birkbeck on an MA/MSc programme within the School of SSHP or the MPhil. Stud. in the Department of Philosophy, either before or at the same time as applying for funding.Prospective studentsCandidates will be expected to fulfil similar academic criteria to those demanded by external funding bodies. They will normally possess at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent.

Value of Scholarship(s)



This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This competition is open to new students only.

Application Procedure

Before you apply, you should contact the relevant department for advice.Once you have identified a relevant programme, you will need to:Apply online for the relevant MA/MSc or MPhil. Stud. (Dept. of Philosophy) degree in the normal wayDownload the SSHP Postgraduate Taught Bursary Application Form Word iconThe SSHP Studentship application form should be returned to Jane Halstead, Assistant School Manager, via the following email address:[email protected] STATE ‘PGT BURSARY’ AND DEPARTMENT APPLIED TO IN THE ‘SUBJECT’ LINE OF YOUR E-MAIL.Any queries relating to the PGT Bursary can also be sent to this email address.

Further Information



Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

2:2 or above in a social science or humanities degree. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

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