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Cities and Cultures MA

Course Description


Our Cities and Cultures MA programme combines the study of cultural geography with a specific focus on urban cultures, both past and present. It draws upon the latest developments in cultural geography and urban studies to provide advanced and critical understandings of how cities are socially produced, imagined, represented and contested. Modules examine the relationships between urban space and power through themes that include empire, migration and postcolonialism. They also explore the meanings and politics of spaces in diverse cities by engaging with original texts as well as the built environment, art practices, literature, performance, film, exhibitions and museum curation. Core research training in geographical thought and practice equips you to undertake your own research in this field.

This programme:

- takes your knowledge, understanding and skills to an advanced level through a research-led programme that provides flexibility for you to pursue your own interests
- introduces innovative approaches to cities and urban life that make the most of Queen Mary's location in London, and that draw upon the School's strong connections with museums and artists
- provides a unique basis for careers in the cultural and urban sectors, as well as for further research through its distinctive emphasis on urban practices and on creative collaborations between geographers, artists and curators.

Programme structure

Modules include: Geographical Thought and Practice; Art, Performance and the City; Cultural Geography in Practice; Cities, Space and Power; Empire, Race and Immigration. (check QMUL website for latest)

Why Study at QMUL Geography?

The School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London is recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of human geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly, collegial and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars. Almost 80 per cent of the School’s research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing it 5th in the UK for this measure. Scores increased across all areas and the School is ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall (REF 2014).

We're a School that cares about the world beyond the university, working with a range of community groups, artists, cultural and heritage institutions and policy makers, particularly here in East London. Our passion is to demonstrate through research and teaching the intellectual and political significance of geographical research and understanding. We encourage our students to become part of this vibrant intellectual culture. This programme is linked with The City Centre, our dedicated centre for collaborative research and related activities that are focused on the city and urban life.

- The curriculum is research-led and draws upon the research interests of those who teach on the programme
- This programme examines collaborative cultural geographies, focusing especially on creative collaborations between geographers, artists and curators
- This programme examines the relationships between urban space and power,through a focus on themes that include empire, migration and postcolonialism.

The programme is led by Professor Alastair Owens, Professor of Historical Geography.

Visit the Cities and Cultures MA page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Eimear Kelly

1245.jpg "I was initially attracted to the MA Cities and Cultures course at Queen Mary because of the opportunity to indulge my interest in urban spaces and the artistic response to city life. But now that I’ve almost completed the course, I’ve found it has sparked my interest in subjects far beyond those I had originally imagined. For my dissertation, I intend to explore the cultural geographies of Irish dance. The possibilities of topics to study really does feel endless. One of my favourite aspects of the course has been the Cultural Geography in Practice module, examining how geographers have engaged with creative and collaborative research and dissemination methods such as art, film and exhibitions. The opportunity to create my own exhibition proposal was really interesting and enabled me to use knowledge from my undergraduate studies in art history. After my masters, I hope to continue my studies and undertake a PhD at Queen Mary. For anyone considering the MA Cities and Cultures course, I recommend it entirely. Queen Mary has a brilliant reputation, the School of Geography has a really friendly environment, and the professors are incredibly helpful and supportive."

(Student Profile)

Shiori Tamagami

2306.jpg "One of the special aspects of the MA Cities and Cultures course is that it offers different perspectives on understanding the world. Through programs which engage with museums and galleries, it was exciting and unique in terms of collaborative works and exhibition planning. It showed me how we can contribute to society and enabled me to explore my own academic interests. Furthermore, it led me to the fieldwork in Japan for the dissertation.

"Whilst the study and life in Queen Mary was challenging for me in terms of language, academic culture and lifestyle, it was also enjoyable thanks to the kind support given by staff and fellow students on the course. A year on this Masters course was very stimulating and rewarding. I believe the unforgettable experiences at Queen Mary gave me a deeper understanding of cities and culture."


Chevening Scholarships - 20+ Awards

The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at UK universities.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full tuition fees


Available to students across the UK and Overseas (from a Chevening-eligible country).

Application Procedure

Visit the Chevening website for more information.

Further Information



Walter Oldershaw Award - 8 Awards

Eight awards will be available across all masters degrees offered by the School of Geography for 2016 entry.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Home/EU and international students are eligible to apply.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants must submit a 300-word statement elaborating why they should be considered, highlighting their academic and professional merit and details of how the award will further their professional development. Applications should be sent to the Postgraduate Studies Manager () by Friday 15th July 2016. Successful candidates will be informed on the 22nd of July 2016 and must confirm acceptance by the 15th of August 2016. Further details or queries should be addressed to the Director of Masters Programmes, Dr Kavita Datta ().

Entry Requirements

An upper second class honours degree or higher in a humanities or social science subject from a UK University (or an equivalent international qualification) together with two supportive references. Candidates are expected to have good English language ability and to meet the standard of the IELTS or equivalent at a level of 7.0.

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Recipient: Queen Mary University of London
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