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London Studies MA

Course Description


London has long been an international centre of cultural production and political power. This interdisciplinary programme takes the city as its focus, using London as a central example, resource and inspiration. It is taught collaboratively, drawing on expertise from the Culture, Space and Power research theme in the School of Geography, and from the School of English and Drama. The programme brings together historical and contemporary perspectives on metropolitan culture through approaches that span the humanities and social sciences, and through engaging with urban history and theory, literature, art practice, performance, exhibitions, the built environment and more.

This programme:

- provides a sound conceptual base as well as suitable practical training to conduct independent research on London, introducing resources in the city and ways of using them intelligently and creatively
- makes the most of Queen Mary’s location in the East End, being close to key cultural resources and institutions as well as in an area whose historical changes and current transformations provide a focus for study and debate
- involves working with a range of London-based archives, libraries, museums and other repositories with collections relating to the cultural life of the city, while exploring the practices of museums, institutions, artists and others working beyond the academy.

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.

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 programme, taught with modules from the School of Geography and the School of English and Drama.
Modules can include: Art, Performance and the City; Contemporary Theatre and Performance; Cultural Geography in Practice; Empire Race and Immigration; Geographical Thought and Practice; London Spaces from FitzStephen to Stow; Metro Intellectuals: Women writing in the city in the Romantic Period; Metropolitan Matters: A material history of London from the Victorians to the present; Postcolonialism, Language and Identity; Sociability: Literature and the City; The Propaganda War in London, 1793-1796; Victorian Print Culture; Writing the East End. (check the QMUL website for latest)

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

Visit the London Studies MA page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Sean Patterson

1244.jpg "As a mature student it was important to me to come to a supportive environment where I could do the MA over two years to get me back up to academic speed and Queen Mary was very welcoming. There are only a few London Studies courses and this simply seemed the best. I became interested in walking practices when studying psychogeography on the course and a walk I created as the research part of my dissertation became my first guided walk on graduating. I now have my own small business creating heavily themed and psychogoegraphic walks in London that has been voted among London's top ten by The Guardian newspaper. An audio version created for The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is their top-rated London walk."

(Student Profile)

Lucie Glasheen

"Queen Mary is an ideal university to study urban geography because not only is the teaching excellent, but research starts as you walk out of the gates and into the vibrant and ever changing environment of London's East End. I was attracted to London Studies because of its unique and cross-disciplinary nature, which suits my way of working. My undergraduate degree was a joint honours in literature and history, so I really liked the fact I could take modules in geography and English literature. I was interested in London and in taking a place based approach to my study, and the modules I could take looked really interesting."


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

You will normally be expected to have a first degree with first or upper-second class honours in a humanities or social science subject (or equivalent international qualification). We actively encourage applications from students who have developed an interest in any aspect of metropolitan culture at undergraduate level and/or who have practical experience of working in related areas.

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Recipient: Queen Mary University of London
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