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Critical Theory and Politics (MA)

Course Description

Critical theory is a rich and diverse field of enquiry that has emerged from a continuous dialogue with theories of both society and politics.

Taught in collaboration with the School of Politics and International Relations, this innovative MA provides students with a thorough understanding of the close connection between critical theory and key contemporary political and social theories that shape today’s world. Therefore, it serves intellectually as ideal preparation for doctoral studies in these areas. Students undertaking this MA join a thriving postgraduate community in the Department of Cultural Studies. Reading groups, work-in-progress presentations by doctoral students, visiting speakers and research seminars by staff create a lively, stimulating, and supportive learning environment.

Course Structure

The MA in Critical Theory and Politics can be pursued either one year full-time or two-three years part-time – and we do our best to accommodate the needs of part-time students.

Modules offered may include:
• Postcolonialisms
• Social and Political Theories
• Sovereignty and Conflict
• Technology, Science, Life
• Visual Culture
• Globalisation and its Discontents
• Europe after the Cold War
• Security Studies
• International Political Economy
• The Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-2004

All students are assigned personal tutors as well as dissertation tutors to guide them through their coursework.

Teaching staff from the Department of Cultural Studies, the Centre for Critical Theory, the School of Politics and International Relations, and other participating schools, offer expertise in a range of areas including social and political theory, international relations, philosophy, and cultural studies.


Taught modules are assessed by a 5,000-word assignment and students also submit a 20,000-word dissertation. There are no examinations.

Additional Entry Requirements

Candidates whose first language is not English must achieve an overall score on the British Council IELTS test of at least 7 with no less than 6 in each element; or a TOEFL score of 600 with at least 4.5 in the Test of Written English (TWE); or a TOEFL score iBT score of 100, with no less than 19 in any element. Test results should be no more than two years old.


Written coursework encourages the development of the scholarly tools required for doctoral research, and many of our graduates go on to pursue further studies at doctoral level. The course also provides students with a high degree of cultural awareness and literacy useful for careers in the media, advertising and public relations.

Visit the Critical Theory and Politics (MA) page on the University of Nottingham website for more details!

Student Profiles

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies Studentships and Bursaries - Single Award

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures awards a number of Studentships (fees and maintenance at home/EU rates), fee-waivers and smaller bursaries for postgraduate study at Nottingham. All studentships and bursaries are competitive and are awarded on academic merit. The School MA award covers tuition fees at the university UK/EU level, or the equivalent as a bursary. International overseas students who gain one of these awards will therefore have to cover the difference between UK/EU and O/S rates.If you are applying from overseas you should consult the funding database via the International Office webpage for details of any specific schemes for which you may be eligible to apply at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/international.Both full-time and part-time students may apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fee-waiver at the university UK/EU level


You will either have, or be expecting to achieve a good first degree (upper second or higher) in an appropriate area. Both full-time and part-time students may apply.
To be eligible to apply for an award, you must have been offered and have accepted a place to undertake a programme of study/research in the Department.
AHRC/BGP applicants will automatically be considered for these awards and are not required to submit a separate application.

Application Procedure

To be eligible to apply for an award, you must have been offered and have accepted a place for postgraduate study at Nottingham. You should do this by early February. The application form can be found at: https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk.
The School is holding a Postgraduate Advisory Day on Wednesday 17 February during which you will be given further details of the funding competition and will be able to discuss your own application. You will be required to supply your Department with a recent sample of your academic writing which will be used to assist Departments to assess the strength of your application. The deadline for receipt of formal application to be considered for SMLC funding is 05 May 2010. Fully completed applications,* with two references, should be emailed to [email protected]*Further details on the procedure for applications and application forms will be made available via the Departmental webpage in the New Year.


AHRC Research Preparation Masters Studentships - 3 Awards

Under the AHRC Block Grant Partnership scheme we can offer 3 awards at the University of Nottingham for MA study in Culture, Film and Meida from October 2011.
The AHRC Research Preparation Masters Studentships cover fees (at UK/EU rates) and a maintenance allowance. To be eligible to apply for an award, you must have been offered and have accepted a place on one of the degrees within the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. Both full-time and part-time students may apply. To find out more please contact the Postgraduate and Research Office in the first instance:
Tel: +44 (0)115 84 68316/68317/68269
Fax: +44 (0)115 84 68587
Email: [email protected]

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fee at UK/EU rate plus maintenance


UK students who satisfy certain residency criteria are eligible to apply for full awards covering fees and maintenance. Students from EU countries other than the UK who satisfy certain residency criteria are eligible to apply for fees-only awards.

Application Procedure

You can apply online for a place for postgraduate study at: https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/ Please indicate on the application form that you wish to be considered for funding by indicating AHRC Studentship under the section ‘how you wish to finance your studies’. You will then be advised on the precise procedures for submitting funding applications. The closing date for completed AHRC applications to the University of Nottingham is 28 February 2011, but you should have submitted your draft proposal to the Department by the beginning of February 2011.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Candidates would normally be expected to hold an honours degree in a related subject at 2:1 level or above (or its international equivalent). IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

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