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Critical Theory and Cultural Studies (MA)

Course Description

This innovative, interdisciplinary MA provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the critical tradition that shapes today’s human and social sciences.

Taught by an interdisciplinary team with expertise in areas such as literary theory, continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies and political theory, the course will appeal to students, especially those graduating from cultural studies or general humanities degrees, who are interested in further studies that emphasise theoretical approaches while maintaining a focus on their application to contemporary cultural events and practices.

The largely seminar-based teaching allows students to actively engage with thinkers as diverse as Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Pierre Bourdieu and Jean Baudrillard, whilst exploring key critical theoretical discourses in the humanities and their application to concrete cultural practices.

Students join a thriving postgraduate community and are encouraged to take part in the Department’s various reading groups, Work in Progress seminars, visiting speaker lectures, and research seminars which combine to create a lively, intellectually stimulating, and supportive learning environment.

Course Structure

The MA in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies may be followed one year full-time or two-three years part-time – and we do our best to accommodate the needs of part-time students.

Full-time students take two core modules in the first semester and two optional modules in the second semester – one of which can be chosen from another related MA programme – and submit a dissertation. Part-time students complete this allocation within 24-36 months.

Core modules may include:
• Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice
• Material Cultures and Everday Life
• Research Skills
• Social and Political Theories
• Subject and Sign after Freud and Saussure

Optional second semester modules may include:
• Mass Media
• Postcolonialisms
• Culture Industries
• Visual Cultures

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

Information about our research interests and publications is available at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/clas/research/index.aspx


All taught modules are assessed by a 5,000-word assignment, submitted towards the end of the semester in which the module is
taught. Students also submit a 20,000-word dissertation, usually in early September. 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 Cultural Studies (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)

Course Fees

Please see the University website for details

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Recipient: University of Nottingham

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