Postgraduate study
Gain a thorough understanding of the close connections between critical theory and key contemporary political and social theories.
 
  
Qualification
MA Critical Theory and Politics
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent)
IELTS
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
September
UK/EU fees
£7,290 - Terms apply
International fees
£17,910 - Terms apply
Campus
University Park
 

 

Overview

In collaboration with the School of Politics and International Relations, this MA will provide you with a thorough understanding of the close connections between critical theory and key contemporary political and social theories.

Critical theory is an immensely rich field of intellectual endeavour that has emerged from a continuous dialogue with theories of both society and politics.

This innovative MA enables you to engage with this dialogue and its relevance to contemporary phenomena.

You will be equipped with an advanced knowledge of the most significant developments in the tradition of critique and contemporary political thought.

Teaching staff from the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies, the School of Politics and International Relations, and other participating schools offer expertise in areas such as social and political theory, international relations, philosophy and cultural studies.

Key facts

  • The Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies is one of the largest postgraduate operations within the Faculty of Arts, with a population of 40 students in any one year, and providing a vibrant intellectual environment in an organised and informal way
  • The department also benefits from the input and close collaboration of the Centre for Critical Theory, the Centre for Research in Visual Culture, the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, as well as staff from the International Consortium for the Study of Post Conflict Societies, the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies, among other centres and departments within the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies and in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences
  • The department is strongly international and offers excellent opportunities for staff, postgraduate students and undergraduate students to benefit from its wide range of international collaborative arrangements
  • The School of Politics and International Relations was rated 24/24 for its teaching by the Quality Assurance Agency and ranked in the top ten of UK departments in the most recent Guardian Education guide
 

Full course details

The course is specifically designed to equip you with a thorough understanding of the relevance of critical theory for the key contemporary liberal, post-Marxist and radical political theories that shape today’s world.

The dissertation provides practice in theoretically informed and independent research. The MA Critical Theory and Politics therefore serves as an ideal preparation for doctoral studies in these areas.

You will be assigned both a personal tutor and dissertation tutor to guide you through your coursework.

You may follow the MA Critical Theory and Politics over one year, full-time (October to September) or part-time over two years.

Full time students take two modules, one from each school, per semester before completing a dissertation over the summer months which must be submitted in September.

All taught modules are assessed by written work of 3,500 - 5,000 words, which is submitted towards the end of the semester in which the module is taught.

The dissertation module is assessed by a written work of 12,000 - 15,000 words – this is usually submitted in early September.

There are no examinations. All coursework and dissertations are double marked within the school as well as being examined externally.

 
 

Modules

The modules taken in the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies are core modules:

  • Aesthetics and Politics
  • Tradition of Critique 1
  • Theory at Work: Problematising the Present
  • Cultures, Languages and Area Studies Dissertation

Modules taken in the School of Politics and International Relations will enable you to apply critical theories to concrete political phenomena and to study methodologies of political research, such as:

  • International Political Economy
  • Terrorism and Insurgencies
  • Justice Beyond Borders
  • Toleration and Censorship
  • Feminist Politics and International Relations

Please note that all module details are subject to change. For more details on our modules, please see the module catalogue.

Non-subject specific modules

 

Professional Development modules

All students will take one of the following two modules:

Research Methods: The Laboratory of the Arts

This module builds on the research skills that students will have already developed during their undergraduate degrees and on discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis in this module is both on ensuring students are possessed of a whole range of practical ways to approach research, and on making students think about the nature of their discipline-specific approaches within a context of growing interdisciplinarity. Students will have the chance to consider topics as varied as academic publishing, digital transformations, and the use of illustrations in dissertations. They will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them. The module's primary goal is to engender both confidence in dealing with original research, and a recognition of the huge range of approaches that can be used to address research questions.

 
Arts in Society

The aim of the module is to prepare students for applying their arts MA across society to enhance their careers and to contribute to wider society. It will demonstrate how the arts can be used to transform society, politics and culture but also to enhance the careers of arts and humanities MA students. Students will be able to explore, explain and then detail how their disciplinary skills can impact upon wider issues to emphasise the applicability of the arts and humanities. From the role of the scholar activist to understanding ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘public engagement’, the module will support the development of professional skills in preparation for careers within academia or across a range of employment sectors. Students will harness the ways in which the arts and humanities enable us to think differently and to innovate. As such, students will be able to work on issues of research, networking, grant-writing and cultural exchange. Students will also learn how to engage, communicate and create. 

 

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.

 
 

Fees and funding

If you choose to study with us, there are various sources of funding to which you can apply. Some are administered by the school, others by research bodies to which the school has links, and others by the University and central government sources. These opportunities are often specific to particular degree programmes, or to the fee-status of a student, so it is important to read all related information very carefully.

More information about funding can be found on the following web pages.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies funding pages

University of Nottingham Graduate School funding pages

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

 
 

Careers and professional development

Our postgraduate students move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the school.

Conducting postgraduate work fosters many vital skills and may give you a head start in the job market. Studying at this level allows you to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of different fields.

This course provides the theoretical training required if you wish to pursue an academic career or progress to a research degree in the humanities or social sciences.

A postgraduate degree from an institution like The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.

Average starting salary and career progression

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers.*

In 2016, 96.6% of postgraduates from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £25,314 with the highest being £35,000.**

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

** Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

 
 
 

Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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