This multidisciplinary, visual theory-based course is established around the belief that visual literacy and the impact of visual forms of thinking and working now play significant roles in society. The course introduces you to a range of historical and contemporary debates that inform the theories and practice of visual culture, and enables you to develop a conceptual framework within which to evaluate the role of the visual arts, and other forms of visual production, in contemporary society and culture.
You will acquire creative and professional research skills, such as the ability to work from exhibitions, art works and institutional archives, to be able to operate within different artistic and conceptual frameworks.
This Masters balances historical and theoretical debates in the field of visual culture studies with a rigorous interrogation of cultural practices across a range of topics, including: activism and popular politics; contemporary visual arts, capitalism and culture; globalisation and new media technologies; institutions and their archives; and the material culture of the city. The course also draws upon the cultural institutions and intellectual resources of central London, and has established contacts with other galleries and organisations for work placements.
This extended piece of research work is an opportunity for you to pursue a topic of individual interest, and is conducted through individual study and directed supervision. The module also includes preparation of a detailed research proposal.
RESEARCH METHODS: KNOWLEDGE, CULTURAL MEMORY, ARCHIVES AND RESEARCH
This introduction to research methods engages with the critical implications of knowledge in the humanities, through interdisciplinary approaches to literature, visual, material, and spatial cultures, as they are understood, interpreted, and mobilised. Highlighting questions raised by discourse on epistemology, memory, archives, and research itself, the module concentrates on the complex links between: organic and technical forms of memory; public and private cultural institutions of knowledge, memory and identity; and information-gathering, retrieval, and analysis.
THEORETICAL AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES
This module introduces you to the theoretical debates that have contributed to the field of visual culture studies, including consideration of the politics of representation, the reproduction of images, audience reception, the male and female gaze, and the discourse of the 'other'. You will also focus on an examination of the ways that theories and objects constitute each other.
VISUAL CULTURE: PRODUCTION DISPLAY AND DISCOURSE
This module provides an introduction to the history and theory of visual culture. Philosophical and theoretical perspectives are used to explore vision as a social and cultural process, investigating the ways in which the meanings of the 'seen' are explored, constructed and contested in construction, display and discourse.
Course-specific entry requirements
You should have a good first degree in a relevant area, such as history of art, cultural studies, fine art or design, English, history, media and communications, architecture and business studies. You may be invited for interview, or to submit previous written work. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with 7.0 in writing (or Equivalent), and will be asked to provide exampled of previous written work. The University offers pre-sessional summer programmes if you need to improve your English before starting your course.
Graduates will be equipped for roles in the creative industries, including museum and gallery work, education, arts administration and marketing, or could pursue further study to PhD level. The course is also suitable for practising artists wishing to further their research.
Because the MA provides students with sophisticated critical skills and a widely applicable knowledge base that can be adapted to numerous settings, graduates go on to establish a broad range of careers in museums, galleries, and cultural organisations as curators, programmers, cultural consultants, events and communications managers, and media arts project managers. They have also gone on the begin PhDs in the UK, mainland Europe, and internationally.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated April 14, 2016