MA Critical Media and Cultural Studies

Duration: 1 Year Full-Time, 2 or 3 Years Part-Time

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum - Upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-Time or Part-Time

This is the unique Masters-level programme offered that specifically addresses Critical Media and Cultural Studies of the non-Western world. The degree introduces students to the key contemporary issues discussed in Asian and African media and provides them with the opportunity to engage directly in research on an aspect of these media. It has a strong theoretical element, equipping students with the intellectual tools to consider the production, distribution and reception of non-Western media in new ways and to challenge the English-language, Eurocentric approach of most media studies scholarship.

While media studies degrees usually concentrate on media production, distribution and reception in North America and Western Europe, this programme considers critical issues in media and cultural studies in their full global complexity, with a focus on the cultures and societies of Asia and Africa and their diasporas. The degree is distinctive in the depth of theoretical and cultural background to contemporary media processes that it provides. Optional courses offer a range of approaches to the critical study of Asian and African discourses, from cinema to music, comparative literature to language, gender, religion, art and archaeology.

The programme is designed for students with an interest in critical theory; media professionals seeking alternative ways of understanding the media and culture industries; and those in NGOs and government organizations interested in challenging the hegemony of media corporations. It is well suited to students wishing to proceed to MPhil/PhD research in media or cultural studies, visual cultural studies, urban studies, sociology and anthropology.


Each student takes 5 units in total: the Compulsory Course (1 unit), the Dissertation (1 unit), two half units from list 3 and two units of options of their choice.

In choosing their courses, MA students are advised to pay careful attention to the balance of coursework across the two terms. In particular, it is important to ensure that each term you have three taught courses. However much you might wish to take a mixture of courses that require more coursework in one term than the other, it is most unwise to attempt to take four courses in one term and two in the other. Experience has shown that students simply cannot manage the load during the heavy term with the result that they either do very badly, fail or are unable to complete the courses in question. As a result Directors of Studies for the degrees and the Faculty staff will not approve a selection of courses which results in an imbalanced workload. An imbalance of courses between terms is only possible with the written permission of the convenor of the degree.

1. Compulsory modules

  • Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Media and Cultural Studies.
  • Qualitative Research Methods.

2. Dissertation in Critical Media and Cultural Studies

  • Dissertation in Media Studies.

(supervisor to be allocated according to the dissertation topic)

3. Courses in Media Studies

Students are required to take TWO half unit courses from List 3.

  • Emerging Digital Cultures in Asia and Africa - Theory and Practice 15PMSH018
  • The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use 15PMSH006 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Topics in Global Digital Cultures 15PMSC034 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Studies in Global Digital Cultures 15PMSH029 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media: Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 (15 credits) Term 1
  • International Political Communication 15PMSH009 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Qualitative Research Methods 15PMSC033 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Studies in Global Media and Post-National Communication 15PMSH007 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Studies in Media, Information Communication Technologies and Development 15PMSH019 (15 credits) Term 1

4. Optional Courses:

Students may take a course or courses to the value of one full unit from the following lists:

  • Digital traditional broadcasting communication 15PMSH022 (15 credits) Term 2

Courses in Cinemas of Asia and Africa

  • Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli 15PJKH007 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Japanese Television since 1953 15PJKC006 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007) 15PSEH008 (15 credits) Term 2
  • (Post) Colonialism and Otherness in South East Asia on Screen 15PSEH010 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 (15 credits) Term 2
  • The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa 15PAFH006 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Aspects of African film and video 2 15PAFH007 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) 15PCHH001 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals 15PAFH010 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora 15PCHH002 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Issues in Anthropology and Film 15PANH022 (15 credits) Term 1

One option from among the following courses in Comparative Literature and Gender

  • Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature 15PCSC002 (30credits) Full Year
  • Postcolonial Theory and Practice 15PCSC003 (30credits) Full Year
  • Literature in African languages 15PAFC124 (30credits) Full Year
  • Modern Arabic Literature and the West 15PNMC002 (30credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Literature of South Asia 15PSAC284 (30credits) Full Year
  • Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG) 15PMUH018 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018

One option from among the following courses in Music

  • Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 (15 credits) Term 1

One Option from courses in Art & Archaeology and Anthropology

  • Contemporary Art and the Global 15PARH085 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Issues in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art 15PARH083 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018

One Option from courses in the Study of Religions and Centre for Gender Studies

  • Jewishness on Screen 15PSRH044 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
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Last updated January 22, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 3 years
9,225 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £9,225; Full-time Overseas Fees: £18,980 per academic year
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