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Cultural and Critical Theory MA (PGCert PGDip)

Cultural and Critical Theory MA (PGCert PGDip)

Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Cultural Studies

Course type


Course Summary

This MA studies the interdependence of philosophy and critical theory, and addresses their relation to political action, culture, aesthetics, and art.

The course offers two pathways:

Philosophy and Critical Theory
Aesthetics and Cultural Theory

The Philosophy and Critical Theory pathway studies key figures and issues in the history of modern Western philosophy. In doing so, it considers the ways in which these ideas have informed critical social theory.

The Aesthetics and Cultural Theory pathway uses that same intellectual background to explore the issues that have been raised in cultural studies, art theory and aesthetics during the Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries.

Both pathways are suitable for students who have already studied philosophy and cultural theory, and who want to gain a deeper understanding of particular topics or issues. Each pathway guides its students towards developing bodies of advanced specialist knowledge in their chosen areas.

Both are, however, also suited to students who are relatively unfamiliar with this material, and who want to explore it in detail at MA-level.

Our courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis in order to make sure that what you learn with us is relevant and that your course enables you to develop appropriate skills. When you apply to study with us, we will inform you of any new developments in your chosen programme.

Why study with us?

The course is surrounded by a vibrant postgraduate culture, and by a broad and inclusive research environment. Each year, we host many public lectures, workshops and conferences, all of which are open to our MA students. We also encourage participation in the many reading groups that take place at Brighton.
The course is run by staff who are experts in their specialist areas, and who have a wide range of research interests in philosophy, critical theory, aesthetics, and cultural studies. This expertise encompasses topics such as applied ethics; politics; political activism; art theory and art history; literature; feminism; issues concerning race and racism; psychoanalysis; and much more.
Tutorial support is available throughout the course, and advice is provided both before and after the submission of essays. Staff help students to select subjects for their dissertation, and to develop that subject into a focussed research project.
The MA includes a research methods module that helps students to improve their skills in independent study, and to develop their dissertation project. This can help to prepare them for doctoral work.
The course’s elective modules also offers students the opportunity to take MA-level courses from across the School of Humanities.


About a third of graduates from the Cultural and Critical Theory MA go on to PhD study, equipped with advanced research skills and specialist knowledge of their subject area. Others start or continue work as museum or gallery curators, in arts administration, journalism, social work, education or politics.

Students can exit with PGDip & PGCert.

Different course options

Full time | Grand Parade | 1 year | SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



This module begins by looking at the foundations of British liberalism in the work of Smith, Locke, Hobbes and Hume. It then turns to German idealism, and studies the work of Kant and Hegel. The course then focusses on Marx?s critique of capitalist society, and on early feminist critiques, before turning to Nietzsche and Freud. Through introducing and discussing this material, the course introduces the central ideas that were taken up by Twentieth Century critical theory. It also offers students the opportunity to study these ideas in their own right.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Degree and experience Relevant honours degree (minimum second class). Admission by interview. Suitable professional experience considered.

University information

Located on England’s beautiful south coast, the University of Brighton is a busy multi-campus university with a diverse body of over 3,800 postgraduate students. The university offer over 200 postgraduate courses, many accredited by professional bodies, and most providing flexible study options so that students can balance their studies with other commitments. The University was awarded silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017. The...more