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Critical and Cultural Theory MA

Critical and Cultural Theory MA

Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Critical Theory Cultural Studies

Course type


Course Summary


This degree takes a philosophical, theoretical and historical approach to cultural studies, exploring the work of cultural criticism, reception and production through new critical perspectives, interdisciplinary insights and a vast spectrum of applications and opportunities. We draw upon the major traditions of cultural theory, including semiology, deconstruction, feminism, psychoanalysis, and Frankfurt School theories of the aesthetic, the media and technology. This training enables you to shape your thinking critically and develop your interests in a rigorously analytical context. These theoretical and historical perspectives allow us to tease out the critical charge embedded in the notion of culture itself, and the transformative potential of creative and critical work in the arts and humanities. Close reading and textuality are at the heart of the course, encouraging you to think critically about issues of modernity and postmodernity, the postcolonial, subjectivity and sexuality.

Learning and teaching

To help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors, you will be taught using a range of teaching and learning methods. These include seminars, film screenings, lectures, online learning and tutorials.

Independent study is also a crucial component, allowing you to form your own ideas and develop your research and critical skills. The University Library offers free classes and resources on topics such as academic integrity and plagiarism, public speaking, searching for information and structuring essays.

Leeds University Library is a world-class resource and holds a wide variety of archive and early printed material in its Special Collections which are available for use in your independent research.


Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose. However, among others they may include essays, in-course assessment, group and individual presentations, poster presentations and portfolio or e-portfolio work.

Career opportunities

You will develop your critical and cultural awareness and expand your subject knowledge in theories and histories of culture. In addition, you will graduate with sophisticated research, analytical, critical and communication skills that will put you in a good position to succeed in a variety of careers.

Many of our graduates have also continued with their research at PhD level and secured external funding to support them – including AHRC scholarships. Some of our former research students are now developing academic careers in the UK, Europe, Asia, USA and Australia.

Some have taken up posts working as curators and education staff in museums and galleries, as well as in journalism, publishing, arts marketing, public relations, university administration and teaching.

Different course options

Full time | University of Leeds | 12 months | SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date



On completion of this module, students should be able to: undertake and manage a post-graduate dissertation/studio project; locate sources and resources; manage time effectively; prepare and deliver oral presentations; construct research strategies.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

Please contact university and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

Please contact university and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need a bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons). We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.