MRes Critical Theory

Through your own unique research:

Much of our work is guided by a transnational and transcultural agenda. You'll be studying in an environment with a strong interdisciplinary and international perspective. This provides a stimulating and vibrant community with debate encouraged between staff and students.

We have particular strengths in:

The Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies is home to two research centres where much of the Critical Theory and Cultural Studies research activity takes place. You will be encouraged to get involved and contribute.

The course is made up of 180 credits split as follows:

You are also required to:

You'll complete a 30,000 word dissertation.

The topic will be agreed with your supervisors (usually two co-supervisors) and supported by a course of guided reading.

The dissertation is submitted at the end of the year and is marked by both an internal and external examiner. There is the possibility of a viva to agree the pass.

Example modules available to you include:

Put ‘theory to work’ on contemporary themes such as:

You'll use approaches that may include - but are not limited to - media and communication studies, feminism and critical race studies, science and technology studies as well as discourse analysis and political economy.

The module also helps to prepare you for your dissertation. It includes four workshops covering topics such as:

This module is worth 20 credits.

You will explore the links between aesthetics and politics as they have become manifest:

Starting with debates in and around the work of the Frankfurt School before and after World War II, the module will trace out:

This module is worth 20 credits.

Explore the role of technology in:

The module draws together research in media and communication theory, history and philosophy of technology, geography and the sociology of communication, material cultures.

You'll consider debates about:

This module is worth 20 credits.

This module introduces you to the wide range of interdisciplinary research happening in the Faculty of Arts. We invite you to ‘think outside the box’ in relation to your own research, while learning key research techniques and methods. The module aims to:

You will build on your existing research skills gained from your university career to date. Furthermore, you will develop a more nuanced understanding of your own research practice, inspiring you to explore different approaches questions. In addition, you will develop an understanding of professional practice in areas such as:

This module is worth 20 credits.

You’ll discover how an arts and humanities masters degree can be used to:

You’ll explore the skills particular to your own discipline and how they can impact on wider issues. This will help your understanding of the function of arts and humanities, and how they can be applied, in wider society. In particular you’ll get greater understanding of what is meant by knowledge exchange and public engagement.

With an emphasis on ‘learning through doing' you’ll collaborate with other masters’ students on consultancy projects, working to solve real-life briefs from a range of cultural industries and schools.

By the end of the module you’ll have:

This module is worth 20 credits.

An introduction to some of the key research skills required to become a more effective researcher and successfully complete your MRes.

You'll also develop a range of transferable professional skills - from writing and presentation to public engagement and project management.

You will also engage with key methdological concepts and debates within the arts and humaniities.

This module runs for one semester and is worth 20 credits.

Develop the practical and intellectual skills required to bring your MRes dissertation to completion.

You'll typically cover:

It is not necessary to do MRes Research Skills 1 to enrol on this module.

This is a full-year module worth 40 credits.

This module introduces you to the key thinkers, themes and debates that constitute the European critical tradition. The module provides a contextual overview of primarily post-Kantian critical philosophy and critical theory mainly in the German tradition of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

It is likely to cover thinkers such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud as well as Heidegger, Adorno and Benjamin. Each thinker will be presented both in terms of their interlocutors and respective historical contexts, and in terms of their subsequent interpretations and uptake in a variety of disciplines and approaches.

Discussion is structured around several overarching themes that have driven critical and philosophical debate. These are likely to include:

This module explores the work of a range of thinkers who have interrogated the work of the philosophers who constitute the “canon” of thinkers schooled in the European critical tradition.

It follows on from and engages with the work explored in Traditions of Critique but the structure of the discussion it presents can be followed without attendance on that module.

Following in its thematic development the exploration of the limits of critique, it revisits the history and geography of critique by offering an introduction to a number of thinkers, from a range of backgrounds, including postcolonial theory, feminism, structuralism and post-structuralism, and considers the variety of ways in which such thinkers have problematised central tenets of European Enlightenment thinking.

We provide opportunities for you to develop knowledge, experience and skills beyond your immediate research topic.

Time and space for staff and students to present their own research for critique in a supportive and constructive atmosphere. As well as presenting your own work you'll also learn more about the ongoing process of academic research.

There's an extensive programme organised by both staff and students that give opportunities to hear from, and debate with, academics outside the department.

A recent example is the Toxic Positivity series of events, organised by Critical Theory postgraduate students.

Your supervisors will regularly read and advise on your work and attend your works-in-progress presentation.

Read more
£20,500 Per Year

International student tuition fee

1 Year


Sep 2024

Start Month

Aug 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • September 2024
  • September 2025

Mode of Study

  • Full Time