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MA in Critical and Cultural Theory


The MA in Critical and Cultural Theory provides both a rewarding MA and an ideal basis for students wishing to undertake research leading to the degree of PhD. Where appropriate, it is also open to first year PhD students, who attend the first two terms of the MA course, and submit the assessed essays, before proceeding to full-time work on the thesis. These essays take account of the material taught in the course, but may also constitute draft sections of the doctoral project.

The Master's Degree takes one year full-time or two years part-time. Students registered for the full-time programme take one core and one optional module in each semester. They go on to write a dissertation over the summer.  Students registered on the part-time programme take the core modules in their first year (one in each semester) and take their optional modules in their second year.  Students taking the part-time programme have to submit their dissertation in January.

In general, we recommend students to take the taught MA before going on to a PhD.

Entry Requirements

Applications are welcome from graduates with at least a 2.1 in a relevant discipline.

You may apply online or send us a paper application form (also available from the 'Apply' section of Cardiff University's website). Applications are considered on a continuous basis throughout the year.

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.


The MA is assessed on the basis of four essays (one for each course) and
a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor. There are no unseen written examinations.


Students choose a total of four modules, two per semester, including at least one of the two 'core' modules (in bold)

In the Autumn semester:

In the Spring semester:

Students may also choose from modules cross-listed from the MA in English Literature, such as 'Writing and Experimentation' and 'Gothic and Gender'.

You will also complete a Dissertation.

Note that not all these options will necessarily run each year.

In addition to their coursework students attend classes on research methods, bibliography and presentation. There are opportunities to present a paper at the weekly Graduate Seminar and at occasional weekend Graduate conferences.

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.

The School also offers opportunities for full-time and part-time study leading to the degrees of PhD and MPhil. Please see our Postgraduate Research section for further information.


For details of possible funding opportunities please visit the following sites:


Find Undergraduate courses

Find Postgraduate courses

For further information, please contact:
Postgraduate Office

Phone: +44 (0)29 208 74722

Cardiff School of English, Communication
and Philosophy
Cardiff University
John Percival Building
Colum Drive
CF10 3EU

Student Views

"Having loved Cultural Criticism as an undergraduate, I was keen to continue on to MA level. I was not disappointed; the course is engaging, challenging and inspiring in equal measure. In reference to key theoretical texts, both the core and optional modules help you develop not only an understanding of what these texts mean and their significance, but also an awareness of how you can use the approaches studied in your own work. This knowledge is vital when you come to researching and writing your dissertation.

Because it is relatively small, the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory is a friendly and close-knit community. The staff are approachable and supportive and are always happy to discuss ideas, suggest texts and provide feedback, as well as helping with any concerns you might have. Regular research seminars as well as skills workshops and a reading group provide lots of opportunities to get to know your colleagues and expand your knowledge of different disciplines and approaches. The Centre is international and multicultural, with students from across the world working on diverse but always incredibly interesting projects; it is this diversity which makes the Centre such an exciting and vibrant place in which to study. So much so, I have decided to remain in the Centre for another three years to do my PhD!"

Emma West, Former Critical Theory MA student