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Global Cultures (MA)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Develop your knowledge and understanding of the creative and cultural industries in both national and international contexts


Benefit from our global expertise

We're a supportive community and home to researchers in film, literature, theatre, music, visual cultures and museums.


Focus on creativity

We compare the making of cultural products in different settings and look at the variety of factors that shape cultural production.


Gain theoretical understanding

We bring together research and teaching in arts, humanities, and social sciences and study cultural production and globalisation of culture.


Develop your knowledge

Gain insights into cultural industries and develop the theoretical tools to analyse them, equipping yourself for work in the cultural sector

Our MA in Global Cultures explores 21st century cultural industries and the creative economy.

This innovative and interdisciplinary programme will help develop your research analysis skills and aimed at those who have an interest in developing a career in the cultural sector.

You’ll develop an understanding of the evolution of cultural industries in a global context by focusing on the global dissemination of cultural products, transnational cultural interactions in the creative sector, and cultural diversity and individual creativity in the globalised world.

You’ll gain insights into global cultural industries and into cultural policy, while also allowing you to analyse case studies that span the UK, China, Japan, Latin America, North America and Europe. We’ll equip you with the theoretical tools to help you analyse the cultural products that you are learning about.

Taught in the supportive and friendly environment of the School of Modern Languages. you’ll benefit from regular guest lectures with representatives of the creative and cultural industries.

Alan Waldron
This course made me much more aware of how to operate more effectively within the cultural industry. I now recognise that it, if I'm looking for funding from a particular body, I need to be aware not only of the criteria they have laid down, but also the general cultural landscape. It is in that landscape that you find the most valuable information to bring to any application you may write.
Alan Waldron Global Cultures, 2019

Where you'll study

School of Modern Languages

One of the most dynamic modern languages schools in the UK. We actively engage with a range of stakeholders to promote the benefits of multilingualism.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 0824
  • MarkerCathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as arts, humanities, or social sciences, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

This is a two-stage postgraduate taught programme, in which you will take a total of 180 credits. During the Postgraduate Diploma Stage of the programme (September – June) you will take taught modules and must achieve 120 credits, consisting of four core modules. On successful completion of this stage, you will progress to the master’s degree stage, when you will write a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words, worth 60 credits.

You can take a wide range of language modules from the Languages for All programme or from the School's undergraduate degrees as appropriate, but these are not credit bearing. 

The Postgraduate Diploma stage

This stage is designed to progressively develop your skills for independent research, in addition to increasing your capacity for academic study through a series of core taught modules delivered by the School of Modern Languages.  Combined, the four core modules equip you to develop a research project for your final dissertation and to successfully achieve the learning outcomes of the programme. The four core modules specifically develop your conceptual, practical, writing and communication skills.

The programme team, led by the programme coordinator, conducts an annual review of modules to ensure that the programme remains contemporary and relevant to the learning outcomes.

The master’s degree (dissertation) Stage

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma Stage of this programme you will progress to the master’s degree (dissertation) stage.

The 60 credit dissertation is no less than 15,000 words in length and no more than 20,000 words in length. It allows you to develop important independent research skills and to investigate a topic that you regard as central to the debates and challenges of culture in the global context. The dissertation:

  • is an extended piece of independent research;
  • is supervised by appropriate School of Modern Languages staff;
  • conforms to the expectations of an MA dissertation in School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University.

You will identify the theme of your dissertation research project by week five in the Spring semester and are encouraged to take on case studies from one of the cultural sectors covered in the programme. Comparative projects that address developments in more than one country or in a transnational context are particularly encouraged.

The deadline for submission of the dissertation is stipulated in the programme information issued to you. Indicatively, this is usually the second or third week in September. In the case of full-time students, this date may be no later than 50 weeks from the date of initial registration. This date may be extended by three months for any student who is permitted at the end of the Diploma stage to resit modules in the next Re-sit Examination Period. If you fail to submit your Dissertation by the due date, you will be awarded a mark of zero for the dissertation.

Students who do not proceed to the master’s degree stage, subject to successful completion of the requisite number of taught modules, may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). Students who fail the dissertation, but who successfully complete the taught modules, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits).

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Study is split into two stages:

  • The Postgraduate Diploma stage; and
  • The master’s degree (dissertation) stage.

During the Postgraduate Diploma stage you will study 120 credits of core modules.

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma stage you will progress to the master’s degree (dissertation) stage.  During this stage you are required to pursue a 60 credit, level 7 dissertation module.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Forms of teaching and assessment, formative and summative, are varied and stimulating, incorporating a wide range of methods and approaches. These approaches include lectures, seminars and tutorials, in which you will have the opportunity to benefit from discussions, group work and writing tasks. The skills subsequently developed during the taught (Postgraduate Diploma) stage of the degree will prepare you for the process of researching and writing your dissertation in the second stage of the programme: the master’s degree (dissertation) Stage.

During the Postgraduate Diploma stage you will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops and seminars. Lectures take a range of forms but generally provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts and convey relevant up-to-date information. In tutorials and seminars, you will have the opportunity to discuss specific themes or topics, to consolidate and get feedback on individual learning and to develop skills in oral presentation. Communication skills are developed in tutorials, where you will be required to make individual contributions to group study, for example by summarising a particular reading or debate for the group.

Participation in diverse learning activities, such as small-group discussions, debates, oral presentations, independent research tasks and written assignments will develop your intellectual and presentation skills.

The School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University benefits from a regular programme of  talks by visiting scholars whose specialisms are relevant to the programme. You will be able to attend these talks in order to broaden your understanding of issues that are key to this programme of study. This master’s programme also incorporates regular contributions from professionals in the cultural and heritage sectors.

The teaching approach set out above aims to enrich your learning experience and deepen your theoretical understanding of the subject of global culture, strengthening your graduate prospects in a global career market.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be made up of formative and summative assessment.

Formative Tasks

Formative tasks do not contribute towards your final degree classification but are designed to give you an opportunity to develop skills and practice for summative assessments.  They enable you and your tutors to evaluate the development of your skills and progress in each module. Formative tasks will normally involve written coursework or a class assessment or may comprise individual student presentations.

Summative Assessments

Summative assessments contribute towards final degree classification. Results in these assessments:

  • Determine formal progression from the Postgraduate Diploma stage to the master’s Degree (Dissertation) stage; and
  • Determine the final award.

The nature of the summative assessments in the Postgraduate Diploma stage will vary by module, but will typically involve final written coursework (essays), practical assignments, such as oral presentations or poster presentations, or workshops. Summative assessment in the master’s Degree (dissertation) stage comprises the dissertation (15,000 words).

You will have an opportunity to review and discuss the type(s) of assessment associated with each module with a member of staff when making decisions about your study pathway.

How will I be supported?

On this MA programme, the programme convenor has the overview of programme delivery while core modules and options are managed by module tutors. In the first instance, you will work with the programme convenor to identify your key research interests and to create a programme of study with an appropriate module selection. You are assigned to a personal tutor, who is responsible for your pastoral care and academic development. You will also benefit from the individual supervision of your written assessments by individual members of staff with appropriate research interests. You will be assigned to a dissertation supervisor based on their interests and relevant staff expertise.

A range of other staff are available to provide further support, including the School’s professional services team, specialist librarians, and a Disability and Diversity Officer who ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities.

Study skills are incorporated into the core Research Methods and Practice module, but you also have access to the University’s Academic Study Skills programme, delivered by the Academic Study Skills and Mentoring Team.

All modules within the programme make extensive use of the University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central, where you can access discussion forums and find course materials, including recordings of lectures, links to related materials, etc.

The programme convenor also supports you in your career planning, in conjunction with the University’s Careers Service.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to critically evaluate and apply theoretical frameworks relating to the globalisation of culture and transnational cultural interactions;
  • The ability to critically assess the role of a range of cultural organisations and individuals in the global context, including creative practitioners, cultural institutions, international organisations, heritage professionals and consumers;
  • The ability to undertake comparative analysis of cultural production and consumption in a global context.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to design and execute independent research projects focusing on global culture in the context of comparative area studies;
  • The ability to assess the benefits and challenges of inter- and multidisciplinary research in the study of global culture;
  • The ability to analyse the potential utility of such research to those working in the cultural sector or to cultural policymakers;
  • The ability to reflect on your own learning by making use of constructive feedback.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to evaluate and synthesise arguments and data from multiple disciplines in the context of comparative areas studies;
  • The ability to offer an analysis of key global challenges facing the cultural sector, for example in relation to cultural diversity, the dynamics of transnational interactions, and individual creativity;
  • The ability to write to a high standard for a broad range of audiences including academia, funding bodies, policymakers, arts institutions and the media.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to work independently, demonstrating organisational and time-management skills;
  • The ability to communicate ideas effectively and fluently, both orally and in writing;
  • The ability to apply logical and reasoning skills through discussion and debate.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,700 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £23,200 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs


Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

This MA allows you to focus on cultural production in a global context and to understand the significant role of cultural production, cultural institutions and cultural policymaking in the broader contexts of social and economic development. Given the continuing importance of the cultural and related sectors for contemporary societies and their economies, the insights gained and the research training provided in the programme will equip you for employment in a range of roles, including but not limited to the following:

  • PhD research
  • Employment in arts and cultural organisations
  • Cultural policymaking
  • Employment in media organizations
  • Working as an independent producer


There is no specific placement provision in this programme however, you are encouraged to  seek relevant work experience opportunities during your studies, for which the programme teaching team can provide advice and support.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.