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MA Culture and Thought after 1945

Make exciting connections across the contemporary period

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

Postgraduate opportunities

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Investigate the art, literature, history, culture and thought of the post-1945 era. Explore topics from social media to the making of the contemporary world, cultural heritage management to globalisation, from art and the environment to justice. 

On this flexible course you'll study with leading experts in their field from the Departments of Archaeology, English, History, History of Art, Sociology and the Centre for Women’s Studies. We'll introduce you to the various means by which different disciplines conceptualise and analyse the period. You can construct a programme that suits your interests and develops your transferable skills in interdisciplinary research. 

You’ll engage with the wider research culture of the Centre for Modern Studies, and there will be a diverse schedule of seminars, conferences and reading groups for you to attend. You’ll also be part of the Humanities Research Centre, a vibrant interdisciplinary hub which will enable you to form close social and intellectual bonds over the course of your study. 

High global rankings

In the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2019), we were rated in the top 15 for Archaeology, top 25 for English, and top 100 for History.

Follow your interests

Choose from a wide range of option modules with historical depth and geographical breadth.

World-leading academics

Engage your own contemporary cultural interests in collaboration with leading academics across the humanities and social sciences.

Course content

You'll study three core modules and choose three options from our partner departments. You'll also complete a research dissertation.

The core module Framing the Contemporary draws on the expertise of a team of staff from our partner departments and the Department of Theatre, Film and Television. It provides a foundation in various disciplinary and transdisciplinary ways of conceptualising and analysing the contemporary. Each tutor will contribute sessions that highlight a central way in which their discipline categorises the period (for example, the shift from modern to postmodern in English, or the end of Empire in History) while providing the methodological tools used to construct this way of reading the period.

Postgraduate Life in Practice (I and II) will develop your academic skills to support your learning and help you prepare for your final dissertation.

Your option modules enable you to explore the methodologies and subject matter of multiple disciplines. 



Modules

Core modules

Option modules

You'll choose three option modules from a wide range offered by our partner departments:

Archaeology
English and Related Literature 
History
History of Art
Sociology
Centre for Women's Studies

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

Your dissertation (80 credits) offers you the chance to examine a topic in depth and to develop your research skills.

In Summer Term and over the vacation you'll work on your 14,000-16,000-word dissertation with regular supervision from a member of staff. You'll submit your dissertation in September.

Recent dissertation topics include:

  • Authenticity and emotion in contemporary TV drama
  • Post-colonialism, class and post-punk music
  • LGBTQ heritage and memorialisation in northern Britain
  • Rhodes Must Fall and justice in South Africa
  • Cyborgs in Arab Science Fiction
  • Slum clearance and urban change in postwar Britain.

 

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Analyse and theorise the nature of the 'contemporary' by examining the place of culture within postwar aesthetic, political, historical and philosophical debates
  • Understand, evaluate, and deploy key areas of postwar critical thinking, within particular disciplinary modules and via interdisciplinary/trans-disciplinary models
  • Critically evaluate methodological tools and approaches across disciplinary boundaries and then draw together approaches based on their own educational needs, academic interests and high-level digital skills within, across and beyond disciplinary lines
  • Initiate, conduct, and take responsibility for independent research, drawing on skills honed by graduate-level research training, research-led teaching, and the completion of a substantial dissertation project and several module specific essays across participating departments and centres
  • Communicate sophisticated written arguments in a clear, accurate and persuasive fashion, synthesising evidence from multiple sources so as to convey information creatively and convincingly
  • Engage in verbal discussion of complex textual material, demonstrating versatility, rigour, and confidence in the reception, appreciation, and articulation of high-level ideas and perspectives
  • Direct their own development, bringing new knowledge and transferable skills, such as critical analysis and information management, to bear upon a range of contexts including, but not limited to, further academic study and careers in creative industries
The course has granted me the freedom to pursue a wide range of research interests where the taught aspect has expanded my horizons rather than limited the areas I can explore.
Emelia, MA Culture and Thought after 1945

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Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £8,040£18,240
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,020£9,120

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

You'll need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, we will provide digital access. We'll let you know which texts and editions you'll need to buy (whether new or second-hand) before the start of each term.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Departmental funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Taught by world-leading researchers

We had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments. We are first in the UK for research impact in History of Art and our Department of Sociology is first in the UK for research quality. The Department of History is second in the UK for research performance, and Archaeology is top five in the UK for research impact.

Research Excellence Framework 2014 | Times Higher Education’s ranking of the Research Excellence Framework 2014

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll normally attend two 2-hour seminars each week during the Autumn and Spring Terms. If you are a part-time student you'll attend one 2-hour seminar a week during the Autumn and Spring Terms of Year 1 and Year 2.

Seminar groups consist of fewer that 15 students in most modules, though some core modules may involve a larger number of students. You'll complete essential reading for each seminar, and we encourage you to read more widely around the topic.

You'll attend a series of training lectures and workshops, designed to address presenting your work, writing at MA level, transferable skills, and career development.

Over the course of the year, you'll give regular seminar presentations and attend research seminars and day conferences hosted by the Centre. Many of these events will be organised through the Humanities Research Centre, a state-of-the-art facility unique to York.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Centre for Modern Studies on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in locations nearby on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

For each module, you'll submit an essay of approximately 4,500 words. The Postgraduate Life in Practice module will be assessed on the completion of a series of tasks connected to your core work for the MA. Your final assessment is a dissertation of 14,000-16,000 words.

Central Hall at night
Interior of Humanities Research Centre
The mix of interests, subject disciplines and perspectives has resulted in great debates and conversation.
George, MA Culture and Thought after 1945

Read more about what our students say

Careers and skills

Our postgraduates go into academia and teaching, arts administration, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, social work, politics, the civil service and management consultancy. 

Career opportunities

  • Advertising, marketing, and public relations
  • Arts administration
  • Civil and diplomatic services
  • Film, radio, social media, television and theatre
  • Journalism and broadcasting
  • Law
  • Government
  • Academia
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

You'll develop a range of transferable skills including:

  • Developing your creativity
  • Improving your ability to filter and analyse complex information
  • Intellectual independence and independent working
  • Time management and people skills
  • Communicating your research
  • Methodological skills

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent qualification. We will consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules or appropriate professional experience.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component
PTE Academic 67, minimum 61 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 176 in each component
TOEFL 96, minimum 23 in each component
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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