Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This degree offers you the opportunity to shape your own dynamic programme of study in contemporary literary and cultural studies. The programme provides an introduction to the contemporary period via an overview of some of the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, as well as providing a much more recent, post'2000 framework within which to understand contemporary literature and culture. This enables you to view the contemporary moment through a historical lens or to focus more exclusively on very recent cultural production. Through a range of literary and interdisciplinary options, you have the opportunity to pursue your own interests, whether they lie in exciting developments in contemporary poetics, in US, British, or postcolonial literatures, in contemporary theoretical approaches to art or in socio'historical approaches to the literary and cultural constructions of vectors such as nation, race, diaspora, gender, sexuality and class. The programme provides a comprehensive programme of study that covers the aesthetic, historical and political dimensions of contemporary literature and culture.

Course Modules

Core modules: Post'war to contemporary; reading the contemporary. Literature and culture option modules: A confusion of tongues: illness, language, writing; contemporary British poetry; contemporary Latin American fiction; contemporary us fiction; crisis and disorientation in the post'war German novel; memory trauma and cultural identity; narrating nation after 9/11; post'colonial discourse and the novel; the horror, the horror; time for revolution: reading time in the twentieth century; twenty'first'century feminist fiction and the world in crisis; voiceworks. Theory option modules: Notions of the public intellectual in France; reading Adorno's aesthetic theory; theory of clouds; understanding theory. Film and television option modules: African and Asian filmic narrative; film festivals; film, melodrama and the family; global television; perspectives on Japanese cinema. Art and photography option modules: Art and photography since the 1960s; exhibiting the body; exhibiting the pain of others: museums, violence and memory.

Course Additional Entry

A good 2nd'Class Honours undergraduate degree in literature, cultural studies, history or another relevant subject. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub'tests.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees
1 year
Full Time
MA (Postgraduate) £11,500  Academic year. First year overseas fees
1 year
Full Time
MA (Postgraduate) £5,375  Academic year. First year home fees
2 years
Part Time
MA (Postgraduate) £5,750  Academic year. First year overseas fees
2 years
Part Time
MA (Postgraduate) £2,975  Academic year. First year home fees