Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This programme explores debates on 'race' and racism, multiculture and postcoloniality. It explores connections between histories of empire and contemporary social formations and inequalities in the UK, and considers how local debates on 'race' and racism are shaped by the global geopolitics of the twenty'first century.

The programme explores debates on empire and the formation of modern Britain and contemporary transnational political communities, social identities and urban cultures. The MA aims to draw connections between interlocking colonial histories across the globe and our ordinary, local, everyday life here in contemporary Britain.

The programme focuses on subjects such as histories of colonisation, systems of slavery, the concept of 'race' and the invention of 'the West'; colonial cultures, class, nationalisms, 'respectability' and the invention of 'whiteness'; histories of criminalisation and imprisonment; human rights; 'the war on terror'; diaspora, place and belonging; psychoanalysis and 'race', 'hybridity', 'mixedness', 'whiteness', 'race' and 'beauty' and 'race', gender, sexuality and desire. It offers the opportunity to study a wide range of different subjects in this broad multidisciplinary area.

Course Modules

Core modules:

'Race', Racism, Postcoloniality;

Culture, Community, Identity .

Option modules:

A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing;

After the Ottoman Empire;

Cultural History of War in Britain and America between the First World War and the Conflict in Vietnam;

Cultures of Human Rights;

Education, Globalisation and Change;

Education, Power and Resistances;

Empires in Modern East Asia;

Environment and Policy;

Futures: The Globalization of Human Rights;

International Asylum and Refugee Law (Postgraduate);

International Political Economy of Childhood;

Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Practice;

Latin American Cinemas;

Material and Visual Cultures of Development;

Men and Masculinities in Contemporary East Asia;

Migration and Refugees;

Museums, Memory and National Identity;

Perspectives on Japanese Cinema;

Religion in Society and Politics: Britain and Ireland, 1801'2001;

Shared traumas: France and Algeria since 1830;

Technology, Modernity and the Nation: Britain and Germany, 1880 to 1930;

The Two Irelands 1911'1998;

Theorising Gender;

Visual Culture: Power and the Image;

War, Conflict and Development;

Western Images of China and Japan .

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
Short Course
Part Time
Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert £4,950 Overseas Fees
1 year
Full Time
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip £5,450 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip £9,925 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip £4,075 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip £7,425 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
MA £4,075 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
MA £7,425 Overseas Fees
1 year
Full Time
MA £8,175 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
MA £14,850 Overseas Fees
Short Course
Part Time
Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert £2,725 Home Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Good degree in social sciences or humanities. Recent professional qualifications, relevant work/practical experience, or a lively interest in the subject area will also be considered. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.