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Critical Theory MA

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Our Critical Theory MA is a unique interdisciplinary course focused on the history, study and applications of critical methodologies across the humanities. Students will explore some of the major modern schools of thought and contemporary theories and practices of critique and interpretation as they have developed from a basis in Marxist thought and Contintental Philosophy through to applications in relation to biopolitics, race, technology and sexuality. The course gives students the opportunity to follow their own interests from a wide range of optional modules across the humanities and social sciences, all of which draw on the varied and lively research culture of King's in these fields. Leads to careers in universities, the media, arts, teaching and journalism.

Key benefits

  • Unique interdisciplinary course focused on the history, study and applications of critical methodologies across the humanities.
  • Students will explore some of the major modern schools of thought and contemporary theories and practices of critique and interpretation as they have developed from a basis in Marxist thought and Contintental Philosophy through to applications in relation to biopolitics, race, technology and sexuality.
  • Wide range of optional modules across the humanities and social sciences, all of which draw on the varied and lively research culture of King’s in these fields.
  • Leads to careers in universities, the media, arts, teaching and journalism.
  • Located in the heart of London.

Our interdisciplinary course in Critical Methodology is built around a required module in critical theory. This will introduce you to the main debates in current critical theory through the exploration of a series of key texts. It explores theories and practices of reading, from Formalism and Structuralism through Barthes and textuality to queer theory, psychoanalysis, materialist and postcolonial theories. In addition to this required module, you will be able to choose from a list of modules linked to critical theory in a range of subjects. You will investigate and write a dissertation on a topic that links the required module to the material of one or more of your optional modules. This course is ideally suited to you if you have a humanities degree and are looking to prepare for PhD study, or if you want to pursue a career in teaching, journalism, the media and the arts.

Base campus

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

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Teaching methods - what to expect

If you are a full-time student, we will provide six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study.

If you are a part-time student, we will provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars each week, and we will expect you to undertake between 16 and 18 hours of independent study.

For your dissertation we will organise a workshop and provide you with an additional four hours of supervision.

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

    Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and a dissertation. Forms of assessment may typically include essays, class presentations and a research methodology exercise. Coursework contributes approximately 67% and the dissertation approximately 33% to your final mark.

    Structure

    Required modules

    Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits. You are required to take:

    Main Currents in Critical Theory (15 credits)
    Foundational Texts in Critical Theory (15 credits)
    Dissertation (60 Credits)

    Optional modules

    In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

    Cinema & the City (15 credits)
    Media Aesthetics: The Moving Image in Art (15 credits)
    Reconfiguring Film Theories & Philosophies: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (15 credits)
    Biopower: The Fate of an Idea (15 credits)
    Translation, Colonialism, Postcolonialism (15 credits)
    Myth after Slavery (15 credits)
    Ethnomusicology and Social Theory (15 credits)
    Continental Philosophy (Hegel, Nietzsche) (15 credits)
    Documenting the Camp: Testimony, Legacy, Memory (15 credits)
    Thinking Cinema: Theory, Philosophy, Ethics (15 credits)
    Illness Narrative as Life Writing (15 credits)
    Experimental Film & Philosophy (15 credits)
    Thinking the Contemporary: Literature & Theory after Postmodernism (15 credits)
    A language module from King’s Modern Language Centre (15 credits) subject to approval

    If you are a part-time student, you will take Foundational Texts in Critical Theory (15 credits) and Main Currents in Critical Theory (15 credits), along with 30 credits of optional modules from the list above in your first year. In your second year you will take your dissertation module and a further 60 credits of optional modules.

    King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

    Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

    Employability

    Many of our graduates go on to pursue further research in humanities subjects. Others transfer the skills and knowledge they develop with us to go on to careers in teaching, journalism, the media, arts, and other related bodies.

    Find out more about our alumni

    Tuition Fees

    UK:

    Full time: £11,040 per year (2022/23)

    Part time: £5,520 per year (2022/23)

    International:

    Full time: £24,660 per year (2022/23)

    Part time: £12,330 per year (2022/23)

    These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions

    Deposit

    When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

    The UK deposit is £500.

    The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

    • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.

    • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

    • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

    • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

    • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days of receiving the offer.

    If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

    Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

    Additional Costs

    In addition to your tuition costs, you can also expect to pay for:

    • books if you choose to buy your own copies
    • clothing for optional course related events and competitions
    • library fees and fines
    • personal photocopies
    • printing course handouts
    • society membership fees
    • stationery
    • travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
    • graduation costs

    Funding

    Our interdisciplinary course in Critical Methodology is built around a required module in critical theory. This will introduce you to the main debates in current critical theory through the exploration of a series of key texts. It explores theories and practices of reading, from Formalism and Structuralism through Barthes and textuality to queer theory, psychoanalysis, materialist and postcolonial theories. In addition to this required module, you will be able to choose from a list of modules linked to critical theory in a range of subjects. You will investigate and write a dissertation on a topic that links the required module to the material of one or more of your optional modules. This course is ideally suited to you if you have a humanities degree and are looking to prepare for PhD study, or if you want to pursue a career in teaching, journalism, the media and the arts.

    Base campus

    strand-quad
    Strand Campus

    Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

    Regulating bodies

    King's is regulated by the Office for Students

    Loading...

    Teaching methods - what to expect

    If you are a full-time student, we will provide six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 34 hours of independent study.

    If you are a part-time student, we will provide two to four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars each week, and we will expect you to undertake between 16 and 18 hours of independent study.

    For your dissertation we will organise a workshop and provide you with an additional four hours of supervision.

    We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

    Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

    Assessment

      Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and a dissertation. Forms of assessment may typically include essays, class presentations and a research methodology exercise. Coursework contributes approximately 67% and the dissertation approximately 33% to your final mark.

      Structure

      Required modules

      Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits. You are required to take:

      Main Currents in Critical Theory (15 credits)
      Foundational Texts in Critical Theory (15 credits)
      Dissertation (60 Credits)

      Optional modules

      In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

      Cinema & the City (15 credits)
      Media Aesthetics: The Moving Image in Art (15 credits)
      Reconfiguring Film Theories & Philosophies: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (15 credits)
      Biopower: The Fate of an Idea (15 credits)
      Translation, Colonialism, Postcolonialism (15 credits)
      Myth after Slavery (15 credits)
      Ethnomusicology and Social Theory (15 credits)
      Continental Philosophy (Hegel, Nietzsche) (15 credits)
      Documenting the Camp: Testimony, Legacy, Memory (15 credits)
      Thinking Cinema: Theory, Philosophy, Ethics (15 credits)
      Illness Narrative as Life Writing (15 credits)
      Experimental Film & Philosophy (15 credits)
      Thinking the Contemporary: Literature & Theory after Postmodernism (15 credits)
      A language module from King’s Modern Language Centre (15 credits) subject to approval

      If you are a part-time student, you will take Foundational Texts in Critical Theory (15 credits) and Main Currents in Critical Theory (15 credits), along with 30 credits of optional modules from the list above in your first year. In your second year you will take your dissertation module and a further 60 credits of optional modules.

      King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

      Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

      Employability

      Many of our graduates go on to pursue further research in humanities subjects. Others transfer the skills and knowledge they develop with us to go on to careers in teaching, journalism, the media, arts, and other related bodies.

      Find out more about our alumni

      Tuition Fees

      UK:

      Full time: £11,040 per year (2022/23)

      Part time: £5,520 per year (2022/23)

      International:

      Full time: £24,660 per year (2022/23)

      Part time: £12,330 per year (2022/23)

      These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions

      Deposit

      When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

      The UK deposit is £500.

      The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

      • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.

      • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

      • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

      • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

      • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days of receiving the offer.

      If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

      Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

      Additional Costs

      In addition to your tuition costs, you can also expect to pay for:

      • books if you choose to buy your own copies
      • clothing for optional course related events and competitions
      • library fees and fines
      • personal photocopies
      • printing course handouts
      • society membership fees
      • stationery
      • travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
      • graduation costs

      Funding

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