The University of Southampton
Winchester School of ArtPostgraduate study

MA Cultural Politics (1 year)

Recruiting for 2018 entry

With a distinctive focus on cultural politics, this masters programme enables you to study at the intersection of the cultural and political worlds. Examine how contemporary culture and media influences political theory and practice, and vice versa.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MA Cultural Politics at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Cultural Politics and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MA Cultural Politics.

Scroll down to hear from Professors John Armitage and David Owen. In two podcasts, they discuss the political issues of today, how culture has influenced these responses and how the MA in Cultural Politics can help shape careers in policy and the arts.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Protest Crowd, Rio de Janeiro (2013), Joy Gerrard and Adrian O’Carroll


As the only masters course in the UK to focus solely on cultural politics, MA Cultural Politics offers an exciting and unique perspective.

The innovative programme is focussed around a critical study of culture and politics. Through the core modules, you'll develop the knowledge you need to understand cultural, political and methodological relationships. You'll also choose from a range of optional modules to shape the degree to your interests and career ambitions. Possible areas of study include; connections between culture and security; the cultural politics of migration; digital cultures; and China as a rising, global power. You’ll also complete an independent dissertation.

MA Cultural Politics is taught by academics at the cutting edge of the field. For example, Professor John Armitage and Professor Ryan Bishop are co-editors of the prestigious journal and book series titled ‘Cultural Politics’.

Thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, you will benefit from the expertise of both Winchester School of Art and Politics and International Relations. This means you’ll learn from leading academics in both areas, and study between two beautiful campuses.

MA Cultural Politics will prepare you for a range of careers. You’ll have the knowledge and skills required for professions in the arts and policy worlds, government, industry or academia. It’s also an excellent foundation for undertaking PhD research.

Key Facts

  • The only masters programme in the UK to focus solely on cultural politics
  • An interdisciplinary programme, delivered by two, highly-ranked departments
  • A flexible and innovative curriculum
  • Prepares you for a range of careers or PhD research
  • Taught by people at the cutting edge of cultural politics. Find out more about the MA Cultural Politics teaching staff:

John Armitage     David Owen     Ryan Bishop     Tracy Strong    

Jussi Parikka     Justin Murphy     Valentina Cardo     Joanne Roberts

Cultural Politics Journal

Cultural Politics journal

John Armitage and Ryan Bishop (alongside Douglas Kellner) are co-editors of the international, refereed journal and book series ‘Cultural Politics’

Find out more
Painting by Joy Gerrard and Adrian O’Carroll
Protest Crowd, Rio de Janeiro (2013), Joy Gerrard and Adrian O’Carroll
Painting, Beacon, Joy Garnett (2014), oil on canvas
Beacon, Joy Garnett (2014), oil on canvas

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

The selection process for the MA Cultural Politics is based on students having a good honours degree in a relevant art, humanities or social sciences subject (2.1 or above).

English Language Requirements

International and EU students applying for the MA Cultural Politics are required to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in reading and writing and a minimum of 5.5 in speaking and listening or equivalent, prior to starting the programme. For a full list of English language tests accepted please see here.

Mature applicants

Mature students without formal qualifications will be considered on an individual basis depending on their previous experience and background in the subject of cultural politics.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. The University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy can be accessed here.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The MA in Cultural Politics is studied over one year, full-time, and comprises a mix of core and option modules.

Please note: option modules are subject to change and will be confirmed in April 2017.

Year 1

The two core taught modules in Semester 1, Cultural Politics: Theories (20 ECTS/40CATS) and Methods of Cultural Inquiry (10 ECTS/20 CATS), provide the conceptual underpinnings, critical research perspectives and empirical examples in relation to understanding cultural, political, and methodological relationships.

In Semester 2, you will study three taught modules: one 10 ECTS/20 CATS core module, Cultural Politics: Practices and two option modules from a range offered by WSA and Politics and International Relations. The options are subject to change from year to year. You will receive guidance from the Programme Leader in making your option module selection. To ensure equity of experience across the programme and a comprehensive approach to content, you will be guided to select one option from Art and one option from Politics.

The independent dissertation is a core module (15,000 words), and is undertaken during the summer on successful completion of Semester 2 modules and is worth 30 ECTS/60 CATS.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name. DEFAULT

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks etc. Any specialist stationary items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student.
OtherSome modules may include optional visits to museums, galleries etc. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
TravelThe Student's Union provide a free mini bus service which runs every two hours between the Winchester campus and the Highfield campus. Students are responsible for all other daily travel expenses.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

The MA Cultural Politics is good preparation for any role that requires an extra qualification as a mode of distinction involving research, media, culture, communication, and politics. Graduates pursue opportunities in research, media (journalism), cultural and public policy, marketing, political parties, international organisations, and institutions, business, education and (teaching). Graduates also go on to research degrees (PhD), at either the University of Southampton or elsewhere.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

Winchester campus

Winchester campus

Winchester School of Art is set in pleasant, green surroundings close ...Find out more

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

Share this course Facebook Google+ Twitter Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.