In 2017 Birmingham City University became the first university in Europe to launch an undergraduate Black Studies degree programme. Our MA Black Studies course aims to build on the success of this pivotal programme. Since its emergence Black Studies at BCU has been one of the most high profile and successful research activities since 2014 in the faculty. We have produced highly rated and world leading research, secured research funding and hosted some foundational research activities. This course will be well suited to those already in employment as well as those wanting to develop specialist knowledge and build on transferable skill sets which will boost their employability and career options to working within education, local and national government, criminal justice, media, the arts and advocacy organisations. We have links with the public, private and voluntary sector organisations in local community, national and international settings. Engagement with stakeholders is fundamental part of the final project; which further enhances students’ personal and professional development and networking skills. Why Choose Us? Black Studies has been hugely influential in debates on university campus across the UK. BCU staff are regularly invited to speak at student and staff organised symposia about ‘decolonising’ the university. It was students that pushed for courses such as Black Studies, asking questions like ‘Why is My Curriculum White?’. From speaking at campuses across the country it is obvious there is a call for a postgraduate course in Black Studies. In designing the course, we have built on the principles we have embedded into the undergraduate course. These have become the basis of the discipline of Black Studies that we are at the forefront of creating in academia. These key principles are embedded into the design of the degree and in module titles:
- Politics of Blackness. Black Studies is about connecting into the politics of Africa and the diaspora. We will explore critically and in relation to historical and existing social movements.
- Black Studies in Action. Taking Black Studies knowledge off campus is indispensable to the discipline, therefore we will explore research methods and partnerships with public, private and voluntary sectors in the community. This will feed directly into the Black Studies Project where student will develop a project with an impact off campus.
- Intersecting Identities. The most developed area of research in the discipline is Black Feminism, of which the key principles will be explored in this module.
- Race and Modernity. A critique of Eurocentric notions of progress is an essential component of ‘decolonising’ the curriculum.
- Culture, Media and Representation. Popular culture has been a central tool for exploring Black Studies knowledge, which aims to engage in the real world. We will be drawing heavily on these traditions in the course.
- Historical analysis. Throughout the modules we will be drawing on historical analysis to understand the contributions, experiences and perspectives of Africa and the African diaspora.
A second class degree from a UK University or international equivalent. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis should a student possess enough relevant professional experience.
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