Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

The innovative, interdisciplinary Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity course stretches across the social sciences and arts and humanities. It offers you the opportunity to explore:

  • histories and cartographies of 'race' and racism, multiculture and postcoloniality; empire and the formation of modern Britain and contemporary transnational political communities, social identities and urban cultures
  • connections between histories of colonisation and contemporary social formations and inequalities in the UK
  • how local debates on 'race' and racism are shaped by the global geopolitics of the twenty-first century.
The course examines connections between interlocking colonial histories across the globe and our ordinary, local, everyday life here in contemporary Britain. We focus on a broad range of subjects such as histories of colonisation, systems of slavery, indenture and other forms of colonial labour; histories of the concept of 'race' and other systems of categorisation; colonial cultures, nationalisms, 'respectability' and the invention of 'whiteness'; histories of criminalisation and policing and anti-racist and anti-fascist resistance; theorising culture, community, hybridity and creolisation; postcolonial belonging and diaspora; 'race' and 'beauty'; contemporary racial nationalisms and religious authoritarian movements; and 'race' gender, sexuality and desire. We offer this course as a Master’s, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate. For the Diploma and Certificate you study fewer modules and do not complete a dissertation. The Postgraduate Diploma enables you to progress to, and complete, the MA Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity if you wish. The Postgraduate Certificate allows you to progress to and complete the Postgraduate Diploma or MA Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity. Highlights
  • This transdisciplinary postgraduate course draws from ancient world studies, medieval and modern, colonial history, postcolonial and decolonial sociology and anthropology, cultural, urban, literary and psychosocial studies, philosophy and law. It will introduce you to significant historical and political debates and theoretical perspectives in the broad multidisciplinary area of 'race' and racism, multiculture and postcoloniality.
  • Through our formal link with the University of São Paulo, Brazil, you can undertake an option module at the University of São Paulo as part of your programme of study at Birkbeck.
  • You will become part of a vibrant, stimulating and diverse intellectual environment, with access to the Race Forum at Birkbeck, research centres including the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Centre for Law and the Humanities and Centre for Media and Culture and Creative Practice, and the theories of racism and postcolonial and decolonial thought, medicine, ‘race’ and empire and psychoanalysis and colonialism reading groups.
  • Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books, journals and learning resources in relevant disciplines. You will also be able to use the rich research resources nearby including Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (the LSE Library), the SOAS Library and the British Library.
  • This course consistently achieves high levels of satisfaction from Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey respondents. In 2019 and 2020, the student satisfaction rate was 100%. In 2021 the rate was 95% (the course was temporarily moved fully online due to COVID).
  • If you are taking this course part time, you may be eligible for a Bonnart Trust Master’s Studentship which will cover the cost of your tuition fees. You must have received an offer of a place on the course by 31 May 2022 to apply.

Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

One 4000-word essay per core module and a 10,000-12,000-word dissertation. Assessment for option modules varies.


How to apply

International applicants

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 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in social sciences or humanities. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience, or a lively interest in the subject area, will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


English language requirements

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. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9810 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9810 Year 1
Scotland £9810 Year 1
Wales £9810 Year 1
International £18030 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS