This programme is ideal for those with a background in French Studies, Hispanic Studies, Modern Languages, History, Translation Studies, Gender Studies, European Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, English Literature, Cultural Studies, Film Studies and World Literature.
It will give you the opportunity to undertake further study to develop your understanding of key principles underpinning the study of colonial and postcolonial cultures in a comparative, global and inter-disciplinary context.
The programme includes the following core modules [full descriptions available below]:
World Literatures and Film I
World Literatures and Film II
Before Postcolonialism: Europe and its Empires
You will also choose an optional module chosen from a range of relevant disciplines such as History, African studies, Development or literature related to colonialism and postcolonialism.
You will complete the course with a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic which you will choose, refine and analyse with the help of your supervisor (who will be allocated to you depending upon your own research interests)
Why study this course
This programme brings together literature, history and cultural studies and provides a broad geographic range.
You will also benefit from being able to access non-Anglophone perspectives on key issues, through the use of translated works and critical texts which originated in major world languages other than English (primarily French and Spanish, with the opportunity to be guided through them by specialists).
The University is also home to a wide range of expertise in colonial and postcolonial studies, within the Department’s FRANCOPOCO (Francophone Colonial and Postcolonial) Network and the University’s Postcolonial Birmingham Research Network, so provides an ideal environment to study this programme.
You will study five core modules:
World Literatures and Film I and II
These modules set out to examine World Literature and Cinema, through a range of critical investigations. How might these concepts be theoretically defined? How might they have the potential to alter established approaches to power relations, identity, socio-political order and literary canons? The modules offer a fascinating insight into major literary phenomena of the modern era, through critical examination and dynamic discussion of a range of texts coming from areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and beyond.
This module involves the study and analysis of key thinkers of postcolonial theory, examining figures such as Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Homi Bhabha and Frantz Fanon, in addition to the more recent theorists of World Literature. The approach will be both theoretical and applied, enabling you to encounter and examine these intellectual figures and their work, and to assess critically possible applications and relevance to your own fields of interest.
Before Postcolonialism: Europe and its Empires
Postcolonialism is primarily an intellectual (and often political) attempt to challenge the politico-economic and symbolic world domination of European powers – i.e. colonialism. But how did European empires develop in the first place? What were the value systems which drove a tiny peninsula of the Eurasiatic continent to expand and conquer the rest of the world? And how did modern European colonial systems compare with empires of other times and places? Through a comparative approach of imperial systems since the early modern period, this module examines the conditions and modus operandi of a political phenomenon which came to rule the world in the late nineteenth century, when the majority of the planet became subjected to half a dozen European countries. It offers a thought-provoking introduction to a condition which triggered multiple emancipatory reaction, and still influences much of today's world.
This module will prepare you for the 15,000-word dissertation. It will allow you to hone your research, critical and writing skills under the supervision of a subject specialist.
You will also choose one optional module:
Module outside of the Main Department
You will also choose an optional module chosen from a range within History, African Studies, Development or Literature related to colonialism and postcolonialism.
Dissertation in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation in colonial and postcolonial studies, which will give you the opportunity to research a topic of your choice related to colonial and postcolonial studies. You will be invited to reflect upon topics which you would like to explore academically, and you will then be given the opportunity to discuss with your supervisor the sources, methodology and argument which you can use to produce an original piece of research which will make a contribution to scholarship. The variety of languages and disciplines represented in the Department of Modern Languages ensure that we are able to offer highly qualified supervision in a large variety of fields and intellectual approaches.
Fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
University of Birmingham graduates may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
How to apply
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