MA Politics, Media and Performance

A group of MA Politics, Media and Performance students outside the department at graduation

There can be little doubt that film, creative media and performance do not just reflect but produce particular political realities and can be used for political ends: for example, the recent events of the Arab Spring demonstrated the role that digital media play in the form and conduct of political activism, and the events of 9/11 ten years ago showed how spectacle impacts on politics and may be manipulated for various ends. All this highlights the need for informed and critical scholarship that is not constrained by any disciplinary divide between performance, media and politics, and that goes beyond a framework that equates theatre with politics or sees politics as a performance.

Scholars of politics have recognised the importance of examining, and indeed employing, cultural and media forms in their work.  Equally, scholars of film, media and performance are examining the relevance of critical conceptualisations of the political in their practice. This MA taught Masters combines the research strengths and longstanding collaboration of two world-leading departments to allow students from either background to develop an advanced understanding of the place of media, film and performance in contemporary politics, and vice versa. Students from politics and international politics will have the opportunity to develop skills in media analysis and practice, and specialise in film, performance, or creative media, and those from film, performance and media will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary theories and practices of politics, and specialise in a particular area, for example, Latin America, Africa, or the Middle East, or in a particular aspect of international politics, for example, postcolonialism, or critical international relations. Those from other disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, philosophy will have the opportunity to engage with these exciting and intensely political synergies.

Key Facts

Duration:

Twelve months full-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters, but this course is administered in two parts: Part One runs from September to May; Part Two runs from June to September.

Assessment:

The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, tutorials and essay projects. Successful completion of your dissertation (Part 2) leads to the award of an MA.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

Tuition Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding:

Funding opportunties may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Overview

The Aberystwyth Masters in Politics, Media and Performance

Aberystwyth University’s Masters in Politics, Media and Performance is the first course in the UK (and one of the few in the world) to study the interrelationships between these crucial areas.  Working across disciplines in innovative and invigorating ways, you will examine the means through which film, media and performance do not just reflect but produce particular political realities and how they can be used for political ends.

As a student on Aberystwyth University’s Masters in Politics, Media and Performance, you will benefit from the experience and guidance of two of the world’s leading departments in their respective subject areas.  Our Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies will provide you with a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of media and performance.  Our Department of International Politics will help you to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary theories and practices of politics and to engage with a range of exciting and intensely political new synergies.  Together the departments offer you a comprehensive range of teaching and learning facilities and extensive computing and library resources.  Amongst the library resources are those of National Library of Wales, one of the world’s great libraries with over 6 million volumes available to you.

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.

This programme will be jointly taught by International Politics and Theatre, Film and Television Studies staff and administered by the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies within the Faculty of Arts.

There can be little doubt that film, creative media and performance do not just reflect but produce particular political realities and can be used

for political ends.  The recent events of the Arab Spring demonstrated the role that digital media play in the form and conduct of political activism, and the events of 9/11 in 2011 showed how spectacle impacts on politics and may be manipulated for various ends.  All this highlights the need for informed, critical and creative scholarship that is not constrained by any disciplinary divide between performance, media and politics, and that goes beyond a framework that equates theatre with politics or sees politics as a performance.  Scholars of politics have recognised the importance of examining, and indeed employing, cultural and media forms in their work.  Equally, scholars of film, media and performance are examining the relevance of critical conceptualisations of the political in their practice.

This taught Masters combines the research strengths and longstanding collaboration of two world-leading departments to allow students from either background to develop an advanced understanding of the place of media, film and performance in contemporary politics, and vice versa.  Students from politics and international politics will have the opportunity to develop skills in media analysis and practice, and specialise in film, performance, or creative media, and those from film, performance and media will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary theories and practices of politics, and specialise in a particular area, for example, Latin America, Africa, or the Middle East, or in a particular aspect of international politics, for example, postcolonialism, or critical international relations.  Graduates from other disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and philosophy will also have the opportunity to engage with these exciting and intensely political new synergies.

Our Staff

All academic staff at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies are research active and/or involved in Knowledge Transfer projects and have either relevant academic qualifications at doctoral level or equivalent professional experience and expertise.

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) MA Politics, Media and Performance students must take the following modules:

Semester 1

Politics, Media, Performance: Transdisciplinary Critical Frameworks TPM1720

Semester 2

Politics, Media, Performance: Encounter And Event TPM1920

Year 1 Options MA Politics, Media and Performance students must choose two 20 credit modules in Sem 1 and two 20 credit modules in Sem 2. Students are required to take at least one of these options from each department over the two semesters (Theatre, Film and TV - TPM and TFM. International Politics IPM)

Semester 1

Postcolonial Politics IPM1320

Post-western International Relations IPM4120

Film And Representation TFM4420

Screening Cinema TFM6020

Compositional Practices TPM1220

Semester 2

Critical Security Studies: Contemporary Theories IPM1120

The State Through The Ages IPM4220

Dissident Perspectives On World Politics IPM4820

Audience Cultures And Practices TFM2320

From Avant Garde To Documentary TFM2420

Engaging Publics TPM1820

Year 1 Options MA Politics, Media and Performance students must take ONE of the following modules:

Semester 3

Dissertation IPM0060

Research Project TPM0860

Employability

This degree will suit you...

  • If you have a specific interest in Politics, Media and Performance
  • If you want a highly innovative masters course
  • If you want to develop your research skills
  • If you are interested in the theoretical and historical debates behind media, performance and politics
  • If you want to develop creative interventions into political debates through the use of media and performance

Employability

The transferable skills you will acquire on the course, such as presentational skills, information building and analysis, critical thinking, writing skills, and practical and creative skills are vital for a broad range of employers.  An MA in Politics, Media and Performance shows an in-depth knowledge of these topics which are particularly beneficial if you choose to apply for PhD study. The Aberystwyth MA in Politics, Media and Performance provides you with skills essential in several fields of work.  Modules and assessments are aimed towards giving you experiences which will benefit you in the working world.  Graduates from the Departments of International Politics and Theatre, Film and Television Studies have entered careers in the creative industries, administration and the public and private sectors.

Key Skills and Competencies

Study Skills

You will learn how to gain access to the relevant literature and materials in these fields and how to use them in critical discussion of the issues covered by this subject and in relation to your own specific needs. Practical advice is given in research methods and sources.

Self-Motivation and discipline

Studying at Masters Level is a very independent process.  You will be guided and aided by University staff, but you will also be expected to conduct your own scholarly and/ or creative research work.  The final dissertation in particular, teaches you how to employ your own skills and knowledge to produce high standards of work. The practice of self-motivation and discipline will prepare you for what will be expected of you in the working world.

Transferable Skills

The MA in Politics, Media and Performance provides you with key skills which are transferable to several fields, thus increasing your employability.  Upon graduation from this Masters course, you will be able to structure and communicate ideas efficiently, write for and speak to a range of audiences, evaluate and organize information, develop practical initiatives, work effectively with others, work within timeframes and to specific deadlines. 

This link will take you to Prospects for general information about careers in in performance

How to Apply

Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.

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Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 622828

Fax: (01970) 622831

Email: tfts@aber.ac.uk

Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies

Parry Williams Building

Penglais Campus

Aberystwyth University

SY23 3AJ

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If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

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Further Information

As a Postgraduate Student you will be inducted to the University and join one of the top Graduate Schools in the world (Igraduate2012).

It is important you feel at home in the Department, University and Town. Here are some links for you to explore these areas further: