An engaging programme of study that seeks to understand the ways in which political, economic, and cultural forces have shaped, and been shaped by, popular culture.
1 year full time
2 years part time
Number of credits:
The multi-disciplinary, period-based approach this master's takes to popular culture makes it unique in the UK.
Timetabled for teaching in the evening, the programme allows you to study around work and family commitments.
Explore the relationship of popular culture to environmental and ecological discourses and to discourses of race, gender, and sexuality.
Course and Module Details
Our MA Popular Literature and Culture will allow you to understand the ways in which political, economic, and cultural forces shape, and are in turn shaped by, popular culture. You will learn why particular works of popular culture become popular in any given contextual moment.
This MA is the first in the country to take a period-based, interdisciplinary approach to popular literary and cultural forms. The programme spans a number of diverse disciplines such as English literature, cultural studies, film and television studies, race studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, environmental studies, and philosophy, delving into different time periods and exploring thematic topics within them. Watch this short film of Dr Ian Kinane, who runs the course, talking about this master's programme.
The programme encompasses multiple periods of popular culture, and you will be taught by staff from across the disciplines, whose expertise lies not only in the form being taught but also the textual culture of that specific period. All of the staff members who will teach you are active researchers in their field and will use that research to inform their teaching, offering you innovative modules that are fresh, exciting, and contemporary.
You will also benefit from specialist masterclasses with authors of popular fiction - such as Anthony Horowitz, one of our Honorary Professors - and you will be welcomed into a thriving and social academic community at Roehampton, home to the International Journal of James Bond Studies and the Popular Literature and Culture Research Centre.
You will take the core module Reading Popular Culture, which will give you insight into the critical development of the concept of "the popular" as a theoretical field.
Across the programme, you will have the opportunity to examine the relationship between different forms of media, text, and popular culture from a number of periods. You will explore the role and responsibilities of popular culture within society, as well as its relationship to environmental and ecological discourses and to discourses of race, gender, and sexuality.
These modules are those we currently offer and may be subject to change each year.
Weekday evening teaching only.
The skills and knowledge gained on this degree are transferable to a wide array of professional sectors as well as any organisation requiring critical thinking, writing and copywriting skills, editing skills, and pop culture and media culture knowledge. Employers will benefit from our students' expertise and their skills in team work, oral and AV presentations, and project management.
Students on this MA can go on to work in editing, copywriting, publishing, culture and arts management, bookselling, marketing, media, advertisement, journalism, and teaching (with the addition of a teaching qualification), to name a few.
How to apply
You can apply now for any programme starting in April or September 2022.
All postgraduate taught applications can be made via our online application form.
- Check our application deadlines
- View our entry requirements for postgraduate programmes
- View our general entry criteria and application FAQs below
If you need any help or advice with your application, or just want to ask us a question before you apply, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please note that most international applicants have to pay a deposit before securing their place.
- See our Finance pages for more details
Postgraduate application process FAQs
No, you can save and revisit your application form and can contact us directly at any time if you need advice or assistance.
If you are a prospective postgraduate student who has home fee status, then you can apply close to the start of the course of study. However, if you have international fee status and require a Tier 4 Visa, then you will normally need to apply much earlier. Please see our application deadlines for postgraduate study.
We encourage all students to apply as early as possible, as some programmes have limited numbers.
Yes, we offer a range of scholarships, alongside support on managing your finances while you are with us.
Yes, we have a wide range of high quality and competitively priced on-campus student residences. We are able to offer quiet rooms and can adjust for those with specific access needs.
Find out more on our accommodation pages.
Dr Ian Kinane
I'm Ian, I'm the Programme Convener of the MA and I also teach the core module, "Reading Popular Culture".Read More
Dr Ian Kinane
I'm Ian; I'm the Programme Convener of the MA and I also teach the core module, "Reading Popular Culture". What's most enjoyable about this MA, for me, is the opportunity to think and talk about real-world concerns within contemporary popular culture in a rigorous, collaborative, and enlivening way - I love the seminar discussions. My own interests in popular literature and culture are varied, but my research of late focuses on the racial politics of the James Bond franchise. If you're interested, I am the general editor of the online open-access International Journal of James Bond Studies. Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like more details about the programme: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Mary L Shannon
I'm Mary, I teach on the MA, and in particular on the module Popular Adaptions.Read More
Dr Mary L Shannon
I'm Mary, I teach on the MA, and in particular on the module "Popular Adaptions". I really enjoy discussing the relationship between popular culture now and in the past - it's amazing how so many of our concerns and debates right now are also things that people have argued over and worried about for centuries. I work on Victorian century popular culture, but I'm interested in questions of originality and adaption more broadly. I run the GWM Reynolds Society - he's a Victorian popular author who no-one knows about now - but he's great fun! Check out https://gwmreynoldssociety.com/.
Dr Rachele Dini
I'm Rachele; I teach on the Popular Identities and Popular Ecologies modules. My favourite aspect of this MA is its breadth!Read More
Dr Rachele Dini
I'm Rachele; I teach on the "Popular Identities" and "Popular Ecologies" modules. My favourite aspect of this MA is its breadth! We look at popular culture from a range of perspectives (history, politics, philosophy, literary analysis) and we talk about lots of different media, including advertising, television sitcoms, film, social media, and activist writing. I work on waste studies, literature and advertising, and dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction and sci-fi. If you're interested, I am the founder of the International Literary Waste Studies Network and I blog about household gadgets, robots, vintage objects, and 1950's homes here: https://racheledini.com/blog.
Dr Neil Williams
I’m Neil, and I’m a lecturer in philosophy; I co-teach the Popular Ecologies module, where we deal with issues to do with environmental ethics, environmental activism, and the representation of the natural world in popular books, films, and videogames.Read More
Dr Neil Williams
I’m Neil, and I’m a lecturer in philosophy; I co-teach the "Popular Ecologies" module, where we deal with issues to do with environmental ethics, environmental activism, and the representation of the natural world in popular books, films, and videogames. My favourite thing about this programme is the interesting and cross-disciplinary discussions we have each week – there’s nothing better than looking at your favourite writing and media and hearing others' original perspectives on them. In my research, I am interested in exploring the role that popular literature and other forms of media can play in galvanizing us to act to protect the environment.
Dr Dustin Frazier Wood
I'm Dustin and I convene the Archives & Research module and teach on the Popular Adaptations module.Read More
Dr Dustin Frazier Wood
I'm Dustin and I convene the "Archives & Research" module and teach on the "Popular Adaptations" module. I'm an early medievalist who specialises in medievalism and fantasy, collections-based research, and digital humanities. As someone who spends most of my time immersed in the distant past, I love the opportunities the MA gives me to think about how deeply rooted in the past popular culture has always been. I also have longstanding interests in gay fiction, drag culture and avant garde performance that intersect with my research on medievalism in contemporary pop culture.
Doing all we can to support our students' lives at Roehampton
At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.
We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.
We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.