Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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The MA Program

The Cultural Studies MA program is a highly flexible degree. Students are admitted into the MA with one year of guaranteed funding. They all begin with two terms of courses they select from a variety of offerings in-house and in other departments, plus the year-long CUST802 (“Speaks”), a weekly colloquium of professional development and speakers. In winter term, students choose either to

  • Wrap up their degree by revising or transforming a piece of coursework in a capstone course in May and June (the Coursework MA), or
  • Find a faculty member willing to supervise their work for a second year, develop a thesis proposal, and apply for the Thesis MA.

Thesis and capstone projects can take the form of academic writing, research creation, or (in the case of the Thesis MA) community-based research.

We welcome applications from students with background or aspirations in any area that can be supported from within the Cultural Studies framework. Qualifications for admission may include not only academic achievement, but community, activist, or artistic work. You may wish to consult our list of research areas that we are currently best able to support. Please email us for further information.

Graduates of the CUST MA have gone on to pursue careers in marketing, journalism, not-for-profits and NGOs, government, research management, and curatorship, or to earn further academic degrees.

Coursework MA (new in 2020!)

  • Students might choose the one-year coursework MA as a way to bolster their professional qualifications, transition careers, take their undergraduate experience 'to the next level,' or move purposefully towards a PhD program.  This degree bolsters employment skills in critical analysis, writing, research, and project management.
  • The Coursework MA is designed to be completed in 10 months.
  • Students take 8 months of courses, followed by a two-month intensive capstone course in which they extend, revise, or transform work done in one of their previous courses with guidance from the capstone instructor and their peers.
  • The goal of the capstone course is to push further into effective analysis and/or to practice communicating research to specific audiences. Output may take the form of a paper submitted to an academic journal, a podcast or video or website, a community event or intervention, etc.

Thesis MA

  • Students admitted into this stream receive funding for a second year. 
  • The two-year Thesis MA offers the opportunity and challenge of designing and executing an ambitious research project. This degree bolsters employment skills in critical analysis, writing, research, and project management, and can also lead to PhD or other academic paths.
  • The program is designed to be completed in 18-24 months: students take 8 months of courses, and spend the next 16 months researching and writing.
  • Students can opt to write an academic thesis or carry out artistic and/or community-based research that can presented in a variety of media formats.
  • CUST at Queen’s is committed to the idea that multidisciplinary inquiry is necessary for grappling with complex culturally-embedded forms, objects and processes. In addition to the supervisor, students typically work with a second committee member from a different discipline. This allows students to theorize specific fields and areas from multiple perspectives, rather than being trained in a single disciplinary perspective, and allows them to draw on more than one person’s methodological or content expertise.