Master of Cultural Studies

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

Cultural Studies investigates the changing meanings of culture in our everyday world. It explores the studying of culture not as a monolithic, self-evident construct, but as a constantly shifting field through which life is experienced and negotiated. You will gain insight into the ideologically charged meanings of identity, self-expression and embodiment.

Our Cultural Studies program allows you to engage critically with culture in its manifest expressions. Using real-world examples across the topics of popular culture, media, gender, sexuality, globalisation and consumer culture, you will analyse cultural forms and debate their significance in relation to given contexts.

Cultural Studies will lead you to question identity, community, representation, power, values and the practice of everyday life. The course draws on diverse critical perspectives as you gain the theoretical tools to understand how culture is produced, circulated and lived.

Our program is the only specialist Cultural Studies masters program in Australia. Housed in the internationally recognised Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, a leading centre for research into gender and culture, you will critically engage in a dynamic postgraduate community and learn under the guidance of esteemed researchers in the field, including Professor Meaghan Morris, who is Director of the program. An optional cultural studies internship also gives you the opportunity to undertake cultural research in a business, government or non-governmental body, enhancing your appreciation of applied cultural work.

The Master of Cultural Studies assumes no background in the field; however those familiar with the discipline are also welcome to extend their knowledge.

Understanding cultural processes is key in many fields of work, and will enhance any career involving culture. Our graduates have taken up positions in government and community sectors through to the arts, education and communication industries. The program also provides postgraduate research pathways for students undertaking the optional dissertation component who achieve a distinction average or higher.

Please note: The units of study listed below are subject to change and are to be used as a guide only.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Study plan

(a) a minimum of 24 credit points from core elective units of study; and

(b) a maximum of 24 credit points from elective units of study; and. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 12 credit points of elective units can be taken from units of study outside those listed in the Cultural Studies subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, units of study offered by other faculties.

(c) a minimum of 12 credit points of capstone units of study.

Capstone experience

Candidates undertaking a Master of Cultural Studies degree may apply to undertake cultural studies internship placement upon department approval of a viable project. The placement may involve work on a specific project or a general role in a workplace that undertakes cultural work, broadly defined from multiculturalism to media, gender to NGOs and the cultural sector. Students are welcome to suggest their own internship field or host organisation, which can also, where relevant, be one where the candidate already works.

Upon department approval of a viable project, eligible candidates undertaking the degree of Master of Cultural Studies have the option of completing a dissertation over two units of study, normally undertaken over two semesters, with a value of 12 credit points, under the supervision of an academic staff member.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Understanding cultural processes is key in many fields of work, from government and community sectors through to the arts, education and communication industries. One of the study options is an internship that enables students to undertake a research project with a relevant organisation upon departmental approval.

Students who complete the dissertation component at Distinction level or above will be eligible to apply for a research degree.

Further study

Graduates of the Master of Cultural Studies who have completed a dissertation with a meritorious grade are eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in their chosen subject area.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to candidature for the Master of Cultural Studies requires:

(a) a bachelor's degree with a minimum credit (65%) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, including a major in a relevant subject area in the humanities or social sciences, or an equivalent qualification

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.

Please note: not all courses are offered in the July semester intake.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply:
(i) directly to the University via the International Office. Further information on applications and English language requirements and support services for international students is available on the International Office website.

or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Additional incidental fees

Additional incidental fees not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Potential for inaccuracy

Potential for inaccuracy not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Annual review

Annual review not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

Additional incidental fees and health insurance not available for Master of Cultural Studies.

Potential for inaccuracy

Potential for inaccuracy not available for Master of Cultural Studies.