MA The Politics of Cultural Conflict by Research

Discuss and debate with distinguished scholars during evening seminars at our London offices, with a focus on independent research.

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Course overview

  • 2024
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Sep, 1 Year
  • Sep, 2 Years
  • Research
  • Research
  • Master of Arts by Research
  • Master of Arts by Research
  • £10,300
  • From £5,150 per year*
  • £16,480
  • From £8,240 per year*
  • London
  • London
  • Upcoming events

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    About the course

    This programme in the Politics of Cultural Conflict explores ‘culture wars’ between the populist right and cultural left, and how these are changing the axis of electoral competition from economics to culture – especially in western societies.

    The seminar programme focuses on the populist right and cultural left, as well as on polarization between the two. Secular-religious, globalist-nationalist and woke versus anti-woke represent three discrete phases of the culture wars which nevertheless overlap and interpenetrate in various ways in the modern era.

    The programme enables students to choose (with guidance) their own topic of research and to pursue this under expert one-to-one supervision. But in addition to developing their own specialist research, students also meet regularly to hear, and to argue with, leading writers and scholars in the field of cultural politics including such figures as Matthew Goodwin, Yascha Mounk, Pippa Norris and David Goodhart.

    Classes are held in both the University of Buckingham’s Gower Street building in Bloomsbury and in private rooms, where dinner will be served.

    The programme is directed by Professor Eric Kaufmann, who has published over 5 books and 45 academic papers, as well as writing extensively in major newspapers and magazines in Britain and the United States.

    Further details of the programme are available below and in the downloadable e-brochure, accessible via the link below.

    Applicants who wish to speak directly with the Course Director can do so by emailing:

    2024-25 Seminars programme

    All students are invited to attend the guest seminars and the dinners that follow some seminars. The cost of the post-seminar dinners is included in the tuition fees.

    Location: The course will use a combination of the Humanities Research Institute offices at 51 Gower Street, London, for supervisions and seminars as with other London-based Buckingham MA programmes, alongside four guest-lectures at London clubs or private rooms (tba).

    Time: The seminars take place from 6.30pm – 8.00 pm and some of these are followed by dinner starting at 8.15 pm.

    Speakers and subjects: The speakers will include Professor Eric Kaufmann and a number of guest lecturers, some in person (where UK-based), some online on Teams (where overseas-based).

    Introductory class, including dissertation plans – Thursday, 10 October, HRI Gower Street

    Seminars (speakers and location TBA):

    Part I: The Populist Right

    Majority Ethnic Nationalism – 17 October

    Nationalism and Populism – 24 October

    Immigration and National Identity in the United States – 31 October

    Immigration and the Rise of the Populist Right in Europe – 14 November

    National Populism in the UK – 28 November

    Part II: The Cultural Left

    Definitions, Theories and Intellectual Origins – 5 December

    Revolutionary Radicalism – 16 January

    Evolutionary Left-Liberalism – 23 January

    Scaling and Spreading – 6 February

    Culture War – 13 February

    A Secular Religion?: What Future for Western Civilization – 20 February

    Conclusion: Polarisation – 6 March

    Planned speakers include Yascha Mounk (Johns Hopkins), Chris Rufo (Hillsdale), Cathy Young (Reason magazine), Remi Adekoya (York) on culture wars; Pippa Norris (Harvard) on culture wars or cultural realignment; Daphne Halikiopoulou of the University of Reading on the populist right; David Goodhart on ‘somewheres and anywheres’; John Gray on liberalism; Matthew Goodwin (University of Kent) on populism.

    Associate students

    For those who wish to attend the evening guest seminar programme, but are unable to devote the time to the coursework or to register for the MA degree, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student. This status will enable the student to attend the ten guest seminars and dinners, and to meet the guest lecturers, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for and do not receive, the MA degree.

    Graduate Study in the Politics of Cultural Conflict

    For further details contact:
    Humanities Research Admissions: +44 (0)1280 827514

    View course modules


    Entry requirements

    The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:

    • A first or upper second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
    • a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience.

    In cases where candidates are applying on the basis of work experience, they may be asked to complete a short written assignment and/or attend an interview as part of the applications process.

    Mature students

    Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students. Due to their flexibility, our London-based MAs by research attract a wide variety of applicants from a range of backgrounds, including people in full-time employment and retirees.

    International students

    We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

    The University is a UKVI Student Sponsor.

    Selection process

    Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents, and will be assessed on this basis by the Programme Director and the Tutor for Graduate Admissions. The Programme Director or Admissions Assistant will be happy to answer any enquiries.

    Student Contract for prospective students

    When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the student contract between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the student contract in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the student contract contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting an offer. Read the Student Contract.

    Teaching and assessment

    Teaching methods

    The MA does not offer systematic instruction in the facts of politics, sociology or politics; instead, the emphasis is on independent research.

    At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 25,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.

    This is a London-based course and will use a combination of the Humanities Research Institute offices at 51 Gower Street, London, for supervisions and seminars as with other London-based Buckingham MA programmes, alongside four guest-lectures at London clubs or private rooms (tba). The nearest Tube stations to Gower Street are Goodge St (Northern Line).

    Course fees

    The fees for this course are:

    StartType1st YearTotal cost
    Month Year
    Full-time (2 Years)
    Month Year
    Full-time (2 Years)

    The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.

    Course fees do not include additional costs such as books, equipment, writing up fees and other ancillary charges. Where applicable, these additional costs will be made clear.

    The University provides scholarships to the value of one third the annual fee to all successful applicants with a First in their undergraduate degree. Find further details of scholarships available to graduate applicants.

    Please note that the University of Buckingham has four terms per year. The tuition fees quoted are for the degree. Students will pay the same termly fee for the duration of their studies, unless studies are interrupted and resumed later. The tuition fee quoted is therefore the total cost of the degree.

    After your course

    The University’s Course Directors, students’ supervisors, and the Research Officer and Tutor for Graduate Students are available to discuss students’ post-graduation plans and how they may utilise most effectively the skills acquired during their studies.

    How to apply

    Apply direct

    Apply online from this page as:

    • The most flexible option.
    • You can apply until shortly before the course starts.
    • There are no application fees.

    You can apply directly through our website by clicking the ‘Apply now’ button below.