Skip to content High contrast mode
Logo of Royal Holloway University of London

MA by ResearchCultural Geography (Research)

Tuition fee To be confirmed
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc. 


The MA Cultural Geography (Research) was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography.

Twenty years later and Cultural Geography is one of the most dynamic sub-disciplines in contemporary geography. Our course reflects this dynamism, exploring the relationships between our physical world, human identity and mobility. We combine core concepts with research methods training and interdisciplinary scholarship and practice. We develop this alongside innovative placements and research engagements with some of world’s top cultural institution, located on our doorstep in London.

The MA in Cultural Geography (Research) combines the vibrant research of the outstanding Social, Cultural and Historical Geography group with cutting edge teaching.

Thematically cultural geography focuses on the interconnections between place, landscape, environment, mobilities and identity, and thus has profound relevance for the contemporary world. Our graduates go on to work in a range of sectors, including the arts and cultural sector, publishing, planning and urban policy, private and public sector research work as well as many carrying on to further doctoral study.

The course attracts a diverse range of students from a range of backgrounds, not just those with geography degrees. To see more about the activities around the MA Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, please look at our research group blog Landscape Surgery.

Programme structure

Core modules
Cultural Geographies – Key Ideas
In this module you will develop an understanding of the key ideas in cultural geography. You will look at themes such as place, space, body, landscape, time, mobilities, economy, nature, mapping and exploration. You will consider the history of key ideas within culutral geography and their current state, examining the intersections between substantive themes and their future development. You will be supported by an advisor who will help you to criticically reflect on your intellectual interests.

Cultural Geographies – Contemporary Debates
In this module you will develop an understanding of contemporay debates in cultural geography. You will look core ideas and research interests of academics within the department, such as phenomenology and landscape, heritage and memory, urban subversions, geographies of knowledge, material geographies, and artful geographies.

Social Science Methods for Cultural Geographers
In this module you will develop an understanding of research methods used for exploring the social sciences. You will look at the key methods used by social scientists, with teaching delivered by those who have practical experience in their field. You will look at the research process and explore research beyond the field, becoming familiar with the practical considerations of a range of methods, their benefits and challenges, their epistemological basis, and their ethics.

GeoHumanities Research Methods for Cultural Geographers
In this module you will develop an understanding of the geohumanities research methods used by cultural geographers. You will look broadly at the research process and consider how to write and present cultural geography. You will become familiar with the practical considerations of these methods, their benefits and challenges, their epistemological basis and their ethics.

Research Training
In this module you will develop an understanding of the practices of research design and training crucial to the practice of contemporary cultural geography. You will consider how you can take your research skills out into the world beyond the academy, with social social media training in blog writing and podcasting to communicate your research and facilitate knowledge exchange. You will reflect on the transferrable skills you have learned and consider how you may use these in your future career. You will also learn how to prepare your CV, write grant applications, and prepare a PhD proposal.

You will write a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice. Guided by an advisor, you will develop your research topic over the course of the year and will design and conduct original research in order to produce an original research report.

Optional modules
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Cultural Engagements
In thid module you will develop an understanding of how your cultural geography learning is relevant beyond the academy. You will critically reflect on the role of impact and knolwedge exchange in the contemporary academy, examining how you may put your cultural geographic ideas into practice. You will consider the benefits and challenges of working as a researcher, developing an activity for the Science Open Day, curating a Passenger Films session, and developing a podast or video targetted at the wider audience.

Cultural Engagements Placement
In this module you will develop an understanding of how your cultural geography learning is relevant beyond the academy. You will undertake a placement with one of a number of cultural institutions across London, spending a minimum of 20 hours working with you chosen organisation. You will be allocated a member of staff as an academic tutor to help support your experience and learning.

Career opportunities

Study Cultural Geography (By Research) at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll be well placed to progress to PhD study or to a rewarding career in your chosen field. This research-based programme sees more than 50% of graduates progress to doctoral study.

This programme is structured to maximise graduate employability and further education prospects, with transferable skills sessions, career development sessions and workshops taking place to help graduates you achieve your career ambitions. We help our students to work on their PhD applications, and also help to arrange placements with some of the world’s top cultural institutions – including the V&A Museum, the Museum of London, the British Library, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Geographical Society.

Apply now! Fall semester 2020/21
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Studies commence
Oct 1, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States