Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies MA

London, Bloomsbury

This MA programme is unique. It surveys the history of race and explores the social and cultural complexities of racialised inequality and injustice viewed on a global scale. The modules are taught by specialist teaching staff associated with UCL's Sarah Parker Remond Centre as well as scholars working on aspects of race and social justice in numerous disciplines across UCL.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 30 Jun 2022

Applications closed


Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

This MA programme will equip you with a range of critical, theoretical and methodological tools. You will be encouraged and enabled to unpack and interpret these fields of conflict as well as to deepen your understanding of contemporary debates about racial hierarchy and inequality and their associations with other dimensions of power and conflict.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

The programme's faculty have backgrounds in social theory, literary and cultural studies, Geography and Anthropology. The programme draws upon resources from multiple disciplines to build a critical account of the origins and development of race-thinking as well as its enduring power. Though you may have been thinking about these issues already, the programme does not assume that you are already a specialist in these areas of scholarship. The curriculum emphasises the need for students to encounter a constellation of key concepts and to become familiar with the texts that have been foundational in the academic analysis of racism and racialisation. The evolving body of specialist work will be brought into contact with a range of examples drawn from different locations, periods and political struggles. They include Abolitionism, anti-colonial, civil and human rights movements all the way to #blacklivesmatter and related contemporary conflicts over racial inequality, racial hierarchy and social justice. You will examine the history of race and raciology and be introduced to a range of attempts to map and critically respond to varieties of racist argumentation: religious, scientific, culturalist, biopolitical and nationalistic. A historical perspective has been adopted in order to foster the acquisition of key concepts and a common critical vocabulary. You will be invited to grasp how race-thinking developed and varied in different locations, periods and disciplinary contexts. An extensive survey builds towards consideration of contemporary instances of racialised injustice and inequality. You will analyse the structural and institutional aspects of those social and political problems and see how they have been manifested in culture, politics and everyday life. The programme affords opportunities to look at the movements that have resisted racism, injustice and inequality, seeking rights and recognition.

The foundation of your career

The aim is to foster your ability to think critically and express your ideas rigorously in written and verbal forms; to be clear about the political and ethical problems associated with this history and to be empowered to act in pursuit of racial justice and equality in a variety of institutional contexts.

Rather than cater only to specialised interest in these fields, this programme aims also to provide a good general foundation for further study in many humanities and social science disciplines. That foundation includes training in research methods and skills which can be further enhanced through option choices.


This programme approaches race and racism through a wide range of topics. It includes a mix of history, theory and politics in relation to racism, ethnicity and postcoloniality.

It provides you with a cutting-edge perspective on contemporary approaches to the politics of race and racism. It will introduce you to the knowledge, skills and methods that will enable you to develop your own specialised interests in this field both academically and professionally.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods are likely to vary depending on faculty, department and individual module leaders, however knowledge will be obtained and transferred by means of lectures, seminars/tutorials, student presentations, online interaction and directed readings.

Taught postgraduate modules are designed on the basis that a 15 credit module involves 150 learning hours, and a 30 credit module, 300 hours. Approximately one-third of the hours allocated for the assessment exercise. The remainder is divided between class time (generally 2 hours per week) and private reading. Although the structure of modules, as regards the balance between contact hours and private study, varies between faculties, in all cases the hours expected to be dedicated to private reading far exceed the hours of class attendance. You should therefore be careful to ensure that you are setting aside enough time for reading.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Introduction to MA Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies

We survey the history of race and explore the social and cultural complexities of racialised inequality and injustice viewed on a global scale.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £12,900 £6,450
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,600 £13,300

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

MA Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies Scholarship

Now closed for 2022/23
Value: £9,000 (One year)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Applicants should be able to show that they have an interest in developing critical analysis of racialised hierarchies and inequalities.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.