UCL Graduate degrees


Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies MA

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£12,500 (FT)
£6,250 (PT)
£25,800 (FT)
£12,900 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

International students

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.

Select your country:

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme offers two pathways: Taught and Research.

The taught pathway consists of three core modules (60 credits), option modules (60 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

The research pathway consists of three core modules (60 credits), optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (90 credits).

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.

Core modules

Please click here for the current list of compulsory and optional modules for this programme.

Optional modules

Dissertation/research project

Students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words (taught pathway) or 18,000 words (research pathway).

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.

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.


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.


All prospective students can apply for the UCL Graduate School Open Scholarships.

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

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


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.


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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Department: Centre for Multidisciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry

Application and 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 May 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021