MA Black Humanities

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Faculty Faculty of Arts
Awards available MA
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2020

Programme overview

Based on cutting-edge research, this unique interdisciplinary MA provides an opportunity to study local and global debates concerning racialised identity, ethics, and representation. Students will explore the intellectual and cultural production of people of African descent and meet with arts practitioners and community activists.

Together we will ask how the arts and humanities can generate changes in today’s society and tackle urgent questions about racism, care, and social justice. You will learn about Black experience in Britain, and specifically in Bristol, a city deeply entangled with the transatlantic plantation economy and site of an ongoing, complex, legacy of memory work. This will be discussed alongside historical and contemporary contexts in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.

As a student on this MA course you will be based in the Faculty of Arts and cross boundaries between:

  • history
  • philosophy
  • literature
  • anthropology
  • history of art
  • modern languages
  • film
  • music.

You will be taught by members of the Centre for Black Humanities, an international hub for pioneering research on topics from UK hip-hop to African literary activism to the Lusophone Atlantic (follow @BrisBlackHums for more information on the Centre’s activities).

You will be invited to attend the Centre’s seminar programme, as well as the calendar of cultural events occuring in Bristol (including Afrika Eye FestivalAfrica WritesSt Paul’s CarnivalFestival of Ideas). Recent speakers in Bristol have included Paul Gilroy, Hazel Carby, Arundhati Roy, David Olusoga and Robin DiAngelo, amongst others.

Visit the Faculty of Arts website to find out more and listen to recent course taster sessions.

Fees for 2020/21

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time (two years)
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2020/21

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Your core units will combine theoretical readings and situated historical case studies, alongside practice-based sessions with external speakers, designed to encourage reflection on lived experience in the present. These sessions will vary from year to year and are likely to include: writers, journalists, festival producers, community activists, teachers and archivists. In addition to our core units, we offer diverse cross-cultural options enabling you to build your own pathway through the programme.

These options (subject to staff availability) include: Bristol and Slavery, Hip-hop Music and Culture, Pan-Africanism, Literatures of Enslavement, Postcolonial Environments, Theorizing Violence, Museum and Heritage: Critical Perspectives, Decolonizing Literature and Literary Studies. You will also undertake a discipline-specific research methods course.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Black Humanities

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission to this programme, applicants are required to hold/achieve a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities or social sciences discipline. Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


Students of Black Humanities develop a range of analytical skills and an ethical and interdisciplinary awareness that will allows them to excel in many different professions. Graduates of this programme will be well prepared for doctoral studies in the humanities and arts, as well as careers in campaigning, teaching, arts administration, publishing, law, the civil service, and journalism.

How to apply
Application deadline:

19 August 2020: UK and EU applicants
31 July 2020: International applicants (who require a Tier 4 visa)
These deadline dates have been set to allow you time to obtain your visa and arrive to start your programme on time.

Early application recommended; places may fill before our deadlines.

Coronavirus update

The latest advice on term start dates and teaching can be found on our prospective students information pages.

Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

For questions regarding study and admission contact our Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

School website: Faculty of Arts

Open days and visits

Find out how to attend one of our upcoming online events.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2014 results

Please see full REF 2014 results for the University of Bristol; in particular, the scores for subject areas 28, 29, 30, 32, 34 and 35.

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


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