MA Comics Studies (2020 Entry)


Attendance
Full Time
Award
Degree of Master of Arts



Article

Comics have never been more important. Our MA degree in Comics Studies will enable you to discover the varied history, culture and industries that have made comics a pre-eminent and vibrant art form.

From award-winning graphic novels to superhero movies competing for the global box office, comics and comics culture are everywhere today.

The MA in Comics Studies will help you discover and critically engage with the varied history, cultures and industries that have made comics a pre-eminent and vibrant art form.

Whether you are a fan of comics and graphic novels, or interested in visual storytelling more generally, then this MA is ideal for you.

You will develop advanced knowledge of comics as an international art form with ties to wider popular and avant-garde cultures, and will learn to critically analyze and evaluate a broad range of comics styles and formats.

Overview

The MA in Comics Studies is the only MA programme of its kind in the world, and whether you are new to the field of comics studies or are developing existing interests, the programme will serve to deepen and broaden your understanding of comics and their associated cultures.

As a student on the programme, you will learn about comics from a range of international contexts such as Great Britain, the United States, Europe, Japan and others. You will also learn about the various theoretical approaches to studying comics, including the unique ways comics make meaning from the combination of words and images.

World-leading comics scholars will guide you through the complex histories, cultures and politics of the form. You will take a year-long, team-taught module focusing on key issues in comics studies, with additional compulsory modules in the theory and practice of comics studies and the long-standing relationship between film and comics. You will also choose from a wide variety of optional modules that touch upon such issues as politics, gender, sexuality and race in both comics and related media.

Through these modules, you will develop your ability to undertake advanced independent research projects. In addition, you will deepen your critical and analytical skills, especially in relation to understanding and evaluating visual art and storytelling.

Course Structure

Because comics studies is not limited to a single traditional academic subject, the programme is designed to be richly interdisciplinary, and to take advantage of innovative teaching and research across the Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia.

As part of your degree, you will be able to take modules focused on comics and related art forms in a range of disciplines, including literature, history, politics, cultural studies, film and media studies and art history.

A core component of the programme is a year-long team-taught module that introduces you to the key issues in comics studies. Here, you will be taught by several of our experts in comics studies, and may also receive input from visiting academic speakers and comics artists. This module covers a wide range of topics and gives you a cutting-edge introduction to the fast-moving worlds of comics and their culture, including aesthetics, histories and industries.

In semester one, you will also take a compulsory module entitled Comics Studies: Theory and Practice that teaches you about the various theoretical approaches and methodologies concerning the academic study of comics.

In semester two, you will take the compulsory module Film and Comics, which is an in-depth exploration of the similarities and differences between these two related art forms, including issues of adapting one form to the other.

Finally, in both semesters you will select a module from carefully selected options that range across the Arts and Humanities. Although not all of these modules will be specifically or exclusively about comics, all of them will be informed by the kinds of broad questions—such as politics, race, gender, and sexuality—that are applicable to the study of comics.

The combination of compulsory and optional modules ensures that you will gain specialist knowledge about comics as a unique art form while also allowing you to follow your own academic interests in a number of different directions.

The programme culminates with a dissertation, which is an independent research project that will enable you to draw upon everything you have learned over the course of the year

Teaching and Learning

The programme is taught by a range of teachers from across the university, all of whom are world-leading experts in their fields. In addition, you will also hear from visiting speakers such as artists and industry insiders, and might also participate in field trips and internships. Teaching on the programme is interdisciplinary and benefits from a variety of approaches to teaching and learning. Assessments consist of a mix of essays and more innovative assignment formats that are designed to help you think more deeply about the particularities of comics compared to other literary or visual art forms.

You will take three modules per semester, which will be taught by a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. Seminars are usually two hours per week, and lectures are usually an hour in length. In total, this means that you can expect around six hours of contact time with your teachers per week. Your teachers will also hold regular office hours, giving you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues related to your learning. In addition, you will be expected to do primary and secondary reading that includes both comics and academic scholarship.

For your dissertation, you will conduct independent research and work closely with an advisor to develop your ideas throughout the process.

Assessment

The MA in Comics Studies is assessed through a mixture of different kinds of projects and coursework, including essays, portfolio assignments and an independent research project culminating in a dissertation.

After the course

Your degree will open up the many different worlds associated with comics and their various international cultures, and will give you valuable knowledge that will enable you to work in comics-related fields such as publishing, media industries, and event organisation. Finally, you will also be well-equipped to undertake a PhD in any area of comics studies.

Career destinations

Possible career destinations include:

  • Publishing
  • Event organising
  • Media Production
  • Editing
  • PR and marketing
  • Further postgraduate studies

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs..

Course Modules 2020/1

Year 1

Compulsory Modules (140 credits)

 
Description Credits
KEY ISSUES IN COMICS STUDIES 40
MA COMICS STUDIES DISSERTATION 60
COMICS STUDIES: THEORY AND PRACTICE 20
FILM AND COMICS 20
 

Options Range A

In Semester 1, students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

 
Description Credits
ART, IDENTITY AND THE BODY 20
AMERICAN WORD AND IMAGE, POST-1945 20
CASE STUDIES 20
POLITICS, COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS 20
 

Options Range B

In Semester 2, students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

 
Description Credits
IMAGINING WORLDS 20
GOOD GOOD GIRLS AND GOOD BAD BOYS? AMERICAN FICTIONS OF INNOCENCE 20
FANTASY GENRES 20
FEMINISMS AND TELEVISION FROM WONDER WOMAN TO HANNAH HORVATH 20
ANALYSING HOLLYWOOD CINEMA 20
RACE AND RESISTANCE 20
CRITICALLY QUEER: SEX, GENDER AND SEXUALITY 20
CONTEMPORARY FICTION 20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Humanities or Social Sciences
  • Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 50 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2019/20 are:

UK/EU Students: £7,700 (full time)
International Students: £16,100 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

Scholarships

For details of all of the scholarships available to postgraduate Art, Media and American Studies applicants, please click here.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515