Postgraduate Programmes

Cultural Studies MPhil & PhD

The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) offers programmes leading to the MA, MPhil and PhD degrees in Cultural Studies. Each programme is offered on a full-time and part-time basis and requires both course work and a research component.

Entry Requirements (M.Phil./Ph.D.)

The minimum requirement for admission to the MA degree programme is a Lower Second Class Honours degree or its equivalent. To be admitted to the MPhil and PhD programmes, applicants must have attained at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree or its equivalent from a tertiary level institution. In exceptional cases, the Campus Committee may accept applicants without a degree who have acquired experiential knowledge and can demonstrate competencies in the field of Cultural Studies.

All applications for the MPhil and PhD degrees must be accompanied by a research proposal. An interview will form part of the selection process.

Programme Details

Course work

Students pursuing the MA in Cultural Studies are required to take five courses (four compulsory and one elective). MPhil students must take two compulsory courses. PhD candidates must take three courses (9 credits), two of which must be from the list of compulsory courses:

Compulsory .
CLTR 6000     Theory and Conceptualization of Culture
*CLTR 6010 Debates in Caribbean Cultural Identity
CLTR 6030     Dynamics of Caribbean Culture
CLTR 6100     Methods of Inquiry in Cultural Studies
CLTR 6200     Language and Culture
*CLTR 6230  Caribbean Popular and Creative Culture
CLTR 6250     Caribbean Cultural Diasporas
(*Courses to be taught in 2011 – 2012)

Research Component

MA students are required to complete a 15,000-word research paper. Before undertaking the research, candidates will submit a proposal for approval.  Once the proposal has been approved, a supervisor will be assigned to guide the candidate in his / her research.

MPhil students are required to complete a thesis (maximum 50,000 words)

PhD students are required to complete a thesis (maximum 80,000 words)

In general, all students must first register for the MPhil. If, in the opinion of the supervisor and ICS staff, the evolving research project seems to be assuming the scale of a PhD dissertation, the student may apply to have the MPhil registration upgraded to PhD.

The Cultural Studies programme engages with the global scholarship in the field while placing emphasis on Caribbean theories and praxis in areas such as

  • Fashion
  • Dance
  • Theatre
  • Popular music
  • Cultural history
  • Cultural industry
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Religion and popular culture
  • Folk life/folklore
  • Festival studies
  • Art and the evolution of aesthetics
  • Architecture and the environment
  • Sport and games
  • Caribbean lifestyles and cuisine
  • Cultural Tourism


Programme Duration
The minimum period of enrolment for the award of the degree is one (1) year for the MA, two (2) years for the MPhil and three (3) years for the PhD. All full-time MPhil candidates are required to submit their theses for examination within three (3) years of their initial registration; and PhD candidates within five (5) years.

For students who register part-time, the minimum period of enrolment for the award of the degree is two (2) years for the MA, three (3) years for the MPhil and five (5) years for the PhD. All part-time MPhil candidates are required to submit their thesis for examination within five (5) years of their initial registration; and PhD candidates within seven (7) years.

Students enrolled in the MPhil and PhD programmes normally work with one or two supervisors and a two-member Advisory Committee. The ICS does not accept students for whom it is unable to provide adequate supervision. ICS students are usually supervised by UWI faculty members recruited from a wide range of departments, such as History; Language, Linguistics and Philosophy; Literatures in English; Sociology, Psychology and Social Work; Management Studies; the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication; the Centre for Gender and Development Studies and the Department of Educational Studies. 

All MPhil and PhD students in the Cultural Studies programme are required to give at least one seminar presentations each academic year. Students who do not fulfil this requirement will not be awarded the degree.
All graduate students are encouraged to present papers at local and international conferences. Funding is usually available through the Mona Campus Committee for Research & Publications and Graduate Awards to support travel and accommodation.

Departmental Awards
The Institute offers two Departmental academic awards each year to full-time students in the Cultural Studies programme.  The Award covers tuition fees and provides a modest quarterly stipend.


*Offered Academic Year 2011/2012

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