University of Southampton

Graduate Studies

Material Culture and Design History


Southampton Management School

University of Southampton

Southampton, England

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

MA - Material Culture and Design History

Format: Campus

Program Description:

This unique inter-disciplinary MA addresses the social meanings of objects in the contexts of museums and galleries as well as in the everyday world of the street, the home, commerce, shopping, style and the media. It is aimed at students from a broad spectrum of academic and practical backgrounds either in the humanities, social sciences, art or design practice, and from subject disciplines ranging from history and anthropology, cultural studies, archaeology, theory and history of art, architecture and design. The growing popularity of material culture studies stems from the current interest in understanding the way people make sense of an increasingly complex post-modern world through the dynamic inter-relation between humansand things. Issues of identity and individuality are central to the interpretation of the material world.

The MA will provide you with a range of theoretical tools and approaches to study objects as diverse as mountain bikes to turn of the century department stores, historical textiles and modern interiors to contemporary fine crafts, Barbie dolls to publicity ephemera. The study of artefacts is set against their social, historical and cultural backgrounds through a consideration of style, design theory, production and consumption and institutional practices.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
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