This unique interdisciplinary MA offers you the opportunity to study Black Humanities through critical engagement with the global histories, philosophies, languages, literature and arts of people of African descent.

Based on cutting-edge research from across the humanities, you will study the histories and intellectual frameworks that underpin contemporary debates about race. Through your reading and seminar discussions, you will be encouraged to address urgent questions concerning the parameters of knowledge and knowledge production, the legacies of systemic racism and campaigns for social justice. These will be discussed through consideration of historical and contemporary contexts in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, and Europe. Over the course of the programme, you will learn about Black experiences in Britain, and specifically in Bristol, a city deeply entangled with the transatlantic plantation economy and its legacies.

The University of Bristol is home to the Centre for Black Humanities, an international hub for research on Black life that directly informs our teaching. Our members are engaged in pioneering research on topics including UK hip-hop, Black British art, the histories and memories of Enslavement, African literary activism and the Lusophone Atlantic. We place critical importance on being part of an international and multilingual community. This is reflected in the Centre’s annual programme of external speakers and seminars, offering you the opportunity to engage with world-renowned scholars as well as Bristol's cutting-edge cultural scene.

Programme structure

Your two interdisciplinary core units will provide an introduction to key concepts, ideas and figures in the Black Humanities. They will provide a strong scholarly foundation for your dissertation and encourage you to explore a wide range of subjects and issues through an equally wide range of intellectual and artistic media.

In addition to your core units, you will select three options from a diverse list, enabling you to build your own specialised pathway through the programme. These options (subject to staff availability) may include: Bristol and Slavery; Pan-Africanism; Literatures of Enslavement; Postcolonial Environments; Modernism and the Black Atlantic; Theorizing Violence; Museum and Heritage: Critical Perspectives; Decolonizing Literature and Literary Studies. You will also undertake a discipline-specific research methods course and a dissertation (an independent research project).

Students are also expected to attend the international seminar and events programme coordinated by the Centre for Black Humanities, which directly connects to themes covered in the MA programme.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Black Humanities. Please note there are scholarships available for teachers wishing to take this course. Visit the Bristol Black Scholarship pages for more information.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in any discipline.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies. We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree. Specific module requirements may still apply.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant, relevant work experience;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

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

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£13,500 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£6,750 per year
Overseas: full-time
£27,600 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

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

Career prospects

Graduates of this programme are equipped to go on to careers in a variety of fields, such as education, politics and campaigning, the arts and heritage sector, publishing, the civil service, media and journalism. They are also well placed to continue on to doctoral studies in fields across the humanities. Crucially, graduates will have acquired not only a firm grounding in a rich intellectual tradition that continues to shape society, but also transferable skills including critical thinking, and the ability to argue persuasively.