Cultural Studies Course

By Jessica Hetley - Last update


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Cultural Studies Course

Cultural studies course looks at human society and the different variations of it that have sprung up across the world. It is closely related to anthropology.

What are cultural studies?

Cultural studies look at the history and society of people across the world. It can focus on history, gender, politics and even more abstract concepts, such as addiction. It requires a disciplined approach to research but can prove extremely interesting to people who enjoy the work.

What will I learn on a course?

There are a range of different courses at varying levels, from certificate level through to postgraduate. Obviously, the level at which you choose to study will greatly impact what you learn.

However, there are elements of cultural studies that will be included in most courses. These include the following aspects:

  • Political Studies. This is an essential part of the course, as it focuses on many of the different cultural political systems around the world, and the effect that it has had on people (The USSR and Communist China, for example).
  • Irish History. As the course takes place in Ireland, it is directly relevant to look at the interesting social history of the nation (which has a very colourful past, politically and socially). This makes for a fascinating topic and will illustrate many of the important aspects of cultural studies themselves.
  • Folklore also plays a role in the creation of society, as it shapes the traditions that are handed down from generation to generation. This also encompasses ethnology, which looks at the history of specific races of people outside of a singular nationality. In an Irish context, this is best described as including the history of the wider Celtic nations, including Scotland and Wales, as they all share a similar common heritage.
  • Archaeology will also play an important part in a cultural context, as it is the way that we have come to learn about many of the great civilisation that have come before us. For students interested in history, this should prove a fascinating subject of study.
  • European history also plays a strong role in a cultural studies context, as the great European nations colonised most of the world during the 18th and 19th centuries, which has contributed to the European cultural dominance that has come to rest of the world. This is also true of the United States, whose culture has largely been important by the settlers that emigrated there for work.
  • Courses will also promote good academic skills, such as research, communication and IT.

What can I expect to do after I finish?

If you have taken one of the beginner level courses listed here, then you can use it to prove to universities that you have the relevant skills and qualification to begin a proper academic study.

If you have taken a course at a higher level – QQI level 5, for example, you may be able to find a job upon graduation. There are many careers that call for graduates with cultural studies qualification, including think tanks, community action groups, charities and NGOs. This is an excellent opportunity to use your skills to make a difference to lives.

If you have achieved a postgraduate qualification, you could consider going to work within academia, or perhaps teaching the subject yourself. A job a professional researcher could also be possible for postgraduate students.

Whatever the reason you choose to take a course in cultural studies, there are an enormous range of courses encompassing almost every aspect of human culture. This means you are sure to find something to fascinate you, and help to give you an interesting and rewarding career.


Jessica Hetley

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