The Cultural Studies M.A. degree requires the writing and successful defense of a Master's thesis and the completion of two and one half course credits
Full-time students are expected to complete all degree requirements within two years of admission (although, under special circumstances, a third year may be allowed). Full-time students normally complete the course requirements and gain approval of a thesis proposal in the first year, then finish and defend the thesis in the second year. Part-time students are expected to complete the degree within four years, and the timing of the completion of specific requirements is by individual arrangement.
There is no fixed language requirement, but students are expected to demonstrate competence in such foreign languages (and other technical skills) as are necessary for the research project they propose. Subject to the availability of appropriate supervisors, and with Program approval, theses may be written in French.
Required Course Work
An exploration of current conceptual issues in the humanities and social sciences. Each year's sessions are organized around a broadly common theme, designed to generate discussion among, and about, a multiplicity of differing perspectives. Formal presentations by visiting speakers and Trent faculty before an open audience alternate with workshops for those taking the seminar for credit. Students are required to write and present a thesis proposal as part of the second term requirements of CUST-5000Y.
Additional Course Work
Two Core Half Courses
The core half-year courses involve intensive readings of key thinkers and texts, covering such areas as (post)modern philosophy, cultural and social theory, gender theory, and political philosophy. The specific list of (three or four) half courses from which to choose varies from year to year.
One Half Course Elective
The elective is intended to provide background and support for the thesis. The particular choice is worked out in consultation with the Director and the student's Supervisory Committee. There are four options: (1) a graduate course offered at Trent; (2) a graduate reading course (CUST-5900H) arranged with a member of the Program faculty; (3) a specially tailored version of an upper year undergraduate course; and (4) under special circumstances, an appropriate course given at another university.
Thesis Submission and Defence
After the supervisor, second reader, and student have worked through as many drafts as are required the completed thesis will be submitted to the Program Director. This should be submitted by no later than June 1 of the student’s second year if they expect to graduate by the end of their second year. Students who don’t meet the deadline for completion in two years (the exact date is in the Trent Calendar for the year in question) are required to register and pay one full term’s fees.
Once the supervisory committee has confirmed that the thesis may proceed to examination, the Program Director establishes a committee to participate in the examination and defence, consisting of a Chair, the supervisor, at least one member of the supervisory committee and at least one other member, internal or external to the University who is not a member of the supervisory committee; and determines the date, place and time of the defence.
A “Pre-Oral Defence” form is supplied on which the internal/external examiner should verify whether they recommend that the oral examination should proceed. The form must be returned to the Graduate Program Director at least one week before the scheduled date of the oral. A negative response may result in cancellation of the defence and return of the thesis to the student.
Five recommendations are open to the Examining Committee:
(i) the thesis is approved as it stands, or
(ii) the thesis is approved provided certain minor revisions are made, or
(iii) the thesis is approved provided certain major revisions are made, or
(iv) the thesis is not approved as it stands but may be resubmitted, and re-examined by some or all of the Examining Committee (this may or may not involve another oral defence), or
(v) the thesis is not approved.
Once the thesis is approved along with any revisions, students need to submit the thesis to Graduate Studies. It is the responsibility of students to familiarize themselves with the Principles Governing Submission and Examination of Theses/Dissertations as outlined in the Trent Calendar and to ensure that they have completed all the requirements for the degree. This includes the submission of the thesis to the Graduate Studies Officer for final approval and its binding and/or microfilming, once it has been approved