Cities and Cultures

MRes ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


Graffiti on buildings with Citibank building in background, NYC. Cities and Cultures Masters programme explores cultural urban geography.

The Cities and Cultures MRes is a pre-doctoral training programme version of the Cities and Cultures MA. Alongside the focus on the cultural geographies of cities, this programme develops social science research skills and methods appropriate for further study in this field. 

This MRes is a pre-doctoral training programme taught in conjunction with the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) and is an approved pathway for ESRC 1+3 PhD studentship funding – ideal for those seeking to work in a research-related role. MRes programmes in the School of Geography have the same structure as the MA/MSc equivalents, but include two compulsory modules: 'Geographical Thought and Practice' and ‘Introduction to Social Science 2: Quantitative Methods and Data’. 

This programme:

  • allows you to embark on a research pathway if you wish to pursue a PhD after your masters degree, in particular allowing you to undertake an ESRC-funded PhD
  • provides advanced-level training in social science research methodologies
  • deepens your knowledge of the distinctive contribution of cultural geographical perspectives to understanding cities and urban life
  • encourages you to examine collaborative cultural geographies, focusing especially on creative collaborations between geographers, artists and curators.

Become a part of QMUL Geography

  • Professional and friendly environment: We are recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of human geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars. Joining the School of Geography places you alongside academics that are actively developing and challenging contemporary thinking in their field. 
  • Research excellence: Almost 80 per cent of our research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing us 5th in the UK for this measure. Our research scores increased across all areas in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) and we were ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. We are also proud to feature in the top 100 geography departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018).
  • Employability: 94% of respondents from our postgraduates were in work or further study six month after graduation; 91% at graduate level (DLHE 2015).
  • Capital location: We're a School that cares about the world beyond the university, working with a range of community groups, artists, cultural and heritage institutions and policy makers, particularly here in east London. Our passion is to demonstrate through research and teaching the intellectual and political significance of geographical research and understanding. We encourage our students to become part of this vibrant intellectual culture.
  • Research centre: Cities and Cultures is linked with The City Centre, our dedicated centre for collaborative research and related activities that are focused on the city and urban life.


  • Walter Oldershaw Award: eight awards (£3,000 each) are available across all masters degrees offered by the School of Geography
  • Queen Mary Alumni Loyalty Award: all graduates of QMUL are awarded a £1,000 bursary 
  • Postgraduate Loans Scheme: eligible students are able to borrow loans up to £10,000 
  • Read more about these opportunities on the funding a masters page


  • Weekly research seminars: As a postgraduate student you will be invited to weekly research seminars as well as several research frameworks sessions with top-level academic researchers.
  • Dedicated working space: QMUL's new Graduate Centre, opened in 2017, provides excellent teaching and learning spaces for all postgraduate students, including a 200-seat lecture theatre, study spaces, seminar rooms, an open-plan study area, landscaped courtyard and a cafe. Additionally, postgraduate students have desk and computing space in dedicated offices within the School of Geography and access to facilities for specialist statistical and Geographical Information System (GIS) analyses, desktop publishing and the processing of video and electronic images.  
  • University of London network: QMUL is a part of the University of London, so our students have access to the facilities, learning resources and libraries across the group's institutions. You can also use the first-rate resources of other libraries with London collections (e.g. the British Library).

Ask us a question


The programme is made up of 180 credits. For full details on our modules please go to the online module directory.

Core module:

  • Dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits)

Compulsory modules:

  • Cities, Space and Power (30 credits)
  • Geographical Thought and Practice (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Social Science 2: Quantitative Methods and Data (30 credits)

Option modules:

  • Advanced Readings in Geography (30 credits)
  • Art, Performance and the City (30 credits) 
  • Cultural Geography in Practice (30 credits)  


Ask us a question

Entry requirements

An upper second class honours degree or higher in a relevant subject from a UK university (or an equivalent international qualification), together with one supportive academic reference is usually required. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account and non-academic references can be considered in specific circumstances. It is not necessary to have a first degree in geography and we welcome applicants from different backgrounds in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Candidates are expected to have good English language ability and to meet our minimum English language requirements. If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements, it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme.

For more information, please contact the Admissions Office on +44 (0)20 7882 5533 or email

For detailed country-specific entry requirements please visit the international section of our website.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercises and role-plays as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in formal classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work and completing projects.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning requirements and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessment on each of the modules is through a variety of coursework assignments ranging from extended essays to book reviews.


You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation. You will be assigned an academic supervisor from the School of Geography. Your supervisor will provide guidance and advice on your dissertation research. You will meet with your supervisor at least six times from January through to June in order to ensure that your work is on track for completion.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £9,150
Part time £4,575

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £16,350
Part time £8,175


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717


May Hannah Cameron, class of 2018

May Hannah Cameron

"I chose to study at Queen Mary because I had heard of my course through a lecturer at SOAS and a family friend who had a great experience at Queen Mary.

"I enjoy the range of content within my degree course, and like the combination of theoretical and practical work it encourages. I have especially enjoyed the field walks that have been part of the course.

"I appreciate the level of support and feedback on offer from the lecturers at Queen Mary. This makes for a much richer and fulfilling university experience."

Erica Fletcher, class of 2017

Erica Fletcher

"The new Graduate Centre is amazing; it's so motivating to work looking over London. The masters room in the School of Geography is also great - having a place just for postgraduate geography students is really helpful!"

Eimear Kelly, class of 2014, currently PhD student at QMUL

Eimear Kelly, Class of 2014, MA Cities and Cultures, Queen Mary University of London

"I was initially attracted to this course because of the opportunity to indulge my interest in urban spaces and the artistic response to city life. But I have found that it has sparked my interest in subjects far beyond those I had originally imagined.

"For my dissertation, I explored the cultural geographies of Irish dance. The possibilities of topics to study really do feel endless. One of my favourite aspects of the course has been the Cultural Geography in Practice module, examining how geographers have engaged with creative and collaborative research and dissemination methods such as art, film and exhibitions. The opportunity to create my own exhibition proposal was really interesting and enabled me to use knowledge from my undergraduate studies in art history.

"For anyone considering this course, I recommend it entirely. Queen Mary has a brilliant reputation, the School of Geography has a really friendly environment, and the professors are incredibly helpful and supportive."

Shiori Tamagami, class of 2013, currently working at PASCO Corporation in Japan

Shiori Tamagami

"One of the special aspects of the MA Cities and Cultures course is that it offers different perspectives on understanding the world. Through programs which engage with museums and galleries, it was exciting and unique in terms of collaborative works and exhibition planning. It showed me how we can contribute to society and has enabled me to explore my own academic interests. Furthermore, it led me to do fieldwork in Japan for my dissertation.

"Whilst studying and living in London was challenging for me in terms of language, academic culture and lifestyle, it was also enjoyable thanks to the kind support given by staff and fellow students on the course at Queen Mary. A year on this masters course was very stimulating and rewarding. I believe the unforgettable experiences at Queen Mary gave me a deeper understanding of cities and cultures."


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