M.A. in Cultural Studies

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The Master’s degree program in Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary program that combines concepts and methodology from theories of literature, communication, anthropology, sociology, history, psychoanalysis, history of science, art history and music. The program emphasizes the encounters between cultural activity, social action and the material world, and familiarizes students not with a single school of thought, but with a variety of approaches to Cultural Studies. Underlying the program is the concept that students should be provided with a broad foundation of the theoretical insights that crystallized into Cultural Studies, all with a critical perspective, which originated in different fields.

Study Tracks

The program of study is offered in two tracks:

  • Program of studies without a thesis

  • Program of studies with a thesis

Admission Requirements

Applying for studies

Acceptance to the program is determined by the Admissions Committee. The requirements are:

  1. Candidates with an undergraduate degree in any discipline from a recognized academic institution who completed their studies with a grade point average of 80 or above will be accepted. In some cases, candidates will be required to take qualifying courses before beginning the program, depending on their undergraduate degree. Students required to take qualifying courses (see below, “qualifying courses”) will be accorded “accepted with qualifying courses” status.
  2. Exceptional cases: Candidates with an undergraduate degree in any discipline from a recognized academic institution who completed their studies with a grade point average of below 80 may apply. The admission committee will consider the application.
  3. Probationary status: Candidates with an undergraduate degree who completed their studies with a grade point average of below 80 may be accepted with “probationary status.” (See below “Transfer from probationary to degree candidate status”).

The Admissions Committee may take into account additional factors.

Qualifying courses

Students whose degree is in a discipline not directly related to the fields of study in the program, or who lack essential basic courses, will be required to take between one and three of the following qualifying courses. The Admissions Committee will determine which courses the student must take.



Sociology of Culture (10659)



Understanding Movies: Introduction to the Art of Cinema (10640)



Introduction to Mass Media (10408)



Modern Literary and Cultural Theory: An Introduction (10734)



Students who have completed all but one of the required qualifying courses (or who are required to take only one qualifying course) will be allowed to take one graduate course in the program while concurrently taking the qualifying course.

Transition from probationary to degree candidate status

Students with probationary status who are not required to take qualifying courses will be accepted as degree candidates if their average grade in the four required courses in the program is 80 or above.

Probationary students who are required to take qualifying courses will be accepted as degree candidates if their average grade in qualifying courses is 80 or above. Students who are required to take fewer than three qualifying courses are still required to achieve an average grade of 80 or above in the first three required courses they take in the program.

Accreditation of Prior Studies

The interdepartmental Master’s committee in Cultural Studies will consider granting accreditation for up to 12 credits and no more than 3 courses, exempting students from electives in sections c) and d). Additional details can be found in the Regulations Pertaining to Graduate Studies.

Program of Studies

a) Basic courses – 15 credits


Students are advised to take these five required courses in the first three semesters of studies, and in any case, are required to complete them within two years of beginning their studies.

Society, Culture and Representation (14202)


Theories and Approaches in Cultural Studies (14205)


Anthropological and Sociological Approaches to Cultural Studies (14204)


Multiculturalism in Israel (14206)


Qualitative Research Methods (MA) (14210)2


b) Core courses – 6-12 credits

In the non-thesis track: at least 4 courses (12 credits)
In the thesis track: at least 2 courses (6 credits)

The remaining courses can be taken as advanced seminar electives, fulfilling the requirement in section c.

Pierre Bourdieu: Taste, Cultural Capital and the Arts (14201)


Issues in Intercultural Exchange and Cross-cultural Encounters (14207)


Jews, Hebrews, Israelis: Cultural Aspects of Jewish Identity (14203)


Issues in Spatial Theory (14208)


Body and Culture (14209)


Popular Culture (14211)


Gender: Culture and Identity (14212)


The Cultural Contexts of Science (14213)


People, Society and Place in Jewish Culture 3


c) Seminar courses – 6 credits

In both tracks, students are required to take 2 seminar courses (totaling 6 credits). These may be chosen from among courses not taken in section b above.4

d) Seminar papers – 4 credits

Only after completing the five required courses and the core courses (sections a and b above) may students begin to prepare seminar papers. In both tracks, students are required to submit two seminar papers. Seminar papers will only be written on topics in advanced seminar courses taken in section c above, and only after having successfully completed the course.5 Each seminar paper grants 2 credits, and the grade has the same weight as a course in the calculation of the final degree grade.

e) Advanced undergraduate electives – 6-12 credits

In the non-thesis track, 2 courses (12 credits), and in the thesis track, 1 course (6 credits), among the following, including only courses not taken in the framework of undergraduate studies. Students interested in taking advanced undergraduate courses not listed below, should submit a request to an academic advisor. Students may choose to take additional core courses from section b, instead of taking undergraduate courses.

Modern Political Ideologies (10538)


Jane Austen: Approaches to Criticism (10378)


Issues in the Study of Nationalism (10374)


East and West in Israeli Cinema (10534)


Historical Thinking: Issues in Philosophy of History (10337)


Culture, Communication and Leisure in Israel (10503)


Communication as Culture (10532)


Literature and Ideology in Palestine in the 1930s (10346)


The Canaanite Group: Literature and Ideology (10335)


Holocaust Survivors, Outsiders and Others in Israeli Cinema and Literature (10551)


Visual Representations of Zionist Ideology in Israeli Culture (10594)


Narrative: A Multidisciplinary Perspective (10916)


f) Methodological Seminar for Students in the Thesis Track – 3 credits

The Thesis Seminar for Academic Writing in Cultural Studies (14299) is a required course for students in the thesis track.

g) Final exam / Thesis

There is a final exam in the non-thesis track. Students may take the exam after accumulating at least 39 credits. The examination is a take-home exam given twice each year. The composition of the exam can be found under “forms” on the program website.

Tutorial sessions

Attendance at tutorial sessions is mandatory. Sessions include student presentations, and take place 5-6 times a semester in the late afternoon.

Application for the thesis track

After completing at least seven courses (not including qualifying courses), submitting at least one seminar paper and having a grade point average of 90 or above, students may apply for the thesis track. Before registering for the Thesis Seminar for Academic Writing in Cultural Studies (14299), students need the approval of the coordinator of the seminar.6 Students who are accepted will gain the status of “thesis track candidate” after their thesis proposal is approved by their supervisor and the Master’s degree committee.

The thesis will be written under the supervision of a senior faculty member at the Open University or another university. Two years are allocated for writing the thesis after the proposal is approved.

Duration of Studies

Students are required to complete their studies within 7 years of beginning their studies (not including qualifying courses).7

Degree Eligibility

Students will be eligible for a degree subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:

  • Completing all qualifying courses (if required)

  • Successfully completing 13 courses in non-thesis track, and 11 courses in the thesis track, according to the approved program of study

  • Writing two seminar papers

  • Writing a thesis in the thesis track

  • Passing the final exam in the non-thesis track

Final Degree Grade

In the non-thesis track: average grades of the courses and seminar papers (90%); final exam grade (10%).

In the thesis track: average grades of the courses and seminar papers (70%); final grade on the thesis (30%).


The details below are subject to the Regulations Pertaining to Graduate Studies.


Students who took the four required courses before the Fall 2011 semester are exempt from this course and are required to take an additional core course.


The course is not yet being taught.


Additional elective seminar courses are not yet being taught.


A seminar paper may also be written in one of the first core courses taken. If more than one semester has passed since taking the course, students should apply to the course coordinator to arrange registration for the seminar paper.


Approval of thesis track candidacy is not automatic. In some cases, the seminar coordinator will pass the application on to the admissions committee of the thesis track.


In exceptional cases, students may apply to the Master’s committee for an extension. The committee may require that students take additional courses, which will be included in the study program, instead of, or in addition to, courses that the student has taken.