In Cultural Studies, ‘culture’ is understood very broadly, but with a strong emphasis on local everyday life. Cultural Studies does not follow traditional distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture; for example, a Lorde music video becomes a significant cultural text alongside a classical opera.
Cultural Studies analyses many popular cultural forms: film and television, comics and graphic novels, advertising, art, new media, music, fashion, sport, and leisure to name just a few. These domains are shown to be extremely powerful political forces in shaping our societies and our identities.
The contemporary theories of culture view it as something dynamic, living, and changeable. This leads to questions of how culture is produced; how we interpret culture; how culture can be preserved or destroyed; and how new commodity models, communications and information technology, and globalisation affect our culture.
- The Cultural Studies programme at UC is the only such interdisciplinary programme in Aotearoa. More than ten departments across Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts teach into this subject, giving students exposure to different perspectives and theories, and the opportunity to study a range of contemporary cultural domains and texts. Our aim is not to simplify culture or try to unify it, but rather to embrace its complexity.
- The programme specialises in four pathways of study: gender and sexuality, Aotearoa New Zealand studies, popular and visual culture, and human-animal studies.
- Each pathway has a student advisor associated with it who can be contacted for more information. However students may choose not to specialise and opt for a more diverse programme of study.
Cultural Studies major
For the major in the Bachelor of Arts, complete the following courses:
- Two 100-level CULT courses (or other courses approved by the Programme Coordinator)
- CULT 202 Cultural Politics/Cultural Activism
- Two 200-level CULT courses (or other courses approved by the Programme Coordinator)
- Two 300-level CULT courses (or other courses approved by the Programme Coordinator)
Cultural Studies minor
For the minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, complete the following courses:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level CULT courses, or other courses approved by the Programme Coordinator, with at least 45 points above 100-level
You can construct a degree that is quite generalised (perhaps suited for a teaching career) or relatively specialised (eg, film and media; sexuality and gender; places, spaces, and technologies; bicultural studies; cultural identity and politics; environmentalism; and human-animal studies).
Cultural Studies leads to careers in fields where a wide analytic grasp of contemporary culture is required eg, the media industries, journalism, publishing, writing, website design, advertising, museology, public relations, teaching and education, advocacy, policy analysis, and arts management.
Because of the breadth and flexibility of a graduate's understanding of culture, they are also able to move among such fields easily.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Cultural Studies.
Level 5, Karl Popper building – see campus maps
Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Browse related subjects to Cultural Studies
Choose an area that you are interested in and learn how UC's extensive range of study options can let you study what you want to.
If you want to study how the modern world came to be the way it is, what is happening and why, and what alternatives are possible, Sociology is for you. ...