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Masters Degrees (Capitalism)

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Who is it for?. The Global Political Economy MA will help you broaden your understanding of the complex contemporary global economic system and its socio-political relationships. Read more

Who is it for?

The Global Political Economy MA will help you broaden your understanding of the complex contemporary global economic system and its socio-political relationships. The course is designed for inquisitive students that want to develop a cutting-edge perspective on global economic and financial relations, inter-state competition, mechanisms of global governance and processes of transformation and change.

You don’t need any formal economics education for this course. Students come from a wide range of subject fields, including Politics, Law, Business Studies, Media Studies, the Humanities and more.

From global inequality and tax evasion to financial regulation and financial crises, the expertise that you develop on this advanced MA will enable you to pursue a wide range of rewarding career options in the public and private sectors.

Objectives

The Global Political Economy MA will help you:

  • Get an advanced specialist education in the field of global political economy.
  • Develop your analytical skills and the ability to examine and critically evaluate the complex structure of relationships between markets, governments, transnational actors and networks in the setting of the globalising economy.
  • Acquire an advanced conceptualisation of the problems of global capitalism in the
  • 21st century.
  • Critically examine rapid economic change and its socio-political roots in the contemporary world.
  • Analyse and articulate your analysis of complex issues and debates to a high level.
  • Prepare for a diverse range of careers and develop contextual knowledge that will be applicable for life-long learning in a rapidly changing economic environment.

Teaching and learning

You will benefit from our internationally renowned expertise in the field of global political economy, exemplified by:

  • The leading academic staff who deliver the course.
  • The vibrant research culture at the City Political Economy Research Centre.
  • City’s central London location.

The MA in Global Political Economy is taught by internationally renowned, world-leading scholars in the field, including the next-generation of academics engaged in cutting-edge research. As a result, City boasts one of the UK’s best teams in the critical study of global finance.

Our staff includes Ronen Palan, Anastasia Nesvetailova, Stefano Pagliari, Amin Samman and Sandy Brian Hager amongst others.

Student activities

In many modules, you will be encouraged to give presentations. We use group discussions, brain-storming, role-play and mini-roundtables on thematic issues in addition to conventional teaching techniques.

As an MA student, you are also invited to attend PhD workshops organised by doctoral students in the Department.

Assessment

All modules are assessed through a written essay of 4,500 words.

In addition to coursework, you must complete a final MA dissertation of 15,000 words based on your independent research. The dissertation is worth one-third of the overall MA mark. The Global Political Economy MA dissertation is grounded in a specialised stream of the Research Design module (IPM111). During the module, you will receive specialised training in research methodology, tailored for your dissertation in the field of global political economy.

Modules

You will complete 180 credits in total.

The course consists of core modules on the history of global capitalism and contending approaches from across the political economy traditions. You will then develop specialist knowledge through elective modules, which cover issues such as economic and financial crises, international organisations and economic diplomacy, poverty and inequality, regionalisation and globalisation, states and sovereignty, and the rise of new economic powers.

You will take two core modules and a range of electives. Core modules are typically taught as a weekly one-hour lecture and one-hour tutorial, and optional modules as a weekly two-hour seminar session.

Teaching is supported by a personal tutorial and supervision system, as well as organised seminar series with outside speakers, both professional and academic.

Core modules

Elective modules

You choose 60 credits from:

Typical modules offered by the Department of International Politics:

  • Understanding Security in the Twenty-First Century (15 credits)
  • Development and World Politics (15 credits)
  • Political Economy of Global Finance (15 credits)
  • The Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)
  • Global Governance (15 credits)
  • International Politics and the Middle East (15 credits)
  • Global Financial Governance (15 credits)
  • Strategy, Diplomacy and Decision-Making (30 credits)
  • Economic Diplomacy (15 credits)
  • Foreign Policy Analysis (15 credits)
  • Religion in Global Politics (15 credits

Typical modules offered by The City Law School:

  • International Law and the Global Economy (30 credits)
  • International Tax Law (30 credits)
  • International Trade Law(30 credits)
  • Money Laundering Law (30 credits)
  • International Investment Law (30 credits)
  • International Banking Law (30 credits)

In Term 3 you will complete your dissertation project.

Career prospects

This specialised MA degree will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to enter a range of careers related to the global political economy. It enables graduates both with and without prior knowledge of economics to engage competently and confidently with economic and financial developments and pursue professional careers in the public and private sectors, including:

  • Finance and banking.
  • Transnational corporations.
  • Civil service and international diplomacy.
  • The media.
  • Development agencies.

Should you want to take your academic studies further, the MA also provides you with a solid foundation to pursue doctoral research in politics and political economy.

International Politics Careers Day

During your MA year you are encouraged to attend the Department's International Politics Careers Day which explores career opportunities and provides:

  • Talks by speakers within the field (including City alumni). Previous speakers have included staff from the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Justice, UNESCO, the EU Commission and the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO).
  • Talks by careers consultants and volunteering coordinators.
  • CV and application advice, and volunteering drop-in sessions with career professionals.


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This MA programme provides you with a thorough grounding in the classics of Social and Political Thought and a deep and varied engagement with their 20th and 21st Century offshoots. Read more

This MA programme provides you with a thorough grounding in the classics of Social and Political Thought and a deep and varied engagement with their 20th and 21st Century offshoots. This course addresses a range of key concepts and ideas that are central to the analysis of contemporary society, politics and culture, including debates over the basis of contemporary capitalism, neoliberalism, biopolitics, ideology, and the fundamental question of what it means to be ‘social’ and/or ‘human’.

Programme content

The degree is structured around two core modules. The first of these is State, Capitalism and Market (convened by Professor Nicholas Gane), which uses theoretical resources such as Michel Foucault’s writings on biopolitics to think analytically and critically about capitalism and its recurrent crises. This module looks in particular at the recent financial crisis and the role this crisis has played in the reconfiguration of structural relations between the market and the state. A key part of this module is the critical analysis of political-economic discourses of neoliberalism that argue for the sovereignty of markets and economics over all things ‘social’. The second core module is Politics and Social Theory (convened by Dr Charles Turner) uses the work a wide-range of classical thinkers (for example, de Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim and Weber) and Twentieth Century writers (Arendt, Schmitt and Rorty) to consider the possibility of developing a sociological understanding of politics.

Beyond these two core modules, you can pursue your own research interests and specialisms by choosing four modules from a wide range of options, and then progressing to research and write their own 15,000 word dissertation.



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This MA highlights issues of effective demand, social conflict and financial instability as features of modern capitalism. It covers neo-classical, post-Keynesian and Marxist theories, and applies them to contemporary issues of austerity policy, neo-liberalism, financialisation and globalisation. Read more
This MA highlights issues of effective demand, social conflict and financial instability as features of modern capitalism. It covers neo-classical, post-Keynesian and Marxist theories, and applies them to contemporary issues of austerity policy, neo-liberalism, financialisation and globalisation. The course aims to provide a precise and professional knowledge of the procedures used to analyse current issues in political economy.

Key features
-This course provides excellent preparation for a range of employment possibilities in government agencies, think-tanks, research institutes or in international agencies such as the International Labor Organization.
-Lectures are supplemented by seminars, giving an opportunity for regular feedback and discussion.
-The University's Economics department is actively engaged in research and publication on financial topics, and you will benefit from regular staff seminars and workshops.

What will you study?

You will acquire a rigorous and broad-based understanding of the discipline of political economy, as well as an ability to carry out research in this field. The course provides a comprehensive review of macroeconomics from a theoretical and policy perspective, and of capitalism from its emergence to contemporary globalisation, as well as the parallel developments in political economy.

You will explore present-day competing political economy paradigms, and pursue an advanced analysis of the processes of globalisation and financialisation of contemporary capitalism, using it as a basis for discussion of economic policy. Your dissertation will focus on an applied economic policy topic - you will work individually with a member of staff to choose a topic for your dissertation, research this topic and write up your conclusions.

Assessment

Assessment will take a variety of forms, including class tests, essays, examinations, graded exercises, practical coursework, presentations, take-home tests, dissertation, literature review and economic reports.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Economics Dissertation
-Financialisation, Globalisation and Economic Policy
-Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
-Political Economy: Effective Demand, Exploitation and Crisis

Optional modules
-Economic Change and Ideas
-Economic Policy Modelling

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This MPhil pathway is designed to give students a basic understanding of major themes and debates in political and economic sociology. Read more
This MPhil pathway is designed to give students a basic understanding of major themes and debates in political and economic sociology. There are four core substantive modules on political and economic sociology that students are expected to attend, taught by Dr. Manali Desai, Dr. Hazem Kandil, Prof. Lawrence King, and Dr. Jeff Miley.

Other substantive modules may also have an economic sociology component, and these would complement the core modules well. In addition, all students must attend the module on comparative historical research methods taught by Dr. Miley as well as one other methods module to be decided in consultation with their supervisor.

Students have the option of doing one of their coursework essays on a topic taught on any sociology MPhil module (for instance, media, culture, globalisation or reproduction); all of the rest of the coursework essays and the dissertation (based on original research) must relate to the political and economic sociology options.

Topics to be covered include: the Marxist critique of capitalism; Weber’s theory of legitimacy; the transition from feudalism to capitalism; the emergence of the modern state; theories of the capitalist state; class structure and class formation under capitalism; the rise of democracy and dictatorship; theories of revolution; the rise of the welfare state; social movement theory; theories of imperialism; theories of development and underdevelopment; gender and ethnicity in post-colonial states; nationalisms; war and militarism, and state violence and genocide.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hssomppes

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:

- an advanced understanding of current sociological research in selected topics;
- skills necessary to conduct independent social research and experience in their use;
- an ability to apply and develop modern social theory with respect to empirical topics;
- a deeper understanding of their chosen specialist area, including command of the literature and current research;
- the ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.

Format

The course offers teaching on Social Theory, Substantive modules and Research Methods. Students work towards a written dissertation supported by supervisions and a dissertation workshop.

Students receive written feedback on each essay and the dissertation. Feedback is also given during the dissertation workshop on the direction and progress of the dissertation research.

Assessment

Students write a dissertation of not less than 15,000 and not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Degree Committee.

Students write one methods essay of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words (or prescribed course work) and two substantive essays of not less than 4,000 and not more than 5,000 words.

Continuing

Students are encouraged to proceed to the Faculty's PhD programme, provided they reach a high level of achievement in all parts of the course. MPhil students who would like to continue to the PhD would normally need to have a final mark of at least 70% overall and 70% on the dissertation.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

The Department of Sociology holds ESRC funding awards. Sociology is a recognised Doctoral Training Centre pathway toward a PhD. Therefore candidates for the MPhil in Sociology (Political and Economic Sociology) can apply for 1+3 ESRC funding.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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The MA in Sociology addresses recent key concerns and enduring intellectual traditions within sociology and related social sciences. Read more

The MA in Sociology addresses recent key concerns and enduring intellectual traditions within sociology and related social sciences. The degree addresses issues such as inequality, racism, violence, capitalism and social change among many important themes with particular contemporary relevance. Critical debate and modes of embedding critical thought in reflective practice mark core skills you will develop in this course. The core modules ground you in theory, methods and analytical tools, and options allow you to apply them to particular issues. For the dissertation you will conduct independent study with a supervisor, choosing from a range of topics similar in scope to the options offered.

Modules

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

◾Research Projects in Practice: From Design to Dissemination

◾Contemporary Debates in Sociology

◾Dissertation

Optional

◾Debates in Gender Research

◾Gender, Sex and Bodies

◾Gender and Violence

◾Feminist Media and Cultural Studies

◾Environment and Culture

◾Methods in Science and Technology Studies

◾Mobilities, Society & Change

◾The Social Life of Science and Technology: Theories and Debates

◾Capitalism and Crisis

◾Cybercultures

◾Social and Cultural Theory

◾Consumer Society

◾Critical Methods in Media and Cultural Studies

◾Critical Debates in Media and Cultural Studies



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This interdisciplinary course offers you the rare opportunity to study contemporary critical and cultural debates across a wide range of fields. Read more
This interdisciplinary course offers you the rare opportunity to study contemporary critical and cultural debates across a wide range of fields. Exploring a variety of different visual, textual and spatial forms of culture, and their diverse theorisations, the course will particularly appeal to those with wide-ranging interests in the arts and humanities, as well as those interested in cutting-edge theoretical debates.

Modules are taught by expert staff from a number of different disciplines, giving you the chance to follow particular themes in the areas that most interest you. Recent work by staff in Cultural and Critical Studies includes books and articles on new media, urban theory, gender, contemporary art and aesthetics, Victorian criminality, China, visual culture, architecture, post-colonialism and critical theory.

Course content

The course consists of two main core modules, Capitalism and Culture, and Problems and Perspectives in Cultural Studies. These establish a framework for the close analysis of the locations, products and systems of culture. The dissertation of 10-12,000 words, which can be written on an appropriate topic of your choice, and the Research Methods module are also core modules. There is also an optional work placement module.

You are encouraged to attend the research seminars in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, at which visiting speakers, creative practitioners and teaching staff present their current work.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-CAPITALISM AND CULTURE
-DISSERTATION
-PROBLEMS AND PERSPECTIVES IN CULTURAL STUDIES

Option modules - Choose four from:
-ENGAGING THE ARCHIVE
-INTERPRETING SPACE
-READING CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
-REPRESENTING WORLD CULTURES
-TRAUMA IN AMERICAN MODERNITY: THE NATION AND ITS LIMITS
-URBAN CULTURES
-WORK PLACEMENT IN CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

Associated careers

The course is intended to give you sophisticated critical skills and a widely applicable knowledge of contemporary culture. This enables further study at MPhil or PhD levels, but is also particularly relevant to a range of professions in the media, creative and cultural industries.

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This multidisciplinary, visual theory-based course is established around the belief that visual literacy and the impact of visual forms of thinking and working now play significant roles in society. Read more
This multidisciplinary, visual theory-based course is established around the belief that visual literacy and the impact of visual forms of thinking and working now play significant roles in society. The course introduces you to a range of historical and contemporary debates that inform the theories and practice of visual culture, and enables you to develop a conceptual framework within which to evaluate the role of the visual arts, and other forms of visual production, in contemporary society and culture.

You will acquire creative and professional research skills, such as the ability to work from exhibitions, art works and institutional archives, to be able to operate within different artistic and conceptual frameworks.

Course content

This Masters balances historical and theoretical debates in the field of visual culture studies with a rigorous interrogation of cultural practices across a range of topics, including: activism and popular politics; contemporary visual arts, capitalism and culture; globalisation and new media technologies; institutions and their archives; and the material culture of the city. The course also draws upon the cultural institutions and intellectual resources of central London, and has established contacts with other galleries and organisations for work placements.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-DISSERTATION
-VISUAL CULTURE: PRODUCTION, DISPLAY AND DISCOURSE
-VISUAL CULTURE: THEORETICAL AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES

Option modules - Choose four from:
-CAPITALISM AND CULTURE
-ENGAGING THE ARCHIVE
-EXHIBITING PHOTOGRAPHY
-INTERPRETING SPACE
-REPRESENTING WORLD CULTURES
-URBAN CULTURES
-WORK PLACEMENTS IN CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

Associated careers

Graduates will be equipped for roles in the creative industries, including museum and gallery work, education, arts administration and marketing, or could pursue further study to PhD level. The course is also suitable for practising artists wishing to further their research.

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The programme is for students who want to analyse and work on social change for the working poor in developing countries. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is for students who want to analyse and work on social change for the working poor in developing countries. It is highly relevant to anyone working or intending to work on labour and labour-related social movements in development agencies and NGOs, labour and solidarity movements, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and to activists in both developed and developing countries. We welcome students with a strong background in the social sciences in their first degree, as well as practitioners and professionals working in the areas of development, labour and employment relations, social movements and other related fields.

A unique Programme

This innovative new programme offers students the opportunity to study labour conditions and relations, social movements of labour and their contributions to development processes and changes in the South. It is the first and only MSc programme in the UK dedicated to Labour, Social Movements and Development. It provides a critical examination of the links between labour, capitalism, development and poverty. It investigates labour in contemporary social and economic development of the South as well as classic and newly emerging social movements of labour in local, national and international spaces. Students will also have the opportunity to experience labour campaigns and policy-making in practice by participating in our interactive sessions on designing and implementing international, regional and national labour campaigns and policies. The MSc draws on the expertise of Department of Development Studies staff in labour, social movements and development in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and on our contacts within such movements, as well as with NGOs and international organisations.

The MSc in Labour, Social Movements and Development explores different theories and methods for the study of the working poor in the South, and offers a critical examination of the links between labour, capitalism, development and poverty, and of the role of social movements and international initiatives for labour.

Highlights include:

- Labour process and organisations: development trajectories and divisions in the South

- A comparative history of labour and social movements in countries such as China, Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East

- Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives, codes of conduct and anti-sweatshop campaigning

- The impact of neoliberalism and globalisation on workers in the South

- Informalisation of labour, casualization and precarious work

- Feminisation of labour

- The worst forms of exploitation: forced labour and child labour

- Rural labour, migrant labour and labour in Export Processing Zones

- Household and reproductive labour

- The International Labour Organisation, international labour standards and decent work

- Practices and theories of local, national and international labour campaigns.

The unique regional expertise at SOAS allows students of the MSc in Labour, Social Movements and Development to specialise in some of the most dynamic parts of the developing world. The programme’s emphasis on transferable analytical skills will be of great benefit to graduates who return to, or take up, professional careers in international organisations, government agencies and non-governmental organisations and movements. Students also benefit from the wide range of modules on offer, both within the department and across the School, allowing them to create individualised interdisciplinary programmes.

The department has a Labour, Movements and Development research cluster (http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/research/labour/) which carries out research activities linked to labour, social movements and development.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/msc-labour-social-movements-and-development/

Structure

- Overview
There are four main components to this degree: three taught modules and a 10,000 word dissertation. All students take a core module, Labour, Social Movements and Development. They then select one of two further modules: Political Economy of Development or Theory, Policy and Practice of Development. Through these modules students build their analytical skills and knowledge of the main issues and debates in Development Studies.

- Specialisation
Students also take optional modules (one full unit module or two half-unit modules), allowing them to specialise in particular areas of development and potentially to develop a dissertation in a related theme. By tying these to their individual dissertation topic, students design their degree to suit their own interests and career development goals.

Students should be aware that not all optional modules may run in a given year. Modules at other institutions are not part of the approved programme structure.

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/16 (pdf; 79kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/msc-labour-social-movements-and-development/file101781.pdf

Materials

- SOAS Library
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Teaching & Learning

Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

- Lectures

Most modules involve a two hour lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

- Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Employment

A postgraduate degree in Labour, Social Movements and Development from SOAS provides graduates with a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers, including analytical skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. Equally graduates are able to continue in the field of research, continuing their studies either at SOAS or other institutions.

An MSc in Labour, Social Movements and Development is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Designed for students interested in new ways of exploring and understanding the social world through the use of visual, sensory and other experimental approaches, this programme allows you to study sociological issues alongside innovative methods. Read more

Designed for students interested in new ways of exploring and understanding the social world through the use of visual, sensory and other experimental approaches, this programme allows you to study sociological issues alongside innovative methods.

The MA will enable you to examine, represent and intervene in the social world. You will develop the ability to undertake empirical research and present it publicly in a variety of media and materials. You will engage with sociology as an inventive research practice, deploying creative research methods to address classic and changing sociological problems.

An introduction to debates in visual research

The MA in Visual Sociology provides an introduction to the range of debates in visual research, encouraging you to build on these by using visual, sensory and inventive methodological practices to carry out critical social research in your areas of interest, whether this is science and technology, contemporary capitalism, gender and sexual cultures, race, human rights, globalisation, or other aspects of social life.

A hands-on approach to sociological research

The programme combines lectures and seminars with practical sessions and workshop-based projects in which you develop a hands-on approach to sociological research, providing a skills base in methods which could be used in public sector contexts, art/media research, design or commercial application.

As well as presenting your ideas through writing, during the MA you will have the opportunity to produce different outputs, including film/video, photography, sound and multi-media pieces. You will also organise and curate some of this work in an exhibition. Critical feedback sessions function as a testing ground for individual projects, and themed projects allow you to further develop a portfolio of research outputs geared to a variety of audiences.

Throughout the programme is a concern with the research process, and you will have the opportunity to design and reflect on your own research projects. The dissertation allows you to undertake a substantive research project on your individual interests, supporting by one-to-one supervision with a member of staff. You will have access to the Visual Media Lab, which offers post-production and editing stations, as well as equipment for photography and video. Students can also borrow equipment from the Media Equipment Centre.

At the forefront of the discipline

The MA is based in the Department of Sociology, home of the The Methods Lab and at the forefront of research using live methods. It is taught by staff with a wide range of experience in both sociology and interdisciplinary research, including visual and experimental approaches. The course is suitable for applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including art, design, anthropology, media and communications, cultural studies, geography, and sociology.

Modules & structure

In the first part of the course you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, a module that takes you through the empirical research cycle in the context of the transformation of sociology in the age of visual, digital and other empirical methods. The module Theories and Debates in Visual Research' enables you to address debates within visual sociology, and also encompasses more recent issues surrounding the notions of media, interdisciplinarity and translation which become significant if sociology works with visual and other sensory materials. Assessment of these modules is by essay.

Alongside these modules you will take a core practical component, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice A’, that offers the opportunity to gain skills in photography, sound and video and to develop materials that engage a sociological imagination. A central focus is on how to translate a research question into a variety of materials or media and to be able to critically discuss the selection and use of these.

In the second term you continue with a practical module in inventive sociology, ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’, in which you will work individually or in groups to respond to a theme to create a visual, sensory or experimental object or media to be exhibited to a particular public. Assessment of the practical work includes a diary of research process alongside documentation of work.

These core modules are taught in Sociology. In the second term you will also take an option that may be chosen from Sociology or may be taken from departments across Goldsmiths including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics and International Relations, Media and Communications, Educational Studies, Music, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.

In the summer term you will complete a dissertation involving a major practical project consisting of any media and addressing a specific sociological problem. You will meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff. The dissertation is a substantive piece of research in which you develop a visual, inventive or experimental approach to a topic of your choice.

If you follow the MA part-time over two years, you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice’ and ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’ in year 1, and ‘Theories and Debates in Visual Research’, the dissertation and an option in year 2.

Core modules

Option modules

You will chose an option module to the value of 30 credits from Sociology or from departments across the College including the Departments of AnthropologyEnglish and Comparative LiteraturePoliticsMedia and CommunicationsMusicEducational Studies, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.

Modules in Sociology address themes such as:

  • contemporary capitalism and inequality
  • human rights
  • globalisation and urban life
  • gender and sexuality
  • science, technology and medicine
  • digitisation of social life 

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Skills & careers

This programme attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds, including art and design, business, and the third sector, as well as those with social science degrees. This means the careers that they are interested in pursuing are wide and varied. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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The MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Read more

Multicultural, Multi-Disciplinary MA

The MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Students analyse imperial ascendancies, race and racial theories, nationalist movements, postcolonial experiences, the rise of neo-colonial thought, multiculturalism and interculturalism, and the implications of globalisation and development for the modern world.

This MA allows students to combine the specialisation of postgraduate research with the adaptable skills training of a multi-disciplinary approach. Students benefit from the legacy of an MA programme established in 1994; the programme has continuously re-invented itself in changing ideological climates while maintaining its primary goal: to offer a critical education in the cultural discourses of power.

Careers

MA in Culture and Colonialism graduates have gone on to careers in development work, NGOs, law, university lecturing, publishing, media, journalism, community work, teaching (primary and secondary), film-making, advertising, and the Civil Service. The programme has a particularly strong record in research training: a high proportion of its students have proceeded to doctoral programmes in Ireland, Britain and North America, with many of them winning prestigious funding awards.

Teaching Staff

The programme's teaching staff over the years has been drawn from the disciplines of English, History, Political Science and Sociology, Economics, Irish Studies, Film Studies, Spanish, French, Archaeology, German, Italian, and Classics, and is supplemented by Irish and international guest lecturers.

Programme Outline

The full-time degree taken over a twelve-month period from September. The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April), with the summer period devoted to completing the dissertation. A two-year part-time option is also available. Students take six taught modules together with a (non-assessed) research training seminar, and produce a 15,000-word dissertation (30 ECTS) on a topic of their choice.

Programme Modules

Central Modules

EN541 Colonialism in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Cultural Theory
This module focuses on issues of identity, political agency and representation. It offers an introduction to twentieth-century theorisations of colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially in relation to cultural production, and their implications for twenty-first century socio-political thought. The distinctive position of Ireland in relation to postcolonial theory is considered, together with other national and international contexts. Some of the theorists discussed include Fanon, Said, Spivak and Ahmad.

SP544 Decolonization and Neo-Colonialism: The Politics of 'Development'
The phenomena of development and underdevelopment in those lands that have experienced colonial rule have been theorised in two broadly contrasting ways in social science: the modernisation perspective, which derives from the northern hemisphere by and large, and a series of counter-perspectives (such as structuralism, dependency, neo-Marxism and world systems theory), whose exponents hail from the southern hemisphere in the main. The module also considers the issue of how much light modernisation and counter-perspectives can shed on the Irish experience of development and underdevelopment.

HI546 Studies in the History of Colonialism and Imperialism
This module introduces students to some of the key thinkers and concepts in the writing of British imperial history. The work of scholars such as J. A. Hobson, Ronald Robinson and Jack Gallagher, Peter Cain and Tony Hopkins, Chris Bayly, Alan Lester and John Darwin will be discussed. Concepts such as finance imperialism, informal empire, the official mind, gentlemanly capitalism, colonial knowledge, imperial networks, and bridgeheads will be examined from a critical perspective. Students will be asked to read key texts, undertake wider reading and research to help put these key texts in context, comment on their readings, and present their own ideas as the basis for class discussion and debate.

Research Seminar (compulsory but not examined)
This module provides a training in research, analysis and writing techniques appropriate to the programme, as well as individual consultations on the formulation of dissertation topics. The seminar will take place throughout the year.

Option Modules (two chosen)

EN547 Literature and Colonialism
This module considers the relationship between literary modes and aesthetics and political power. It analyses literature connected to the British Empire and its former colonies, discussing English, Irish, Indian and African writers in relation to colonial power structures, nationalist movements and postcolonial developments. Genres covered include imperial adventure fiction, travel writing, late-Victorian urban Gothic, modernist and post-modernist fiction and poetry, postcolonial writing, and the twenty-first century multicultural novel.

EC535 Political Economy, Colonialism and Globalization
The aim of the module will be to identify the fundamental concepts of globalization by analysing the various ideologies, systems and structures that underpin the progression of global capitalism through the ages. Underlying philosophical theories will be linked with political, legal sociological and economic ideals that are often the driving forces behind these processes.

EN573 Travel Literature
The genre of travel writing includes a vast array of literary forms from journals to letters, ambassadorial reports, captivity narratives, historical descriptions, ethnographies, and natural histories. The appearance of such accounts explodes in the early modern period in an era of expanded travel for purposes of trade, education, exploration, and colonial settlement. This module looks at a range of documents from different historical moments to track the development of this important genre, including the emergence of travel writing by women.

EN549 Cinema and Colonialism
This module considers the relationships between colonialism and the theory and practice of cinema. Seminars may address the following themes: the Hollywood genres of the ‘Western’ and the ‘Vietnam movie’; postcolonial theories of cinema; Cuban cinema; cinema of anti-colonial revolution; neocolonialism and Irish cinema; African cinema; gender, colonialism and cinema; and Western representations of imperialism.

HI588 Studies in Regional Identities
This module introduces students to concepts of regional identities and explores various interpretative approaches to regional identity. Students will examine the role of history, language and religion in the construction and perpetuation of regional identity and will consider the relationship between regions and nation states. This is a team-taught module. While the content may vary according to the availability of staff from year to year, it will include Irish and European case studies.

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This two-year International Master leverages the complementary expertise, resources and networks of four subject areas (Economic & Social History, Business, History, Economics) within four major European universities to provide a profoundly interdisciplinary programme and international learning experience. Read more
This two-year International Master leverages the complementary expertise, resources and networks of four subject areas (Economic & Social History, Business, History, Economics) within four major European universities to provide a profoundly interdisciplinary programme and international learning experience. The programme equips you with the analytical tools and critical skills necessary to make sense of the history, theory, institutions and cultures of global and local capitalism. Exploration and understanding of the intersecting complementarity of global and local is at the heart of this programme.

Why this programme

◾You will graduate with a multiple degree: one from each of the three universities at which they studied.
◾You will be encouraged to explore a variety of perspectives on the process and experience of globalisation, and to reflect on the relationship between global and local, in particular, of cities, creative industries and local cultures of entrepreneurship that have innovated at the local level to remain globally competitive.
◾Associate partners from around the world will provide specialist master classes and guest lectures, and make contributions to, or host, the annual summer school.
◾A variety of internships and industrial placements are available to all students in Barcelona, Rotterdam or Göttingen to enhance their learning experience.
◾You will receive a theoretical grounding in international business and the global economy, and be encouraged to think critically about the respective roles of individuals, firms, cities, regions, nations and supra-national bodies in determining the world in which we live.

Programme structure

This is a 2-year degree taught through a mix of lectures and seminars. You will take between eight and ten core and around eight optional courses, depending on which pathway you choose. The programme also includes internships and industrial placements. All teaching is in English; recommended additional language study will be provided throughout the two-year programme.

You will spend your first year in Glasgow (semester 1) and Barcelona (semester 2). The second year (semester 1) will be spent in either Rotterdam or Göttingen, depending on which pathway you choose.
◾Pathway 1 (Rotterdam) - Global History & Creative Cities Economies (the history of globalisation and the role of creative industries)
◾Pathway 2 (Göttingen) - Global Markets & Development (marketing, entrepreneurship and development)

The final semester will be spent researching and writing a dissertation

Core courses

University of Glasgow
◾Globalised economy
◾Global varieties of capitalism in historical perspective. (taught by Göttingen)

University of Barcelona
◾Companies in emerging sectors
◾Creative cities: Intervention models and entrepreneurial dynamics
◾Family business: Innovation and globalisation
◾Port cities in historical perspective. (taught by Rotterdam)

Erasmus University Rotterdam – pathway A
◾Creative industries in the global economy. (taught by Glasgow)
◾Mapping global order

Göttingen University – pathway B
◾Global history of marketing and mass consumption
◾Immigrant entrepreneurship
◾Topics in Globalisation (taught by Barcelona)
◾Excursion.

Optional courses

University of Glasgow
◾China in the international economy
◾Global cities
◾Globalisation and labour
◾Globalisation and the nation state
◾Governance and markets
◾Methods of social research.

University of Barcelona
◾Global Health
◾Latin America
◾Topics in international economics
◾Topics in international politics.

Erasmus University Rotterdam
◾International relations theory
◾Maritime history and port cities
◾Research workshops to prepare for master level thesis
◾Rise and fall of the American Empire.

Göttingen University
◾Development economics 1 - Macro issues
◾Development economics 3 - Regional perspectives
◾Globalisation and development
◾International Human Resource Management
◾Political construction of Europe
◾Sustainable development, trade and environment
◾Selected topics in Asian business and management.

Summer School

A two week summer school will take place in July at the end of year 1 and will be held with a different partner each year and this will include associate partners from around the world. The topic will be decided on an annual basis and relate to trends and issues of the moment.

Career prospects

The intertwining of academic analysis and practical engagement will provide a valuable range of well-rounded skills and experiences that develop active and informed graduates capable of operating at strategic levels in NGO and third-sector agencies, local economic development organisations, policy analysis and lobbying groups and corporations, or of undertaking further study. The programme is designed for students with a diverse range of prior knowledge and interests and will develop their understanding of the process, impact and responses to globalisation.

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Study at the cutting edge of post-medieval archaeological investigation. Historical Archaeology is the study of relatively recent documented periods, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Read more
Study at the cutting edge of post-medieval archaeological investigation.

Why choose this course?

Historical Archaeology is the study of relatively recent documented periods, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It is one of the most rapidly expanding aspects of archaeology, dealing with many exciting issues that relate directly to the world we have inherited today, drawing on a diverse range of material and documentary sources.

The skills you develop working with material culture, landscapes and archival sources, as well as presenting short papers and writing essays and your dissertation, will provide an unrivalled insight into the past and present and prepare you for a wide range of jobs and careers, as well as further research.
-Explore dynamic and globally significant themes, from capitalism to colonialism.
-Gain practical training in analysing and interpreting evidence, from excavations and standing buildings to landscapes and material culture.
-Develop knowledge and skills that will give you a head start in many heritage, historic-environment and other post-graduate careers and research.
-Study in the archaeological capital of Britain – experience historical archaeology in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, libraries and internationally important archives, resources and collections in York.
-Receive career and research advice and guidance from staff with significant professional knowledge and experience.

What does the course cover?
The MA in Historical Archaeology examines themes such as the development of consumption and capitalism, colonialism and globalisation from British and international perspectives. It builds out from the unique experience of Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to consider the global impact of changing economic, political and cultural values as the modern world took shape.

We examine data sources including excavated material alongside material culture from museums and collections, standing buildings, landscapes and documentary sources of all kinds, which relate to both the UK, its former colonies and the wider world.

Who is it for?
This course is ideally suited for students from a wide range of backgrounds, which need not necessarily include Archaeology. The course appeals to anyone interested in the material culture and landscapes of the post-medieval period. Past students have included graduates of History, Art History, Heritage, English Literature and many more subjects, as well as mid-career professionals looking to enhance their knowledge, expertise and qualifications.

What can it lead to?
The course provides you with highly valued and transferrable skills, knowledge and experience essential for a wide variety of careers. Many students go on to further study or take up employment with a range of organisations both within and outside the heritage sector, including the civil service and law firms, heritage consultancies and museums.

Careers

This course will give you a thorough grounding in the rapidly growing field of Historical Archaeology and equip you with valuable skills and experience for a career in this and related fields. It also provides valuable transferable skills which are recognised across a wide range of professional graduate careers.

By the end of the course you will:
-Be familiar with current research agendas and a broad range of issues in historical archaeology.
-Have detailed knowledge of topics and themes using material from Britain, Europe, North America, Africa and the Caribbean.
-Have developed key skills to organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner in written form and in presentations.
-Have undertaken an extended piece of independent research on a topic of your choice in the field of historical archaeology.
-Have delivered a short lecture on a chosen topic in historical archaeology.

Course postgraduates have gone on to work with many organisations, including landscape and environmental consultancies, professional bodies, heritage organisations such as English Heritage and the National Trust, the media and museums.

Others have used the skills gained to pursue careers in other sectors, including:
-Local government and development
-Civil service and law
-Chartered surveying
-Computing and IT services
-Business and administration
-Marketing and public relations
-Education
-Accountancy and financial services

Others have gone on to pursue PhDs in the UK and overseas.

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The MA Global Political Economy explores how the distribution of economic resources is subject to multiple and often competing political pressures, and how the effects of these pressures are experienced differently throughout the world. Read more
The MA Global Political Economy explores how the distribution of economic resources is subject to multiple and often competing political pressures, and how the effects of these pressures are experienced differently throughout the world. It is clear that the political economy has to be understood in global terms, and our academics are redefining the discipline by bringing together ideas, approaches and methods from a diverse range of disciplines to critically analyse emergent issues and problems.
On this degree you will apply innovative ways of thinking to contemporary policy problems, developing critical insights on issues such as unstable capitalism, inequalities and poverty, migration, environmental degradation and climate change, rapid technological change, and emergent new powers. In doing so, you will acquire an understanding of the interplay of economy, polity, society and culture. You will also develop a detailed appreciation of the interplay between actors and structures at different levels of the global system: from the grass-roots and local levels, through community to the nation state, to the global system and its institutions.

The core themes covered in this programme are:
• Globalisation
• Poverty
• Capitalism and crisis
• Sustainable development
• Governance

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This multidisciplinary, visual theory-based course is established around the belief that visual literacy and the impact of visual forms of thinking and working now play significant roles in society. Read more
This multidisciplinary, visual theory-based course is established around the belief that visual literacy and the impact of visual forms of thinking and working now play significant roles in society. The course introduces you to a range of historical and contemporary debates that inform the theories and practice of visual culture, and enables you to develop a conceptual framework within which to evaluate the role of the visual arts, and other forms of visual production, in contemporary society and culture.

You will acquire creative and professional research skills, such as the ability to work from exhibitions, art works and institutional archives, to be able to operate within different artistic and conceptual frameworks.

Course content

This Master's balances historical and theoretical debates in the field of visual culture studies with a rigorous interrogation of cultural practices across a range of topics, including: activism and popular politics; contemporary visual arts, capitalism and culture; globalisation and new media technologies; institutions and their archives; and the material culture of the city. The course also draws upon the cultural institutions and intellectual resources of central London, and has established contacts with other galleries and organisations for work placements.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-DISSERTATION
-VISUAL CULTURE: PRODUCTION, DISPLAY AND DISCOURSE
-VISUAL CULTURE: THEORETICAL AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES

Option modules - Choose four from:
-CAPITALISM AND CULTURE
-ENGAGING THE ARCHIVE
-EXHIBITING PHOTOGRAPHY
-INTERPRETING SPACE
-REPRESENTING WORLD CULTURES
-URBAN CULTURES
-WORK PLACEMENTS IN CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

Associated careers

Graduates will be equipped for roles in the creative industries, including museum and gallery work, education, arts administration and marketing, or could pursue further study to PhD level. The course is also suitable for practising artists wishing to further their research.

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Conceived in the context of world-systemic transformation, this MA will give you the analytical tools to understand contemporary developments and world(s) through an encounter with post-colonial theory and international political economic issues. Read more

Conceived in the context of world-systemic transformation, this MA will give you the analytical tools to understand contemporary developments and world(s) through an encounter with post-colonial theory and international political economic issues.

We're witnessing today a tectonic shift in global geopolitics. The emergence of China, Brazil and India as global players, the development of global governance, the financial crisis, climate change – are all symptoms.

On this Masters you’ll grasp concepts like race, diaspora, hybridity, difference, grassroots development, HDI, multitude, immanence, and human rights.

These concepts are used to analyse practical, policy and activist issues arising from globalisation: global civil society, the role of international organisations (the IMF, WTO, UN and World Bank and global NGOs), intellectual property rights, social capital, financialisation, global governance and deep democracy.

You'll deal with issues like terrorism, microfinance, indigenous people, gender and sexuality, multiculturalism and environmental justice.

The MA is ideal for anyone pursuing careers in policy research, NGOs, advocacy, charities, international organisations, cultural and political activism, global media, art and curating, as well as for further academic work leading to a PhD.

Practical placement

The Masters includes a supervised and assessed practical placement. This may be with NGOs in India or Africa, arts and conservation organisations in China, indigenous activists in Latin America, London-based global NGOs, diasporic communities, think-tanks, environmental organisations, publishers or financial/microfinance organisations.

Leading theorists and visiting lecturers

You'll be taught by leading theorists and visiting lecturers drawn from a wide circle of activists, artists, film-makers, lawyers, economists, journalists and policy-makers.

Modules & structure

Core modules

Recommended option modules

You take option modules to the value of 30 credits. Modules can be chosen from across Goldsmiths departments and centres. Option modules are subject to availability and approval by the module lecturer/convenor.

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Below are some examples of modules that are currently running. For a full list, please contact the Department of Media and Communications.

Other option modules, by department

You may prefer to look through the full range of optional modules available across Goldsmiths departments.

Please note that not all the modules listed below may be open to you - your final selection will depend upon spaces available and timetable compatibility.

Assessment

Essays and/or practical projects; dissertation.

Skills

The programme provides advanced training for labour market-relevant skills in transnational analysis of sovereignty, democracy, governmentality, financialisation, intellectual property rights, and the role of non-governmental organisations.

Careers

Suitable careers and areas of work for graduates of the programme include:

  • the academic sphere
  • government and non-government sectors
  • arts and art administration
  • publishing
  • journalism
  • media
  • the culture industry in general

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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