This programme takes a philosophical, theoretical and historical approach to cultural studies, exploring the work of cultural criticism, reception and production through new critical perspectives, interdisciplinary insights and a vast spectrum of applications and opportunities.
We study the major traditions of cultural theory, including semiology, deconstruction, feminism, psychoanalysis, and Frankfurt School theories of the aesthetic, the media and technology. This training enables you to shape your thinking critically and develop your interests in a rigorously analytical context.
These theoretical and historical perspectives allow us to tease out the critical charge embedded in the notion of culture itself, and the transformative potential of creative and critical work in the arts and humanities.
Close reading and textuality are at the heart of the course, encouraging you to think critically about issues of modernity and postmodernity, the postcolonial, subjectivity and sexuality.
Diverse and dynamic
Founded in 1987 (as MA Cultural Studies), and situated in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, this programme appeals to students from across the humanities who are interested in a broad range of objects and genres including literature, film and the visual arts, performance, music, and philosophy.
You’ll work alongside students in different creative and critical disciplines and benefit from the diverse research interests of our tutors. It’s a dynamic environment where you’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills in a city with a vibrant cultural life.
Leeds University Library is one of the major academic research libraries in the UK with extensive print, online and manuscript collections. The University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them. The School houses Parallax, published by Taylor and Francis, an internationally distributed journal of cultural theory and analysis.
The two modules that sit at the heart of this course will develop your understanding of cultural theory over time.
A core module in Cultural Theory offers an introduction to key paradigms, focusing on theories of the commodity, language, discourse, subjectivity and sexuality.
The second core module, Cultural History, explores the genealogies of contemporary theory in relation to a longer tradition of cultural criticism that emerged, with modernity itself, in the 18th century. Emphasis is given to practices of close reading, the question of textuality and the case study.
You will develop an understanding of the ideas of ‘commodity’ and commodity fetish’ that are central to the study of consumer culture, as well as issues around language, sign and discourse and subjectivity. You will put this into the context of the development of cultural studies, focusing on thinkers from Rousseau to Kant and Homi Bhabha. You will use film and other texts to explore these ideas.
In each semester, you will also have the chance to specialise when you choose from a range of optional modules.
We provide an integrated course of training in advanced level research. The skills you will develop, combined with the specialist knowledge built through your optional modules, will ultimately be focused in your dissertation ― an independent and self-devised research project, which you will undertake with the guidance of your supervisor. In Semester 2, you will present some of your own research at the annual MA Symposium.
If you choose to study part-time, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
To help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors, we use a range of teaching and learning methods. These include seminars, film screenings, lectures, online learning and tutorials. Independent study is also a crucial component, allowing you to form your own ideas and develop your research and critical skills.
Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose. However, among others they may include essays, in-course assessment, group and individual presentations, poster presentations and portfolio or e-portfolio work.
This programme will develop your critical and cultural awareness and expand your subject knowledge in theories and histories of culture. In addition, it will equip you with sophisticated research, analytical, critical and communication skills that will put you in a good position to succeed in a variety of careers.
Many of our graduates have also continued with their research at PhD level and secured external funding to support them – including AHRC scholarships. A large proportion of our former research students are now developing academic careers in the UK, Europe, Asia, USA and Australia.
Some have taken up posts working as curators and education staff in museums and galleries, as well as in journalism, publishing, arts marketing, public relations, university administration and teaching.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
The MA in Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy is a trans-disciplinary programme that addresses the theory and practice of cultural policy, cultural relations, and cultural and public diplomacy.
This broad area of study and the terminology applied to it is fluid and expanding. Having culture as the underlying thread, the programme explores areas such as:
This will provide a unique perspective into this field of study, and will examine topics such as mobility of cultural practitioners, cultural identity, intercultural dialogue, mutuality, propaganda, soft power, hegemony, influence and perceptions.
Goldsmiths' location provides you with a unique experience of living in a multicultural world city, which is of great relevance to the study of cultural policy, relations and diplomacy.
You'll study in the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE). ICCE's individual and institutional links with an extensive network of organisations, policy advisors and cultural practitioners in those areas in London and in Europe allow you to experience exceptional research and study resources.
ICCE’s established organisational links include, for example, the British Council, Visiting Arts, EUNIC London Hub and Demos. ICCE is also a member of ENCATC (the leading European network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy education). The Institute is also responsible for fostering the sharing of information and discussion of issues related to international cultural relations across disciplines on the JISCMail list cultural-relations-diplomacy.
Our staff and invited academic and professional experts will enhance your learning. They'll discuss relevant literature and will present case studies and practical examples with local, national and global dimensions involving a range of individuals and organisations, including corporations, governments, international bodies and NGOs.
This MA is a 180-credit programme consisting of four 30-credit modules and a 60-credit dissertation.
The three main modules of the programme, Cultural Policy and Practice, Cultural Relations and Diplomacy I: Foundations and Cultural Relations and Diplomacy II: Explorations provide a strong basis to explore the complexity of this area of study, which is complemented by a varied module offer from across College that brings to the fore related and intersecting themes.
The fourth module of the programme is an option from a selection of modules covering arts engagement, media, business, languages and politics - this is designed to allow you to tailor the programme to your own particular skills and/or interests.
The teaching methodologies used in these modules will be conducive to creative and independent in-depth and collaborative learning. They'll culminate in the production of a final dissertation in which you will explore in detail a topic building on your interests and knowledge.
The programme allows and encourages you to engage in work placements while attending the modules. These are not a formal part of the programme, but some support will be provided building on ICCE’s extensive experience of internship management and network of contacts.
Graduates of this programme develop a wide range of skills and competencies.
Knowledge and understanding
You'll be able to:
Cognitive and thinking skills
You'll be able to:
You'll be able to:
Key transferable skills
You'll be able to:
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
This MA introduces you to recent debates on gender in the disciplines of sociology and media and communications studies, and to the interdisciplinary domains of feminist social and cultural theory.
Drawing on the internationally recognised and pioneering expertise of staff in the Department of Sociology and Department of Media and Communications, as well as the Centre for Feminist Research (CFR), the programme offers you the opportunity to develop cutting-edge critical skills in relation to cultural approaches to gender formation and gender theory.
As well as these theoretical and analytical points of orientation, the MA in Gender, Media and Culture aims to help you grasp the importance of epistemology and methodology for the evaluation of empirical investigations of gender formations.
The programme therefore introduces you to, and offers training in, the key socio-cultural methods for the study of gender in the contemporary world, including methods for the study of visual culture; the body and affect; and memory.
These two elements of the programme are brought together in a dissertation study, which involves tailored supervision in the application of research methods to a specific topic.
This programme relates to the following disciplines:
Core components of the programme will familiarise you with the wide range of debates integral to the fields of gender studies, feminist theory, and cultural studies. These include:
You complete one core module and one option module each term, as well as a dissertation module in the spring term. The first core module introduces key debates and developments in feminist theory, cultural theory and, in particular, feminist cultural theory. It introduces both early debates which defined these fields and contemporary developments and departures. More specifically, you will be introduced to social constructivist and post-structuralist perspectives, to ‘new materialism’, to debates on feminism and the critique of universalism; to key questions in relation to feminism and biology; to debates on psycho-analysis and the emergence of queer theory and its intersection with feminist theory.
The second core module examines the place of gender, affect and the body in feminist theory and feminist practice. The course offers you different angles on what has become known as “the affective turn,” placing a strong emphasis on the history of feminist contributions to the study of affect and emotion as well as the body. We ask how bodies are constructed, experienced and lived from a variety of feminist perspectives, attending to questions of corporeal difference, as well as the intimacy of bodies, spaces, objects and technologies. We also reflect on the significance of affect and the body for feminist and queer cultural practices, as well feminist and queer activisms. This module therefore offers instruction in some of the most cutting edge issues in contemporary feminist theory. A team of leading feminist scholars based in the departments of Sociology and Media Communications at Goldsmiths teach this module on the basis of their research specialisms.
There will be a series of dissertation workshops to help you plan and develop your dissertation, especially in regard to issues of methodology and method. Each student will be assigned a supervisor who will work with you to develop your proposal and undertake independent research.
You have 60 credits at your disposal, you can choose any 30 credit modules related to gender from postgraduate modules across the University. You can choose either a regular option (30 credits) or two ‘mini-options’ (2 x 15 credits).
For your other options, you can choose modules from either the Department of Sociology or the Department of Media and Communications as they co-convene the programme. You can also choose from the following departments across Goldsmiths:
Please note that not all modules are suitable for students from all academic backgrounds; you will discuss your choices with the Programme Convenor at the start of your degree.
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
Graduates from this programme gain conceptual and methodological knowledge of the key concepts and debates in the study of gender and culture; the skills of critical analysis; the ability to distinguish and appraise a range of socio-cultural research methodologies; the skills to design and develop a research project; and the ability to recognise and account for sensitive ethical issues relating to research and representation.
The two core courses provide you with the necessary skills to understand the relationships between early debates in the fields of gender studies, feminist theory and feminist cultural theory, and the ability to critically engage with new developments in these fields. Furthermore, you will gain a critical appreciation of the role and place of the body and affect in the development of feminist cultural theory and gender theory, and the challenges that contemporary socio-cultural changes bring to the theorisation of the body.
Previous graduates have embarked on professional careers in social research, think tanks, the arts and cultural sectors, government and public administration, development, human rights, NGOs, and in media and communications globally. They have also progressed to PhD study.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
This unique cross-disciplinary and industry-oriented program is open to graduates who are passionate about the social and cultural dimensions of the built environment in the 21st century.
Urban and cultural heritage is central to global cities today. The interpretation, management and conservation of urban and cultural heritage is increasingly a matter of urgency and significance for global cities and communities. Challenges for heritage professionals include the pressures of rapid urbanization; issues of economic, social and environmental sustainability; and social and cultural change.
Taking an international perspective on the heritage of buildings, cities and landscapes, the program will explore key heritage issues from around the world, with a particular focus on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. It introduces students to the integrated skills and knowledge required to contribute to the burgeoning fields of urban and cultural heritage, and is suitable for students from a range of academic backgrounds and cultures.
The core subjects in the Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage examine contemporary and theoretical approaches to heritage policy, regulation and practice; new approaches to digital technologies and heritage; issues of heritage significance within historical and cross-cultural contexts; cultural heritage and its social and economic impacts, including tourism; and heritage reconstruction. Students will gain critical research and presentation skills in the analysis, documentation and management of heritage sites, landscapes and tangible and intangible cultural practices. Students also study a range of specialist electives, with the option to undertake a research project or industry internship.
Key Features of the program include the examination of:
The program in unique in its approach, which includes:
The program will be coordinated by Professor Philip Goad and Professor Kate Darian-Smith with staff from the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning and the Faculty of Arts.
Specialist study is available which will appeal to those looking for professional upgrade. These awards are:
» Specialist Certificate in Urban and Cultural Heritage (25 credit points of core subjects)
» Graduate Certificate in Urban and Cultural Heritage (50 credit points of core subjects)
Following completion of the core subject stream students can choose to specialise through electives, take an industry internship or complete a minor research thesis.
Heritage skills are in great demand throughout Australia and globally, including the Asia-Pacific region. The Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage is designed to complement existing professional skills in areas such as architecture, planning, archaeology and history as well as provide a pathway to a new career in the management, conservation and interpretation of heritage. It provides graduates with the cross-disciplinary skills to pursue careers locally and globally including:
Internships are offered in both short and long formats and are tailored to the unique skills, needs and interests of individual students. All Internships are subject to availability, acceptance by the host organisation and approval by the internship subject coordinator.