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.
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.
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.
The Cultural and Critical Theory MA will give you a sophisticated appreciation of the limits of human understanding, the interdependence of philosophy and theory, and the implications of these for political action, aesthetic sensibility and representation in art and activism.
The course offers three distinct pathways:
All pathways provide for the development of an advanced understanding of specialist areas in cultural and critical theory, and effective preparation for doctoral research.
The core course, delivered during the autumn and spring terms, is complemented by a research methods module and two elective modules that offer opportunities for study across the range of humanities provision.
The course culminates in the submission of a specialist 20,000-word (or equivalent) project, which allows you to apply your advanced philosophical and theoretical understanding to an issue or text of your choice.
Taught courses are delivered with a maximum size of 12 students. Supervision for the project, and for pre and post-essay tutorials, is on a one-to-one basis with the appropriate tutor.
Delivered during the autumn and spring terms, the core course consists of a common lecture line and two modules in aesthetics and cultural theory, philosophy and critical theory, or political and cultural globalisation, depending on your chosen specialist area.
You also take a research methods module, which prepares you for the research project by considering the various approaches taken by relevant disciplines, interrogating the requirements of MA-level research and addressing how your intended research topic might best be refined.
The project itself normally consists of 18-20,000 word dissertation (or 12,000 words alongside a video, an installation or studio-based work) in which you apply your knowledge of cultural or critical theory to an issue or text of your choosing. Your work towards this submission is supported by one-to-one project supervision.
The elective modules can take one of three forms:
About a third of graduates from the Cultural and Critical Theory MA go on to PhD study, equipped with advanced research skills and specialist knowledge of their subject area. Others start or continue work as museum or gallery curators, in arts administration, journalism, social work, education or politics.
This pathway of the MA in Literary Studies enables you to study, principally through its core module Theories of Literature and Culture, a range of theoretical issues, currents and thinkers in literary and cultural theory from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day.
This starts with Nietzsche and including, for example, Freud, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Benjamin and Adorno, Structuralism, Blanchot, Derrida, Gender and Postcolonial Theory. The main focus will be on the relationship of theory to literary and cultural criticism but you will also be able to concentrate on theoretical concepts in their own right.
While the core module gives you a strong grounding in literary and cultural theory, you also have the opportunity to pursue your wider interests thanks to the flexible structure of the MA, by studying three options from the large provision of the department, choosing at least one of these in an area that is relevant to modern literary theory. Both the core module and the options are taught by leading specialists of the subject.
You will be able to further develop your interest in literary theory or literary-theoretical approaches to literature and culture through a 15,000-word dissertation to be submitted at the end of your programme of study.
All texts will be studied in English or in English translation.
In addition to the core module and dissertation, you also take three option modules. Please visit the website for more information
You'll develop transferable skills, including:
Graduates of this programme have gone on to pursue careers in:
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
The term ‘cultural studies’ first of all refers to the study of cultural policy at all levels of policy-making and management in the public sector (local, regional, national, international). Cultural policies are anchored in legal texts and best practices. Our programme has a strongly practice-based approach to these policies. ‘Cultural studies’ also refers to a specific type of analysis and interpretation of culture. This approach to cultural studies is mainly indebted to the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Our KU Leuven team has always been an active contributor to this particular field as well.
The MA in Cultural Studies places the following emphases:
The Master of Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that aims at preparing the student for a wide range of executive functions in the cultural field (cultural mediation, criticism, media, heritage). In order to achieve this goal, the programme offers a combination of theoretical and practical modules.
At the end of the programme, graduates:
As both a hands-on and theoretically oriented programme, the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies prepares students for careers in a wide range of fields. On the one hand, many graduates become public servants and cultural policy officers at all levels of government (local, regional, national, international). On the other, many graduates enter the large field of creative industries (music, television, print and online media). The programme's regularly updated internship database provides a good overview of the possibilities open to students of cultural studies.
A fair number of students combine their studies (in 2 years) with a teachers' training programme, which prepares them for a teaching career. Students eager to find their way in the cultural sector should realise, however, that working in culture rarely entails a nine-to-five job. Special qualities such as passion, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, teamwork and good verbal and communicative skills are crucial. This programme in aims to hone those qualities.
This course responds to the increasing need in a globalised, interconnected world for highly qualified translators who can navigate different genres of text and negotiate the language needs of diverse audiences and industries.
"Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence" - George Steiner
Based in a truly global city, Goldsmiths’ location makes it the perfect place to study translation.
You will study the theory and practice of translation, giving you the expertise to compete for work as a professional translator. Study in a department with expertise across linguistics, creative writing, and literary studies, with the option to tailor your studies and explore areas in other departments relevant to your own interests. You will also have the opportunity to engage in and apply for translation work experience opportunities with a range of external organisations.
You can choose between three pathways:
This pathway is for people who are interested in the technical, legal, business, scientific, medical, financial, creative arts and academic fields and enables you to benefit from dedicated core modules offering a solid grounding in the theory and practice of translation across diverse areas of professional practice.
The Translation Studies pathway also opens up to you the specialist teaching and research expertise offered by subject experts in the Department of English and Comparative Literature in linguistics, comparative literature and literary theory, from discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and language and its interface with issues of gender, ethnicity and identity, to key currents of concern in literary and cultural theory and the role of the text in shifting boundaries of cultural and linguistic identity in a globalised, multicultural world.
Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage
This pathway focuses on translation for museums, galleries, cultural heritage sites, hotels and other tourist destinations. If you choose this pathway, you will benefit from the specialist research and teaching expertise offered by the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship where optional modules focus on a range of topics relating to the tourism, hospitality, cultural development and cultural heritage sectors, from cultural tourism, language, communication and intercultural mediation in museums, galleries and other cultural organisations, to destination management and the development of new tourism products.
Depending on your optional module choices you may also have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in the cultural and creative tourism sector in central London.
English-Chinese Translation and Interpreting
This pathway is aimed at native speakers of Chinese (Mandarin) who have a high level of English-language competence and who wish to increase their understanding of professional written translation and oral interpreting practice from English to Chinese, to build their intercultural and interpretive skills and to develop their knowledge across a number of English-language subject areas. It is also open to native speakers of English who have a high-level of competence in Chinese (Mandarin) and who wish to increase their ability to translate and interpret confidently into Chinese from English and to expand their written and spoken Chinese skills.
The core specialist module for this pathway is co-taught by the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute and the Department of English and Comparative Literature and focuses on producing written Chinese translations of a wide range of English-language texts and text types and covers translation across a broad variety of professional domains, from scientific, academic, business and technical texts written in English, to journalism, finance, advertising and marketing, media, literary fiction, poetry, theatre and other creative industries.
Alongside this, and with the help of Chinese and English native speakers, you will develop consecutive and bilateral/liaison interpreting skills for facilitating communication between monolingual speakers of English and Chinese across a range of business, diplomatic, government, community, health and criminal justice contexts.
Core modules on the MA in Translation cover both the theory and practice of translation. These are taught in seminar-based and tutorial small-group sessions and may include an individually supervised practice project.
Students undertaking the translation work placement module will work directly with an external organisation to provide a range of translation and other language services and gain first-hand experience of translation in a professional setting.
You also undertake a dissertation in which you will either reflect critically on one aspect of the theory and/or practice of translation, or focus on the practice of translation in the form of a concrete translation project.
Your choice of core modules will depend on your pathway choice,. Core modules from other translation pathways may also be taken as optional modules, subject to availability and eligibility.
In addition, you are able to choose from a range of optional modules, which allows you to explore your interests and to gain specialist knowledge relating to your future career plans. This could include modules from within the Department of English and Comparative Literature, or from other departments such as the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Media and Communications.
This MA provides you with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in translation. The interdisciplinary option choices allow you to tailor your studies to your career plans. You'll develop professional behaviours and leadership skills through fortnightly workshops which will provide guided mentoring.
This degree will equip graduates with the expertise to work as professional translators across the public and private sector, both in the UK and abroad. The possibility of taking option modules from other departments means that you could develop knowledge ideal for careers in translation for the arts industry, including in the media and publishing.
As part of the course you'll be brought face-to-face with representatives from across the language service industry, from translation agencies and multinational corporations where translations are commissioned or where in-house translators are employed, to international organisations with in-house translation departments, freelance translators and other language professionals. These connections will help you in your future careers.