We're committed to developing our postgraduates into skilled researchers who can conduct rigorous research using a variety of methodologies and methods.
Goldsmiths’ research in sociology covers a range of areas, including:
We emphasise the importance of the relationship between you and your supervisor: we ‘match’ you with a supervisor whose current active research interests and expertise are compatible with your chosen topic of research.
You will be assessed by a thesis and viva voce.
The Sociology MPhil/PhD programme is recognised by the ESRC for excellence in research training.
Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.
You'll develop advanced research training covering a wide range of qualitative and quantitative sociological methods, and an ability to develop advanced and extended forms of written argument and scholarly practice.
Possible careers cover:
This exciting degree offers you the opportunity to study one of the major areas in contemporary media and communications – branding.
The unique programme introduces you to the variety of ways in which brands are developed and used, and helps you to understand how the growth of branding – in business, but also in politics, government, sport and culture – has changed the societies we live in.
What happens when the state starts to use branding techniques to communicate with its citizens?
And how does the rise of digital and social media change the relationship between brands and their publics?
What, for example, are the consequences of understanding political parties, artists or sports teams as ‘brands’?
An introduction to contemporary branding debates
The MA in Brands, Communication and Culture aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the history and development of brands and branding, and their relationship to contemporary forms of communication and culture. Specifically, you should acquire an in-depth knowledge of the social, political and economic backdrop against which branding has become so important, and an understanding of the key themes and debates surrounding its development and use, including the relationship between brands and intellectual property, and the extent to which branding promotes or inhibits openness and transparency within organisations.
You will also improve your ability to think critically and creatively about contemporary communications and cultural practices. When you have completed the programme you will have at your disposal a range of tools that will enable you to analyse contemporary communications, to make judgments about their significance and value and be able to thoughtfully contribute to contemporary communications.
A unique approach to the study of brands
This MA is not a conventional branding or marketing course. Instead it offers a unique approach to the study of brands. This is reflected in the topics taught on our core modules, which include:
The MA Brands, Communication and Culture is taught across two departments: Media & Communications and Sociology. This gives you access to experts in many fields. In addition to the two core courses you will have the opportunity to customize your degree by choosing from a range of modules from different departments to allow you to explore your own interests and make wider connections.
We welcome students who bring to the course a range of experiences and interests in communication, management, politics, design and the cultural industries.
Recent dissertation topics include:
The programme is made up of two core modules (60 credits in total), between two and four options modules (60 credits in total), and a dissertation (60 credits).
The first core module, Branding I, introduces you to contemporary definitions and theories of branding, its history and development, changes in the role of marketing, promotion and design, and their place in the global economy.
The second core module, Branding II, puts greater emphasis on contemporary themes and issues in branding, and their relationship to wider debates in society, economy and culture.
Throughout the core components of the degree, you will examine the wide range of ways in which branding is currently used, in organisations ranging from large corporations to public sector bodies, charities and other third sector organisations.
For the optional modules, you'll have an opportunity to explore some of the wider contexts for brands and branding by taking up to 60 credits of modules provided elsewhere in Media and Communications or neighbouring departments such as Sociology, Cultural Studies and Anthropology.
Part-time students typically take the two core modules in their first year, and the options modules plus the dissertation in their second year.
The department offers some practice-based options in areas such as:
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
The programme helps students to develop a high-level understanding of contemporary branding and communications techniques and their social, economic and political contexts. You will be encouraged to develop your critical reasoning skills and your understanding of contemporary cultural and media theory, but also to develop greater visual literacy and a capacity for creative thinking. Assessments are designed to ensure that you are able to apply these skills in practical ways.
The programme equips you with the skills necessary to pursue a wide range of careers related to branding and communication in the media and other industries. Students are encouraged to seek work experience and work placements during the programme as time allows. The MA also allows you to pursue further academic research in one or more of the areas covered on the programme.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Interrogate the status quo with leading academics who don’t just talk and write about politics, but actively campaign to create change in the world
All around us governments are in crisis, protests are on the increase, dissent and mobilisation is widespread and relayed across the world instantaneously on a screen. Communication is at the very heart of the structures, institutions and actors that give meaning to politics in governments, in parties and on the street.
How do we live our politics on a daily basis? Who holds the power to influence political decisions that structure our lives? How might democracy be done better? What is the relationship between politics, the individual, institutions and the media? These are the kinds of questions we’re asking on this programme.
And we take an expansive view, so you’ll learn about politics and communications not just as a singular discipline, but as a subject that’s much more nuanced, moving across everything from governments and parties to NGOs and activists; from economic and environmental policy and conflict representation, to issues of race, gender, social theory and popular culture.
Alongside traditional lectures and seminars we also do workshops and research exercises to reflect on how political communications are part of the rituals and rhythms of our daily lives and how this is influenced by others.
As part of the programme you may also be tasked with designing and pitching your own political campaign. We use these kinds of exercises because we think it’s only by actively engaging with political communications that we can better understand how it is part of our everyday lives.
We’re active not passive so this course isn’t just about having our heads in books, it’s about applying ideas to the real world. We’ll expect you to be reading the news every day because we want you to engage with what’s happening and unravel it.
There are also opportunities to interact with industry experts, get involved in live campaigns and collaborate with people coming from all over the world. We pride ourselves on fostering a supportive environment and offering an open door throughout your time with us. At Goldsmiths the conversations are always just starting.
The programme’s core curriculum will address a range of contemporary issues, debates and theory in political communication, including work on:
Theory is usually applied to a number of case study areas on, for example: conflict and war; elections; social and environmental debates; foreign affairs; the economy, finance and business; crime and disorder. Theory and discussion is always related to current events and debates.
The MA in Political Communications is built up of modules that must count up to 180 credits. The programme comprises:
We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Please view the website for more information.
The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. It will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.
We know that political organisations relish thinking graduates. It’s why we focus on delivering a programme that’s rooted in a critical perspective. By the time you leave we want you to feel transformed so that you can go forward and transform the world.
Our graduates go on to work within government organisations, political parties, NGOs and news media and across the public and private sectors - from the Houses of Parliament and BBC World Service to Google, Greenpeace and the UN.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Our programme centres on the exploration of problem spaces, understanding that much of what product designers do is redefine and reinterpret products and their contexts, enabling people to lead engaged, productive and meaningful lives.
Product design is a broad discipline, which we understand through an ethnomethodological lens. At the heart of our programme are people; particularly those who currently struggle with existing objects in identified circumstances. We embrace a variety of approaches to people-centred design practice including participatory action research; affective design; design for disruption and inclusive design. The core of our approach is to speculate and build preferred futures, based on design-led evidence constructed through observation and engagement with others. Our aim is to understand the agency of objects and configure intended impacts on communities of people moving through and across various services and systems.
You will join a vibrant, international community of creative practitioners and researchers. We are involved in a variety of research interests relevant to design production, maintaining partnerships in allied disciplines such as engineering, informatics, anthropology, sociology, health and business.
There are two semesters in your first year, each providing the opportunity to engage three courses: one core requirement, and two elective options from supporting programmes relevant to the ethos of the programme.
Core courses foster exploration and development of ethnomethodological approaches to product design research and development, with a strong emphasis on action research, ethnographic observation, participation and prototyping, driven through a strong iterative approach to practice.
One-year MA degree
If you choose to pursue the one year MA degree, you will engage your dissertation in the summer period following the first year of study, focusing on the development of an individual project which emphasises product theory in context.
Emphasis on the MA degree pathway is to prepare students with interests in design management, policy or direction, or pursuing further academic research programmes such as the PhD.
Two-year MFA degree (Under review for 2018 entry)
Students enrolled on the two year MFA degree demonstrate interest in pursuing a career as autonomous designers, often establishing their own studios of practice.
In Year 2 of the MFA, you will undertake an additional four courses, with a core component in semester 1 entitled "Incubator", which is designed to help develop your skills in researching, developing and delivering a practice-led thesis.
The MFA dissertation takes place in your final semester, and culminates in the presentation of a significant body of work presented in exhibition format, showcasing exceptional skills in making, prototyping and manufacturing of high-quality, proof of concept models which articulate your understanding of theory in practice through artefacts, images and text relevant to people-centred design.
The professional knowledge, skills and abilities developed on this programme will prepare you for a rewarding career as a product/industrial designer, designer-maker, user-experience designer, user-interface designer, design manager, production manager, or a variety of other related roles within design-related industries.
Our graduates have an excellent track record moving into employment in a variety of sectors following graduation.