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Course content

Cultural processes are creative and dynamic, meaning that our analysis of them must be too. This programme emphasises the critical analysis of cultural processes from an advanced theoretical perspective and with an interdisciplinary outlook.

How can cultural analysis engage with the most significant challenges of the contemporary globalised world, with all its inequities and all its possibilities? Can the critical traditions of sociological thought provide adequate responses to today’s world?

The principal disciplinary resources the programme draws on are those of sociology of culture, cultural studies, post-structuralist philosophy, critical literary aesthetics and textual analysis. Together they provide students with a critical grasp on contemporary cultural processes and central issues in the theory and analysis of contemporary culture.

Our most flexible MA, the programme benefits from an expanded choice of option modules.

In addition to the core module and one chosen from within a wide range of Sociology options, you are able to choose two further modules from across a range of participating departments, allowing you to tailor the degree to your individual interests. 

The MA attracts students with backgrounds in social science, humanities and philosophy as well as more creative pursuits, and from across the world.

This course covers the following disciplines: 

  • sociology and social sciences
  • anthropology
  • art
  • philosophy
  • other humanities

Modules & structure

Overview

The MA enables you to develop critical and analytical interdisciplinary perspectives on contemporary socio-cultural processes. It offers a sense of the breadth of possible approaches, while developing the skills necessary to produce original analyses in a scholarly and inventive manner. You take:

  • A core module (30 credits)
  • Three option modules (or equivalent; 90 credits in total)
  • A dissertation (60 credits)

The core module is taught within the Department of Sociology, and provides an introduction to critical contemporary sociological conceptualisations of culture, presenting opportunities for the development and exploration of interdisciplinary perspectives on the analysis of contemporary cultural processes. 

In addition to the core module, you also study three option modules (or equivalent). One of these must be chosen from Sociology; the others may be taken from departments across Goldsmiths including the Departments of AnthropologyEnglish and Comparative LiteraturePolitics and Media and CommunicationsMusicEducational Studies, and the Centre for Cultural Studies

You also write a Dissertation for which you meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staffand participate in Dissertation workshops.

As a full-time student, you would normally complete the core module and one option in the Autumn term, and two further options in the Spring term. As a part-time student you will spread these over two years. Core and option modules are normally taught by one hour lectures, followed by one hour seminars.

Core module

Option modules

You have 90 credits at your disposal; of these, 30 credits must be taken from within the Department of Sociology. You can choose either one regular option (30 credits) or two 'mini options' (2 x 15 credits) from the department's extensive list

For your other options, you can choose modules from the following Departments across Goldsmiths. 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.

Dissertation

For your Dissertation you'll meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff and participate in Dissertation workshops led both by staff and students (based on presentation and discussion of your work in progress). The dissertation is a substantive piece of research, empirical or theoretical, on a topic of your choice.

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.

Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) and Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) awards are also available in this programme. For the award of Postgraduate Diploma, you would need to successfully complete the core module and option modules to the value of 120 CATS; for the Postgraduate Certificate you would need to successfully complete the core module and option modules to the value of 60 CATS. Please note that these are exit awards; if you successfully complete the whole programme you'll be awarded an MA.

Skills & careers

You'll develop the following skills during the programme:

  • advanced analytical skills
  • the ability to evaluate complex theoretical positions and to deploy those within appropriate formats and frameworks

Recent graduate have embarked on professional careers in social research, thinks tanks, the arts and cultural sectors, government and public administration, development, human rights, NGOs, and in media an dcommunications globally. They have also progressed to PhD study.

 Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths


Visit the Critical and Creative Analysis - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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