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Course content

This MA looks at contemporary changes in media and communications, by putting into perspective the transformations that affect the way people live and work, national and international institutions evolve, and how cultural practices develop.

This programme's internationally acclaimed and comparative approach to the events, issues and debates of our times is particularly suited for those interested in exploring the bigger picture as well as the nitty-gritty of transformations in media and communications and their impact on culture, society and politics.

Its cutting-edge and interdisciplinary approach to postgraduate learning, independent study, and life skills provides you with the analytical skills, conceptual knowledge and practical understanding of the real and imagined shifts that are taking place in – and through – the media industries, everyday life online and on the ground at home and abroad. 

The Masters attracts budding scholars, media practitioners, activists, and advocates from many regions, with a variety of educational and professional backgrounds.

It's particularly suitable for those wanting to move their knowledge and analytical skills up a level for further study as well as for those who have experience of studying or working in the media and cultural sectors, non-profits and other third sector organisations, alternative media, the arts, grassroots and international advocacy and activism.

The programme achieves these goals by:

  • exploring the challenges traditional media sectors face as news, entertainment, and services go global and converge on the web
  • critically studying the past, present, and future of the internet and information and communications technologies
  • examining changes to communicative cultures, media production, and services in a ‘post-Web 2.0’ context
  • thinking about how ordinary people, businesses, governments, and multilateral institutions (mis)use ICT
  • looking more closely at how local communities, governments, and transnational corporations look to influence media futures
  • researching differences in how people, cultures, and countries access and use media and communicate across borders
  • debating the implications of the digital divide, media censorship, and digital surveillance by governmental and commercial agencies
  • reading, watching, and hearing how artists, creative entrepreneurs, power elites and ordinary people respond to technological and social change

The Programme Director is Professor Marianne Franklin. Lecturers, guest speakers, and research students on this programme are affiliated to the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy, the School of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University (USA), the United Nations Internet Governance ForumEdinburgh Law SchoolLe Monde diplomatique, a number of international NGOs, activist and advocacy groups, international academic and media networks.

Modules & structure

The programme is broken into three parts:

  • core modules
  • option modules (where students can devise their own specialisations)
  • dissertation

The themes covered may vary from year to year, depending on research developments and staff availability.

Along with two compulsory (core) modules, research skills module, and a research dissertation, you can choose from a range of theory and practice option modules from Media & Communications as well as other Goldsmiths departments.

Distinguishing Features: this programme's content, structure, and assessment takes an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to:

  • reading, thinking and articulating challenging ideas
  • conducting individual and collaborative research
  • accessing and contributing to current debates
  • incorporating practitioner and activist perspectives
  • teaching and learning that is both research-led and student-inspired
  • supporting excellence in individual and group projects 

Activities: Based on an interactive communication model of learning and teaching, the core programme is organised around lectures, participatory workshops, student presentations, written work, informed debates.

  • It features guest speakers from around the world and various media and communications domains.
  • It involves students in creating their own media-based projects, such as our prize-winning live Video Conference event with international partners.
  • It looks to foster original research dissertation work, formal presentation and collaborative skills.
  • It provides instruction in the fundamentals of designing and successfully completing an independent research dissertation project alongside one to one supervision and workshops

On completing this programme you will be able to (re)enter the workplace, return to your creative pursuits, activism, or advocacy project or, if you wish, continue onto further research with up-to-date knowledge about the facts and fictions around these trends.

Core modules

You also take: 

Research Skills (60 credits)

As an integral part of successfully completing the Dissertation component, students take part in a two-term Research Skills module. Here we cover topics such as: 

  • research design and planning - from start to finish
  • deciding on a topic/research question formulation
  • finding and using the literature at an advanced level
  • selected data-gathering and analysis across the arts, humanities, and social science spectrum
  • academic thinking, writing, and presentation
  • citation formats, ethics that matter, and the theory-method relationship from several angles
  • coping with stress, being creative, and originality

By term’s end students will be fine-tuning their individual research projects, contributing to our study of these themes in class presentations. Workshops and one to one supervision will provide further support for students until the end of the summer teaching term.

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. 

Assessment

Individual and group presentations; live video/web conferences, examined essays and research papers; qualitatively assessed assignments and discussion leading; dissertation.

Careers

Graduates from this programme find work and excel in a number of domains:

  • national and global media corporations
  • government departments
  • global news & broadcasting
  • online media
  • PR and advertising
  • NGOs and non-profits
  • intergovernmental organizations
  • the entertainment industry
  • the arts and cultural sectors

Alumni have found work with the BBC world service, Globo corporation, Carnegie Foundation, European parliament and European Commission, CCTV, NBC, Google, Microsoft, NGOs (eg Greenpeace, Global Partners) and charities (eg Dementia UK), newspapers (eg in South Korea, Brazil, Slovenia, China), alternative media and advocacy networks, museums, theatres and art gallerires, online national and international media outlets (eg Chinese, indigenous Taiwanese), PR and marketing around the world.

Other alumni have continued on to PhD programmes, at Goldsmiths and elsewhere. Many have been successful in gaining research scholarships and funding to further their academic and practitioner careers.


Visit the Global Media and Transnational Communications - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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