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This Masters draws on urban sociology to explore the meaning of cities, urban life and culture.
The course covers topics including the politics of urban community, urban development, gentrification, power and infrastructure, and the abuses and uses of urban history, alongside lectures on urban policy, food politics, poverty, migration and housing.
On the MA you'll also zoom out to consider the broader meaning of urban sociology and its ongoing contribution to social science. With over two-thirds of the global population destined to live in cities by 2050, there has never been a more important time to research and understand urban life.
Why study MA Cities and Society at Goldsmiths?
Critically engage with urban work
The degree brings together social analysis, activism, and
Read more about this course
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.
You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.
Fees & funding
Start dates & study options
Founded in 1891, and part of the renowned University of London since 1904, Goldsmiths has a rich academic history but we’re also known for our creative approach. With world-leading research and high-quality teaching, a postgraduate degree at Goldsmiths will empower you to change the world around you.Read more
I used to work full time, 9 to 5, in Peckham Jobcentre Plus, and had done this for a few years, until my son was born: this gave me a chance to re-think my daily routine, and consider the important things in life. What I most like about Goldsmiths are the supportive environment, the feeling that you are valued as an individual, and the mix of tools, both theoretical and practical, that have been proposed to me. There’s so much going on at Goldsmiths, and sometimes I have the impression that I miss a lot of events, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, seminars, and I wish I could have more time at hand. However, my compatibility with my work-life balance, I still have a chance to participate and enjoy the flexible arrangements and schedules of a lot of events, evening seminars, week end tutorials, remote web-based assistance, etc. There is a sense of being part of a lively community of learning and, by being encouraged to participate with own work and presentations, of contributing to a fruitful research enterprise.
"I was interested in the Cities and Society course because I found urban life fascinating, alluring and, well, dizzyingly complicated. I took the course in an effort to better educate myself on how academics, activists and theorists have come to understand the city and how it, in turn, has come to shape human behaviour.
Having not come from an academic background I had worried the course might have been too dense and opaque. From the outside, academia can sometimes seem like it speaks its own - inaccessible - language. However, the same could not be said of this course. What we studied was underpinned by sociological heavyweights and ideas that stand up to intellectual rigour. And yet by making big, abstract topics accessible, we were able to express ourselves in a way that made academia, and the rich ideas within, open to more people. This directly fuelled the discussions in classrooms and during seminars which were both stimulating and one of the joys of this course. There is also a heavy emphasis on complimenting the book work with a boots-on-the-ground approach to research. This mix allows for space on the course to put theory into practice.
This is a compassionate course. The lecturers are both interesting and interested. It is a supportive environment for people to develop their skills and broaden their understanding of the city around them. Since graduating, I have had a keener eye for how the city around me operates and a better understanding of the wider social factors at play that come to shape how people might behave and act the way they do. Your eye is sharpened to injustices in the city and in how the city comes to be shaped into the form it is today. I have found this invaluable in my work as a filmmaker and a researcher."
"A year in Goldsmiths was a refreshing experience. Coming from an Italian Cultural Anthropology background, the Masters in Cities and Society helped me to question and expand my theoretical foundations. A new attention to materiality and sensory aspects of urban life, along with new methods to analytically look at them, have been particularly enlightening inputs.
I really enjoyed the continuous exchange with lecturers, tutors, and fellow students, both inside and outside the classrooms. Two highlights of the course include Urban Field Encounters’ practical exercises, as well as the dissertation workshops, which are really helpful for students coming from non-British academic paths.
I am currently working as a social impact evaluation officer in an Italian Onlus (Italian non-profit social organisation). Among my research fields, I focus on community development, urban regeneration"
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