MA in Culture Industry

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Centre for Cultural Studies

Course overview

Our MA in Culture Industry will allow you to explore the interface between contemporary economics and culture, from the scale of a start-up or artwork to that of governmental policy, a city, or the global marketplace. 

Taking full advantage of the UK’s leading role in the creative industries, and London’s status as a world city, this course creates opportunities for you to:

  • do placements
  • make projects
  • go on field trips
  • meet leading creative practitioners and theorists

This will give you first-hand experience of the fast moving creative economy.

Teaching team

A collaboration between the Department of Media and Communications and the Centre for Cultural Studies, the teaching team includes Professor Scott Lash, Professor Angela McRobbie, and Dr Josephine Berry.

Engage with the cultural sector

Within the accelerated climate of digital networks and globalisation, the forms and behaviour of culture are mutating, converting the workshop into the handheld device and the cinema and gallery into the bedroom. This course is aimed at creative practitioners, entrepreneurs and theorists wanting to experiment with these changes, and set them into a historically and discursively rich framework.

Through participant observation, critical theory, and playful experiment, the course will not just prepare you for a career in the cultural sector, but help you to engage with it imaginatively, critically and tactically.


Students on the Culture Industry MA have secured placements at the BBC, Stephen Graham Gallery, White Cube gallery, SHAPE Arts, Chinatown Oral History Project, Maximum Rock n Roll, the British Council, Black Dog Publishing, Resonance FM, Glasgow Biennale, London Architecture Week, Glastonbury Festival, London Film Festival, the British Museum, South Bank Centre, Grizedale Arts, the Japan Foundation, the London Anime and Gaming Con, and Sound and Music.

Students' projects

Our students’ projects are very diverse, and have included exhibitions, publications, websites, photographic projects, market stalls, travel guides, films, novels, app prototypes, ethnographies, and community resource projects.

Find out more about:

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Josephine Berry

Modules & structure

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Practices of the Culture Industry 30 credits
  Theories of the Culture Industry: work, creativity and precariousness 30 credits
  Minor Placements / Minor Projects 30
  Research Lab tbc
  MA in Culture Industry Major Placements / Major Projects / Dissertation 60

Recommended option modules

You take option modules to the value of 30 credits. Modules can be chosen from across Goldsmiths departments and centres. Below are a number of option modules especially recommended for your programme:

Module title Credits
  Cultural Theory 30 credits
  Postcolonial Theory 30 credits
  Crisis and Critique 30 credits
  Biopolitics & Aesthetics 15 credits
  Software Studies 15 credits
  Interactive Media Critical Theory 15 or 30 credits
  Navigating Urban Life 30 credits
  Introduction to Feminist Theory and Culture 30 credits
  Cultural Policy and City Branding 30 credits
  Interactive Media Critical Theory 15 or 30 credits

Other option modules, by department

‌You may prefer to look through the full range of optional modules available across Goldsmiths departments:

Please note that the modules can change from year to year, and not all the modules listed may be open to you - your final selection will depend upon spaces available and timetable compatibility.


Essays; project report and documentation/placement report and documentation; research lab participation.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


In the Centre for Cultural Studies (CCS) we’re dedicated to
theoretical and practical explorations in contemporary culture

Centre for Cultural Studies

We specialise in the study and design of culture: media technologies, software, art, urban space, and interventions in global geo-politics, for example. We engage at the same time in serious theoretical enquiry.

As a student in CCS you can benefit from our extensive events programme, which includes regular talks, workshops and film screenings. We also work closely with the Media, Sociology and Art departments at Goldsmiths, all of which have world-leading reputations.

Find out more about the Centre for Cultural Studies.

Suggested reading

  • Theodor W Adorno, The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, London: Routledge Classics, 2005
  • Franco “Bifo” Berardi, The Soul at Work, Cambridge MA; MIT Press, 2009
  • Bernadette Corporation, Reeva Spaulings, LA: Semiotexte, 2004
  • Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells, London: Verso, 2012
  • Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey, Evil Media, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2012
  • Olga Goriunova, Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet, Abingdon: Routledge, 2012
  • Isabelle Graw, High Price, Sternberg Press, 2010
  • David Harvey, Rebel Cities, London: Verso, 2012
  • Robert Hewison, Cultural Capital, London: Verso, 2014
  • Grant H Kester, The One and The Many, USA: Duke University Press, 2011
  • Thorbjorn Knudsen, Marcus Becker, Richard Swedberg, The Entrepreneur: Classic Texts by Joseph A. Schumpeter, Stanford Business Books, 2011
  • Rem Koolhaas ‘Junkspace’, October, Vol. 100, Obsolescence (2002), pp. 175-190
  • Scott Lash and Celia Lury, Global Culture Industry, Cambridge: Polity, 2006
  • Maurizio Lazzarato, ‘Immaterial Labour’, in Radical Thought in Italy, Paolo Virno and Michael Hardt (eds), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996
  • Angela McRobbie, British Fashion Design, Routledge, 1998
  • Angela McRobbie, Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries, forthcoming, Polity Press, 2015
  • Andrew Ross, No Collar, the Humane Workplace and its Hidden Costs, New York: Basic Books, 2003
  • Richard Sennet, The Craftsman, London: Penguin, 2009
  • Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials for a Theory of a Young-Girl, LA: Semiotext(e), 2012



The knowledge I gained from my MA has been absolutely invaluable to me in my current job."

“I had been looking to further expand on my interest in cultural theory and was uncertain if PR was really for me. This opportunity to study at Goldsmiths came along at just the right moment.

I was interested in the focus on production and organisational critique, and the fact that it brought together theory and practice in a meaningful way with the scope of the final projects.

Throughout the course I was constantly challenged in my thinking and forced to consider multiple angles by our tutors Matthew Fuller and Josie Berry Slater. The opportunity to attend seminars with Angela McRobbie hugely informed my thinking and illuminated the path for an intersectional radical feminist critique of the culture industries.

A particularly memorable moment was walking through the land that would become the Olympic park. Walking from Stratford to Mile End with cultural critic Anthony Iles completely upturned everything I thought I knew about the Olympics. It’s a walk I've taken many friends on since, a public footpath route that has become smaller and smaller as the Games preparation has progressed.

For my major project I spent a month at the office of a volunteer-run magazine based in San Francisco, mapping the knowledge exchange, working hierarchies and modes of production at play. This experience taught me the value of reflexivity when it came to any kind of ethnographical work.

The knowledge I gained from my MA has been absolutely invaluable to me in my current job. My position involves running a pilot programme that offers advice and loan funding to creative businesses. It's ultimately about balancing creativity and life under capitalism, the very same debate that struck at the heart of so much of what we debated on the MA course.

I am currently working on a community project to create an autonomous creative space in South London that will link up independent musicians and artists with learning disabled adults and other social groups that have trouble accessing the arts. My goal at the moment involves getting that off the ground with successful fundraising and grants, and creating a sustainable proposition for that space to exist on a permanent basis.

I would advise prospective students to be ready to think critically and look beyond your own world when it comes to what we mean by 'culture.'”


"This course is for people who want to be challenged, and also want to challenge themselves and question their own thinking"

“I wanted to find an MA that made sense to what I was trying to discover. Of the three courses I looked at, I felt Goldsmiths was perfect for me and what I was thinking about.

I set off with a plan to mess up my own thinking in the first term, rebuild it in the second term, and find out something interesting in the third term. I was interested in the performer and audience, and what that audience was. But as I got into first term, I realised there was a third part, which was space - so I decided to focus on the relationship between audience, performer and space.

I had an absolutely fantastic time and met some amazing people who have become great friends since. The course took me on a journey that I was really wanting to go on. I was not really interested in grades, but more on comments, and talking to people and doing stuff.

The course has helped me to contextualize things better. It gave me a whole new set of thoughts, and opened up a whole different line of threads. I think the course makes you braver, so as not to be scared of not knowing.

What most people agree with who go to Goldsmiths is that it is like nowhere else. People think quite abstract at Goldsmiths, and you are always being challenged by what you think. People do not shut you down, but challenge their perception as well as your own.

Cumulatively, there were a lot of things that challenged my thoughts. I came across a lot of philosophy which I had never heard of before, and I learnt how to read it. Production of Space was a particularly important book to me, as well as Foucault’s Discipline and Punish - it is truly a fantastic piece of writing, and you cannot help change the way you think after reading it.

The course has influenced me hugely. At the end of the MA, I allowed myself three months to make a decision to see if Platform-7 was a viable idea. What I got out of my MA, was that it was viable. We now do big cemetery events around Remembrance week in November, which is likely to go national this year. The idea is to have fine art, poetry, contemporary dance, and classical music situated around a large cemetery in the evening,  with people walking though it and coming across these small pieces which are displayed and performed for one minute at a time, to inspire people to keep moving on.

This course is for people who want to be challenged, and also want to challenge themselves and question their own thinking - you just need to throw yourself into it.”


"The MA opened my eyes to multi-layered arts and cultural scenes"

"The MA opened my eyes to multi-layered arts and cultural scenes, and diverse approaches to culture industry. I think one of the most important experiences and achievements at Goldsmiths was rebuilding and refiring my enthusiasm for the arts and culture, extending my theoretical knowledge and encouraging me to develop potential and my own perspective in creative industry areas. Since coming back to South Korea in 2011, I've been writing a book on the context of sustainable cultural practices. I was also involved in a city regeneration research project of a local government in Korea, and I am currently managing a cultural tour programme in Seoul, Korea."


“I thought the MA course provided a good mix of theory and practice."

“I thought the MA course provided a good mix of theory and practice. It was experimental and merged a range of interests in cultural production that was cross-disciplinary.

I was actually accepted onto a Cultural Analysis course at the University of Amsterdam, but decided to choose this course at Goldsmiths because I felt it was more forward-thinking in its content and form, and more open to other kinds of practices beyond straight academia or exhibition making.

Studying at the onset of the recession provided me with new perspectives and allowed me to think critically about how the economy operates and the role of culture in society today.

During the course I particularly enjoyed reading and learning new areas of thought, which I didn't know how to articulate in my own practice. The texts: ‘Immaterial Labour’ by Maurizio Lazzarato, ‘Capital and Language’ by Christian Marrazi, and ‘Craftsmen’ by Richard Sennett, really inspired me and challenged my thoughts.

I now understand my work better within a larger context of social practices, but I have come to realise it is not about following particular cultural trends, but rather collectively coming together with common ideas. My ideas of culture and practice are now much broader in relation to the global economy.

In the future I would like to start my own company or organisation that is self-sustaining and community led, between public and private that supports both research and practice/production. I feel for it to be effective, it must be global and use digital as a tool for knowledge production and distribution.

I would advise prospective students interested in this course to think long and hard about what they want to get out of it, and why they are doing the course. I also think it is important to visit the university and meet the professors to get a feel for the place beforehand.”

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at upper least 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.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

Applicants are encouraged to submit by 31 May, though applications after this date may still be considered to start the following September if spaces are still available.

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Find out more about tuition fees.

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