"In the year that I spent at Goldsmiths, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people from all over the world."
We accept applications from October of the previous academic year through to September of the year for which you are applying. However, if you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline – 14 February is the deadline if you're applying for AHRC funding. If you are applying for a Chevening Scholarship you will need an unconditional offer to this program in good time. Applications received by these deadlines are guaranteed consideration; we will consider later applications on a case by case basis.
The Department of Media and Communications offers fee waivers for this MA. If you have confirmed an offer by 1 May 2015 you'll automatically become eligible for the fee waiver scheme that will fund waivers equivalent in total to 13 full time home/EU fees. International students are also eligible for the scheme. Find out more on our departmental funding page.
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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 & communications and their impact on culture, society and politics.
It 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:
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 & Democracy, the School of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University (USA), the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, Edinburgh Law School, Le Monde diplomatique, a number of international NGOs, activist and advocacy groups, international academic and media networks.
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:
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.
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.
Individual and group presentations; live video/web conferences, examined essays and research papers; qualitatively assessed assignments and discussion leading; dissertation.
You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.
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
We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.
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 are applying for a Chevening Scholarship you will need an unconditional offer to this program in good time.
Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.
Your personal statement needs to demonstrate:
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class (B or B+) 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.
Due to the popularity of this programme we ask you for a deposit of £450 to secure any offer made to you after applying for the programme. The deposit will be credited against your tuition fees when you enrol. Please note: You will only be required to provide a deposit if you are offered a place, you do not need to pay a deposit in order to apply.
If your first language is not English, you normally need a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS (including at least 6.5, preferably 7.0 in the written and reading elements) or equivalent.
Please check our English language requirements for more information.
Get in touch via our online form
+44 (0)20 7919 7766
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Professor of Race and Cultural Studies
Management Team Secretary
Technical Advisor - Equipment Stores
Senior Technical Advisor Radio
Technical Advisor Film/TV
Professor of Film & Television, Director of ScreenSchool
Joint Head of Department, Professor of Film and Television
Technical Adviser, Photography
Professor of Communications
Professor of Media and Communications
DOWMUNT, Dr. Tony
Technical Advisor Digital Media
Assistant Business Manager
HENRIQUES, Dr. Julian
Joint Head of Department, Reader
Honorary Research Professor
Technical Advisor Photography
Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies
Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications
Professor of Communications
Technical Advisor Film and Video
Technical Operations Manager, Film/TV
SMITH, Dr. Richard
STANTON, Dr. Gareth
Undergraduate Programmes Secretary
Technical Advisor Digital Media
Technical Advisor Video/Film
ZYLINSKA, Dr. Joanna
Professor of New Media and Communications
This first core module maps out a conceptual grid for the programme from a bird's eyeview . Topics change from year to year and can include the following:
|tbc||Core Module II: Further Explorations||30 CATs|
The second core module delves more deeply into these and new issues and introduces another level of study from close-up. For instance:
|tbc||Research Skills||60 CATS
Milestone 1 - Autumn Term (qualitatively assessed)
Milestone 2 - Spring Term ((qualitatively assessed)
Dissertation - Double Marked
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:
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.
Students may choose options worth a total of 60 CATs (usually two, 30 CATs each; up to four, 15 CATs each) from those available at the start of the new academic year from within the Media and Communications Department as well as other departments. Option availability are subject to change from year to year and from department to department. An overview of MA-level modules currently taught in the department and across the college is available through the respective web-pages.
The Option Modules Handbook is available to incoming students in Enrolment Week.
|n/a||After New Media||30 CATs and 15 CATs|
This module builds on, and challenges, existing approaches to media by tracing the transition from debates on new media to debates on mediation.
‘Mediation’ takes us from a more spatial, black-boxed approach to separate media (photography, film, television) and separate aspects of the media (production, content, reception) towards a more temporal approach which is often invoked but rarely developed. We will ask what it means to study ‘the media’ as a complex process that is simultaneously economic, social, cultural, psychological and technical.
Working from debates on remediation that are critical of new media teleology (and its links to capital), we will examine the ‘allatonceness’ of the new media landscape, focussing both on its features (blogs, Facebook, Flickr) and on the processes that connect them with each other and with us. We will ask what it means to live as a constitutive part of a complex media and technological environment.
The module examines specific media events such as the launch of the supercollider (big bang machine), the global financial crisis, the world’s first face transplant, the ongoing quest for life on Mars and the emergence of intelligent media. The point will be to examine the relation between the event and its mediation. Would it be more accurate to say that rather than being represented by the media, these events are performed through mediation? If events are performative, then how should we respond to them in our critiques?
|MC71110A||Branding I: History, Contexts and Practice||30 CATs|
This module is a core part of the MA Brands, Communication and Culture programme, but is available to a limited number of students from other MA programmes in the Media and Communications department as an option module.
It provides a critical exploration of the history and practice of branding, from developments in markets, consumer culture and intellectual property law to current uses of brands and branding in commercial organisations, charities and the public sector. Students are assessed via an essay of 5000-6000 words.
|MC71078B||The Emancipation of the Senses: Film, Aesthetics, and the Avant-Garde||30 CATs|
This module traces the changes in perception brought with modernity as they were written about and addressed through filmmaking when film was recognised as a new art form in the 1920-30s by theorists such as Jean Epstein, Siegfried Kracauer, Béla Balázs, Sergei Eisenstein, and Walter Benjamin.
The newness of film at its inception forced thinkers to ask what the form was, not what its representations mean. This question, and its subsequent literature, is once again relevant, as we face new media formats. Avant-Garde here refers as much to literature as it does to film, thus texts come from a range of authors whose thinking falls outside disciplinary boundaries.
The aim of this module is four fold:
Screenings and clips come from little-known classical Hollywood film, animated film, experimental film, artist’s cinema, and documentary film.
This module meets for three hours on a Friday morning, with a one-hour lecture, a screening and group discussion, as well as a 1-hour seminar later on in the afternoon. The texts are difficult and require multiple readings. Seminars require 3 written responses to the readings over the ten week period, full attendance and participation, and one oral presentation. A 5,000-6,000 word essay is the final assessment.
|n/a||Embodiment and Experience||30 CATs and 15 CATs|
Within the humanities, sciences and outside the academy we are witnessing a ‘turn to the body’. That is, from practices such as neuromarketing, through to the amplification of the senses, attention and perception within simulated realities, contagious forms of communication which spread virally and the modulation of emotion and the creation of mediated intimacy on reality TV, the body and its capacity for mediation is central to understanding communication. This module will take a field of study known as body-studies in order to examine the place of the body and embodiment within sense-making.
The module will ask how the media work and create appeal by engaging a number of concepts, including affect, body-without-an- image, enactment, performativity, entanglement, abjection, suggestion, diasporic vision, mediated perception and bodies-without-organs.
These concepts will be put to work in the context of a number of case-studies which have been the subject of both science and humanities debate; media representations and eating disorders; body image; non-verbal communication; the emotions; film and the senses; narrative and identity; images and the non-visual; biomediation, voices and haunting; viral media ecologies such as the internet and facebook, practices of neuromarketing, and the connection between the emergence of media technologies, such as film and TV with psychic research into telepathy and mediumship in the nineteenth century.
|MC71001A||Issues in Media and Culture||30 CATs|
Issues in Media and Culture is a module that focuses on the correspondence between making things and thought about cultural artefacts.
Theory, philosophy, and artistic practice all share in the business of asking us to pay attention to something we might otherwise not consider, might not see nor hear, and to think about it. Philosophy searches for meaning unfettered by habitual understandings and beliefs. By making something and placing it before us, the practitioner too makes demands on our otherwise quotidian understanding of the world. Theory pays attention to the relationship between meaning and the things we encounter in the world, be they actions, customs, artworks, or media events. It tries to reveal, clarify, or deepen that relationship.
In all cases, it is with great care that we cut something out of the continuum of life and frame it, be it by the covers of a book, the focus of a lens, the devices of a story, or the punctuations of dialogue. This module aims to aid in sharpening that care by investigating aesthetic, historic, and social theories about the relationship of creative endeavour to contemporary culture.
|MC71034B||Media Audiences and Media Geographies||30 CATs|
The module reviews interdisciplinary perspectives on the study of media audiences and on the role of the media in constructing the post-modern geography of our contemporary world.
Drawing on perspectives from anthropology and cultural geography It focuses on audiences, media effects and patterns of cultural consumption, addressing the specificity of different media (radio, TV, cinema) and their micro-contexts and conditions of consumption, on the uses of a range of both ‘old` and ‘new’ communications technologies in articulating the private and public spheres, and on the ‘moral panics’ that have accompanied the arrival of technologies from the radio to the mobile phone and the internet.
It examines the role of a variety of media in constructing the virtual geography of our post-modern electronic landscapes, and at processes of identity and boundary construction, mobility and hybridity, within the broader context of processes of globalisation.
|n/a||Media, Ethnicity and Nation||30 CATs and 15 CATs|
Sara Ahmed/Richard Smith
This module will examine how ‘ethnicities’ and ‘nations’ are constructed within the media. Our aim will be to analyse how the media constructs ‘ethnicity’ and ‘nations’ over time, as well as to explore the ways in which formations of ethnicity and nationhood affect media practices.
We will not only examine a range of contemporary media forms, but we will also situate these forms in relation to longer histories of Western imperialism, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.
Our task in mapping this ‘history’ as a ‘history of the present’ is to explore how contemporary racial and national formations (ideas about ‘Britishness’, ‘whiteness’, and so on) exist in a complex and intimate relationship to much longer histories of empire.
The module will introduce you to key concepts in Black Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies including: colonial discourse, colonial fantasy, othering, hybridity and diaspora. Our concern will be with how histories ‘get under the skin,’ and we will thus pay attention to how race, ethnicity and nation affect how we experience our relationship to multiple and mediated worlds.
We will draw especially on postcolonial and black feminist theory, attending to the intersection between race and ethnicity with gender and sexuality.
|n/a||Media, Ritual and Contemporary Public Cultures||30 CATs and 15 CATs|
Nick Couldry/Veronica Barassi
This module aims to explore how the media operate as a focus of ritual action, symbolic hierarchy and symbolic conflict. In particular, it explores to what extent theoretical frameworks already developed in anthropology and social theory can help us analyse contemporary media and mediated public life. The module begins with a general introduction to debates on the media’s social impacts (integrative or otherwise). Key theoretical concepts are then outlined: sacred and profane, symbolic power, ritual, boundary, and liminality (two lectures). Specific themes relating to the media’s contribution to public life and public space are then explored: celebrity and ordinariness; fandom and media pilgrimages; media events and public ritual; mediated self-disclosure (from talk shows to the Webcam); ‘reality’ television and everyday surveillance (total five lectures). The module concludes with a review of ethical questions arising from the media’s role in public life and public space.
Reading: Bell, Catherine (1992) Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. New York: Oxford University Press; Bourdieu, Pierre (1990) Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Polity; Carey, James (1989) Communication as Culture. Boston: Unwin Hyman; Couldry, Nick (2000) The Place of Media Power: Pilgrims and Witnesses of the Media Age. London: Routledge; Couldry, Nick (2003) Media Rituals: A Critical Approach, London: Routledge; Dayan, Daniel and Katz, Elihu (1992) Media Events: The Live Broadcasting of History Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press; Durkheim, Emile (1995) The Elementary Forms of Religious Life tr. K. Fields. Glencoe: Free Press; Rothenbuhler, Eric (1998) Ritual Communication. Thousand Oaks: Sage; Rothenbuhler, Eric and Coman, Mihai (eds) (2005) Media Anthropology. Thousand Oaks: Sage
|MC71050A||Music as Communication and Creative Practice||30 CATs|
How can sound – as distinct from images, code and text - be used to understand society, culture and technology? What can music tell us about the non- representational qualities of the communication process? How can auditory be used as a critique of the conventions of visual dominance and visual culture? What does music have to say about our experience of the world and our creativity?
This module explores how musical meanings are conveyed and understood and how this is mediated through the cultures and technologies of production, recording and consumption.
We will consider how music communicates mood and meaning, not only through associated imagery and the lyrical content of songs, but as sound itself. How for example do we recognise that music means love, anger, sadness, terror, or patriotism?
We will also think about the processes that link production, circulation and consumption, as well as explore the ways that music connects with individual and collective identities.
|MC71015A||Political Economy of the Media||30 CATs|
This is a module about the political and economic organisation (‘political economy’) of the media with particular reference to western democracies.
It investigates what influences the media, and how this affects the media’s role in society. It considers different ways in which countries have organized and regulated the media, and relates this to theories of democracy and power.
As you will see, there are conservative, liberal and radical political economy answers to all these questions. There are also other answers as well that are strongly critical of the political economy tradition.
The module focuses on journalism, though it also takes account of media entertainment. And while it is western-centric, it also connects to other parts of the world. For all these reasons, it is an especially demanding module.
|n/a||Promotional Culture||30 CATs and 15 CATs|
This module looks at the rise of promotional culture (public relations, advertising, marketing and branding), promotional intermediaries and their impact on society. The first part of the module will look at the history of promotional culture and will offer some conflicting theoretical approaches with which to view its development. These include: professional/industrial and economic, political economy and other critiques, post-Fordist and postmodern perspectives, audience and consumer society accounts. The second part will look at specific case areas, investigating the ways promotion intervenes, interacts and mediates social relations and organisations. These sector studies include: fashion and taste, hi-tech commodities and innovation, news media and conflict in civil society, popular culture and creativity (film TV, music), celebrities and public figures, political parties and representation, and financial markets and value. In each of these areas questions will be asked about the influence of promotional practices on the production, communication and consumption of ideas and products as well as larger discourses, fashions/genres and socio-economic trends.
Reading: S Cottle ed (2003) News, Public Relations and Power, Sage; M Lee ed. (2000) The Consumer Society Reader, Blackwell; S Lash and C Lury (2007) Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things, Polity, Cambridge; W Leiss, S Kline, S Jhally and J Botterill (2005) Social Communication in Advertising: Consumption in the Mediated Marketplace, Routledge; J Turrow and M McAllister eds. (2009) The Advertising and Consumer Culture Reader, Routledge, New York; R Sassatelli Consumer Culture: History, Theory and Politics; G Sussman ed. (2011) The Propaganda Society: Promotional Politics in Global Context, Peter Lang, New York; A Wernick (1991) Promotional Culture, Sage.
|MC71042B||Public Culture and Everyday Life||30 CATs|
This option examines themes connected with urban modernity, urban post-modernity and the post-colonial city.
Drawing on urban sociology, social and cultural theory and also relying on novels and the fiction of city life as well as art, fashion, and cinema, the module considers questions about how urban space intersects with and shapes patterns of everyday life, as well as focusing on key issues in regard to control, surveillance and social order.
Students are encouraged to use as case study material the cities with which they are most familiar.
The module is examined with a 5,000-word essay. Teaching format comprises a weekly lecture followed by screening and seminars.
|n/a||Screen Cultures||30 CATs and 15 CATs|
This module maps today’s post-cinematic screen culture in terms of technologies, politics and aesthetics. Inter-disciplinary in its scope, it summons from film and visual studies, critical theory, psychology and philosophy so as to explore how images move and evolve in our screen-saturated world in different contexts, ranging from entertainment and science to the arts, as well as to analyze what kinds of desires, perceptions and affectivities their movement generates. The module takes first a genealogical look into the emergence of modernity’s screen culture in the late nineteenth century, charting the economic arrangements, power formations and models of subjectification that were involved in the process of moving images’ becoming the major socio-technological force of modernity. Secondly, the module maps the work of screens in our biopolitical era, analyzing how screens, from video games to virtual realities, shape the conditions of agency today. Lastly, the module discusses the possibilities of critical practice and thinking through screens, analyzing how artistic creations can recombine and redistribute the sensibilities of our age and thus animate critical consciousness of the present. The module requires students to critically reflect on their own relationship to contemporary screen cultures, relationships that may be productive, poetic and arbitrary as much as they are disciplined, rationalised and controlled.
Readings: Jonathan Crary, Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1999); Anne Friedberg, The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006); W.J.T. Mitchell, Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to the Present (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011); Mark Hansen, New Philosophy for New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004); Jacques Ranciere, The Future of the Image (London: Verso, 2007).
|n/a||The Structures of Contemporary Political Communication||30 CATs and 15 CATs|
This module examines the actors and communication processes involved in contemporary political communication. Its core concern is to explore notions of ‘crisis’ in mature democracies as voter turnouts and party memberships steadily drop, national economies struggle, and news media decline. It combines theoretical insights and empirical data from the fields of media studies, journalism, sociology, political science and economics. It mainly focuses on democracies, particularly in the US and UK, but literature and examples are also drawn from other types of political system and country. Weekly topics combine political communication themes and contemporary examples, with discussions of related theory and concepts. Topics covered include: The crisis of politics and media in established democracies; comparative political and media systems; mass media and news production; political parties, citizen relations and political marketing; government media management, war and propaganda; symbolic and cultural political communication; forms of public participation and public opinion; media effects and audiences; digital media and online politics; globalisation and international political communication. Much of the material for this module is highly contemporary, so students are encouraged to maintain an awareness of current developments in political communication in the UK and elsewhere.
Reading: Chadwick, A (2006) Internet Politics: States, Citizens and New Communication Technologies, Oxford, Oxford University Press; Corner, J and Pels, D eds., (2003) Media and the Restyling of Politics: Consumerism, Celebrity and Cynicism, London, Sage; Dahlgren, P (2009) Media and Political Engagement: Citizens, Communication and Democracy, Cambridge; Davis, A (2010) Political Communication and Social Theory, London: Routledge; Fenton, N ed. (2010) New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age, Sage; Lees Marshment, J (2008) Political Marketing and British Political Parties, 2nd edn. Manchester University Press; Hallin, D and Mancini, P (2004) Comparing Media Systems, Cambridge University Press; Hay, C (2007) Why We Hate Democracy, Polity.
|MC71116A||Asking the Right Questions: Research and Practice||15 CATs (Non assessed for MA Screen Doc)|
This module offers an introduction to practical research methodologies and their deployment in various different specialist journalism fields.
Commencing with an analysis of British government systems, both national and local, and methods for accessing information from them, the module evolves a critical approach to the many different sources journalists use, the compromises involved and constraints within which they work.
Drawing on both original research and practical expertise, the module is convened and taught by Peter Lee-Wright, with input from a range of visiting specialists.
Subjects covered include:
|MC71092B||Campaign Skills: Theory and Practice||15 CATs|
Mike Kaye/Aeron Davis
This module introduces students to practical campaigning issues and directs them towards producing their own campaign.
It will examine contemporary political communication primarily from the perspective of interest groups in society, although many of its elements are applicable to other types of organisational campaigning. It touches on mainstream mass media, online media, advocacy and other communication methods. On a practical level it will introduce students to the basic skills and core concerns for campaigning.
The module is convened by Aeron Davis but mostly taught by Mike Kaye, who has extensive experience of campaign communication. Many of the issues and considerations link to contemporary events and everyday politics, so students are encouraged to maintain an awareness of current developments in political communications in the UK and elsewhere, through newspapers, television, radio and the internet.
|MC71061A||Journalism in Context||15 CATs|
An introduction to the major theoretical debates in the study of journalism.
We will cover:
All these debates will be situated firmly in a current and practical context and you will be encouraged to make connections between formal lecturers, seminar presentations and practical discussions of the day’s events and how they are reported.
Sessions will usually be 1 hour followed by a seminar of 1 hour but may be extended if there are special events or speakers.
This module provides practice students with a theoretical underpinning for your work, which you will develop via personal study later in the year.
|MC71100A||Media Landscapes||30 CATs|
Robert Smith/Mark Dunford
A re-imagining of contemporary media practices. This module addresses the political economy of the media and considers other explanations for the way mass media functions.
The module places media practices within the context of critical debates on ways that media will develop in the future and links them directly to business practice. The premise is that the only way to prepare for running a media business is to invent one and test the concept. Students will be asked to conceive of a business concept and to explore the viability of their venture within the context of the ideas and practices explored within the module.
The programme is structured around a series of presentations by practitioners. It begins with a consideration of contemporary business models and the entrepreneurial skills needed to develop a viable business. The following session addresses key market drives including the identification and exploitation of Intellectual Property (IP) from the perspective of a business development specialist. Subsequent sessions address the policy context, entrepreneurial psychology, audiences models, marketing and approaches to selling media content, The final session is a series of presentations.
|n/a||Media, Law and Ethics||15 and 30 CATs|
The module investigates the nature of media law and ethical regulation for media practitioners primarily in the UK, but with some comparison with the situation in the USA and references to the experiences of media communicators in other countries. The students are directed towards an analysis of media law as it exists, the ethical debates concerning what the law ought to be, and the historical development of legal and regulatory controls of communication. The theoretical underpinning involves a module of learning the subject of media jurisprudence- the study of the philosophy of media law, media ethicology- the study of the knowledge of ethics in media communication, and media ethicism, the belief systems of media communicators. The module evaluates media law and regulation in terms of its social and cultural context. It is taught in one and a half hour lectures and two-hour seminars that involve the discussion of multi-media examples of media communication considered legally and/or morally problematical. The module delivers considerable practical knowledge of how to navigate media law and apply it to multi-media publication.
Reading: The module book is Comparative Media Law & Ethics written by the convenor with a companion website at http://www.ma-radio.gold.ac.uk/cmle; Media Law (Fully Revised 5th Edition 2008) by Andrew Nicol and Geoffrey Robertson: Harmondsworth, Penguin Book; McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists (21st Edition 2012) by David Banks and Mark Hanna, Oxford, Oxford University Press; Law for Journalists by Francis Quinn (3rd Edition 2011) London, Pearson Longman; Journalism Ethics and Regulation by Chris Frost (3rd Edition 2010) London, Pearson Longman; Ethics for Journalists by Richard Keeble (2nd Edition 2008) London, Routledge; The Ethical Journalist by Tony Harcup (2007) London, Sage; Media and Entertainment Law by Ursula Smartt (2011) London: Routledge.
|MC71136A||Contemporary Screen Narratives in Practice and Theory||30 CATs|
This is a core module for MA Filmmaking and is also open to other screen practitioners whose creative work involves narrative. Screen studies students interested in theoretical issues arising from the narrative process are welcome as well.
The module examines broad questions – what narratives are, how they differ from non-narratives, what forms they may take and what functions they serve in our own and one or more other societies. It also looks at elements of narrative creation, particularly character, structure and plot. And it explores the ways in which different aspects of production – eg writing, directing, editing, sound design – contribute to the intellectual and emotional impact of example screen narratives.
The speakers include a mix of practitioners who work in the screen industries and theorists who study narrative in traditional, alternative, cross-cultural and new media forms. Examples are drawn from a range of fiction and non-fiction sources,depending on the speakers’ own interests, and include short films, documentary and feature films, tv drama, print journalism (news and features), games and online media.
To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification.
Sherry, Head of Communications & Partnerships, trendwatching.com
"In the year that I spent at Goldsmiths, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people from all over the world."
I made the decision to come to Goldsmiths and to study the MA in Global Media and Transnational Communications because I wanted to take a step away from the practical element of my profession and study it from more of a theoretical perspective, while also looking at it through more of a global lens. In the year that I spent at Goldsmiths, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people from all over the world, which was exactly what I wanted.
The course was also great preparation for my current role at trendwatching.com. There, I manage the company's media and communications efforts, including day-to-day media inquiries and the execution of global press strategies for trend briefings, reports and special events. I also develop partnerships with key media organisations, professional groups and other corporate entities worldwide in an effort to increase brand awareness and visibility for the company's services and content.
Giang, Editor for East Asia Hub at the BBC World Service
"The global perspective and skills learnt at Goldsmiths have not just broadened my viewpoints as a senior editor but also refreshed my understanding of the world."
I spent two years studying part-time for this MA, sharing my time between the courses at Goldsmiths and duties at the BBC World Service in Central London, including a number of reporting trips to East Asia. It was not easy to combine the two tasks but somehow they were very complementary. I enriched my journalism at work by embracing the global outlook offered by the College and by networking with fellow students from Asia (China, South Korea, Taiwan), continental Europe (Greece, Poland, Germany) as well as from the Arab world (Lebanon, Egypt). But above and beyond, the student life at Goldsmiths, all the fun and lively conversations on the campus will remain with me forever.
On leaving Goldsmiths I went on to get a fellowship at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and completed a research project about social media and its impact on political trends in Vietnam. I could not have done that without the time spent at Goldsmiths.
I have also moved on to become Editor for East Asia Hub at the World Service. I'm editorially in charge of the Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian outputs for the BBC, and three overseas bureaux in Southeast Asia.
The global perspective and skills learnt at Goldsmiths have not just broadened my viewpoints as a senior editor but also refreshed my understanding of the world, and that helped me to reshape the BBC coverage of East Asian stories and topics in my area of responsibilities.
Simone, Marketing Officer at the Almeida Theatre
"Goldsmiths provided a place where I could explore specific technology and ideas that intrigued me, while keeping them rooted in theory and research."
I began my studies at Goldsmiths after working as a communications coordinator for an international humanitarian charity. The MA was a perfect chance for me to take my practical experience to the next level by adding a broader theoretical understanding of contemporary media in an international context.
Researching international social media campaigns for my dissertation provided valuable insight into the dynamics of the digital landscape, and has become a key aspect of my post-graduation career. I currently work as a marketing officer at the Almeida Theatre, where I manage social media, coordinate print and photography for the show campaigns and help promote the theatre’s youth and community work.
Goldsmiths provided a place where I could explore specific technology and ideas that intrigued me, while keeping them rooted in theory and research. The mix of students on the core programme and option courses made for dynamic discussions, my lecturers and tutors challenged me to push my ideas further than I would have on my own, and the confidence I developed on my course was invaluable.
Jingxiang, now working for a Chinese newspaper
"Since graduating, I have been working for a Chinese newspaper. Reporting news from both the UK and China to the overseas Chinese community, it is indeed ‘transnational’."
After my BA in China I joined Goldsmiths to do an MA exploring global media and transnational communications. In this intense but delicately selected one-year program, we wandered in and out of the media industry, re-thinking it from political, cultural, ethnical and even sexual perspectives. How do different countries, people and organisations (and even terrorists) use media for various purposes? How do culture and scientific findings affect communications in all levels? How do philosophy and concepts of time, space etc glitter on our minds about information transmissions? Since graduating, I have been working for a Chinese newspaper that publishes in the UK, France and Netherlands. Reporting news from both the UK and China to the overseas Chinese community, it is indeed ‘transnational’.
Jiaojiao, Features Writer for Xinhua
"The study at Goldsmiths gave me systematic training in media and communications theories."
The course leaders at Goldsmiths encouraged you to think broadly in different perspectives. The lively environment at Goldsmiths really gave you a feeling that you yourself are unique and you can make a difference to the community, to the nation and even to the world.
I'm now working for Xinhua as a features writer; I report what happens in China in English to overseas publications. The study at Goldsmiths gave me systematic training in media and communications theories. This helps me file better quality and effective news and feature stories.
"This very well organised, cutting edge course offers an up-to-date insight on issues that anyone pursuing communication-related careers should be aware of."
Studying Global Media and Transnational Communications at Goldsmiths was a transformative experience, as it helped me grow both personally and intellectually. This very well organised, cutting edge course offers an up-to-date insight on issues that anyone pursuing communication-related careers should be aware of. Now that I have completed the degree, I feel that I have acquired the appropriate skills and confidence to pursue my dream job, and I am thankful for that.
"I now have a thorough understanding of how the field works and I am better to predict if something will work or not."
I studied at Goldsmiths for both professional and personal reasons. Previously, I had been studying IT, which often seems to leave you with a broad set of skills, but no knowledge of the world around you. I wanted to know more about online communication from a non-technical perspective, if I was to spend the rest of my life on it. From my studies, I got exactly that and much more. The broadness of the core module and the freedom of choices of additional modules gave me the chance to sculpture the study like I wished.
Professionally, the study gave me more knowledge about the theory behind online communication and its users than I would have otherwise had. I now have a thorough understanding of how the field works and I am better to predict if something will work or not.
Personally, the study gave me the chance to dig deeper into areas that concerns me about today's society; mainly the lack of critical thinking on the internet, where lies and false facts are spread around very easily.
Studying at Goldsmiths also allowed me to experience a multi-cultural environment, which was really great coming from a small country like Denmark. I was originally a bit nervous about the whole international experience. I had studied in England before, but at a smaller university where I was the only non-Brit. After a week or two at Golsmiths, I went to a pub with some of the other students. When sitting there, I suddenly realized that we were eight people from seven very different countries representing five of seven continents. That to me was pretty special, and throughout my year at Goldsmiths, I learned a lot about other cultures, which was as important to me as the study itself. It may be something I will never experience again, and something I will always remember.
"I am loving the rich experience of studying here."
I chose Goldsmiths because of the unique approach of the course and the good reputation of the institution. I am loving the rich experience of studying here. I have been able to explore many subjects and issues that are expanding my knowledge and vision of the world. It will be fundamental to my future career plans.
The atmosphere of the College is great, I have been in touch with people from all over the world and this diversity is amazing. And London is a fantastic city, with so much to do, to see, with easy access to any part of the UK. My favorite city in the world.
Faz, now completing a PhD
This programme has given me great insights into a world in motion – and the interactive format lead to engaging discussions and debates with other students on the course. It has also motivated me to study further and I've now started my PhD.
This programme challenged how I think, and what I think about. It gave me the theoretical tools with which to begin asking new types of questions – questions about how we come to generate and define knowledge, and the role the media plays in shaping what we know about the world and ourselves.
Students under Marianne Franklin's supervision work on a variety of topics. Several are recipients of research funding and awards. Completed and ongoing PhD research students include:
Dr Dong-Hyun Song: Power Struggles for Control of Korean Cyberspace
Dr Jowan Mahmod: Being Kurd Online (Leverhulme Scholarship)
Dr Asad Asaduzzaman: Digital Bangladesh (British Commonwealth Scholarship)
Cyrine Amor: Tunisia and Social Media after the Revolution (AHRC Scholarship/Joint supervision with Nick Couldry, LSE)
Faz O'Callaghan: Post-Apartheid South Africa: New Identity Politics and New Media
Emma Duester: Art and the City: Artist communities on the move in the Baltic States (ESRC-DTC Scholarship)
Eduardo Cassina: Chinese Commercial Landscapes in Southern Africa
Graduates from the Global Media & Transnational Communications programme find work and excel in a number of domains:
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.
The ethos of the Department is one which looks to achieve a healthy balance between scholarly pursuits and practical skills; we look to develop all-round thinkers and doers who can – and do – contribute to the cultural and professional life of their communities and countries. Graduates from this programme excel in their analytical skills, range of knowledge, flexibility, and adaptability.
At Goldsmiths we aim to support and develop students to express themselves creatively and self-critically in theoretical, creative, practical and/or professional pursuits.
You will be equipped with new insights and ideas, analytical skills and practical knowledge about how both traditional and newer media, familiar and cutting-edge information and communication technologies, and computer-mediated communications actually operate and contribute to society, culture, and politics in contemporary settings.
Content last modified: 15 Oct 2014
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