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MA in Global Media & Transnational Communications

The Global Media and Transnational Communications MA programme looks at the bigger picture of contemporary changes in media and communications by putting into perspective the nitty gritty of the sociocultural, political and economic transformations that are affecting the way people live and work, national and international institutions evolve, and how cultural practices adapt to the increasingly interconnected world in which we live.

Its cutting-edge and interdisciplinary approach to post-graduate learning, independent study, and lifeskills provides students 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.

About the department
Media & Communications

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

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.

See our tuition fees.
Further information

Follow us on Twitter (@GloComm).  

Contact the department
Contact Professor Marianne Franklin
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

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:

  • 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 & 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.

What you study

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.


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

Applying and entrance requirements

You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • If available, an electronic copy of your academic transcript to corroborate the information above (this is not the same as your diploma, which you can supply as well).
  • The email address details of  two referees who we can request a reference from (via our online application system).
  • A personal statement outlining your motivations for applying to this programme; aims, ambitions and current research interests.
  • A CV for returning students or those with working experience
  • Where required a copy of your IELTS certificate indicating you have the requisite minimum English language level. More information below

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're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for UK/EU students and international students.

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.

Selection process

Your personal statement needs to demonstrate:

  • an interest in examining the intersection of broad sociocultural, political and economic trends with those specific to the (global) media sector and ICTs; in theory and practice;
  • interest in being open to doing comparative study in an international setting;
  • a readiness to engage in intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches to your field of interest.

Entrance requirements

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.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.


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.

English language

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.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form


+44 (0)20 7919 7766

International (non-EU)

+44 (0)20 7919 7702



Professor of Race and Cultural Studies

Associate Lecturer

Management Team Secretary

BARASSI, Veronica

BASS, Tracy

Technical Advisor - Equipment Stores

BELL, Ceiren

, Nicholas
Technical Advisor AV Support

MA Secretary

Professor of Media and Communications

Associate Lecturer


BULL, Neil
Senior Technical Advisor Radio

Associate Lecturer

Technical Advisor Film/TV

Professor of Film & Television, Director of ScreenSchool


Joint Head of Department, Professor of Film and Television

CUCH, Laura
Technical Adviser, Photography

, James
Professor of Communications

DAVIS, Aeron
Professor of Media and Communications

DOBSON, Hayley
Undergraduate Secretary

Senior Lecturer

Technical Advisor Digital Media

Senior Technical Advisor TV/Film

FENTON, Natalie
Professor of Media and Communications


FRANKLIN, Marianne
Professor of Global Media and Politics


Emeritus Professor of Broadcast Journalism

MA Secretary

Senior Lecturer

Joint Head of Department, Reader

Senior Lecturer

Resources Assistant

, Sarah
Professor in New Technologies of Communication

KHIABANY, Dr. Gholam
Senior Lecturer


, Terry
Senior Lecturer


LEWIS, Linda
Senior Lecturer

LEYS, Colin
Honorary Research Professor

LOVE, Jacob
Technical Advisor Photography

Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies

Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications


Senior Lecturer

Senior Department Business Manager

Professor of Communications

MOOR, Dr. Liz
Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications

MOORE, Dr. Rachel

Professor of Communications

O'BRIEN, Katie
Undergraduate Secretary


PALMER, Phillip



SANT, Peter
Technical Advisor Film and Video

SAHA, Anamik

SMITH, Nigel
Technical Operations Manager, Film/TV

SMITH, Dr. Richard
Senior Lecturer

SMITH, Robert
Senior Lecturer

STANTON, Dr. Gareth
Senior Lecturer

Undergraduate Programmes Secretary

Associate Tutor

Senior Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies

WALTER, Matthew
Senior Technical Advisor Digital

Technical Advisor Digital Media

Technical Advisor Video/Film

ZYLINSKA, Dr. Joanna
Professor of New Media and Communications

Modules and structure

The programme is broken into three parts; the core modules, option modules (where students can devise their own specialisations), and the dissertation. The themes covered may vary from year to year, depending on research developments and staff availability.

Core module I

Code Module title Credits
tbc Orientations 30 CATs

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:  

  • Globalisationtransnationalism, and the nation-state
  • Media, ICT & Development at the UN Before the Web
  • PR & Advertising
  • Global Cinema
  • Media, Revolution, and the Middle East
  • Global Cultural Flows
  • Media Spectacle after 9/11
  • Guest Lectures

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:

  • postcolonial and diasporic media/virtual communities
  • practices of everyday life online and transnationalism
  • power vectors of race/ethnicity, sex/gender, class/status in virtual and embodied worlds
  • human rights and digital activism after Wikileaks and the Snowden Affair
  • censorship and surveillance online and the global battle for cyberspace
  • Who controls the Internet?
  • The Global Politics of Fashion
  • Nollywood in Postcolonial Africa
  • Guest Lectures


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: 

  • 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.

Option modules

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.

Theory Options

Code Module title Credits
n/a After New Media 30 CATs and 15 CATs

Sarah Kember

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?


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  • Barad, K. (2007) Meeting the Universe Halfway, Durham and London: Duke University Press
  • Bergson, H. (1998) Creative Evolution, Mineola, New York: Dover Publications Inc
  • Bolter, J.D. and Grusin, R. (2000) Remediation. Understanding New Media, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: MIT Press
  • Braidotti, R. (2006) Transpositions, Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Derrida, J. and Stiegler, B. (2002) Echographies of Television, Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Kember, S. and Zylinska, J. (2012) Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: MIT Press
  • Suchman, L. (2007) Human-Machine Reconfigurations, Cambridge University Press
  • Van Loon, J. (2007) Media Technology: Critical Perspectives, Open University Press

MC71078B The Emancipation of the Senses: Film, Aesthetics, and the Avant-Garde 30 CATs

Rachel Moore

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: 

  • to provide a grounding in Classical Film theory
  • to develop the student’s sensibility to aesthetics and form
  • to investigate the liberatory qualities of cinema
  • and most importantly, to expand both the student’s and the course leader’s moving image archive, to see things we wouldn’t otherwise see

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.  


  • Agamben, Giorgio, The Open- Man and Animal, Stanford University Press, 2004
  • Bataille, Georges, Visions of Excess, trans Alan Stoekl, University of Minnesota Press, 1995
  • Eisenstein, Sergei, Eisenstein on Disney by Jay Leyda; translated by Alan Upchurch introduced by Naum Kleinman, London: Methuen, 1988
  • Epstein, Jean, ‘Bonjour Cinema and other Writings’,  Trans. Tom Milne, Afterimage, no 10 (1981)
  • Mulvey, Laura, Death 24 x a Second, Reaktion, 2007
  • Epstein, Jean, ‘Bonjour Cinema and other Writings’,  Trans. Tom Milne, Afterimage, no 10 (1981)
  • Perniola, Mario, The Sex Appeal of the Inorganic: Philosophies of Desire in the Modern World, translated by Massimo Verdicchio, London-New York, Continuum, 2004
  • Tsivian, Yuri, “The Poitics of Gesture’ Ostrannenie, University of Amsterdam Press, 2011

n/a Embodiment and Experience 30 CATs and 15 CATs

Lisa Blackman

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.


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  • Blackman, L (2008) The Body: The Key Concepts, Berg
  • Blackman, L and Walkerdine, V (2001) Mass Hysteria: Critical Psychology and Media Studies, Palgrave
  • Blackman, L and Venn, C (2010) Special issue of the Journal Body & Society on Affect (issue 16:1- includes articles by Couze Venn, Lisa Blackman, Valerie Walkerdine, Julian Henriques, Erin Manning, Patricia Clough and Mike Featherstone)
  • Cho, G (2008) Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, Silence and the Forgotten Korean War, Minnesota Press
  • Clough, P (2007) The Affective Turn, Duke University Press

MC71034B Media Audiences and Media Geographies 30 CATs

Dave Morley

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.


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  • D. Morley, Television, Audiences and Cultural Studies, Routledge, 1992
  • D. Morley and K Robins, Spaces of Identity, Routledge, 1995
  • D. Morley, Media, Modernity and Technology, Routledge, 2006 (parts 4-6)
  • W. Brooker and D Jermyn (eds), The Audience Studies Reader, Routledge, 2003
  • E. Bird, The Audience in Everyday Life: Living in a Media World, Routledge, 2005
  • M Christensen et al (eds), Online Territories: Globalization, Mediated Practice and Social Space, Peter Lang, 2011

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.


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  • Ahmed, Sara (2002), ‘Racialized Bodies’ in Real Bodies, ed. Mary Evans and Ellie Lee, Paladin Press
  • Dines, Gail and Humez, Jean. M. (eds.) (1995), Gender, Race and Class in Media, London: Sage
  • Ferguson, R. (1998), Representing ‘Race’: Ideology, Identity and the Media, London: Arnold
  • Ross, Karen (1996), Black and White Media: Black Images in Popular Film and Television, Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Shohat, E and Stam, R (1994), Multiculturalism and the Media. London: Routledge

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.


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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

Julian Henriques

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.


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  • Bull, Michael and Back, Les, eds (2003), The Auditory Culture Reader, Berg
  • Cox, Christoph and Warner, Daniel, eds (2005), Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, London: Continuum
  • Attali, Jacques (1985), Noise: The Political Economy of Music, Manchester University Press
  • Chion, Michel (1990), Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, New York: Columbia University Press
  • Eshun, Kodwo (1998), More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction, London: Quartet
  • Henriques, Julian (2011), Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques and Ways of Knowing (2011) New York: Continuum

MC71015A Political Economy of the Media 30 CATs

James Curran

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.


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  • M. Castells, Communication Power, Oxford University Press, 2009
  • J. Curran, Media and Democracy, Routledge, 2011
  • J. Curran, Media and Power, Routledge, 2002
  • J. Curran ed. Media and Society, 5th edition, Bloomsbury, 2011
  • D. Hallin and P. Mancini, Comparing Media Systems, CUP, 2004
  • J. Hardy, Western Media Systems, Routledge, 2008
  • V. Mosco, The Political Economy of Communication, 2nd edition, Sage, 2009
  • M. Schudson, The Sociology of the Mass Media, Norton, 2002

n/a Promotional Culture 30 CATs and 15 CATs

Aeron Davis

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.


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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

Angela McRobbie

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.

Topics include:

  • urban spatiality, sexuality and consumer culture in the city
  • the history of prostitution
  • the sociology of gang culture
  • gentrification and urban creative economy
  • social unrest and the London riots

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.


  • L. Waquant (2009), Punishing the Poor
  • G. Bridges and S. Watson (2010), The Blackwell City Reader
  • G. Bridges and S. Watson (2011), Companion to the Blackwell City Reader
  • A. McRobbie (2005), The Uses of Cultural Studies
  • P Bourdieu et al (1999), The Weight of the World

n/a Screen Cultures 30 CATs and 15 CATs

Pasi Valiaho

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.


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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

Aeron Davis

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.


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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)

Peter Lee-Wright

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:

  • online data-mining
  • Freedom of Information
  • investigative journalism
  • economic and political journalism
  • the problems and pitfalls of foreign journalism and reporting conflict
  • dealing with the military and the UK D-notice system
  • managing human, particularly vulnerable, human sources


  • Morrison, James (2011), Essential Public Affairs for Journalists (2nded.), Oxford University Press
  • Kampfner, John (2010), Freedom For Sale: How We Made Money and Lost Our Liberty, Pocket Books
  • Fogg, Christine (2005), Release the Hounds: A Guide to Research for Journalists and Writers, Allen & Unwin
  • Franklin, Bob & Carlson, Matt (Eds.) (2010), Journalists, Sources, and Credibility: New Perspectives, Routledge
  • Löffelholz, Martin & Weaver, David (Eds.) (2008), Global Journalism Research: Theories, Methods, Findings, Future, Blackwell Publishing
  • Brooke, Heather (2006, 2nd edition), Your Right to Know: A Citizen’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act, London: Pluto Press
  • Tett, Gillian (2009), Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe, London: Little, Brown
  • Coté, William & Simpson, Roger (2000), Covering Violence: A guide to ethical reporting about victims and trauma, New York: Columbia University Press

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

Angela Phillips

An introduction to the major theoretical debates in the study of journalism.

We will cover:

  • the current crisis in journalism
  • questions of political power and the public sphere
  • ownership forms and how they are changing
  • the role of audience
  • regulation and representation
  • journalism as a narrative form

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. 

Reading includes:

  • Benson, Rodney and Eric Neveu (2005), Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field, Polity: Cambridge
  • Fenton, Natalie (ed) (2010), New Media, Old News, Sage
  • Lee Wright, Peter, Angela Phillips and Tamara Witschge (2011), Changing Journalism, Routledge
  • Hindman, Matthew (2009), The Myth of Digital Democracy, Princeton University Press: Princeton
  • Manning, Paul (2001), News and News Sources: A Critical Introduction, Sage: London
  • Curran, James (2002), Media and Power, Routledge
  • Jarvis, Jeff (2009), What Would Google Do?, Harper Collins
  • Auletta, Ken (2011), Googled: The end of the world as we know it, Virgin

MC71100A Media Landscapes 30 CATs

Richard Miller (convener: Robert Smith)


This module complements the other options on the media pathway, addressing cultural and economic aspects of media, and considering key issues in the functioning of modern media businesses. The course 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 for the module is that an excellent way to prepare for running a media business is to invent one and test the concept. Accordingly, 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 module begins with a consideration of the policy and regulatory environment in which media businesses operate – addressing issues of creative industry policy and intellectual property. It goes on to review contemporary media business models and the entrepreneurial skills needed to develop a viable business, including business planning and finance. In addition, we examine the film industry as an important case study bringing together many of the themes and issues addressed in the rest of the module. The final session draws together the media pathway in a series of presentations by students. 



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n/a Media, Law and Ethics 15 and 30 CATs

Tim Crook

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; 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

Judy Holland

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.

Reading includes:

  • Aronson, Linda (2010), The 21st Century Screenplay (NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin)
  • Austin & De Jong (eds, 2008), Rethinking Documentary: New Perspectives, New Practices (Maidenhead: Open University Press)
  • Bordwell, D, and Thompson, K (latest edition), Film Art, An Introduction (NY, Knopf)
  • Chion, Michel (1990), ‘The Audiovisual Scene’. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. Ed and trans. Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994
  • Murch, Walter (2001), In the Blink of an Eye: a Perspective on Film Editing. Silman-James Press
  • Phillips, Angela (2007), Good Writing for Journalists (London: Sage)
  • Strauven, Wanda (ed, 2006), The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press)
  • Vasudevan, Ravi (1989), “The Melodramatic Mode and the Commercial Hindi Cinema: Notes on Film History, Narrative and Performance in the 1950s”, Screen 30, no.3

Programme specification

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.

Student & graduate profiles

Sherry, Head of Communications & Partnerships,

Graduated 2012 

"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 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

Graduated 2009

"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

Graduated 2011

"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

Graduated 2011

"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

Graduated 2010

"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.

Peter, Freelancer

Graduated 2011

"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.



I gained a lot in this fantastic College, in this great class, and the city of London! I like the busy and happy life, which taught me a lot about how to deal with unexpected difficulties in life.

Areas of supervision

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:

  • 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.

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: 31 Mar 2015

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