MA in Global Media & Transnational Communications

  • Length
    1 year full time
  • Department
    Media and Communications

Course overview

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

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

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

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

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

The programme achieves these goals by:

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

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

Follow us on Twitter @GloComm 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Marianne Franklin

Modules & structure


The programme is broken into three parts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Core Course I: Orientations 30 credits
  Core Course II: Further Explorations 30 credits

You also take: 

Research Skills (60 credits)

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

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

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

Option modules

Students may choose options worth a total of 60 credits (usually two, 30 credits each; up to four, 15 credits 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

Module title Credits
  After New Media 30 credits and 15 credits
  The Emancipation of the Senses: Film, Aesthetics, and the Avant-Garde 30 credits
  Embodiment and Experience 30 credits and 15 credits
  Media Audiences and Media Geographies 30 credits
  Media, Ethnicity and Nation 15 credits
  Media, Ritual and Contemporary Public Cultures 30 credits and 15 credits
  Music as Communication and Creative Practice 30 credits
  Political Economy of the Media 30 credits
  Promotional Culture 30 credits and 15 credits
  Public Culture and Everyday Life 30 credits
  Screen Cultures 30 credits and 15 credits
  The Structures of Contemporary Political Communication 30 credits and 15 credits
  Asking the Right Questions: Research and Practice 15 credits (Non assessed for MA Screen Doc)
  Campaign Skills: Theory and Practice 15 credits
  Journalism in Context 15 credits
  Media Landscapes 30 credits
  Media, Law and Ethics 15 and 30 credits
  Contemporary Screen Narratives in Practice and Theory 30 credits


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

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

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


We are ranked:
22nd in the world for communication and media studies**
1st in the UK for the quality of our research***

Media and Communications

We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for media professionals, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.

The department includes some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – the pioneers of media, communications and cultural studies. They actively teach on our programmes, and will introduce you to current research and debate in these areas. And many of our practice tutors are industry professionals active in TV, film, journalism, radio and animation.

We also run – our 24/7 student news website – which gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in a real-time news environment.

And we run regular public events featuring world-renowned writers and practitioners that have recently included Danny Boyle, Gurinda Chadha, Noel Clark and Tessa Ross. So you’ll get to experience the latest developments and debates in the industry.

Find out more about the Department of Media and Communications

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2015
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings



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 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)
  • Dyrine 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

Skills & careers


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

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

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

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

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 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.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



"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. 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."


"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."


"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’."


"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."

Entry 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.

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

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

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.0 (including 6.5 in the written test)

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

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of two referees who we can request a reference from (via our online application system)
  • 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
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
  • Where required a copy of your IELTS certificate indicating you have the requisite minimum English language level

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 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 (for example, for AHRC funding). If you are applying for a Chevening Scholarship you will need an unconditional offer to this programme in good time. Applications received by these deadlines are guaranteed consideration; we will consider later applications on a case by case basis.

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. 

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


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.

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

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

The Department of Media and Communications often offers fee waivers for this MA. Find out more on our departmental funding page.

Find out more about tuition fees.

Related content links