MA in Media & Communications

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications
  • Funding available

Course overview

For over 25 years this MA has been actively interrogating the way the mediated world works. Discover the many roles of media and communications in your life and identity, across institutions and organisations and into wider cultures and societies through this pioneering programme.

There has never been a more exciting time to study media and communications. The digital age has transformed our experiences from shopping, to chatting to friends, to searching out information, to political activism. Our mediated worlds impact upon the rhythms and rituals of our daily lives changing the way we think about things, the way we create things, even the way we conceive of ourselves.

We are deeply entangled with media, in all their forms; One of our core concerns on this masters is to work out what the role the media play in the ways we live together – to provide a critical appraisal of our mediated existences. What does it mean to live in a digital age?  

The questions we ask

Challenging assumptions is at the core of this course. We want rich, complex answers formed through theoretical and empirical work. To get to these we ask demanding questions. What happens to personal relationships in digital media environments? How do people affected by disasters use social media and other media to recover? How do the media influence our lives as citizens and our own (as well as others) political decisions? What should be the future of public service broadcasting? Do social media enable new forms of protest and political action?

Together we look at these kinds of issues to establish how the media are implicated in different aspects of life and the way the world functions.

The processes we use

We encourage you to look at issues holistically. Alongside lectures and seminars we run workshops, screenings and cultural trips to encourage you to explore the role of the media in our lives as widely as possible – from the individual and organisational level to corporations, the state, and the market across both the public and private sectors.

This is a theory-driven MA, but you also have the opportunity to do a practice option in a range of areas including Journalism, Campaigns and Design, and the Screen School. Plus you get the chance to apply your knowledge to a subject that ignites your interest and do your own independent research as part of your dissertation. From how people mediate the self through body piercing to how we form intimate relationships through social media, your dissertation topic is entirely up to you.

The approach we take

Every year we’re changing the content to relate to existing issues so we’ll always be working on what’s current. We take a collaborative approach, bringing in many different intellectual ideas and calling upon a whole range of ways of thinking which have been traditionally compartmentalised.


Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Mirca Madianou or Professor Natalie Fenton

Modules & structure


A core module will introduce you to media and communications theory, and will enable you to develop and explore interdisciplinary perspectives on the study of contemporary cultural processes.

You choose three options, at least two of which must be offered by the Department of Media and Communications; you can choose one from those offered by the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, and Sociology, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.

You will also complete a dissertation based on independent research, which is supported by a module in research skills training.

In addition to the required core and option modules, a strong emphasis is placed on student participation in the research culture of the department and College.

Core module

Module title Credits
  Introduction to Media and Communications Theory 30 credits

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Below are some examples of modules that are currently running. For a full list, please contact the Media and Communications department.

Module title Credits
  Media, Law and Ethics 15 and 30 credits
  Journalism in Context 15 credits
  Campaign Skills: Theory and Practice 15 credits
  Embodiment and Experience 30 credits and 15 credits
  Media Geographies 30 credits
  Race, Empire and Nation 30 credits and 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
  The City and Consumer Culture 30 credits
  Contemporary Screen Narratives in Practice and Theory 30 credits
  The Structures of Contemporary Political Communication 30 credits and 15 credits
  Asking the Right Questions: Research and Practice 15 credits


The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. It will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

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:
27th 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 2016
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Skills & careers

Graduates from this degree go into advertising, marketing and public relations, broadcasting and print media, social media, NGOs and intergovernmental organisations as well as the arts and heritage sector. Many of our graduates also move into research to apply the rigour of theoretical study to problems they encounter in their everyday lives. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths


Student profiles


"Having spoken to some alumni from Goldsmiths, I knew that the media department was the leading one in London."

"I was working as Director of PR in Pakistan before coming to Goldsmiths. After having been in work for some time, I wanted to refresh my knowledge by doing a degree in media at a British university.

Having spoken to some alumni from Goldsmiths, I knew that the media department was the leading one in London. And I also knew about the research contribution the faculty at Goldsmiths has made towards the field.

The courses I've taken so far have added clarity to my thoughts about the structures and functioning of media systems. The literature we go through is a combination of media history and the current debates which enables us to establish a meaningful link between past and the present."

Hyunjun Joe

"It has fuelled me with a breath of creative ideas, initiatives and ability to lead my life."

"My time at Goldsmiths is turning out to be an immense asset at the current stage of my career as it has fuelled me with a breath of creative ideas, initiatives and ability to lead my life. All of these were possible with the help from second-to-none professors, students and staff from every corner of the globe, possessing top-notch capabilities in all aspects.  

I'm currently working for PR agency Weber Shandwick, providing PR/strategic communication counsels to tech/financial clients."


Julio received a prestigious award to study at Goldsmiths.

"For the last 10 years, I've been working as a documentary filmmaker in Brazil. My first feature documentary, 'Letter to Angola', won 4 prizes and has been screened in more than 40 international festival around the world. But I decided to give me a break and go back to school. After research for an innovative university, with a solid reputation, I found Goldsmiths. So far I'm really happy with courses, atmosphere and all the events and lectures available. Teachers, supervisors and staff here are so dedicated and helpful, that's really amazing! Now I'm a Chevening Scholar, looking forward to research at the BBC. When I finish my Masters, I'll go back to Brazil and start a PhD, but also get back to filmmaking."

See more profiles for this programme

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

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 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the reading, listening and speaking tests, and 7.0 in the written test)

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

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

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

When to apply

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. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

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

Selection process

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

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

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.

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