MA in Visual Anthropology

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department

Course overview

The MA in Visual Anthropology is designed for those with a background in anthropology who want to continue their studies through a unique combination of theory and visual practice.

It leaves the definition of visual anthropology wide open and considers various arguments about this sub-field, but also looks beyond immediate disciplinary concerns to enlarge the possibilities for a visual anthropology that's not only connected with the professional concerns of anthropologists, but also adequately presents anthropologically informed representations to other audiences.

The programme is convened and taught by Professor Stephen Nugent. Core modules are also taught with contributions from Dr Ricardo Leizaola, Dr Mao Mollona, Dr Roger Sansi-Roca, Professor Emma Tarlo and Dr Chris Wright. It is taught through lectures/seminars and hands-on training in the use of digital camcorders, sound recording equipment, and video editing, and your final project is a 20-minute video.

The central aim of the programme is the production of visual work within a critical and conceptual framework provided by anthropology.

Through compulsory core modules you are introduced to a range of topics which currently include:

  • the anthropology of art
  • visual anthropology
  • ethnographic film and cinema studies
  • a general anthropological consideration of representation

Our dedicated production facilities include digital camcorders, a variety of sound recording equipment and Final Cut Pro. You will produce a series of practical projects throughout the year.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Isaac Marrero-Guillamón

Modules & structure

You will study five core modules:

Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Art I 30 credits
  Anthropology of Art II 30 credits
  Anthropology Video Production 60 credits
  Critique, Theory and Representation 30 credits
  Ethnographic Film and Cinema Studies 30 credits


Essays/reports for theory modules and one two-week take-home paper. Practice elements are assessed on the basis of training projects; the final project (a video of no more than 20 minutes’ length) is accompanied by a written report.

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.


Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked 6th in the UK for the quality of our research**


Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Find out more about the Department of Anthropology.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Skills & careers


The broad range of interests combined in this programme will prepare you for a diverse range of employment and/or a portfolio of careers in theatre and performance as well as the arts industry as a whole in different socio-cultural environments:

facilitation and animation in both mainstream, applied and community theatre contexts nationally and internationally

  • administrative and support services
  • cultural leadership
  • government organisations
  • journalism and broadcasting (including radio, television and print journalism)
  • teaching at all levels
  • interpretation and translation in theatre and performance contexts
  • acting, directing, design, dramaturgy

In addition, you can use this programme as a springboard for further study, either vocational or intellectual (including entry into MPhil/PhD programmes).

In short, the multiple skills – intellectual, critical and creative – developed by this programme will provide you with the flexibility of thought and approach necessary for creative insertion into the global job market. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

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 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

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

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

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

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

When to apply

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.


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. You will only be required to provide a deposit if you are offered a place and will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on the course. Please note that this deposit is non-refundable unless you fail to meet the conditions set out in your offer.

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

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

Find out more about tuition fees.

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