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MA in Visual Anthropology

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

Course overview

The MA in Visual Anthropology offers a unique combination of anthropological theory and visual practice. It provides you with a strong foundation for producing visual work informed by anthropology.

This programme takes an inclusive approach to the definition of visual anthropology – it approaches the sub-field through the study of the politics and aesthetics of representation, documentary and ethnographic film, and anthropological perspectives on art. As a practice-oriented MA, there is a clear emphasis on applying anthropological knowledge to the actual making of visual artefacts, and not just their analysis.

The MA is open to students with a range of backgrounds in anthropology and related fields. As a graduate, you will be well-placed to pursue a career in visual anthropology (be it research- or practice-oriented) as well as to bring an anthropological sensibility to the visual to other disciplines.

You will be taught through lectures, seminars and hands-on training in the use of digital camcorders, sound recording equipment and video editing. Assessment includes written essays for the theory modules, practical assignments, and a final visual project in the form of a 20-minute film.

The programme is currently taught by Dr Ricardo Leizaola, Dr Isaac Marrero-Guillamón, Dr Mao Mollona, Professor Stephen Nugent, and Dr Chris Wright.

Contact the department

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

Modules & structure

You will study:

  • four core modules
  • option modules to the value of 30 credits

Core Modules

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

Option modules

Module title Credits
  Anthropology and Cultural Politics 30 credits
  Anthropology of Rights I 15 credits
  Anthropology of Rights II 15 credits
  Critical Voices in Development 30 credits
  Anthropology and History 30 credits
  Ethnography Through Photography & Sound 15 credits
  Experimental Ethnographic Filmmaking 15 credits
  Anthropology of Health and Medicine I 30 credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 credits
  Economic and Political Anthropology I 30 credits
  Economic and Political Anthropology II 30 credits
  Environmental Anthropology 30 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 30 credits
  Intercultural Film 15 credits
  Photography & Sound 15 credits
  Gender Theory in Practice 15 credits
  Violence & the Body Politic 30 credits
  Anthropological Perspectives on Tourism 15 credits

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.

Department

Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 36th in the world for this subject area***

Anthropology

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

***QS World University Rankings by subject 2016

 

Skills & careers

Careers

The unique combination of theory, research and practice that structures the MA in Visual Anthropology will prepare you for a diverse range of employment opportunities. Past graduates have gone on to work in:

  • Video production, both commercial and independent
  • Film editing and videography
  • Production and programming of film festivals
  • Ethnographic and visual research in both academic and commercial settings
  • Teaching

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 the MA in Visual Anthropology 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.

Student profiles

Karolina

My final project was awarded the Paul Watson Prize for the best Visual Anthropology film.

While at Goldsmiths I trained in many aspects of research, filmmaking and post-production, attended great lectures and seminars across various departments and met some inspiring people. I'm sure some collaborations and Goldsmiths friendships will influence my career.

My final project was awarded the Paul Watson Prize for the best Visual Anthropology film of the academic year 2014/15. My film is called Keeping Up With the Kashubians and it is a shorty observational film, taking place in Kashubia, a rural region of northern Poland. It was shot not far from where I'm originally from and it looks at how the local traditions, language and identity exist within modern-day Europe.

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.

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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