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BA (Hons) Media & English

  • UCAS
    PQ33
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: ABB
    BTEC: DDM
    IB: 33 points including three HL subjects
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications, English and Comparative Literature

Course overview

This degree allows you to explore critical perspectives in literature and media alongside each other while developing your skills in creative writing (script and short story) and editing.

Why study BA Media & English at Goldsmiths?

  • The degree will stimulate and develop your critical faculties and at the same time help you improve as a creative writer (film, tv, radio, print and new media)
  • You'll be taught by leading scholars and researchers in Media and Communications studies and English and Comparative Literature
  • You'll take creative writing modules (one per year) that are taught by working screenwriters, fiction writers, radio dramatists and editors
  • You'll have the opportunity to follow thematic and research interests that bear on your own original writing
  • You'll develop script and prose editorial skills, and will produce a portfolio of creative writing project work
  • Both departments regularly host talks, debates and readings in which major international researchers, writers and critics present and talk about their work; they have included Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha, Noel Clark, Doris Lessing, Seamus Heaney, Alan Bennett, Will Self and Germaine Greer
  • We're ranked third in the UK for the quality and impact of our media research (Research Excellence Framework), which means that by studying in the department you'll be working alongside academics who are leaders in their fields

If you are an international student and you don't meet the entry requirements for this programme, you may be able to apply for our BA Media and English with International Foundation

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor

Modules & structure

Overview 

You'll take introductory-level theoretical modules in media/communications and literature in your first year, and will take a creative writing module in which you explore the various forms of narrative fiction in media – screenplays for film and tv, plays for radio and short stories – and develop an original idea into one of these forms. 

The second year develops your understanding of approaches to studying communications and the media, and gives you the opportunity to follow your interests in English. You'll also complete a second, longer project in creative writing. 

In the third year you're free to choose from a range of options, according to your interests. You'll also complete a final creative writing project, in which you'll demonstrate understanding of how to work with fiction writing (and writers) from the production side (film, tv, radio, publishing).

Production opportunities

There is an annual competition for short film scripts in the Department of Media and Communications. Winning screenplays are made into short films by either undergraduate or MA Filmmaking students. Students writing radio plays have opportunities for broadcast on the student radio station Wired. For short story writers, opportunities are in development – watch this space!

Level 4

Media and Communications (compulsory)

  • Key Debates in Media Studies (15 credits) 
  • Film and the Audiovisual (15 credits)

These modules cover verbal and visual languages, debates surrounding key terms and concepts such as culture, gender, age and race, and assessment of changes in the media. You'll also examine various media texts, and will address theories of society and approaches to the modern state as they relate to media.

English and Comparative Literature (compulsory)

  • Explorations in Literature (30 credits)
  • Approaches to Text (30 credits) 

You'll be introduced to a wide range of works covering major literary genres and significant interventions in the history of literature. You'll also be introduced to methods and terms for the analysis of literary and non-literary texts, identifying different ways of understanding what constitutes a 'text'.

Creative Writing (Script and Short Story) (compulsory)

  • Introductory level (30 credits)

You'll explore the various forms of narrative fiction in media – screenplays for film and tv, plays for radio and short stories – and develop an original idea into one of these forms. You also start to develop script and prose editorial development skills in a peer workshop setting.

Level 5

Media and Communications (compulsory)

  • Communications, Psychology and Experience (15 credits) 
  • Culture, Society and the Individual (15 credits)

These modules cover a range of approaches to the study of communications and the media. You'll look at theories of postmodernity, identity and globalisation; be introduced to differing psychological perspectives on the analysis of culture and communications; consider cultural theory; and investigate concepts of audience.

English and Comparative Literature (chosen from an approved list)

  • You take modules to the value of 60 credits from an approved list of module units available annually from the Department of English and Comparative Literature (60 credits total)

You can follow your interests and choose three modules from a wide range offering diverse literary, historical and contextual scope.

Creative Writing (Script and Short Story) (compulsory)

  • Intermediate level (30 credits)

You'll complete a second, longer project. You may choose to write in the same form as your first project or try something new.

Level 6

Media and Communications (chosen from an approved list)

Examples of previous Media options include:

  • Political Economy of the Mass Media
  • Structure of Contemporary Political Communications
  • Media Audiences and Media Geographies
  • Media Ethnicity and Nation
  • Music as Communication and Creative Practice
  • Contemporary Cultural Practice
  • Explorations in World Cinema
  • Screen Cultures
  • Embodiment and Experience
  • Cinema and Society
  • After New Media

English and Comparative Literature (chosen from an approved list)

  • You take modules to the value of 60 credits from an approved list of 3rd year modules available annually from the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Note: students who take the dissertation option must pass that module (30 credits) in addition to the core Creative Writing module (below) in order to be awarded the degree

Creative Writing (Script and Short Story) (compulsory)

  • Advanced level (30 credits)

Your final year Creative Writing project will be more narratively complex and your editorial development skills will need to demonstrate understanding of how to work with fiction writing (and writers) from the production side (film, tv, radio, publishing).

Assessment

Your final year Creative Writing project will be more narratively complex and your editorial development skills will need to demonstrate understanding of how to work with fiction writing (and writers) from the production side (film, tv, radio, publishing).

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

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.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects

Grade A in A-level English Literature (or Language and Literature) is required; A-level General Studies is not accepted.

As the course demands significant amounts of writing, it's important that you are able to cope with the rigours of the course. You may be asked for examples of written work and called to interview. If you are an international student and you don't meet the entry requirements for this programme, you may be able to apply for our BA Media and English with International Foundation

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: ABBBC (Higher), ABC (Advanced Higher) Grade A in English Literature (or Language and Literature) required
European Baccalaureate: 77% preferably including English
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A2 B1

If your qualifications are from another country, 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 degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Department

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 EastLondonLines.co.uk – 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


English at Goldsmiths is ranked:
18th in the UK for the quality of our research**
In the world’s top 150 universities for English language and literature***

English and Comparative Literature

Cervantes. Bukowski. Dostoevsky. Self. From classical literature and linguistics, to creative writing and contemporary fiction, we take a critical and creative approach to the discipline.

As a department we’re interested in a field of enquiry that extends from Old English to 21st-century literatures in English, French, Spanish and Italian. So you can study texts and films across a variety of periods and genres.

We’re engaged

We have a dedicated Writers’ Centre that encourages new writing and stimulates debate about all forms of literature. And we award the annual Goldsmiths Prize (for “fiction at its most novel”), which brings critically acclaimed writers like Ali Smith and Eimear McBride to campus.

We’re nurturing

We may be one of the largest departments at Goldsmiths but that doesn’t mean you won’t get personal support. Learn from our approachable team of academic staff and become part of the student-run English Society.

We’re vibrant

As one of the first departments in the UK to offer creative writing, you’ll be part of a hub of literary excellence – our graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards from the Orange Prize for Fiction to the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

Find out more about the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

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

Learning & teaching

Teaching methods on the degree:

  • Critical and theoretical courses use a lecture/seminar/workshop approach in which the lecture offers core knowledge and the seminar/workshop enhances understanding
  • The creative writing courses are delivered in seminar-style workshop sessions, which include talks, presentations, exercises and tutorials
  • Tutorial support is available to students across both departments, face to face and online.

This is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of that are highly sought after by employers.

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.  

Skills & careers

Skills

Some of the skills you'll develop during the degree include:

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Creative writing skills
  • Audience understanding
  • Proficiency in assessing evidence
  • Clear expression of ideas
  • Problem solving
  • The ability to think creatively

Careers

  • Suitable professions for graduates of this programme include:
  • New media writing and production
  • Book and magazine writing and publishing 
  • Film writing and production
  • TV writing and production
  • Journalism
  • PR
  • Teaching
  • Advertising
  • Civil service
  • Business and industry
  • European Union private sector management and personnel work

You can read more about possible career options on our Media and Communications careers pages. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student profiles

Karen Aileen d’Arcangelo

"Goldsmiths has had an effective influence on how I analyse and relate to a new challenge"

Karen Aileen d’Arcangelo graduated with a BA Media and Modern Literature in 2014. Her academic and extra-curricular experiences at Goldsmiths, including an internship organised by the Careers Service, helped her land a challenging and interesting job with her dream employer, Time Out. 

Encountering Goldsmiths

I was raised in Italy from the age of seven and only started thinking of applying to a British university at the very end of my final school year. I first heard about Goldsmiths when I sneaked into a British University open day in Rome. After talking to various universities I ended up having a lovely chat with a Goldsmiths member of staff. I was worried about applying because I hadn’t been to a British school, my written English wasn’t excellent and I had pretty much spent my last five years of high school translating Latin and ancient Greek texts, but he encouraged me saying “Goldsmiths is about having students from different cultural and educational backgrounds: it can only be a strength for you.”

A dream job

I became a Time Out fan just a few months after I moved to London. My friends would make fun of how many times I quoted the magazine, so I was over the moon when Goldsmiths’ Careers Service was offering a six-month internship in the company’s Digital department, supported by Santander. I almost missed the interview because I was back in Italy and wasn’t expecting to actually get a call! I came back to London for the interview and a few hours later had got the internship. The dream came true and two weeks later I was starting as an intern helping curate a new product that Time Out had just acquired. I quickly became interested and involved in the technical processes of how Time Out London’s and all its other 140 cities websites are created, curated and improved. After four months I started managing my first product and at the end of the internship I was thrilled to have been offered a full-time job.

Bringing ideas to life

As a Product Manager my role is to bring together a product for the website which will have requirements from different stakeholders in the company – editorial, marketing, commercial. I analyse the user journey and experience with the designers, evaluate the technical challenges and implications, and then plan the building of the product with the team of developers. An example would be the Love London Awards which have just finished. This was originally a marketing campaign for which we created a web app to facilitate and encourage Time Out users to nominate and vote for their favourite ‘locals’ in their neighbourhoods. 

My longer term ambitions have changed significantly since I graduated but now I think I would like to grow as much as I can in the role I am currently doing and then find a way to apply it to projects involving the arts and cultural activities, which is what I miss the most about Goldsmiths. 

Prepared for new challenges

I had never known of the existence of a Product Manager role and was soon fascinated by it, although it wasn’t necessarily related in any way to what I studied. I guess Goldsmiths has had an effective influence on how I analyse and relate to a new challenge. It prepared me to always question what I’m presented with, and as clichéd as it sounds to ‘think outside the box’. 

I also feel that personally my experience at Goldsmiths has helped me to learn on the spot, even my literature seminars which are obviously unrelated to my job now were a constant challenge on how to interpret, discuss a text or a concept. The various extra-curricular opportunities were also definitely helpful for my application, especially on the practical side of my job. I was lucky enough to be involved in student media as Deputy Editor of Smiths Magazine, and Student Co-ordinator for the English and Comparative Literature department, and through both roles I learnt how to be practical, organised, intuitive which was a challenging and refreshing escape when heavily involved in academia.

 

Joanne

As a volunteer teacher in Kenya, Joanne Dwyer was so inspired by her experience that she made it her mission to make a difference.

Joanne was touched by the relationships she formed with the community and the children she met who lacked basic opportunities and contact with a world beyond Africa. So Joanne created the Elimu Foundation, to provide educational opportunities for children in the UK and East Africa.

“I was inspired by Kenya and by the people I’d met as a volunteer, it’s a hugely inspiring part of the world. I felt it was important to recognise and help teachers there. It’s hard to be a teacher in rural Africa, there’s no real support there. Hopefully I’m helping to change that, even on a very small scale. Goldsmiths supported everything. It helped me realise that I wanted to work in education, but that I still needed to write. And I had to take time to learn about both, to not rush.

It is a very open, non-judgmental, creative place that always felt like a mini-London, it had its own particular energy, and I really enjoyed studying with such a broad mix of people. I still seek that out. The further away from Goldsmiths I get, the more appreciation I have for that time in my life and what it gave me.”

Jen

"Courses that I attended in both the Media and English departments still inform my creative projects now."

"I attribute my continued focus on creative writing, literary translation and academic translation, as well as writing's place and impact on society, to my time at Goldsmiths.

My course's allowance for a specialisation in creative and journalistic writing meant that I could hone my writing alongside academic subjects, and courses that I attended in both the Media and English departments still inform my creative projects now.

I have had my writing published in a number of publications, and have had my fiction put to music and played on BBC radio. After graduating and interning for a year I studied for a Masters in German Language, Culture and History at UCL, which gave me the knowledge I needed to adapt my writing and journalistic skills and literary and sociological knowledge into my current career as a literary translator and as the Coordinator for Press and Public Relations at the Goethe-Institut in London. My first book-length translation is being published by Bloomsbury this year."

Fees & funding

How to apply

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University statistics for this course