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BA (Hons) Media & Sociology

  • UCAS
    LP33
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    BTEC: DDM
    IB: 33 points including three HL subjects
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications, Sociology

Course overview

This interdisciplinary degree gives you the opportunity to explore sociological and communications theories alongside media practice, and to develop a critical analysis of media, communications and culture from historical and contemporary viewpoints.

Why study BA Media & Sociology at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll be taught by some of the leading names in media, communications, cultural studies and sociology – we write the books that are on your reading lists because they've actively shaped these disciplines
  • You'll have access to industry-standard practice facilities, including TV/film, radio and photography studios, digital video and audio editing suites, and animation software and hardware
  • You'll develop the practical and transferable skills that you can apply in the work place – our recent graduates are now working as news readers, editors, journalists, producers and photographers
  • We regularly host debates and talks by international figures in media and cultural research; recent guests have included Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha and Noel Clark
  • 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

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Media and Communications Admissions Tutor or Sociology Admissions Tutor

Modules & structure

Level 4

In the first year, the media element of the programme introduces you to the study of verbal and visual language; changes in the media over the last two centuries; debates surrounding the term ‘culture’; and the examination of media texts through an understanding of systems of narrative, realism and genre. There is no practice work in the first year.

The sociology component acquaints you with the ‘sociological imagination’, tracing the roots of sociology and introducing classic theories of capitalist socio-economic order. You also develop critical reading skills.

The modules you take in the first year are:

Module title Credits
  Culture and Cultural Studies 15 credits
  Key Debates in Media Studies 15 credits
  Media and the Social 30 credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 30 credits
  Media History and Politics 15 credits

Level 5

In your second year, you further develop your understanding of a range of approaches to the study of communications and the media by looking at developments in cultural theory, and you also have the option of studying a number of differing psychological perspectives on the analysis of culture and communications, or of pursuing more sociologically-based theories of production, technology and consumption.

In addition, you take a media practice module in which you develop production skills via the creation of small-scale projects.

You take the following core modules:

Module title Credits
  Central Issues in Sociological Analysis 15 credits
  Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences 15 credits
  Sociology of Culture and Communication 15 credits

You also take one module from:

Module title Credits
  Psychology, Subjectivity and Power 15 credits
  Money and the Media 15 credits
  Media, Memory and Conflict 15 credits
  Television and After 15 credits
  Culture, Society and the Individual 15 credits
  Moving Image and Spectatorship 15 credits

You also take one of the following modules:

Module title Credits
  Culture, Society and the Individual 15 credits
  Moving Image and Spectatorship 15 credits

In addition to one other Sociology option module.

 

Level 6

In the third year you have the oppurtunity to specialise in areas of interest in media and sociology. 

The following are core modules:

A media production module that enables you to focs on a different practice area to the one you studied in year two. 

Module title Credits
  Media Production Option 2 30 credits

 

Two Sociology options (worth 15 credits each)

Two Media and Communications options. These could include: 

 

In addition to these taught modules, you can research and write an 8,000-word Dissertation on a sociology topic of your own choice, supervised by a personal tutor (30 credits). This enables you to develop an area of interest through personal study. 

Teaching

You're assigned a personal tutor, who also acts as an academic tutor. Tutors oversee your academic work and progress over the year. In the third year, most students undertake a Dissertation on a subject of their choice, for which they receive supervision.

Assessment

Coursework, extended essays, reports, Media practice examined by project work and essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

And a media practice module – an introduction to media production in one of the  offered each year. 

Module title Credits
  Media Production Option 1 30 credits

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: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects

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)
European Baccalaureate: 77%
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


Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
8th in the UK and 35th in the world for this subject area**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research***

Sociology

The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.

Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.

Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.

Find out more about the Department of Sociology.

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2016
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Skills & careers

Skills

Some of the skills you'll develop during a Media and Communications degree include:

  • critical and analytical skills
  • proficiency in assessing evidence and in expressing ideas clearly
  • ability to bring together insights from a range of subjects
  • IT skills
  • communications skills
  • journalistic and creative writing skills

Careers

Alumni from the Department have gone on to careers in television, radio, the press, publishing, film-making, advertising, marketing and public relations, web design, teaching and research, advertising, arts and administration, business and industry, European Union private sector management and personnel work, and many more both in the media industries and elsewhere. You can find out more about the career options open to you after graduating on our Media and Communications careers page.

Students who achieve the best results during their undergraduate course may also get the chance to go on to postgraduate research for a higher degree with the aim of making a career in higher education either as a lecturer combining teaching with research or as a specialist researcher.

You can learn more about options open to you after you graduate on our Sociology employability pages. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills. You'll also go to workshops and tutorials that will develop practical skills in media production.

But 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. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessment 

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Student profiles

Yasmine

"I really enjoy the atmosphere here because everyone is friendly and open-minded."

"When I came to Goldsmiths I hoped to broaden my interest in media production and come out of my degree as a film maker but now going into my third year as a joint Media and Sociology student I have taken much more of a liking to theorising and researching the social and plan to complete a Masters in Sociology after graduating from Goldsmiths.

One of the things I really advocate to others and enjoy is being able to work at Goldsmiths alongside my studies because it pays well, it doesn't interfere with my degree and gives me such an amazing insight into the different workings of the university. So far, I have participated in everything from being a Peer Assisted Learning mentor, to working as a Student Ambassador, to beginning my role as the Department Student Coordinator for Sociology in my third year.

I really enjoy the atmosphere here because everyone is friendly and open-minded. I have gained lots of experience in my studies and my extra-curricular pursuits as well as making a diverse bunch of friends and good relationships with my teachers."

Isabel

"Studying in such a buzzing area of London was great preparation for working in the media."

"I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, and I think studying in such a buzzing area of London was great preparation for working in the media. I took a journalism module as part of my course, and did work experience at publishing companies and newspapers during the holidays. My sense of nosiness also led me to write my dissertation on the sociology of diaries, and this was before blogs really existed, so it would be a very different study now.

After I graduated, I started a post-grad course in magazine journalism elsewhere, but left halfway through as I was offered a job as a junior writer at Heat magazine after doing a two week placement there. I went on to be Staff Writer for Heat, then editor of their website, and then left in 2009 to launch and edit celebrity gossip blog 3am.co.uk at the Mirror. Six months ago, I went freelance, because I wanted to do more writing and less managing, so now I write features, reviews and opinion pieces for the Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Elle, Fabulous and anyone else who’ll pay me. I think starting out in the media is even tougher these days than it was when I graduated, but Goldsmiths is a great place to start, and it’s quite likely that you’ll meet people who you’ll end up working with one day.

I fell in love with South-East London during my time at Goldsmiths and still live in New Cross now – it’s changed an awful lot since I started uni 13 years ago. Saying that, I ended up having a drink at the Students’ Union recently, and was pleased to discover it hasn’t changed a bit!"

Frederikke

"It was the BA Media & Sociology degree that changed my life direction."

"In 2005, I was straight out of a high school business degree, had recently joined Conservative Future and was signing up for the army after university. Three years later I left high-flying London to work with disadvantaged children and study reproductive rights in post-socialist Vietnam. Change of plans.

It was not about politics – right or left or right or wrong. It is about change and the ability of education to deconstruct, alter or enhance your world paradigm. 

It was a BA Media & Sociology degree at Goldsmiths that changed my life direction.

A both deep and broad syllabus conducted by eminent, approachable professors taught me to analyse information that I didn’t know was even questionable. I specifically trained in Goldsmiths’ areas of expertise – human rights, political communication and media discourses – knowledge that was essential for my post-graduate studies and career, but also for navigating an increasingly globalising world.

Goldsmiths’ highly accredited, active and captivating professors and tutors led me towards an MSc in Gender and Development and returning to Vietnam again, I am now Country Manager of the Shelter Collection, a foundation that runs shelters and educational programmes for disadvantaged children.

My Goldsmiths degree could have brought me anywhere, but it is an outstanding privilege that it brought me to become a part of ensuring education for others."

See more profiles for this programme

Fees & funding

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University statistics for this course