Course information

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

Working from a strong theoretical basis, this programme will help you to understand a range of empirical, aesthetic and conceptual issues which traverse and exceed both 'art' and 'international' politics.

We will explore practices and issues related to public space, democracy, equality, participation, justice and affect. By shuttling across art and politics, rather than seeking to produce a synthesis between the two, we probe a range of practices and strategies which, in the encounter between art and politics, play out in numerous forms and very different kinds of social spaces.

You will work alongside a mixed constituency of students from Art, Politics, International Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies as well as numerous other disciplines, which means we can take up the challenge to develop frameworks and spaces that are mixed and mobile, and which can operate in trans-disciplinary settings. In such a mixed context, questions about ‘autonomy’ and the political character of art take on renewed vigour and urgency.

Similarly we are able to probe art’s potential in times of political and cultural crisis. Why for instance, do contemporary arts practices increasingly claim ‘political’ origins and motivations, while political parties seek the involvement of art and artists of all kinds? Or, what good are practices that are neither art nor politics?

 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Bernadette Buckley

What you'll study

Core modules

You take the following three core modules:

Module title Credits
  Art and Politics: Theory History Event 30 credits
  Group Project 30 credits
  MA in Art & Politics Dissertation 60 credits

Option modules

Students make up their remaining 60 Credits from the following list of options:

Module title Credits
  An(Other) China: Postcolonial Theory, Postmodern Concerns 30 credits
  Individual Project 15 credits
  Middle Eastern and Islamic Thought: Political Philosophy in a Comparative Perspective 15 credits
  Counter-Mapping: The Politics of Space 30 credits
  Visualising Asia: Body, Gender, Politics 30 credits
  Memory and Justice in Post-Conflict Societies 30 credits
  Politics of Knowledge: Debates in Human Science 15 credits
  Finance and the Global Political Economy 15 credits
  The Political-Economic Governance of the European Union 30 credits
  Politics of Human Rights 15 credits
  Psychopolitics 15 credits
  Theories of International Relations 30 credits
  Gender and Politics 15 credits

Students may choose up to 30 credits of approved options from other departments at Goldsmiths.

Project work

You are required to undertake project-based work in accordance with your own political and aesthetic interests. The purpose of this project-work is to find ways of ‘doing’ politics which employ ‘artistic’ strategies and interventions in their realisation.

Projects have a student-centred material focus, complementing the theoretical emphasis of core and optional modules, and will seek to raise awareness of particular issues and draw attention to their position in the public arena. They may be written, broadcast, performed, curated, made, or involve any other kind of appropriately documented submission.

Training in digital and genetic media will be provided where necessary. Project training is monitored and co-ordinated by the artist-in-residence in the Department of Politics – who will oversee students’ individual needs while ensuring that there is continuity of support and opportunities to identify and build upon individual strengths and weaknesses.

Assessment 

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

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.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Additional costs

When you start your studies you'll receive a printed copy of your degree handbook. In some modules there are occasional local field trips to support your studies and the cost of these are no more than the price of a Zone 1-4 London travel card. These modules are Counter-Mapping: The Politics of Space, Art and Politics: Individual Project, Art and Politics: Group Project.

If you choose to study either the individual or group project module, you will be supported with a small budget for your project. This budget will be decided based on an assessment of the project's needs, and if you decide to go beyond this budget you will need to fund this yourself.

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.

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.

Careers

Careers

Our graduates come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and embark on highly contrasting career paths. These include careers in curating (both independent and embedded); art practice (both collaborative and individual); journalism (radio, web and print journalism); performing arts; central and local government; work with NGOs (national and international); research (academic and professional); project development, administration and management. Some of our graduates undertake further professional training in law; journalism; education and social work.

Skills

You'll develop: a critical engagement with the broad field of international studies, communication skills, research skills, presentation skills.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

What our students say

Tausif Noor

"I loved the academic freedom that Goldsmiths offers, and the chance to explore topics that are related to my interests, and even topics that aren't."

"I found out about Goldsmiths while I was researching MA degrees in London after I had finished my undergraduate degree. Before I came to Goldsmiths, I worked in various organisations in India as a Fulbright Scholar from 2014 to 2015, and then lived in Washington DC and worked in consulting.

I loved the academic freedom that Goldsmiths offers, and the chance to explore topics that are related to my interests, and even topics that aren't. I absolutely loved London – it has an incredible energy and a DIY spirit, and living in London was incredibly inspirational for my writing and personal development.

While at Goldsmiths, I worked at the Imperial War Museum and at the cultural agency Culture+Conflict, both of which were incredibly formative experiences. I have also been writing freelance criticism for Artforum, ArtAsiaPacific, frieze, and other publications.

After completing my coursework, I moved back to New York to intern at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and I am currently the Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Fellow at the ICA Philadelphia."

Agar Ledo Arias

I am a Contemporary Art Curator interested in the political and social implications of art. I understand art as an essential tool for critical thinking that also contributes to positive social change.

After working for more than a decade in different public art institutions, in recent years I have been focusing my research on alternative forms of institutionalism that challenge the neo-liberal trends of our times, characterised by commercialisation, in which art and culture have become exchange values.

I was looking for a discussion group to share my interests in politics, cultural policy, art and activism with, and I realised that the MA in Art & Politics at Goldsmiths addressed most of the most urgent issues I was researching.

It’s the perfect atmosphere for me to rethink my own curatorial practice and to discuss some of the current key critical theoretical discourses affecting the intersection between politics and art and its democratization.

Anna

"I work as a Broadcast Journalist at the BBC World Service and know that without this MA, I wouldn't be where I am now."

"The MA in Art & Politics is a fantastic programme. I graduated in 2010 and found the course incredibly stimulating. I started to think in a different way about the relationship between art and politics.

My first degree was in International Relations so this course enabled me to better understand how artistic practises are utilised by international activists.

I'm now working as a Broadcast Journalist at the BBC World Service and know that without this MA, I wouldn't be where I am now. I'm actually delving back into my dissertation for a documentary I'm currently making for the BBC. Well worth it!"

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