Course information




1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of this programme are delivered. Find out more

The MA in Black British History is an exciting opportunity to study and research the histories of Africans and African-descended peoples in the United Kingdom.

This programme will teach you key concepts and methods for writing, researching, teaching, and sharing Black British histories.

Why study MA Black British History at Goldsmiths?

  • Gain a firm understanding of the histories of Africans and African-descended peoples in the United Kingdom as well as of the ways that diasporas, empire, and patterns of migration have shaped Britain.
  • Learn important theories and methods from a range of fields and consider how they relate to the Black British experience. These theories and methods will include African diaspora studies and Black European studies; histories of colonialism, slavery, and emancipation; histories of the African continent and the Caribbean region; as well as postcolonial theory, Black studies, critical race theory, and contemporary debates about race and ethnicity. The programme will also include modules that allow students to learn about Black British history in global, national, regional, and local perspective.
  • Join in the work of researching and sharing the histories of Black people in Britain and learn about Black British histories, which have been marginalised from our public understandings of British history, and are too often invisible in education and the media.
  • Learn to critically engage with historical records, artefacts, and writings, as well as the established and emerging scholarship on Black Britain.
  • Study in South London, an extremely important location to this programme. You'll be able to engage with the rich local history around Goldsmiths, from the shipyards of Deptford through to the sites of the Battle of Lewisham and the Black People’s Day of Action.

  • Become part of a rich academic heritage. We've been researching in the area of black experience and race studies for decades. Goldsmiths offers an MA Black British Writing and an MA Race, Media and Social Justice, from which students can elect to take a relevant module as part of their programme of study on the MA Black British History. We are also home to the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies which is actively involved in the local community and is one of the only Caribbean-led Research Centres within a University environment.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Christienna Fryar.

What you'll study

You will study the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
  Explorations and Debates in Black British History 30 Credits
  Research Skills 30 credits
  Dissertation 60 credits

You will also study two optional modules. 

The option modules offer a range of regional, conceptual and methodological positions from which to research and investigate black British history from the early modern period to the present. Options can take a temporal or geographic focus, a thematic or methodological emphasis, or survey recent and significant scholarly work in the field of black British History.

In discussion with the programme conveners in both departments, you may take one of the options from outside those offered by the MA Black British History programme. This can include any other History MA module or modules from other departments within the University of London.

Module title Credits
  British Empire to Empire Windrush - Black Britons in an Age of Reform 30 credits
  Regional Histories of Black Britain 30 Credits
  The Postcolonial City: Migration, Society, and Culture in London 30 credits

Intermediate exit points

It's possible to exit the programme early with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate if specific learning outcomes have been achieved. These options can be discussed with the course convenor.

Download the programme specification. 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

Students should normally have, or expect to gain, a degree of at least upper second class standard in history or another appropriate subject, or be qualified by previous experience and be able to demonstrate the ability to work at Master's level.

Applicants who are not graduates, or who have a degree in an unrelated field or any other candidates may be subject to a qualifying examination in the form of essay work. 

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 (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing 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

Annual tuition fees

The fees for 2021 will be made available soon, but for reference these were the fees for 2020.

  • Home - full-time: £7030
  • Home - part-time: £3515
  • EU - full-time: £7030
  • EU - part-time: £3515
  • International - full-time: £14760

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.


The Department is offering three part-time fee waivers worth £3,515 each for 2020 entry. Find out more about the MA Black British History fee waivers

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
  • A 1,000-word essay – please see below for details*

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.

*As part of your application, you will be asked to write a short essay (1,000-word maximum) identifying the significance of any single primary source related to your own research interests for your proposed programme of study at Goldsmiths. In addition to the primary source, you must use at least one secondary source to support your analysis. Please use either Chicago or MHRA citation style.

When to apply

15 June 2020: Deadline for applications to be considered for the departmental funding.

3 August: Deadline for applications for 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.


This course will give you an excellent basis for a range of careers in and around issues of diversity. It will also help prepare you for careers in journalism and the media - you'll be able to take option modules and gain expertise from those teaching our Race, Media and Social Justice and History and Journalism programmes.

You'll gain general history skills including analysing source material, developing and sustaining arguments, data gathering and analysis as well as effective written and spoken communication skills that can be transferred into a wide variety of domains, from private business to the education and NGO sector. 

We have established partnerships with the Black Cultural Archives and the George Padmore Institute which can facilitate career development opportunities such as placements and internships. You can also benefit from access to the Goldsmiths Special Collections - a library archive that provides opportunities for research placements.

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