Course information

Department

History

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This MA stimulates new knowledge and understandings about the understudied and often marginalised experiences of black Britons.

Why study MA Black British History at Goldsmiths?

  • Most studies of black history are concerned with US Civil Rights. This programme's focus on the black British experience is an important step in changing that conversation and diversifying the curriculum.

  • You'll study a range of historical periods, ideas and figures including the black Tudors; accounts of former slaves; abolitionism; black Victorians and Victoriana; religious experiences; black involvement during the First and Second World Wars, and African and West-Indian immigration to Britain.

  • You'll learn important theories and methods from the fields of race/ethnic studies and postcolonial theory alongside the histories of colonialism, slavery, and the Caribbean, and how these relate to the black British experience. The programme also pays close attention to questions of power and asks, for example, how race and sexual orientation throughout history and around the world have often become interlinked in oppressive ways.

  • Our location in South London is extremely important to us. 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.

  • You'll be 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 programme and an MA Race, Media and Social Justice course from which students can elect to take a relevant module as part of their programme of study. We're also home to the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies which is actively involved in the local community. It's 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 John Price.

What you'll study

You will study the following core modules:

Module title Credits
  Explorations & 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
  Black Abolitionists in the Age of Liberty: from the Zant to the Zong and Beyond 30 credits
  The London Breed: Society and Culture in the Postcolonial City 30 credits
  Trumpeters, Divers and Blackamoors: The Black Tudors 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, for the 2019-20 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

Students should normally have, or expect to gain, a first 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

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £7030
  • Home/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.

If you're an international student interested in studying part-time, please contact our Admissions Team to find out if you're eligible.

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.

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 one 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

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

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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