We live in a time of profound cultural, social and political changes, and this MA is designed to equip you with conceptual and analytical tools to understand and engage these changes in thoughtful and inventive ways. As cultural processes are themselves creative and dynamic, our analysis of them must be too. This programme emphasises the critical analysis of cultural processes from advanced theoretical perspectives and with an interdisciplinary outlook.
How can cultural analysis engage with the most significant challenges of the contemporary globalised world, with all its inequities and all its possibilities? Can the critical traditions of social and cultural thought provide adequate responses to the challenges of today’s changing world?
The programme will introduce you to a range of traditions and resources from the sociology of culture, cultural studies, process philosophy, continental philosophy, postcolonial theory, critical literary aesthetics, and textual analysis. Together they provide students with a critical grasp on contemporary cultural processes and central issues in the theory and analysis of contemporary culture.
Our most flexible MA, the programme benefits from an expanded choice of option modules.
In addition to the core module and one chosen from within a wide range of options from the Department of Sociology, you are able to choose two further modules from across a range of participating departments, allowing you to tailor the degree to your individual interests.
The MA in Critical and Creative Analysis attracts students with backgrounds in social science, humanities and philosophy as well as more creative and artistic pursuits, and from around the world.
This course covers the following disciplines:
- sociology and social sciences
- cultural anthropology
- other humanities
Rachel Cummings, a current student in the MA Critical and Creative Analysis has been awarded First Prize in The 2018 Philosophy of Nursing (Post) Graduate Essay Competition, based on an essay she wrote for the programme's core module. Rachel has been invited to speak at this year's International Philosophy of Nursing Conference, in Galway.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the programme convenor, Martin Savransky
What you'll study
The MA enables you to develop critical and analytical interdisciplinary perspectives on contemporary socio-cultural processes. It offers a sense of the breadth of possible approaches, while developing the skills necessary to produce original analyses in a scholarly and inventive manner. You take:
- A core module (30 credits)
- Three option modules (or equivalent; 90 credits in total)
- A dissertation (60 credits)
The core module is taught within the Department of Sociology, and provides an introduction to critical contemporary sociological conceptualisations of culture, presenting opportunities for the development and exploration of interdisciplinary perspectives on the analysis of contemporary cultural processes.
In addition to the core module, you also study three option modules (or equivalent). One of these must be chosen from Sociology; the others may be taken from departments across Goldsmiths including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics, Media and Communications, Music and Educational Studies.
You also write a Dissertation for which you meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff and participate in Dissertation workshops.
As a full-time student, you would normally complete the core module and one option in the Autumn term, and two further options in the Spring term. As a part-time student you will spread these over two years. Core and option modules are normally taught by one hour lectures, followed by one hour seminars.
|What is Culture?||30 credits|
You have 90 credits at your disposal; of these, 30 credits must be taken from within the Department of Sociology. You can choose either one regular option (30 credits) or two 'mini options' (2 x 15 credits) from the department's extensive list.
For your other options, you can choose modules from the following Departments across Goldsmiths. Not all modules are suitable for students from all academic backgrounds; you will discuss your choices with the Programme Convenor at the start of your degree.
- Media and Communications
- English and Comparative Literature
- Educational Studies
For your dissertation you'll meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff and participate in Dissertation workshops led both by staff and students (based on presentation and discussion of your work in progress). The dissertation is a substantive piece of research, empirical or theoretical, on a topic of your choice.
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) and Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) awards are also available in this programme. For the award of Postgraduate Diploma, you would need to successfully complete the core module and option modules to the value of 120 CATS; for the Postgraduate Certificate you would need to successfully complete the core module and option modules to the value of 60 CATS. Please note that these are exit awards; if you successfully complete the whole programme you'll be awarded an MA.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
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.
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
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.
- An electionic copy of your reference on letter headed paper, or alternatively the email address of your referee who we can request a reference from. It is preferred that you use an academic reference, however in cases where applicants are unable to provide one, a professional reference is acceptable.
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online.
- 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 application deadline.
As part of the selection process, you may be offered an informal interview with the Programme Convenor.
Find out more about applying.
Many members of staff contribute to the programme. You may meet a range of different staff members if you choose the options on which they teach, or if your dissertation project fits well with their expertise and they are available to supervise you.
Staff that have contributed to the core module in recent years include:
- Martin Savransky (Convener)
- Monica Sassatelli
- Vikki Bell
- Alberto Toscano
- Sara Farris
- Monica Greco
- Daniel Neyland
Find out more about staff in the Department of Sociology.
Here are some reading suggestions that inspire our programme:
- Adorno, T. W. (1991) The Culture Industry. Routledge
- Bell. V. (2007) Culture & Performance. Sage
- Bennett, T. and Frow, J. (2008) The Sage Handbook of Cultural Analysis. Sage
- Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (1987), A Thousand Plateaus. Semiotext(e)
- Eagleton, T. (2000) The Idea of Culture. Blackwell
- James, W. (1996), A Pluralistic Universe. Nebraska University Press.
- Jameson, F. (1998) The Cultural Turn. Verso
- Oswell, D. (2010) Cultural Theory, 4 vol. Sage
- Said, E. (1978), Orientalism. Pantheon Books.
- Savransky, (2016), The Adventure of Relevance. Palgrave
- Stengers, I. (2010), Cosmopolitics. Minnesota University Press.
- Whitehead, A.N. (1967), Adventures of Ideas. Free Press.
You'll develop the following skills during the programme:
- advanced analytical skills
- the ability to evaluate complex theoretical positions and to deploy those within appropriate formats and frameworks
Recent graduates have embarked on professional careers in social research, thinks tanks, the arts and cultural sectors, government and public administration, development, human rights, NGOs, and in media and communications globally. They have also progressed to PhD study.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.