Course information




1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

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

We live in a time of profound cultural, social and political changes. This Masters degree in Critical & Creative Analysis is designed to equip you with the conceptual and analytical tools to understand and engage with these developments in thoughtful and inventive ways.

On this interdisciplinary Masters you'll be able to criticially analyse cultural processes from advanced theoretical perspectives. This analysis will be as creative and dynamic as the processes themselves. 

Why study MA Critical & Creative Analysis at Goldsmiths?

Develop a critical understanding of the analysis of contemporary culture

You’ll be introduced to a range of traditions and resources from the sociology of culture, cultural studies, process philosophy, continental philosophy, postcolonial theory, speculative thought, and cultural analysis. Through this, you’ll gain a critical understanding of contemporary cultural processes and central issues in the theory and analysis of contemporary culture.

Get taught by expert academics with cutting-edge research specialisms

You'll be taught and supervised by academics in the Department of Sociology, and you'll be invited to actively take part in the Department's cutting-edge research culture. This includes events organised by the following research centres and units:

Tailor the degree to your unique interests

This is the department’s most flexible MA, and 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. This enables you to tailor the degree to your individual interests.  

Engage with key questions and debates

How can cultural analysis engage with the most significant challenges of the contemporary globalised world? What responses can critical traditions in social and cultural thought provide to these challenges? Explore key questions like this, and many more. 

Join a diverse academic community 

You’ll join a community of students from around the world who have a range of backgrounds and interests, and who bring these unique perspectives to the study environment. We welcome graduates from fields such as social science, humanities and philosophy, as well as more creative and artistic pursuits.

A multidisciplinary Masters degree 

You’ll cover a range of disciplines including sociology and social sciences, cultural studies, anthropology, art and philosophy. The interdisciplinary nature of the MA allows you to broaden your perspectives and introduces you to subjects you might not have encountered before. 

Student achievements

Rachel Cummings, a recent MA Critical and Creative Analysis student, was 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 compulsory module (30 credits)
  • Three option modules (or equivalent; 90 credits in total)
  • A dissertation (60 credits)

The compulsory 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 compulsory 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 LiteraturePoliticsMedia 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 compulsory 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. Compulsory and option modules are normally taught by one-hour lectures, followed by one-hour seminars.

Compulsory modules Module title Credits
  What is Culture? 30 credits

Option modules

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.


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.


The 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 complete the compulsory module and option modules to the value of 120 CATS; for the Postgraduate Certificate, you would need to complete the compulsory 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.

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.

What our students say

Rachel Cummings

"I chose Goldsmiths for its reputation in the social sciences and its location in a creative, exciting part of London."
"I chose Goldsmiths for its reputation in the social sciences and its location in a creative, exciting part of London. The course has been great – it's really flexible so you can tailor it to your particular interests. It's also ideal for people who want to work across multiple disciplines or aren't really sure where they fit academically as you can try a bit of everything.
The scheduling has made it possible to study part-time alongside my job. I'm a nurse, and through this course have had the opportunity to study health sociology and anthropology as well as related subjects like embodiment, empathy and difference. Other people on the course have focused on entirely different subjects, and that's one of the things that makes the seminars so interesting.  
I submitted an essay I wrote for the 'What is Culture?' module to the Nursing Philosophy Journal graduate essay competition and was lucky enough to win first prize. This has led to publication in the journal and an opportunity to present at the International Philosophy of Nursing's annual conference in Galway, Ireland."


"The course provided me with a door to new ways of thinking."

"After having trained in contemporary dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, I undertook the MA in Critical & Creative Analysis in order to inform my artistic practice.

As a working artist, I believe it is important to develop an awareness and understanding of society and find inspiration along different avenues. This MA, the most flexible course in the Sociology department, has helped me to achieve this by further solidifying my academic base and providing me with a door to new ways of thinking."

Ivana Andelkovic

"I've developed as a scholar"

"I chose the MA Critical and Creative Analysis because it deals with influential critical theory, old and new, and nurtures a flexible and open approach to it, for which Goldsmiths is widely known.

In the core module we touched upon various topics that included cultural theory, gender studies, urbanism, modernity, philosophy of sciences and politics. We read both new and older classical theories through the contemporary experience, which provided us with a broad range of tools for analysing social and cultural phenomena.

Aside from the core module, I designed my own mix of Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies and focused on the topics that particularly interested me. It all led me to developing a dissertation on philosophy of immanence and biopolitics.

Prior to coming to London, I was running an activist platform based on self-organisation, collaboration and the use of commons. Having broadened my knowledge in critical theory, the MA will help me improve my work as an activist who encounters various groups and helps them articulate their practice. Having acquired new ways of engaging with theories as tools for deeply understanding contemporary contexts, I feel that I can develop further as a scholar and pursue PhD."

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 (or equivalent English language qualification) 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

Annual tuition fees

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

  • Home - full-time: £8640
  • Home - part-time: £4320
  • EU - full-time: £8640
  • EU - part-time: £4320
  • International - full-time: £17070

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.

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.
  • 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 application deadline.

Selection process

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:

Find out more about staff in the Department of Sociology.

Suggested reading

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

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