Course information


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

The MA Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy is a trans-disciplinary programme that addresses the theory and practice of cultural policy, cultural relations, and cultural and public diplomacy.

This broad area of study and the terminology applied to it is fluid and expanding. Having culture as the underlying thread, the programme explores areas such as:

  • arts policy and management
  • globalisation
  • cultural relations
  • public diplomacy
  • cultural and arts diplomacy
  • external communications
  • place branding 

This will provide a unique perspective into this field of study, and will examine topics such as mobility of cultural practitioners, cultural identity, intercultural dialogue, mutuality, propaganda, soft power, hegemony, influence and perceptions.

Goldsmiths' location provides you with a unique experience of living in a multicultural world city, which is of great relevance to the study of cultural policy, relations and diplomacy.

You'll study in the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE). ICCE's individual and institutional links with an extensive network of organisations, policy advisors and cultural practitioners in those areas in London and in Europe allow you to experience exceptional research and study resources.

Industry links

ICCE’s established organisational links include, for example, the British Council, Visiting Arts, EUNIC London Hub and Demos. ICCE is also a member of ENCATC (the leading European network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy education). The Institute is also responsible for fostering the sharing of information and discussion of issues related to international cultural relations across disciplines on the JISCMail list cultural-relations-diplomacy.

Expert staff and invited professionals

Our staff and invited academic and professional experts will enhance your learning. They'll discuss relevant literature and will present case studies and practical examples with local, national and global dimensions involving a range of individuals and organisations, including corporations, governments, international bodies and NGOs.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact ICCE.

What you'll study

This MA is a 180-credit programme consisting of a 60-credit dissertation, and a mixture of compulsory and optional modules.

The teaching methodologies used in this masters will be conducive to creative and independent in-depth and collaborative learning. They'll culminate in the production of a final dissertation in which you will explore in detail a topic building on your interests and knowledge.

The programme allows and encourages you to engage in work placements while attending the modules. These are not a formal part of the programme, but some support will be provided building on ICCE’s extensive experience of internship management and network of contacts.

Compulsory modules

You'll take the following compulsory modules, including a dissertation:

Module title Credits
Leadership of Arts, Heritage and Culture 30 credits
Understanding Cultural Relations and Diplomacy 30 credits
International Cultural Relations in Practice 30 credits
Dissertation & Connected Curriculum 60 credits

Option modules

As well as the compulsory modules and dissertation, you'll also take 30 credits of optional modules. You'll be able to choose modules from ICCE as well as other relevant modules from across Goldsmiths. These are subject to change each year. Recent ICCE modules have included:

Module title Credits
Contemporary Issues in Cultural Policy 30 credits
Cultural and Creative Tourism 30 credits
Culture, Tourism and Regeneration 30 credits
Entrepreneurial Modelling: From Idea to Operation 30 credits
Enterprising Leadership: An Introduction to Leadership, Enterprise, and Innovation Theory 30 credits
Interpretation, Education and Communication in the Art Museum 30 credits
Museums and Galleries as Creative Entrepreneurs 30 credits
Museums and Galleries as Creative Entrepreneurs – Communicating Culture 30 credits
Tourism in Asia 30 credits

Option modules available from other departments

In addition to the optional modules available within ICCE, you can also opt to take 30 credits modules from other departments within Goldsmiths. These will change on an annual basis, and recent examples have included:


  • Anthropological Perspectives on Tourism (15 credits)
  • Critical Voices in Development (30 credits)
  • Anthropology and Cultural Politics (30 credits)
  • Anthropology of Art (30 credits)
  • Social Anthropology of the Caribbean (30 credits)


  • Cultural Policy and City Branding (30 credits)
  • Urban Field Encounters (30 credits)
  • Race, Gender and Justice (30 credits)


  • The Political of Knowledge: Debates in Human Science (15 credits)
  • Urban Field Encounters (30 credits)
  • Theories of International Relations (15 credits)

Centre for Cultural Studies

  • Globalization: Policy,Politics, Critique (30 credits)

English and Creative Writing

  • English in a Multilingual World (30 credits)
  • Language and Ideology in Written Discourse (30 credits)
  • Analysing Discourse and Identity in Spoken Interaction (30 credits)
  • Intercultural Discourse and Communication (30 credits)
  • Textual, Linguistic, and Cultural Encounters: Literature Across Boundaries (30 credits)

Educational Studies

  • Spaces of Practice (in association with the Whitechaple,  Showroom Galleries and the South London Gallery) (30 Credits)
  • Culture, Language and Identity in Education (30 credits)
  • Race,Culture and Education (30 credits)

Media & Communications

  • The Structure of Contemporary Political Communications (15 or 30 credits)
  • The City and Consumer Culture (30 credits)
  • Media Audiences & Media Geographies (30 credits)
  • Promotional Culture (15 or 30 credits)
  • Media & Culture in the Middle East (30 credits)


  • Critical Social Media Practices (15 credits)

Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance

  • Mandarin (various levels, 15 credits each level)

Institute of Management Studies

  • Consumer Behaviour (15 credits)
  • Innovation Case Studies (15 credits)
  • Psychology of Marketing and Advertising (15 credits)


  • Social Psychology of Social Problems: Intergroup Perspective (15 credits)


Download the programme specification.

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

What our students say

Sara Dos Santos

The Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy MA offered a safe space to research, learn and innovate.

I’m a London-based Portuguese choreographer, movement director, and cultural professional, known for interlacing a variation of dance styles, cultural influences and international experiences to develop work that has been described as engaging, thought-provoking and emotionally driven. With a 13-year career working in the cultural and creative sector, and eight years in leadership roles, my interest in international affairs, policy and cultural studies increased.

The Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy Masters was a significant stepping-stone towards the future cultural leader I envisioned becoming. As expected, the course offered a safe working environment to research themes around UK and EU policy, the role of international relations and the critical role Cultural and creativity play towards building mutual understanding across borders.

Being a part-time student also allowed me to continue working within the sector whilst simultaneously expanding my knowledge bank - immediately applying current research and learning to evolving projects and industry discussions.

The multicultural cohort of students enriched my understanding of contemporary limitations and barriers within retrospective countries. Our exchanges centred on unpicking (possible) solutions and advanced methodologies that could positively impact the cultural and creative sector in the near future. Additionally, studying at Goldsmiths offered widespread opportunities to attend a diverse selection of seminars, events and lectures by academic professionals worldwide.

As we continue to exist in uncertain times and COVID-19 continues to affect the cultural and creative landscape, I’m keen to utilise the knowledge gained during my masters to innovate and develop cross-cultural and international collaborations. With a long-term ambition to shift invisible boundaries and raise the profile of unrepresented voices in the UK and beyond.

Photography by Chirague Amarchande

Gandhali Bhide

The MA in Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy made me realize that our perspectives are largely a result of ‘where we come from’. 

MA in CPRD program enabled me to recognize the intricacies of research. For me, the program sits at the intersection of culture and politics. I developed a holistic outlook of approaching a topic.

Learning and engaging with a variety of topics with classmates from all around the world gave me an opportunity to recognize the subjective realities each one carries with them. It made me realize that our perspectives are largely a result of ‘where we come from’. My course convener Dr. Carla Figueira was always encouraging, supportive and took various initiatives for us that ensured the best learning experience.

I am currently an intern for the international collaboration team at Pratham Education Foundation (NGO). The foundation predominantly works in the education sector and has developed an alternative educational model called ‘Teaching at Right Level’. Some of the eastern and southern African countries have shown interest in adopting this model in their school system. My work involves researching on the aspects on Zambian culture, history, geography, and refugees. This would be essential to understand, for developing the ‘Teaching at Right level’ model in Zambia.

My postgraduation year (2019-2020) coincided with the uncertain times of Covid-19 pandemic, that re-enforced the inevitable force of culture in the world, and I find my MA even more relevant. Goldsmiths, University of London is diverse, geographically well situated and a great place to learn. It hosts several extracurricular activities. I represented Goldsmiths at intercollege badminton. This gave me a chance to meet students from different departments and degrees that added to my overall experience. I had a wonderful year!

Roxane Schavoir

The lecturers are inspiring and encourage you to think outside of the box and develop critical thinking. 

Growing up in Brussels, I have always been in contact with people from around the world and I have always been amazed by the strong links that can be built between people from different nationalities thanks to culture and dialogue, which is why I didn’t hesitate to apply when I found that Goldsmiths had an MA Cultural Policy, Relations, and Diplomacy.

I absolutely loved this programme, the lecturers are inspiring and encourage you to think outside of the box and to develop a critical thinking. Goldsmiths gives you the freedom to build your own path, to pursue your interests or discover new ones, and to learn more about yourself. At the same time, I also really felt supported by my lecturers and by the different services that the university offers, such as the careers service. 

London is a great city with an endless list of things to do and to see! In this busy city, I noticed that Goldmiths offers something that can be very valuable, which is the feeling of community and inspiration that you get when you walk around the campus.

Thanks to my programme at Goldsmiths I had the opportunity to have a first foot in the door with my internship at EUNIC London. It was an amazing experience and also a very useful one because I now work as a Project Officer for EUNIC Global in Brussels. I realise very often that the knowledge I have acquired during my studies but also the reputation of Goldsmiths College are definitely beneficial to my career. I absolutely don’t regret my decision of studying my MA at Goldsmiths, since my job is now to support cultural relations projects that have this goal of building bridges between people around the world.

See more profiles for this programme

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least 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

To find out more about your fees, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

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.

Applicants from India may also be eligible for the India Creative Economy Scholarship.

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 academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • 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

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

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.



Graduates of this programme develop a wide range of skills and competencies.

Knowledge and understanding

You'll be able to:

  • Describe and understand a range of practices, policies, structures and systems in the cultural policy and international cultural relations areas involving a variety of stakeholders (individuals, NGOs, foundations, corporations, governments, international and supranational organisations)
  • Define and understand the use of theories and key concepts in cultural policy, cultural relations and cultural and public diplomacy, such as culture, identity, globalisation, soft power, hegemony, influence, propaganda, mutuality, trust, intercultural dialogue, nation building/branding
  • Discuss the importance of cultural policy in relation to international cultural relations
  • Understand the diverse and changing relationships between culture/arts, politics and international relations
  • Build on your existing experience and/or interest to develop knowledge within cultural policy and international cultural relations

Cognitive and thinking skills

You'll be able to:

  • Analyse and evaluate the role of the 'actors' and their practices, as well as the structures and systems framing cultural policy and international cultural relations
  • Discern how to apply a range of trans-disciplinary concepts and theories to the understanding of policies, practices, structures and systems in the areas of cultural policy, cultural relations and cultural diplomacy
  • Identify and critically analyse contemporary issues
  • Build on your existing experience and/or interest to further develop analytical, critical and conceptual skills within cultural policy and international cultural relations

Practical skills

You'll be able to:

  • Analyse public policies in the areas of culture and international cultural relations at micro and macro levels
  • Devise, develop, conduct and deliver an independent piece of research relevant to cultural policy and international cultural relations, using a self-reflective approach
  • Demonstrate the origins of your thinking in cultural policy and international cultural relations by adequately referencing sources that have been evaluated for credibility, objectivity, accuracy and trustworthiness
  • Communicate effectively and succinctly through oral presentation and express yourself in writing for academic and other audiences, employing when necessary the appropriate ICT tools and skills

Key transferable skills

You'll be able to:

  • Share and exchange expertise and skills with other students and the tutors on the course employing effective written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrate you are an independent and creative learner able to exercise initiative and personal responsibility for your own learning and planning processes
  • Conduct research methodically to find an answer that is complete, accurate and authoritative
  • Work effectively as part of a team

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

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