Course information




1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Course overview

Runaway climate change, mass extinctions, radical ecological transformations. We are living through profoundly unsettling times, and face equally uncertain futures. The MA Ecology, Culture, & Society offers the opportunity to engage with the urgency of contemporary socio-ecological challenges and to imaginatively explore ways of inhabiting the Earth otherwise.

  • The MA will take a distinctively interdisciplinary and critical perspective. It will highlight the concept of 'ecology' in an expanded sense and encompass the complex web of interconnections that bind people, animals, bodies, soils, ideas, technologies, practices, institutions, cultures, and histories with their changing environments.
  • Drawing on perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences, this programme explores the many shifting relationships between natures and cultures around the world. It introduces critical new approaches to the connections between humans and animals in more-than-human worlds, and it will enable you to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which ecological issues are intertwined with the question of social justice, cultural difference, and decolonisation.
  • You will be encouraged to explore the philosophical, cultural, political, and social dimensions that shape our understanding of contemporary socio-ecological issues and to explore imaginative responses to them. You will also learn to develop and apply ecological perspectives on various forms of social, political, and cultural analysis.

Link ecology with social, cultural and political processes

  • This programme will give you a critical understanding of our times and will help you develop key interdisciplinary skills for critical socio-ecological scholarship, creativity, communication, and activism. It will equip you with the insights, concepts, and skills needed to understand and engage with the tangled relationships between nature and culture, and the ethics and politics of our relationships with animals. You will also acquire knowledge and understanding of key concepts such as Anthropocene, anthropocentrism, value, difference, domestication, human exceptionalism, extractivism, decolonisation, radical pluralism, and the arts of living. 

Expand your practical skills

  • In addition to lectures and seminars, you will learn to conduct independent research and will participate in experimental and practical forms of learning by conducting observations and developing practical experiments of your own design. You will also have the option of doing a placement with an NGO, grassroots activist network, or other relevant organisations, in order to develop your practical skills and reflect upon socio-ecological and animal practices.
  • This programme will also allow you to benefit from its location in a global city, home to major cultural, scientific, artistic, and political institutions, movements and NGOs that play world-leading roles in furthering ecological knowledge, thought, and practice.

Study with the experts

  • Teaching on the MA Ecology, Culture, & Society draws on Goldsmiths’ strengths and leadership on environmental issues, including our Green New Deal, to have a transformative effect on your understanding of, and critical engagement with, the most pressing socio-ecological issues of our time. It will build on existing Sociology staff’s expertise on philosophy, animal studies, environmental humanities, science and technology studies, social and cultural theory, radical pluralism, postcolonial studies, aesthetics, and more-than-human politics.
  • The MA is ideal for anyone pursuing careers in policy research, NGOs, advocacy, charities, international organisations, cultural and political activism, global media, art and curating, as well as for further academic work leading to a PhD.
  • You'll learn in our world-leading Department of Sociology - ranked top 10 in the UK by QS World University Rankings 2023.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Martin Savransky.

What you'll study

You'll study the following compulsory modules, and write a 12,000-word dissertation (worth 60 credits), for which you will meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff, and participate in Dissertation workshops.

Module title Credits
Social Theory for Changing Climates 30 credits
The Ethics and Politics of Animals 30 credits
Cultural Ecologies 30 credits

You will also study 30 credits of optional modules from a list annually approved by the Department. The below module (Practical Ecologies) is strongly recommended but not a requirement for the programme.

Modules vary from year to year, and recent examples have included:

Module title Credits
Practical Ecologies (Placement) 30 credits
Microbial Politics 30 credits
Social Research for Public Engagement 30 credits
Rethinking the City 30 credits
Gender, Culture, Rights 30 credits
Thinking Sociologically 30 credits
Politics, Identity and the Law 30 credits

You can also choose option 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.

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

Marina Ionita

An inspiring degree

I stumbled upon Goldsmiths’ MA in Ecology, Culture, and Society after an arduous search, which led me to mostly uninspiring programmes, and it immediately became the only MA I wanted to do.

The programme is exceptionally curated, engaging with the most important dimensions of ecological devastation and the responses we may begin to form in these troubling times.

It is strengthened by its ability to bring together students from many different backgrounds, which makes for a rich and generative space.

Martin, Mariam, and Monk made Goldsmiths a joy to be at. They are wonderful and generous tutors and it was a joy to learn and think with them.

A bustling local community

South East is full of things to do. There are heaps of community gardens in borrowed places. There are plently of pubs and parks and spaces like Avalon Cafe host talks and poetry nights.

 Advice for prospective students

  • Read widely and curiously
  • Attend events, and make friends
  • Most importantly, start a reading group (in a great pub)

Beatriz Cintra

A cutting edge approach

After looking at universities from all around the globe, Goldsmiths soon became my first choice because of its reputation as a radically creative and forward-thinking space. Most importantly, the MA Ecology, Culture and Society's curriculum stood out as the most cutting edge in its debates about our world's changing climates and in its approach to animal studies. It did not disappoint: in fact, the degree went above and beyond all my expectations and I leave my course feeling truly transformed, both intellectually and personally.

Inspiration all around

As a recent graduate, I am still working on developing a practice as a designer and researcher. Part of this process has been attending events and conferences on my topics of interest – for example, more-than-human futures, decoloniality, and Indigenous ecologies – and mapping grassroots initiatives that are promoting change from the interstices of our society.

London is a particular place to be: it never ceases to amaze me how one can find so much happening in this city, from free top-of-the-line academic events to informal gatherings emanating change from below.

Advice for future students

Organise outings with your peers and teachers, like exhibitions, walks in a park, or simply heading to pub after class. There is a lot London can offer, and many interesting conversations can arise outside of formal learning environmments.

Chloe Agar

Benefits of an interdisciplinary course

The MA certainly had a great impact on my life - the inherently interdisciplinary course helped me develop the tools, critical thinking and confidence needed to begin to navigate different responses to our changing environments. You will likely be in a cohort of students from lots of different academic backgrounds, including biological sciences, art and photography, humanities, philosophies and geographies. This provides a rich learning environment in which to critically benefit from a variety of perspectives and recognise the need for cross-disciplinary collaboration, knowledge sharing, and collective reimagining.

Throughout the MA you will have inspiring lecturers and teachers who encourage you to be creative in exploring your own interests and finding tools to navigate the complex realities of our current environmental predicament.

Life since graduating

I am currently working with the community and youth outreach team of a botanical garden, working in communications and project delivery to bring people together to value and enjoy UK native plants and fungi in their local environments.

Advice for future students

You are here to learn, and there is always more to learn, but remember you have something to teach, too.

See more profiles for this programme

Entry requirements

Successful applicants will have a 2:1 or equivalent from their honours undergraduate degree programme in a relevant subject. Those without this level of qualification may make a case for consideration and will be interviewed for admission.

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

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £10350
  • Home - part-time: £5175
  • International - full-time: £20460

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 under a student visa. 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 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.

Find out more about applying.


The following are some of the academics teaching on this programme.

Mariam Motamedi-Fraser

Mariam Motamedi-Fraser is a Reader in the Sociology Department. Her research interests lie broadly in the theoretical, methodological and ethical implications of recent developments in the animal sciences for social science thinking (i.e. for the kinds of concepts and theories deployed in the social sciences; for the relations of animals to social science teaching and research; etc.). She is currently writing a book, provisionally entitled Dog Politics: Canis Familiaris in the Animal Sciences, which addresses the unique place of dogs in the animal sciences, and the burdens they bear, on account of their co-evolution with humans, as experimental subjects, working subjects, and 'conversing' subjects. The book is informed in particular by debates about species and individuals, evolutionary biology, and racism.

Read more


Monk is a Research Fellow in the Sociology Department. Monk is a black Labrador. He has accompanied Mariam Motamedi-Fraser to Goldsmiths since September 2015, when he was seven months old. He comes to staff and student meetings, and to the lectures and seminars that Mariam teaches.

Martin Savransky

Martin Savransky is Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department and Convener of the MA Ecology, Culture & Society. His research expands across philosophy, the environmental humanities, and postcolonial studies, exploring a multiplicity of divergent practices of thinking, knowing, and living with others in and out of Europe: how they might enable us to envisage modes of inhabiting worlds otherwise, and of making worlds more inhabitable. He is especially interested in ecological pluralism, value ecologies, and the decolonisation of modern thought. His latest book is titled Around the Day in Eighty Worlds: Politics of the Pluriverse (Duke University Press, 2021).

Read more


This programme is ideal for anyone pursuing careers in policy research, NGOs, advocacy, charities, international organisations, cultural and political activism, global media, as well as for further academic work leading to a PhD. Students are encouraged to seek work experience and work placements during the programme (see the optional module “Practical Ecologies") as time allows. The MA also allows you to pursue further academic research in one or more of the areas covered on the programme.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

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