For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of this programme are delivered. Find out more
This programme introduces you to recent debates on gender in the disciplines of sociology and media, as well as to the interdisciplinary domains of feminist social and cultural theory. There are a range of topic choices available, including: embodiment, feminist methods, media and sexuality, and postcolonialism.
Why study MA Gender, Media and Culture at Goldsmiths?
- You'll be taught by experts in the Department of Sociology and Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, as well as the Centre for Feminist Research (CFR).
- You’ll develop cutting-edge critical skills in relation to cultural approaches to gender formation and gender theory.
- The degree will provide you with a solid understanding of the importance of epistemology and methodology for the evaluation of empirical investigations of gender formations.
- You’ll be introduced to, and trained in, the key socio-cultural methods for the study of gender in the contemporary world, including methods for the study of visual culture, the body and affect, and memory.
- You’ll benefit from tailored supervision in the development of a research project on a specific topic.
- As an interdisciplinary degree, this programme draws from a range of areas, including sociology, media and communications, humanities, science and technology studies, and philosophy.
- You’ll become part of a lively research environment in a politically active university.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Nirmal Puwar.
What you'll study
For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the Programme Changes page
Core components of the programme will familiarise you with the wide range of debates integral to the fields of gender studies, feminist theory, and cultural studies. These include:
- questions about sexual difference and the performativity of gender
- gender, embodiment, debates on affect and emotion
- gender, spatial and body politics
- experimentation in feminist methods and epistemologies
You complete one core module and one option module each term, as well as a dissertation module in the spring term. The first core module introduces key debates and developments in feminist cultural theory. It introduces both early debates which defined these fields and contemporary developments and departures. More specifically, you will be introduced to epistemic discussions globally, to different registers of the archive, to intersectionalities, to the emergence of queer theory, to ‘new materialism’, to issues of space, time and movement, as well as to ‘black’, post-colonial and ecological feminisms. As an extra-curricular activity students take the lead in curating ‘Feminist Conversations’, these have consisted of listening and mediation workshops, as well as guest speakers and podcast conversations.
The second core module examines the place of gender, affect and the body in feminist theory and feminist practice. The course offers you different angles on what has become known as “the affective turn,” placing a strong emphasis on the history of feminist contributions to the study of affect and emotion as well as the body. We ask how bodies are constructed, experienced and lived from a variety of feminist perspectives, attending to questions of corporeal difference, as well as the intimacy of bodies, spaces, objects and technologies. We also reflect on the significance of affect and the body for feminist and queer cultural practices, as well as feminist and queer activisms. This module offers instruction in some of the most cutting edge issues in contemporary feminist theory.
There will be a series of dissertation workshops to help you plan and develop your dissertation, especially regarding issues of methodology and method. Each student will be assigned a supervisor, who will work with you to develop your proposal and undertake independent research.
|Compulsory modules||Module title||Credits|
|Introduction to Feminism and Cultural Theory||30 credits|
|Gender Affect and the Body||30 credits|
You will also take 60 credits of option modules related to gender from across the University. You can choose either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules.
For your other options, you can choose modules from either the Department of Sociology, or the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies (MCCS) as they co-convene the programme.
You can also choose from the following departments across Goldsmiths:
Please note that 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. The most common options taken by students on the MA Gender, Media and Culture programme are as follows.
|Commonly taken options||Module title||Credits|
|Embodiment and Experience||30 credits or 15 credits|
|Race, Empire and Nation (PG 30 credits)||30 credits|
|Feminist Methods||30 credits|
|Gender, Sexuality and Media||30 credits|
The assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and experimental proposals.
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 are open to unconventional routes through education.
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 2021/2022 academic year.
- Home - full-time: £8990
- Home - part-time: £4495
- International - full-time: £17760
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.
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.
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 electronic 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 earlier application deadline.
Find out more about applying.
Staff who teach on this programme include:
- Nirmal Puwar, Programe Convenor, Lecturer in Sociology
- Louise Chambers, Programme Co-Convenor, Lecturer in Communications
- Akanksha Mehta, Lecturer in Communications
- Lisa Blackman, Professor in Communications
- Rebecca Coleman, Reader in Sociology
- Margarita Aragon, Lecturer in Sociology
- Nina Wakeford, Reader in Sociology
The Centre for Feminist Research (CFR) offers a symbolic and intellectual home for the MA in Gender, Media and Culture, co-convened by the Departments of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies and Sociology. It provides a coordinating hub for feminist work at Goldsmiths, organising seminars and conferences.
The MA programme is supported by the wide variety of international events, talks and screenings organised by the Centre. Students are encouraged to become involved in these activites. You can find out about upcoming events and activites here.
There are a number of off-site visits organised throughout the year, including trips to art galleries, the London Film Festival and a feminist tour of Westminster.
Suggested preliminary readings
E (1990) Sexing the Self: Gendered Positions in Cultural Studies. Routledge
Marshall B and A Witz (2004) Engendering Social Theory. Open University Press
Grace Cho (2008) Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, secrecy silence and the Forgotten War. Minnesota Press
A (2003) Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality and Lesbian Public Cultures. Duke University Press.
Patricia Elliot (2010) Debates in Transgender, Queer and Feminist Theory
James, J. and T.D. Sharpley-Whiting (Eds.) (2000)The Black Feminist Reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Haraway, D (1991) Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. Routledge.
Butler, J (1990) Gender Trouble. Routledge.
Colebrook, C (2004) Gender. Palgrave.
Fraser, M. and Greco, M (2005) The Body Reader. Routledge.
Gill, R (2007) Gender and the Media. Polity.
European Journal of Women’s Studies (Sage)
European Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage)
European Journal of Social Theory (Sage)
Feminist Economics (Routledge)
Feminist Media Studies (Routledge)
Feminist Review (Routledge)
Feminist Theory (Sage)
Feminism & Psychology (Sage)
Feminist Studies (Jstor)
Gender & Society (Sage)
Gender, Technology and Development (Sage)
Journal of Gender Studies (Routledge)
Media, Culture and Society (Sage)
Sociological Methods & Research (Sage)
Theory, Culture & Society (Sage)
Graduates from this programme gain conceptual and methodological knowledge of the key concepts and debates in the study of gender and culture; the skills of critical analysis; the ability to distinguish and appraise a range of socio-cultural research methodologies; the skills to design and develop a research project; and the ability to recognise and account for sensitive ethical issues relating to research and representation.
The two core courses provide you with the necessary skills to understand the relationships between early debates in the fields of gender studies, feminist theory and feminist cultural theory, and the ability to critically engage with new developments in these fields. Furthermore, you will gain a critical appreciation of the role and place of the body and affect in the development of feminist cultural theory and gender theory, and the challenges that contemporary socio-cultural changes bring to the theorisation of the body.
Previous graduates have embarked on professional careers in social research, think 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.