Course information

Department

Sociology
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This MA introduces you to recent debates on gender in the disciplines of sociology and media and communications studies, and to the interdisciplinary domains of feminist social and cultural theory.

Why study MA Gender, Media and Culture at Goldsmiths?

  • 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

Overview

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, science, debates on affect and emotion
  • gender and migration and the new international division of labour
  • feminism

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 theory, cultural theory and, in particular, feminist cultural theory. It introduces both early debates which defined these fields and contemporary developments and departures. More specifically, you will be introduced to social constructivist and post-structuralist perspectives, to ‘new materialism’, to debates on feminism and the critique of universalism; to key questions in relation to feminism and biology; to debates on psycho-analysis and the emergence of queer theory and its intersection with feminist theory.

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 feminist and queer activisms. This module therefore offers instruction in some of the most cutting edge issues in contemporary feminist theory. A team of leading feminist scholars based in the departments of Sociology and Media Communications at Goldsmiths teach this module on the basis of their research specialisms. 

There will be a series of dissertation workshops to help you plan and develop your dissertation, especially in regard to 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.

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Gender Affect and the Body 30 credits

Option modules

You have 60 credits at your disposal, you can choose any 30 credit modules related to gender from postgraduate modules across the University. You can choose either a regular option (30 credits) or two ‘mini-options’ (2 x 15 credits).

For your other options, you can choose modules from either the Department of Sociology or the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies 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.

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. 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.

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

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. 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.
  • 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 earlier application deadline.

Find out more about applying.

Staff

Staff who teach on this programme include:

Research

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 reading

Suggested preliminary readings

Braidotti, R. 2002. Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. Polity.
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.
Grosz, E. 1994. Volatile Bodies: Towards a Corporeal Feminism. Indiana University Press.
Haraway, D. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. Routledge.
Lash, S. and Lury, C. 2007. Global Culture Industry. Polity.
Marshall, B. and Witz, A. 2004. Engendering Social Theory. Open University Press.
Massumi, B. 2002. Parables of the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Duke University Press.
McRobbie, A. 2008. The Aftermath of Feminism. Sage.
Mohanty, C.T. 2003. Feminism Without Border. Duke University Press.
Probyn, E. 1990. Sexing the Self: Gendered Positions in Cultural Studies. Routledge.

Publications 

Relevant journals

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)
Sexualities (Sage)
Signs (Jstor)
Sociological Methods & Research (Sage)
Sociology (Sage)
Subjectivities (Palgrave)
Theory, Culture & Society (Sage)

Staff publications (PDF format)

Careers

Skills

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.

Careers

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

What our students say

Maisam

"From Goldsmiths, you graduate as a better student and a better human."

Coming from a place like Gaza where difference is often seen as bad and diversity is intimidating rather than rewarding, Goldsmiths offered me a chance to celebrate and embrace difference.

Something as small as a short afternoon stroll through Goldsmiths campus is enough to show the benefits of this diversity. I'm proud to be a part of this outstanding academic institution where my opinions are taken seriously and my plans seem more attainable than ever.

The location and education quality of this university has made my London experience a lot richer. From Goldsmiths, you graduate as a better student and a better human.

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