Course information


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

Please note that this programme has been permanently withdrawn from 2023-24 entry. You can explore other programmes by visiting our Course Finder.

This MA unpacks the nitty-gritty of global transformations where media and politics, culture and society converge. Its cutting-edge approach to study provides you with the analytical skills and hands-on experience to grasp these shifts in theory and practice.

  • Studying on this MA, you will focus on critical themes like the ‘Digital Divide’, privacy and surveillance, freedom of expression, and the climate crisis. You will also explore the role and impact of governments, international organisations, broadcasters, activists, artists, and communities.
  • These issues are more important now than ever, in the wake of both climate change activism and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as worldwide mobilisation such as the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements. In the context of fast-changing markets in digital goods and services and technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G networks, and machine learning programs, these issues underscore our increasing dependence on digital, networked technologies.
  • Spending time online is now the rule rather than the exception, as nearly half of the world’s population is active on at least one major social media platform. This dependence has implications for the politics of technology design, internet-access and terms of use, for how our personal data is collected and stored, media and internet-policy agendas, and public life in general. Such developments deserve closer study as battles for ownership and control of internet-dependent media and communications gather momentum, and global markets in digital goods and services shift their geocultural axis as they undergo fundamental transformations.
  • This MA programme interrogates these broad trends and their local manifestations from a critical, culturally comparative, and historical perspective. The term “global” works as a critical point of reference as well as a descriptor of how the contemporary domains of politics, media, and communications are interconnected at home and abroad, on an intimate, interpersonal, and planetary scale.
  • The Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies has been ranked 2nd in the UK for 'world-leading or internationally excellent' research (Research Excellence Framework, 2021) and 12th in the world (2nd in the UK) in the 2022 QS World Rankings for communication and media studies.

The programme addresses key questions central to the relationship between global media and politics, culture and society, such as:

  • What is the relationship between ‘everyday life’ – our own and that of others – online and offline?
  • Can political institutions ensure that the online environment is safe for all, or should this be left to internet service providers?
  • How do we protect fundamental rights and freedoms online such as freedom of expression in the wake of terrorist attacks?
  • What are the differences between how public and private broadcasters, activists, artists, and communities make use of social media?

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Marianne Franklin.

What you'll study

This programme's internationally acclaimed and comparative approach to the events, issues and debates of our times is particularly suited for those interested in exploring the bigger picture as well as the specifics of transformations in media and communications as they impact on culture, society and politics. It will provide you with the analytical skills, conceptual knowledge and practical understanding of the real and imagined shifts taking place, online and on the ground, at home and abroad.

Three compulsory modules are the bedrock of the degree. They tackle the key concepts and issues, public debates, research concerns, professional developments, and pertinent literature from a range of sources. From there you will be reading, writing, and contributing to the content and class debates through group presentations and other practical projects.

The first two compulsory theory modules are in the autumn and spring terms and are designed as two parts of a whole. Sessions fall under broad rubrics such as: Climate Crisis, Borders and Sovereignty, Human Rights and Technology Futures, Global Internet Politics, Privacy and Surveillance, Arts and Culture at the online-offline nexus, Sociocultural Mobilization and Social Media, Violence and Digital Networks since 9/11, Everyday Life Online, Migration, and Diaspora. Each year we address current events, topics of interest to you, along with invited speakers.

The third compulsory module, the MA Research Skills and Dissertation, spans two terms. It focuses on guiding and supporting you in the intellectual and practical learning curve of designing and successfully completing your independent research dissertation project.

Alongside these compulsory modules, you can design your own specializations from this department, but also from other departments at Goldsmiths.

Compulsory modules

Module title Credits
Global media and politics 1: Orientations 30 credits
Global media and politics 2: Further Explorations 30 credits
Dissertation 60 credits

You will also take a compulsory Research Skills module as integral part of successfully completing your dissertation, where you will cover topics such as: 

  • research design and planning - from start to finish
  • deciding on a topic/research question formulation
  • finding and using the literature at an advanced level
  • selected data-gathering and analysis across the arts, humanities, and social science spectrum
  • academic thinking, writing, and presentation
  • citation formats, ethics that matter, and the theory-method relationship from several angles
  • coping with stress, being creative, and originality

By the end of the term, you will be fine-tuning your individual research projects, and contributing to our study of these themes in class presentations. Workshops and one to one supervision will provide further support until the end of the summer teaching term.

Option modules

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. For more information, please refer to our media modules page.


Individual and group presentations; live video/web conferences, examined essays and research papers; qualitatively assessed assignments and discussion leading; dissertation.

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.

For 2021-22 and 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.

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

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.

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
  • The email address of two referees who we can request a reference from (via our online application system)
  • personal statement outlining your motivations for applying to this programme: aims, ambitions and current research interests

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • A CV for returning students or those with working experience
  • 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)
  • IELTS certificate, if available

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 of the previous academic year through to September of the year for which you are applying. However, if you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline (for example, for AHRC funding). If you are applying for a Chevening Scholarship you will need an unconditional offer to this programme in good time. Applications received by these deadlines are guaranteed consideration; we will consider later applications on a case by case basis.

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. 

Selection process

Your personal statement needs to demonstrate:

  • an interest in examining the intersection of broad sociocultural, political and economic trends with those specific to the (global) media sector and ICTs; in theory and practice
  • interest in being open to doing comparative study in an international setting
  • a readiness to engage in intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches to your field of interest

Who can apply

The MA in Global Media and Politics attracts budding scholars, media and communications professionals, journalists, artists and filmmakers, policy-makers, and activists from around the world, and across the spectrum of academic and professional backgrounds. It is particularly suitable for those wanting to move their knowledge and analytical skills up a level, either for further study or career advancement. It is also suitable for anyone with an interest in, or experience with the media and cultural sectors, creative industries, non-profits and other third sector organisations, alternative media outlets, the arts, community networks, international NGOs, as well as governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

Find out more about applying.



Areas of supervision

Students under Marianne Franklin's supervision work on a variety of topics. Several are recipients of research funding and awards.


Our alumni work for internet companies (e.g. Google, Apple, Microsoft), national governments around the world, intergovernmental agencies (e.g. Council of Europe, UNESCO), think tanks, non-profits and international NGOs (e.g. Amnesty, Greenpeace, Carnegie Foundation, Centre for Investigative Journalism, Privacy International), public and private broadcasting corporations and (e.g. the BBC, CNN International), in the arts and cultural sectors (e.g. museums, theatres, galleries). Others have continued and established careers as policy advisors, documentary filmmakers, TV producers, journalists, musicians, and technology experts whilst a number go on to pursue an academic or research-based career path.

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