Course information

Department

Music

Length

1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Course overview

The MA Music (Audiovisual Cultures) offers you a unique opportunity to engage with cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on music and the moving image.

You will investigate the audiovisual culture of film, video games, social media, augmented reality, protest chants, music videos, opera, television, and the sounding visual arts from a range of perspectives and approaches, including theoretical and aesthetic debate, ethnographic filmmaking, and multimedia collage.

Study across disciplines

As a student of audiovisual culture, you will gain an interdisciplinary understanding of how music and the moving image work together in a variety of contexts. Modules from the Department of Music cross the spectrum of audiovisual cultures, from pop and contemporary art music, to ethnomusicology and the sonic arts. You can also choose from a range of related topics in other departments on subjects including world cinema, postcolonial theory, gender and sexuality, and communication theory.

Explore new approaches to critical thinking

This MA degree combines essay-based assignments with refreshed forms of scholarship, including the curation of online content, filmmaking, vlogging, installation work, sound walks, digital archiving, and collaborative creativity. Throughout your time at Goldsmiths, you will be encouraged to cultivate a creative approach to your critical thinking and to challenge the norms of academic scholarship.

Pioneering teaching

As a student on this programme, you will join a department renowned for its progressive and creative work with audiovisual theory, composition, and performance-as-research. You will be exposed to Goldsmiths’ unique approach to learning and teaching, which combines theory with creative practice and welcomes cross-cultural perspectives.

Vibrant audiovisual community

The Department of Music is celebrated for its multi-disciplinary work with music and media, with staff producing internationally significant work in audiovisual theory, orchestration for film, audiovisual composition, music computing, creative practice, and ethnographic filmmaking. You will be encouraged to attend a lively events programme, which includes our international research seminar series and various related research units, such as the Unit for Sound Practice Research, the Contemporary Music Research Unit, the Popular Music Research Unit, Music and Ethnographic Film, and the Fringe and Underground Music Group.

As students of audiovisual media, you can also become involved in several bespoke projects:

  • Postgraduate students in the Department of Music edit their own peer-reviewed scholarly journal, Sonic Scope: New Approaches to Audiovisual Culture. You will gain valuable work experience by joining the scholarly editorial team to source, edit and promote content for the new issues, make promo videos, work with the social media and publicity team and submit work for possible publication.
  • Longplayer is a bi-annual festival of experimental music which threads from campus, through the streets of Deptford, and all the way to the River Thames. You will be welcome to join the planning team for the event.
  • PureGold is the Department’s annual live music festival, run in collaboration with the Department’s record label, NX Records. You will be encouraged to join the vibrant team of performers, presenters, and technicians during your time at Goldsmiths.
  • Music Week is a festival that opens every academic year. All music students participate by joining one of our numerous ensembles to perform around campus.

There are also many ways to become involved with audiovisual culture outside of the Music Department. Invention, Creativity and Experience is a college-wide research strand that deals with Virtual and Augmented Realities, and the Embodied AudioVisual Interaction research Group is a cross-department research group working on sound as a medium.

Goldsmiths is based in New Cross, a vibrant area in one of the most international cities in the world, just 10 minutes from London Bridge. Our location will allow you to experience the numerous galleries, performance venues, and pop-up spaces instrumental to our contemporary audiovisual culture.

Prepare yourself for a career in a variety of related areas

The diverse content of this MA, and its range of assessment styles, will provide you with transferable skills useful for a range of employment options once you graduate. Subsequent careers could include academia, publishing, broadcasting, work in film and television sound departments, journalism, the creative and cultural industries, music management, arts administration, research in and composition for new media and online culture, sound curation, librarianship, teaching, digital archiving, AR and VR consultancy.

* This programme is still in development and advertised subject to validation. It is expected that the full programme specification will be available on this page no later than October 2020.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Holly Rogers.

What you'll study

You will take the following compulsory modules.

  • Music and Audiovisual Culture (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

You will also take 30 option modules, two of which must be offered by the Department of Music.

Music option modules Module title Credits
  Ethnographic Film and Music Research 30 credits
  Advanced Topics in Music and Screen Media 15 credits
  Advanced Music Studies 30 credits
  Critical Musicology and Popular Music 30 credits
  Contemporary Ethnomusicology 30 credits
  Sound Agendas 30 credits
  Music Management 30 credits
  Philosophies of Music 30 credits
  Contemporary Music: Practices and Debates 30 credits
  Sources and Resources in the Digital Age 30 credits
  Performance as Research (Ethnomusicology) 30 credits
  Analysing Contemporary Music: From Serialism to Spectral Noise 30 credits
  Interpretation, Meaning and Performance 30 credits
  Popular Music and its Critics 30 credits
  New Directions in Popular Music Research 30 credits
  Research through Musical Performance 30 credits

You may also select one option module offered by a different department. The following are indicative lists from the Department of Media, Communication and Cultural Studies (MCCS), and the Department of Sociology.

MCCS options Module title Credits
  Music as Communication and Creative Practice 30 credits
  Politics of the Audiovisual 30 credits or 15 credits
  Strategies of World Cinema (PG) 30 credits
  Cultural Studies and Capitalism 30 credits
  Postcolonial Theory 30 credits
  Race, Empire and Nation (PG 30 credits) 30 credits
  Embodiment and Experience 30 credits or 15 credits
Sociology options Module title Credits
  Why Music Matters for Sociology 30 credits
  Gender, Sexuality and Media 30 credits
  Feminist Methods 30 credits

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 Music or an equivalent subject.

Students who have completed up to 90 credits (not including final 60-credit projects or dissertations) of a comparable degree at another university can apply for recognition of prior learning status as part of their application for a place on the programme, where such credits are carried forward into your study at Goldsmiths.

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 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.

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 your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • 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.

Selection process

You will normally be required to attend an interview, and you may be asked to submit examples of your written work in advance (such as an essay of at least 1,500 words on a relevant topic).

Find out more about applying.

Staff

Facilities

Students on the MA Music (Audiovisual Cultures) will have access to:

You will also have access to a range of mac labs, rehearsal studios, commercial cinema spaces, and performance spaces.

Similar programmes

MA Arts Administration & Cultural Policy: Music Pathway

This programme builds on London's position as one of the most important musical centres in the world, with a diverse range of concert halls, theatres, cultural institutions and arts events that reflect its cosmopolitan and multicultural society.

MA Music

The MA Music advances your exploration of today’s music in all its complexity. From a range of stimulating pathways, you choose one that best suits your interests. Modules are shared across pathways, and are rooted in academic and practice-based research.  

MA Music (Contemporary Music Studies)

The MA Music (Contemporary Music Studies) examines aspects of methodology, repertoire studies and cultural theory within a wide-ranging programme of investigation into the role of contemporary music in the society for which it is created.

MA Music (Ethnomusicology)

The MA Music (Ethnomusicology) introduces a range of methodologies in relation to the study of music in its cultural contexts.

Related content links