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.
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.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Holly Rogers.
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
You will take the following compulsory modules.
|Compulsory modules||Module title||Credits|
|Music and Audiovisual Culture||30 credits|
|Creative Project||60 credits|
You will also take 30 option modules, two of which must be offered by the Department of Music.
|Music options||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.
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.
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
Annual tuition fees
These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.
- Home - full-time: £8370
- Home - part-time: £4185
- 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
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- 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.
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.