Course information




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.

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

Compulsory Modules

You will take the following compulsory modules.

Module title Credits
Music and Audiovisual Culture 30 credits
Audiovisual Cultures Major Project 60 credits

You will also take 90 credits of option modules, two of which must be offered by the Department of Music. Recent examples include:

Module title Credits
Ethnographic Film and Music Research 30 credits
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: Practice and Discourse 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.

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

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

What our students say

Zhengnan Jiang

A diverse degree

My favourite part of the degree is the diversity that the course covered - we got to experience music in completely different ways than what I expected. In the Department of Music, they also have concerts and experimental live shows. There are practice rooms and studios you can also explore yourself.

A challenging but fun experience

I did BA Fashion Photography, and doing something different for my Masters was quite challenging but fun. The teachers are supportive, and we got to audit different classes, which is amazing.

A multi-cultural environment

As an international student, Goldsmiths has many different societies. Each term, they will have events, and parties, providing us with a chance to celebrate our own culture.

The Student SU is also a great place to hang out with friends and get to know people from different cities!

Embracing life in New Cross

Moving from West London to South East, I can feel the youthful energy around here. The campus is surrounded by local pubs and many restaurants - you will get to taste something different.

Making the most of your university experience

Try your best to use the resources around you, be positive, be sociable and always seek help if you need to.


Beatrice Vorster

Learning experience

The teaching is exceptional. I come from a Fine Art background and work as an associate lecturer in Fine Art and found it extremely valuable to build on my knowledge in art and find relationships to discourses around music and audiovisual cultures.

Advice for future students

Make the most of the resources, the Electronic Music Studios (EMS) are incredible and the technicians - Marcus and Adam - are so helpful and encouraging.

Favourite thing about the local area

I live locally – in proximity to lots of experimental music venues.

Alex Lewis-Whitaker

Cultivating different interests

I liked how the MA allows you to select three other modules from across the music department in addition to your core modules. Everybody will have ended up with a different pathway through the degree, and you can cultivate several different interests all in the space of a year. Alongside my core audiovisual modules I was able to take lessons for the Ghanaian bamboo flute via video calls with a tutor in Kumasi (paid for by the uni). I also took a music philosophy module that allowed me to think deeply about Lisa Gerrard's 'singing in tongues' technique.

I was surprised by how heavy the workload was, so this shouldn't be underestimated, but it just meant it was all the more rewarding to complete the course. I studied what I was interested in much more intensely and urgently than if I hadn't had this time pressure. Most importantly, I have a much clearer vision for where I want to go with my next creative projects, and I love having a more holistic understanding of music and its interrelations with other disciplines that the course structure encourages.

Working while studying and the future

I am currently continuing my internship with Rocket Entertainment (Sir Elton John & David Furnish) that I started halfway through my MA, working on their incredible art collections. I'm really excited to see where it leads, hopefully at the same company, and I hope to learn more about the music industry while here too.

I'm also starting to think about my next creative project based on where I left things with my MA. I think it will involve singing in tongues and Renaissance polyphony in some way, so it will be vocal-oriented. My composition and experimentation are much stronger points for me at the moment than my performance skills, so I want to learn to sing better while I'm developing this project.

Advice for future students

Prioritise being open to new ideas and unconventional perspectives over perfecting each project. I made and wrote things which I wasn't happy with at all in terms of their execution, but they still received good grades because it was clear I had researched my topic in detail and had tried to take it beyond the existing research.

See more profiles for this programme

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 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 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9630
  • Home - part-time: £4815
  • International - full-time: £19520

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. 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.

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 academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • 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

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.



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.

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