From analysing the theories of intellectual heavyweights such as Foucault and Bourdieu, to unpicking a global campaign, explore the hinterland between the big three promotional professions and the media and society on this innovative MA.
Right now the roles within public relations, advertising and marketing are converging. So this MA isn’t about studying ads – it’s about becoming a professional who can understand the dynamics of power that exist between these professions, and critically intervene in today’s media landscape.
At its core this masters looks at how we can better serve society by improving communications across these disciplines, and how we can develop as professionals who can adapt within a challenging media world. You’ll learn how to reflect on the intellectual theories of the past and apply them to the present, so you plan the first decade of your career.
The questions we explore
We want you to understand the power struggles that exist between these three professions so we look at public relations, advertising and marketing as inter-related disciplines, drawing on theoretical and professional debates around issues such as globalisation and homogenised consumption. We also discuss current industry expectations looking at the crossovers that exist between creativity, management and strategy.
We’ll tackle some of the big things that are changing when it comes to the way the world works - aspects such as globalisation, the control of knowledge, digital technologies, and the way content is created. You’ll also get an introduction to media and cultural theory, which lies at the intersection between the promotional professions, media and society.
The processes we use
This is a theory-based programme, but it also offers vocational elements, so you can take practice-based options in subjects ranging from online journalism and social media campaigning, to design methods and media law and ethics. You'll also get the latest insights from industry professionals across a range of sectors through our visiting speaker series in the Spring.
The approach we take
We take fields such as sociology, anthropology media and cultural studies to understand how public relations, advertising and marketing get together, where they overlap and where the tensions lie. This means we might take an anthropological perspective on how the promotional professions work together to develop a product – not just in terms of its messaging – but in terms of how it was conceived and came to market in the first place.
It’s important to mention that this isn’t a business studies-style MA; it’s a rigorous, academic programme investigating promotional workers and their use of media in today’s campaigns and debates.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Clea Bourne
What you'll study
Throughout the core components of the degree, you'll examine the very wide range of ways in which public relations, advertising and marketing is represented in society, together with the skills and techniques enacted by practitioners in their day-to-day roles. You will be encouraged to develop your critical and analytical skills, but also to think creatively and become more confident in your aesthetic judgment.
Goldsmiths prides itself on its innovative and critical approach, and you will be encouraged to immerse yourself in its wider intellectual environment in order to deepen your understanding of the cultural infrastructure surrounding branding and promotional media.
|Core Modules||Module title||Credits|
|Promotional Media I||30 credits|
|Promotional Media II||30 credits|
|Promotional Culture||15 credits|
We offer a wide range of option modules each year. For more information, please refer to our list of Media modules.
The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. It will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.
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 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.
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 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.
We provide free reader packs, and other essential readings are on our virtual learning environment to download for free.
You will complete a group project in both the Autumn and Spring Terms, and will need to pay for any materials you wish to use in your presentations. Each group will also need to pay to print two hard copies of their presentations. You will also need to print two copies of your MA dissertation.
If you take any option modules with an audiovisual assessment, you may need to submit work on a USB drive, which you will need to provide, however it will be returned after marking.
If you choose to take modules from other Departments, there may be additional costs – please check with the Department in question.
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 1 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.
Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.
Find out more about applying.
From account executives to digital copywriters and from product managers to media planners and sponsorship coordinators, our graduates enhance their careers by working across disciplines, across countries, and across everything from social media and content generation, from sponsorship and events marketing, to corporate communications or government communications.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.