Course information

Department

History

Length

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course overview

The MA Queer History is a pioneering programme in one of the most exciting areas of historical enquiry, giving a voice to those who throughout much of history have been denied one.

Why study MA Queer History at Goldsmiths

  • This is the world’s first postgraduate programme in Queer History. It engages with histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other (LGBTQ+) people, identities and communities. It is innovative, creative, free-thinking, stimulating, diverse and challenging – everything that is distinctive about history at Goldsmiths.
  • 'Queer' is an inclusive term, encompassing the complex experiences of sexuality and gender diversity across history. In the past, 'queer' has been used as a term of derision, but many today have reclaimed the term to capture the complexity of gender and sexuality.
  • Adopting the Department’s thematic and interdisciplinary approach, the course explores the queer past across period, region, and theme from the early modern period to the present.
  • You’ll develop your research skills and understanding of key debates and methods used by historians of the queer past.
  • You will learn to interrogate past understandings of queer identity and experience. You will question binaries between heterosexual and homosexual, male and female and will learn about the contexts of queerness and issues of intersectionality.
  • You will develop your own specific subject interests through a range of option courses, primary research, and a dissertation on a theme of personal interest.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Isabell Dahms (Autumn term) or Dr Justin Bengry (Spring term onwards).

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

You take the following two compulsory modules (60 credits in total):

Module title Credits
Explorations and Debates in Queer History 30 credits
Research Skills 30 credits

Option modules

You also take two thematic option modules. You could:

Dissertation

You will begin work on your dissertation in the second term. In the third term, you will participate in the dissertation conference and will then complete your work over the summer. Your dissertation is 60 credits of your overall mark.

Module title Credits
Dissertation 60 credits

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 second class standard in any subject. Although a specialised background in history is not required, students with a background in Literature, Gender Studies, Sociology and Anthropology are welcome to apply.

You might also be considered 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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £7540
  • Home - part-time: £3770
  • International - full-time: £15820

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 if you require a 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.

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 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
  • 1,000 word essay – please see below for details

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.

Essay

As part of your application, you'll be asked to write a short essay (1,000 words maximum) identifying the significance of any one primary source related to your own research interests for your proposed programme of study at Goldsmiths. In addition to the primary source, you must use at least one secondary source to support your analysis. Please use either Chicago or MHRA citation style.

When to apply

15 June 2021: Deadline for applications to be considered for departmental bursaries.

3 August: Deadline for applications for 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 conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

Selection process

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.

Careers

Placement opportunities are available through an optional module, Queer History in Practice.

The MA Queer History develops a range of transferable skills which are relevant to a range of careers and areas of employment. These include advanced research and analytical expertise; increased independence of thought; the ability to marshal, evaluate and communicate, in written and oral form, complex information and ideas; project management; and teamwork.

Students who complete the MA programme are successful in all types of careers which are available to humanities students, ranging from the media to the law to the public sector. Graduate students from the Department have continued to careers in museums and galleries, archives, journalism, charities, university and arts administration, local government and teaching as well as doctoral research. Graduates of the MA Queer History would have the added skills and background valued by public and private organisations and employers seeking staff with expertise in gender and sexual minorities issues, diverse histories, and diversity more generally.

The emphasis on public history, and the collaboration with community and heritage partners that it entails, also creates opportunities for students to build connections and networks away from the College. In this way, they both build up their own skillsets and confidence, but also make real connections with institutions and individuals that may act as references or even future employers.

Student experiences

Students and staff recently marched in the Pride parade. Check out some photos from the event below:

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