MA in Race, Media & Social Justice

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications, Sociology

Course overview

How we live with difference is the key issue of our time. Issues relating to race and ethnicity, whether immigration, Islamophobia, #blacklivesmatter, or media diversity, are at the forefront of public debate. The MA in Race, Media and Social Justice will equip you with critical and theoretical tools to unpack and deepen your understanding of contemporary debates on race, ethnicity and racism.

Goldsmiths is a centre of pioneering critical race scholarship and you will be taught by leading figures in the field. This interdisciplinary degree will introduce you to a range of different theoretical and philosophical approaches to race and ethnicity, including postcolonial and critical race theories, poststructuralist approaches, and theories of intersectionality.

The focus on the cultural industries which underpins the degree enables you to apply these theories to understand why representations of race and ethnicity take the shape that they do in news, film and social media. A series of industry talks from BAME practitioners working in the industry is designed to expand your practical as well as academic insight into issues of diversity in the media and other sectors.

This MA is taught across two departments - Media and Communications and Sociology – that are recognised as world-leading in their respective disciplines. As a postgraduate student you will join the active intellectual community at Goldsmiths, while learning the skills that you will be able to apply to a range of careers, from media, to policy, to charity/NGOs and other forms of social enterprise.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Anamik Saha

Modules & structure

Core modules

You will study these core modules:

Module title Credits
  Race Critical Theory and Cultural Politics 30 credits
  Race and the Cultural Industries 30 credits
  Dissertation for MA Race, Media and Social Justice 60 credits

Option modules

You also take 60 credits of option modules from within the Departments of Media and Communications and Sociology, or relevant modules from other departments at Goldsmiths such as Theatre and PerformancePolitics and International Relations, English and Comparative Literature, Centre for Cultural Studies and Anthropology.

Examples of modules that may be of particular interest to students on this course include:

Module title Credits
  Historicising the Field 30 credits
  Genre and Aesthetics 30 credits
  Race, Empire and Nation 30 credits or 15 credits
  Music as Communication and Creative Practice 15 credits
  Politics of the Audiovisual 15 credits
  Visualising Asia: Body, Gender, Politics 30 credits
  Race, Gender And Social Justice 30 credits
  Stories and the Social World: Identity, Politics, Ethics 30 credits
  Voice, Speech, Recording: Creating New Sociological Practices 30 credits
  Children’s Human Rights: A Sociological Perspective 30 credits
  Cultural Studies and Cultural Geography: Speed, Mobility and Territory 15 credits


Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. 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.


We are ranked:
1st in the UK for the quality of our research* Joint 1st in the UK for effective teaching** 8th in the world for communication and media studies***

Media and Communications

We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for media professionals, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.

The department includes some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – the pioneers of media, communications and cultural studies. They actively teach on our programmes, and will introduce you to current research and debate in these areas. And many of our practice tutors are industry professionals active in TV, film, journalism, radio and animation.

We also run – our 24/7 student news website – which gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in a real-time news environment.

And we run regular public events featuring world-renowned writers and practitioners that have recently included Danny Boyle, Gurinda Chadha, Noel Clark and Tessa Ross. So you’ll get to experience the latest developments and debates in the industry.

Find out more about the Department of Media and Communications

*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
1st in London* 6th in the UK and 37th in the world**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research**


The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.

Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.

Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.

Find out more about the Department of Sociology.

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings


Staff who teach on this degree include:

Yasmin Gunaratnam

Nirmal Puwar

Brett St Louis

Anamik Saha


Critical race scholarship is one of the most active areas of research at Goldsmiths, and as a postgraduate student you will be immersed in the wide range of talks, research seminars and conferences that take place within the academic community here. Events such as the recent Are You Being Heard? event on diversity in the media inform national policy debates on the future of the media.

Skills & careers


This degree will equip you with the ability to recognise and negotiate sensitive ethical issues in research and representation. You will also hone your ability to listen and speak to diverse audiences.

As a graduate from this degree you will develop excellent critical thinking and teamwork skills. The practical and research elements of the course will also equip you with the skills to design and implement projects. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers across many sectors.


The knowledge and skills you will graduate with from this degree will mean you are well-equipped to enter a diverse range of roles, particularly in relation to issues of equality, diversity and social justice. This could include governmental and public administration roles, NGO and charity work, policy work, and business and communications. Moreover, the emphasis on media will suit graduates interested in careers in creative and cultural industries.

Student profiles

Jasper Williams

"Not only are the professors leaders in their fields, but the programme tackles contemporary debates surrounding race and ethnicity in a unique way."

"In 2014, I began to volunteer with Grand Bahama Human Rights Association, a local human rights group in The Bahamas, and it was here that I was first exposed to the injustices faced by one of the most marginalized groups in The Bahamas: 'poor blacks' (both Bahamian and non-Bahamian alike).

I began to witness how many migrants and citizens of The Bahamas were often denied access to opportunities because of their race or class passed onto them by their colonial ancestry. This led to my development of an interest in depiction of Afro-Caribbean minorities in society as well as the media.

While completing my undergraduate degree at the University of The Bahamas (UB), I based my senior research project on the portrayal of Haitians, the largest migrant group in The Bahamas, in local print media before and after the implementation of a controversial immigration policy in November 2014. A mentor at UB recommended that I not only continue this line of research, but also consider applying for a new programme at Goldsmiths which would allow me to further develop my qualitative skills and possibly be a leader in race/media research in The Bahamas.

The MA Race, Media & Social Justice course stood out because not only are the professors the leaders in their fields, but the programme tackles contemporary debates surrounding race and ethnicity from both a media and sociological perspective, which I found unique.

Also, the programme aims to equip students with the necessary skills to understand the representation of race and ethnicity in media with focus on post-colonial and critical race theories. Coming from a post-colonial Afro-Caribbean country, I was particularly intrigued by this, because it would give me the theoretical tools to understand how the often negative portrayal of 'poor blacks' in Bahamian and Caribbean media can foster stigmatisation.

Having a course like this is extremely important. Too often we forget about the power of the media in shaping the ideas and thoughts of society. This course explores how, in some instances, the media gives power to racism, as well as the idea of race as it relates to social justice in the contemporary moment. Not only does it provide students with a fundamental understanding of post-colonial and race critical theories, but it also encourages them to join and challenge the academic debates surrounding the current representation of minorities in the media internationally.

Once I've finished the course, I hope to pursue doctoral research in media and cultural studies towards a career in academia, or possibly with a civil society in the area of human rights related media. Not only will obtaining the doctorate allow me to work at the forefront of my field, it will also be a significant personal achievement as I will be the first in my family to achieve a postgraduate degree at this level. Perhaps the most significant reason for engaging in this area of research, aside from my passion for the topic, is the limited body of media and race research and scholarship in and about The Bahamas."

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject such as social sciences or humanities.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

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

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

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.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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