Course information




1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This degree brings together the rich work within critical and cultural theory, continental philosophy, cultural studies, and contemporary feminist and postcolonial scholarship.

The MA Sociology (Cultural Analysis) enables you to develop critical and analytical interdisciplinary perspectives on contemporary socio-cultural processes. It offers a sense of the breadth of possible approaches while developing the skills necessary to produce original analyses in a scholarly and inventive manner. You will explore topics like the nature and historical conditions of critique itself, the relations between power and subjectivity, the concept of performativity, cosmopolitics, novel forms of protest, and radical empiricism, among others. These questions cross and connect human and non-human worlds, and involve both aesthetic and historical aspects.

Develop your understanding of the analysis of contemporary culture 

You will be introduced to a range of traditions and resources from cultural studies, continental philosophy, postcolonial theory, process philosophy, speculative thought, and critical cultural analysis. Through reading, seminars, and written assignments, you will gain a critical understanding of contemporary cultural processes and central issues in the theory and analysis of contemporary culture.

Tailor the degree to your own interests

The MA Cultural Analysis embraces a transdisciplinary approach that allows students to choose options from within the department and across Goldsmiths to sit alongside the core theoretical and methodological modules. This allows you to take your critical cultural approach into areas that most appeal and feel most urgent to you. You will be able to explore areas of contemporary social and cultural life that interest you most. This flexible MA programme allows you to select options from within and beyond Goldsmiths' Department of Sociology.

Participate in an interdisciplinary community

Students join this MA from around the world, bringing a range of backgrounds, interests, and unique perspectives to discussions. We have welcomed graduates with backgrounds in sociology, politics, and anthropology, as well as the humanities, philosophy, and more creative and artistic pursuits such as dance and architecture. You will become part of the department’s innovative research culture, which includes events organised by the following:

Our engagement with the socio-cultural world will take multiple routes, expanding sociological methods to also include approaches that route themselves through its poetic, spatial, fictional, affective, sonic, or visual dimensions as much as through its textual. Previous students have explored: the sounds of Kigali street sellers; the memories of violent events in Bogotá; theories of gender fluidity; philosophies of immanence and biopolitics; and archives of radical rock music in the UK.

By studying this masters, you'll be joining our world-leading Department of Sociology. We've been rated top 10 in the UK for sociology in the QS World University Rankings 2023.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the convenor, Professor Vikki Bell.

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

You'll take the following compulsory modules. This includes a 60-credit dissertation on a relevant topic of your choice, where you will be provided with supervision from expert academics in the Department of Sociology.

Module title Credits
What is Culture - Key Theoretical Interventions 30 credits
Methodology Now 30 credits
Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

You'll also take 60 credits of optional modules. 30 credits of optional modules must be from a list provided annually by the Department of Sociology. The remaining 30 credits can either be taken from within the Department, or from a relevant department across the Goldsmiths.

Optional modules vary from year to year, and recent examples have included:

Module title Credits
Rethinking the City 30 credits
Politics and Difference 30 credits
Social Research for Public Engagement 30 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.

Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) and Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) awards are also available in this programme. For the award of Postgraduate Diploma, you would need to successfully complete the core module and option modules to the value of 120 CATS; for the Postgraduate Certificate you would need to successfully complete the core module and option modules to the value of 60 CATS. Please note that these are exit awards; if you successfully complete the whole programme you'll be awarded an MA.

Download the programme specification.

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

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. 

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.

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: £10350
  • Home - part-time: £5175
  • International - full-time: £20460

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 application deadline.

Selection process

As part of the selection process, you may be offered an informal interview with the Programme Convenor.

Find out more about applying.


Many members of staff contribute to the programme. You may meet a range of different staff members if you choose the options on which they teach, or if your dissertation project fits well with their expertise and they are available to supervise you.

Staff who have contributed to the programme in recent years include:

Find out more about staff in the Department of Sociology.


You'll develop the following skills during the programme:

  • advanced analytical skills
  • the ability to evaluate complex theoretical positions and to deploy those within appropriate formats and frameworks

Recent graduates have embarked on professional careers in social research, thinks tanks, the arts and cultural sectors, government and public administration, development, human rights, NGOs, and in media and communications globally. They have also progressed to PhD study.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Suggested reading

Here are some reading suggestions of texts you may meet on the MA Sociology (Cultural Analysis) programme: 

  • Adorno, T. W. (1991) The Culture Industry Abingdon: Routledge 
  • Benjamin, W. (1985) One Way Street and Other Writings London: Verso
  • Bell, V. (2007) Culture & Performance London: Berg
  • Bennett, J. (2009) Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things Durham: Duke University Press
  • Butler, J. (2020) The Force of Non-Violence London: Verso
  • Chakrabrarty, D. (2000), Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (1987) A Thousand Plateaus London: Continuum
  • Foucault, M. (1994) ‘The Ethics of the Concern for the Self as a Practice of Freedom’ in Michel Foucault: Ethics, Subjectivity and Truth (Essential Works of Michel Foucault Vol 1 (ed. Paul Rabinow) New York: The New Press
  • Gilroy, P. (2000) Between Camps: Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race London: Penguin
  • Haraway, D. (2016) Staying with the Trouble Durham: Duke University PRess
  • James, W. (1996) A Pluralistic Universe Nebraska University Press. 
  • Manning, E. (2016) The Minor Gesture Durham: Duke University Press
  • Moten, F (2003) In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
  • Said, E. (1978) Orientalism Pantheon Books
  • Santner, E. (2006) On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald Chicago: Chicago University Press
  • Shapiro, M. (2012) Studies in Trans-Disciplinary Method New York: Routledge
  • Sharpe, C. (2016) In the Wake: On Blackness and Being Durham: Duke University Press
  • Schuppli, S. (2020) Material Witness Cambridge, MA:MIT Press
  • Savransky, M. (2021) Around the Day in Eighty Worlds Durham: Duke University Press
  • Stengers, I. (2005) The cosmopolitical proposal. In: B. Latour and P. Webel (eds) Making Things Public. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press
  • Whitehead, A.N. (1967) Adventures of Ideas New York: Free Press

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