BA (Hons) Anthropology & Media

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Anthropology, Media and Communications

Course overview

Bringing together anthropological theories and ethnographic studies with communication theories and media practice, this degree provides you with an understanding of cultural diversity and a critical knowledge of communication processes. 

Why study BA Anthropology & Media at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer a fresher approach to anthropology than the 'traditional anthropology' taught at other institutions
  • You'll be able to explore concepts of 'culture' and 'communication' in relation to issues of cultural difference, symbolism and representation
  • You'll be taught by some of the leading names in media, communications and cultural studies
  • You'll have the chance to develop two areas of media practice of your choice, including journalism, photography, TV production, illustration, animation, radio or creative writing
  • You'll have access to industry-standard practice facilities
  • We regularly host industry debates and talks by international figures; recent guests have included Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha and Noel Clark

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Henrike Donner or Dr Veronica Barassi

Modules & structure

Level 4 

You'll learn about some of the main theories within social anthropology – political anthropology, economic anthropology, and kinship. You'll also consider the role of ethnography, and will be given a foundation in anthropological methodological practice. For the media element, you'll study verbal and visual language; changes in the media over the last two centuries; debates surrounding the term 'culture'; and the examination of media texts through an understanding of systems of narrative, realism and genre.

You take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
  Introduction to Social Anthropology 30 credits
  Anthropological Methods 15 credits
  Ethnography of a Selected Region 15 credits
  Media History and Politics 15 credits
  Culture and Cultural Studies 15 credits
  Key Debates in Media Studies 15 credits
  Film and the Audiovisual 15 credits

Level 5

You'll consider the anthropology of religion, morals and symbolism, and explore interactions between changing economic and political structures in the world today. You'll take media theory modules that cover the internationalisation of cultural and media studies, the psychology of communications or theories of political economy in the cultural industries. You'll also take a media practice module in which you develop production skills by creating small-scale projects.

You take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 15 credits
  Politics, Economics and Social Change 30 credits
  Media Production Option 1 30 credits

You also take two modules from the following options:

Module title Credits
  Psychology, Subjectivity and Power 15 credits
  Money and the Media 15 credits
  Media, Memory and Conflict 15 credits
  Television and After 15 credits
  Culture, Society and the Individual 15 credits
  Moving Image and Spectatorship 15 credits
  Media, Modernity and Social Thought 15 credits

Level 6

In your final year you have the opportunity to design your own learning experience. You'll choose from module options in Anthropology and Media and will take a media production module that enables you to focus on a different practice area to the one you studied in your second year.

You select four Anthropology option modules. Those recently available have included:

Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Art 15 credits
  Anthropology of Art II 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Development 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Environment 15 credits
  Anthropology and Gender Theory 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Violence 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 2 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits
  The Anthropology of Rights 15 credits
  Gender Theory in Practice 15 credits
  Health, Medicine and Social Power 15 credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 or 30 credits
  Ideology and the Secular 15 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 15 or 30 credits
  Myth and Ritual 15 credits
  Urban Anthropology 15 credits
  Material Culture 15 credits
  Anthropology of Health and Medicine I 15 or 30 credits
  Environmental Anthropology 15 or 30 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Human Animal Relations 15 or 30 credits
  Borders and Migration 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Learning from Social Movements 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Digital Anthropology Level 6 15 credits
  Staff/Student Research Project 15 credits

Media & Communications

Media Theory

You select two Media option modules. Those recently available have included: 


Module title Credits
  Structure of Contemporary Political Communication 15 credits
  Race, Empire and Nation 30 credits or 15 credits
  The City and Consumer Culture 15 credits
  Music as Communication and Creative Practice 15 credits
  Embodiment and Experience 15 credits
  Strategies in World Cinema 15 credits
  Media Law and Ethics 15 credits
  Media, Ritual and Contemporary Public Cultures 15 credits
  Promotional Culture 15 credits
  Archaeology of the Moving Image 15 credits
  Politics of the Audiovisual 15 credits

You can also undertake a work placement as one of your option modules.

Media Practice

You take Media Production – Option 2. This is an introduction to media production in a different area to the one you studied in the second year.

Module title Credits
  Media Production Option 2 30 credits


Coursework, extended essays, reports, and seen and unseen written examinations. Media practice examined by project work and essays/log.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

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.

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

We don’t assume you have any knowledge of anthropology, and welcome applications from anyone with arts, social studies or science backgrounds.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

If your qualifications are from another country, 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 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

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

Read more about our general entrance requirements


Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 1st in the UK for effective teaching* 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 30th in the world for this subject area***


Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Find out more about the Department of Anthropology

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


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

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Skills & careers


This programme will equip you with a range of specialist and transferable skills. These include: 

  • communication skills (including public speaking, developing and presenting an argument, note taking, report writing)
  • critical and analytical skills
  • proficiency in assessing evidence and in expressing ideas clearly
  • awareness of social, political and cultural processes
  • ability to bring together insights from a range of subjects
  • learning to think 'outside the box'
  • IT skills
  • communications skills
  • journalistic and creative writing skills

You can find out more about the skills and careers that this course prepares you for on our Anthropology and Media careers pages.


Our graduates go on to employment in a variety of areas, including:

  • journalism
  • documentary and feature filmmaking
  • applied or advocacy work for NGOs and development agencies
  • teaching and research in higher education
  • marketing and public relations
  • arts and administration
  • many more careers both within the public and private sectors

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student profiles


"Being at Goldsmiths gave me the physical and mental space I required to find out who I really was."

What was your experience of being at Goldsmiths? What did you enjoy most? 
I loved the lectures; I couldn’t get enough of them! I didn’t really get into student life that much although I made some of my best friends to date, but I really thrived on the learning. I loved sitting in the library and losing myself in books and having access to so many academics to ask questions to. I also loved the college atmosphere, it was fun to feel part of it.

Are there any particular experiences or events that characterised your time here?
Being at Goldsmiths gave me the physical and mental space I required to find out who I really was. It was a time of great personal discovery, identity and soul searching. I loved meeting new people too, from all over the world with very different experiences to the ones I’d had. It was very enriching to spend time with them. It was also great to have fun, dance and laugh.

How did your time at Goldsmiths help you in your future career/affect what you’ve gone on to do since? 
Going to university gave me the foundation required to launch myself into the world. Like a passport, a degree opened many doors and I had learned discipline and commitment - two key attributes when job hunting. I also gained a lot of confidence, having been exposed to so much information though my BA Anthropology and Communication Studies (now Anthropology and Media). Studying journalism was key in my future career path as it opened my mind to it. I didn’t get into it straight away, but over time I gravitated towards it and have the groundwork in place to take it on.

What inspired you to get into journalism and the fashion/beauty industry? 
I began working as a Fashion Stylist and gradually took on writing assignments. My first one was reviewing London Fashion Week for Metro newspaper and it just grew from there. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was juggling both styling and writing commissions. I love working, I think as a freelancer it’s important to love what you do otherwise there are far too many distractions that can prevent you from working! From the minute I wake up I am always thinking of ideas for shoots or articles I’d like to write and people I’d like to meet or interview.

You previously mentioned that you would never have been able to write The Little Book of Prada (Laia's 2012 book) had you not attended Goldsmiths – how so? 
I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to take on the project had I not had some form of formal training.

What do you think has been your greatest achievement so far? 
That’s a difficult question to answer. In a work context, possibly writing The Little Book of Prada but there are so many other projects that have challenged me in other ways…

What’s the one thing you know now that you wished you’d known as a student? 
That there is plenty of time ahead to get things done and that things have a way of working themselves out. Also to keep the focus and you’re half way there - knowing what you want is sometimes the hard part!


"Studying anthropology and media developed my research skills and certainly my ethical values."

"I graduated from Goldsmiths in 2009, and am currently working as a Grants Officer for BRITDOC Foundation. I support international documentary filmmakers developing their projects. I also maintain our funding records, and reach out to filmmakers with new opportunities. 

Studying anthropology and media developed my research skills and certainly my ethical values which can often lapse in the media industry. While at Goldsmiths I mixed with various crowds – most of my friends were studying art so it was a good place to develop culturally broad perspectives.

South East London is a world to explore – there are obvious changes taking place there in the university and the community, and I think as a student you can engage with these; you can be an embedded academic. 

During my studies I organised a film festival at the university with a grant from ESRC. There are many opportunities for grants and support for 16-25 year olds that you should research and hoover up, this experience will give you more of a chance when you are 26, paying bills and in need of a job!"


"The activities at the Goldsmiths gave me the practical experience as well courage to challenge the status quo and look beyond the obvious and question the conventional."

"My BA degree in Anthropology and Media at Goldsmiths created and provided the opportunity for me to adopt new pathways of cultural dialogue and exhibit intellectual curiosity. The activities at the Goldsmiths gave me the practical experience as well courage to challenge the status quo and look beyond the obvious and question the conventional.

I'm now Senior Editor at JWT Cairo, developing community-oriented content-information, as well as writing and holding key responsibility for the editorial content of the communication plans. I also developed the editorial copy-writing for the Egyptian Tourist Authority's new tourist campaign 'We're Egypt' ad. This was launched in London earlier this year and can be found throughout the streets of London."

See more profiles for this programme

Fees & funding

Related content links

University statistics for this course