Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

LP63

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
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

What you'll study

Year 1 (credit 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:

Year 1 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

Year 2 (credit 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:

Year 2 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  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:

Year 2 option modules 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

Year 3 (credit 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:

Year 3 Anthropology option modules 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 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Anthropology of Violence 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 2 15 credits (UG) or 30 Credits (PG)
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  The Anthropology of Rights 15 credits
  Gender Theory in Practice 15 credits
  Health, Medicine and Social Power 15 credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  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 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  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) or 30 credits (PG)
  Digital Anthropology Level 6 15 credits
  Staff/Student Research Project 15 credits

Media Theory

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

Year 3 Media option modules 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
  Social Media in Everyday Life 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.

Year 3 Media Practice option Module title Credits
  Media Production Option 2 30 credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 17% scheduled learning, 83% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 12% scheduled learning, 88% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 62% coursework, 38% written exam
  • Year 2 - 87% coursework, 13% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

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

We accept the following qualifications:

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

We also 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 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

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

Fees & funding

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Course reading is available digitally and through the library. You will be provided with a printed reading pack for some modules, however for the majority of modules you will need to cover the cost of photocopying or printing reading materials if you choose to do this (unless this is covered by a reasonable adjustment agreement).

Some modules require hard copy submission of written or practical work, which may involve associated costs such as printing and binding, artistic supplies, and USB drives.

Some modules will include field trips to free museums or sites within greater London and you'll need to cover the cost of transport to these venues. Occasionally field trips may be organised to venues which charge admission, but these are always optional.

If you undertake work placement modules or fieldwork as part of a module or final individual project or dissertation, you will be responsible for your transport and subsistence costs.

Careers

Skills

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.

Careers

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

What our students say

Laia

"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!

Luke

"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!"

Lauren

"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