Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

PQ33

Entry requirements

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

Length

3 years full-time

Department

Media and Communications
English and Comparative Literature

Course overview

This degree allows you to explore critical perspectives in literature and media alongside each other while developing your skills in creative writing (script and short story) and editing.

Why study BA Media & English at Goldsmiths?

  • The degree will stimulate and develop your critical faculties and at the same time help you improve as a creative writer (film, tv, radio, print and new media)
  • You'll be taught by leading scholars and researchers in Media and Communications studies and English and Comparative Literature
  • You'll take creative writing modules (one per year) that are taught by working screenwriters, fiction writers, radio dramatists and editors
  • You'll have the opportunity to follow thematic and research interests that bear on your own original writing
  • You'll develop script and prose editorial skills, and will produce a portfolio of creative writing project work
  • Both departments regularly host talks, debates and readings in which major international researchers, writers and critics present and talk about their work; they have included Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha, Noel Clark, Alan Bennett, Will Self and Germaine Greer
  • We're ranked third in the UK for the quality and impact of our media research (Research Excellence Framework), which means that by studying in the department you'll be working alongside academics who are leaders in their fields

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Ceiren Bell

What you'll study

Overview 

You'll take introductory-level theoretical modules in media/communications and literature in your first year, and will take a creative writing module in which you explore the various forms of narrative fiction in media – screenplays for film and tv, plays for radio and short stories – and develop an original idea into one of these forms. 

The second year develops your understanding of approaches to studying communications and the media, and gives you the opportunity to follow your interests in English. You'll also complete a second, longer project in creative writing. 

In the third year you're free to choose from a range of options, according to your interests. You'll also complete a final creative writing project, in which you'll demonstrate understanding of how to work with fiction writing (and writers) from the production side (film, tv, radio, publishing).

 

Year 1 (credit level 4)

In your first year you take the following core modules:



Year 1 core modules Module title Credits
  Approaches to Text 30 credits
  Film and the Audiovisual 15 credits
  Key Debates in Media Studies 15 credits
  Explorations in Literature 30 credits

In addition to:

Module title Credits
  Creative Writing (Script and Short Story) - Level 4 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

Media and Communications

You'll take media theory options that cover the internationalisation of cultural and media studies, the psychology of communications or theories of political economy in the cultural industries. 

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

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

You also study:

Module title Credits
  Creative Writing (Script and Short Story) Level 5 30 credits

In addition to:

English and Comparative Literature (chosen from an approved list) Level 5 

  • You take modules to the value of 60 credits from an approved list of module units available annually from the Department of English and Comparative Literature (60 credits total)

You can follow your interests and choose three modules from a wide range offering diverse literary, historical and contextual scope.

Year 3 (credit level 6)

Media and Communications (chosen from an approved list)

Examples of previous Media options include:

Year 3 option modules Module title Credits
  Structure of Contemporary Political Communication 15 credits
  Race, Empire and Nation 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
  Media Geographies 15 credits

You also take the following compulsory module:

Module title Credits
  Creative Writing (Script and Short Story) Level 6 30 credits

In addition to:

English and Comparative Literature (chosen from an approved list)

  • You take modules to the value of 30 credits from an approved list of third-year modules available annually from the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Note: students who take the dissertation option must pass that module (30 credits) in addition to the core Creative Writing module in order to be awarded the degree

And either a dissertation (30 credits) or modules to value of 30 credits from the Department of English and Comparative Literature

Teaching style

This programme is 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 - 18% scheduled learning, 82% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% 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 - 75% coursework, 25% practical
  • Year 2 - 85% coursework, 15% 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% preferably including English
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.

Additional Requirements

As the course demands significant amounts of writing, it's important that you are able to cope with the rigours of the course. You may be asked for examples of written work and called to interview.

A-level English Literature (or Language and Literature) is required; A-level General Studies is not accepted.

Fees & funding

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Additional costs for this programme

We provide free reader packs, and other essential readings are available to download for free on our virtual learning environment.

You can choose to do a work placement module as one of your option modules, and may have to cover your travel costs to the placement. The minimum commitment for placements is 10 working days.

Careers

Skills

Some of the skills you'll develop during the degree include:

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Creative writing skills
  • Audience understanding
  • Proficiency in assessing evidence
  • Clear expression of ideas
  • Problem solving
  • The ability to think creatively

Careers

  • Suitable professions for graduates of this programme include:
  • New media writing and production
  • Book and magazine writing and publishing 
  • Film writing and production
  • TV writing and production
  • Journalism
  • PR
  • Teaching
  • Advertising
  • Civil service
  • Business and industry
  • European Union private sector management and personnel work

You can read more about possible career options on our Media and Communications careers pages. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

What our students say

Karen Aileen d’Arcangelo

"Goldsmiths has had an effective influence on how I analyse and relate to a new challenge"

Karen Aileen d’Arcangelo graduated with a BA Media and Modern Literature in 2014. Her academic and extra-curricular experiences at Goldsmiths, including an internship organised by the Careers Service, helped her land a challenging and interesting job with her dream employer, Time Out. 

Encountering Goldsmiths

I was raised in Italy from the age of seven and only started thinking of applying to a British university at the very end of my final school year. I first heard about Goldsmiths when I sneaked into a British University open day in Rome. After talking to various universities I ended up having a lovely chat with a Goldsmiths member of staff. I was worried about applying because I hadn’t been to a British school, my written English wasn’t excellent and I had pretty much spent my last five years of high school translating Latin and ancient Greek texts, but he encouraged me saying “Goldsmiths is about having students from different cultural and educational backgrounds: it can only be a strength for you.”

A dream job

I became a Time Out fan just a few months after I moved to London. My friends would make fun of how many times I quoted the magazine, so I was over the moon when Goldsmiths’ Careers Service was offering a six-month internship in the company’s Digital department, supported by Santander. I almost missed the interview because I was back in Italy and wasn’t expecting to actually get a call! I came back to London for the interview and a few hours later had got the internship. The dream came true and two weeks later I was starting as an intern helping curate a new product that Time Out had just acquired. I quickly became interested and involved in the technical processes of how Time Out London’s and all its other 140 cities websites are created, curated and improved. After four months I started managing my first product and at the end of the internship I was thrilled to have been offered a full-time job.

Bringing ideas to life

As a Product Manager my role is to bring together a product for the website which will have requirements from different stakeholders in the company – editorial, marketing, commercial. I analyse the user journey and experience with the designers, evaluate the technical challenges and implications, and then plan the building of the product with the team of developers. An example would be the Love London Awards which have just finished. This was originally a marketing campaign for which we created a web app to facilitate and encourage Time Out users to nominate and vote for their favourite ‘locals’ in their neighbourhoods. 

My longer term ambitions have changed significantly since I graduated but now I think I would like to grow as much as I can in the role I am currently doing and then find a way to apply it to projects involving the arts and cultural activities, which is what I miss the most about Goldsmiths. 

Prepared for new challenges

I had never known of the existence of a Product Manager role and was soon fascinated by it, although it wasn’t necessarily related in any way to what I studied. I guess Goldsmiths has had an effective influence on how I analyse and relate to a new challenge. It prepared me to always question what I’m presented with, and as clichéd as it sounds to ‘think outside the box’. 

I also feel that personally my experience at Goldsmiths has helped me to learn on the spot, even my literature seminars which are obviously unrelated to my job now were a constant challenge on how to interpret, discuss a text or a concept. The various extra-curricular opportunities were also definitely helpful for my application, especially on the practical side of my job. I was lucky enough to be involved in student media as Deputy Editor of Smiths Magazine, and Student Co-ordinator for the English and Comparative Literature department, and through both roles I learnt how to be practical, organised, intuitive which was a challenging and refreshing escape when heavily involved in academia.

 

Joanne

As a volunteer teacher in Kenya, Joanne Dwyer was so inspired by her experience that she made it her mission to make a difference.

Joanne was touched by the relationships she formed with the community and the children she met who lacked basic opportunities and contact with a world beyond Africa. So Joanne created the Elimu Foundation, to provide educational opportunities for children in the UK and East Africa.

“I was inspired by Kenya and by the people I’d met as a volunteer, it’s a hugely inspiring part of the world. I felt it was important to recognise and help teachers there. It’s hard to be a teacher in rural Africa, there’s no real support there. Hopefully I’m helping to change that, even on a very small scale. Goldsmiths supported everything. It helped me realise that I wanted to work in education, but that I still needed to write. And I had to take time to learn about both, to not rush.

It is a very open, non-judgmental, creative place that always felt like a mini-London, it had its own particular energy, and I really enjoyed studying with such a broad mix of people. I still seek that out. The further away from Goldsmiths I get, the more appreciation I have for that time in my life and what it gave me.”

Jen

"Courses that I attended in both the Media and English departments still inform my creative projects now."

"I attribute my continued focus on creative writing, literary translation and academic translation, as well as writing's place and impact on society, to my time at Goldsmiths.

My course's allowance for a specialisation in creative and journalistic writing meant that I could hone my writing alongside academic subjects, and courses that I attended in both the Media and English departments still inform my creative projects now.

I have had my writing published in a number of publications, and have had my fiction put to music and played on BBC radio. After graduating and interning for a year I studied for a Masters in German Language, Culture and History at UCL, which gave me the knowledge I needed to adapt my writing and journalistic skills and literary and sociological knowledge into my current career as a literary translator and as the Coordinator for Press and Public Relations at the Goethe-Institut in London. My first book-length translation is being published by Bloomsbury this year."