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Course information

UCAS code

LP33

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
Sociology

Course overview

This interdisciplinary degree gives you the opportunity to explore sociological and communications theories alongside media practice, and to develop a critical analysis of media, communications and culture from historical and contemporary viewpoints.

Why study BA Media & Sociology at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll be taught by some of the leading names in media, communications, cultural studies and sociology – we write the books that are on your reading lists because they've actively shaped these disciplines
  • You'll have access to industry-standard practice facilities, including TV/film, radio and photography studios, digital video and audio editing suites, and animation software and hardware
  • You'll develop the practical and transferable skills that you can apply in the work place – our recent graduates are now working as news readers, editors, journalists, producers and photographers
  • We regularly host debates and talks by international figures in media and cultural research; recent guests have included Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha and Noel Clark
  • 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 or Sociology Admissions Tutor

What you'll study

Year 1 (credit level 4)

In the first year, the media element of the programme introduces you to the study of 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. There is no practice work in the first year.

The sociology component acquaints you with the ‘sociological imagination’, tracing the roots of sociology and introducing classic theories of capitalist socio-economic order. You also develop critical reading skills.

The modules you take in the first year are:

Year 1 modules Module title Credits
  Culture and Cultural Studies 15 credits
  Key Debates in Media Studies 15 credits
  Media and the Social 30 credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 1 15 credits
  Media History and Politics 15 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

In your second year, you further develop your understanding of a range of approaches to the study of communications and the media by looking at developments in cultural theory, and you also have the option of studying a number of differing psychological perspectives on the analysis of culture and communications, or of pursuing more sociologically-based theories of production, technology and consumption.

In addition, you take a media practice module in which you develop production skills via the creation of small-scale projects.

You take the following compulsory modules:

Year 2 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Central Issues in Sociological Analysis 15 credits
  Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences 15 credits
  Sociology of Culture and Communication 15 credits
  Media Production Option 1 30 credits

You will also take a 15 credit module from a list of modules from the Department of Sociology.

You also take two modules to the value of 30 credits from the Department of Media and Communications. Your media options could include:

Year 2 Media 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
  Migration in Context 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

In the third year you have the opportunity to specialise in areas of interest in media and sociology and take your second media production module, which enables you to focus on a different practice area to the one you studied in year two.

Module title Credits
  Media Production Option 2 30 credits

You also take two Sociology options (worth 15 credits each) and choose one or two Media and Communications options (to the value of 30 credits).

Your media options could include: 

 

Year 3 option modules Module title Credits
  Media Geographies 15 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

In addition to these taught modules, you can research and write an 8,000-word Dissertation on a sociology topic of your own choice, supervised by a personal tutor (30 credits). This enables you to develop an area of interest through personal study. 

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

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 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 16% scheduled learning, 84% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% 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% written exam
  • Year 2 - 62% coursework, 38% 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.

Fees & funding

Careers

Skills

Some of the skills you'll develop during a Media and Communications degree include:

  • critical and analytical skills
  • proficiency in assessing evidence and in expressing ideas clearly
  • ability to bring together insights from a range of subjects
  • IT skills
  • communications skills
  • journalistic and creative writing skills

Careers

Alumni from the Department have gone on to careers in television, radio, the press, publishing, film-making, advertising, marketing and public relations, web design, teaching and research, advertising, arts and administration, business and industry, European Union private sector management and personnel work, and many more both in the media industries and elsewhere. You can find out more about the career options open to you after graduating on our Media and Communications careers page.

Students who achieve the best results during their undergraduate course may also get the chance to go on to postgraduate research for a higher degree with the aim of making a career in higher education either as a lecturer combining teaching with research or as a specialist researcher.

You can learn more about options open to you after you graduate on our Sociology employability pages. Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

What our students say

Yasmine

"I really enjoy the atmosphere here because everyone is friendly and open-minded."

"When I came to Goldsmiths I hoped to broaden my interest in media production and come out of my degree as a film maker but now going into my third year as a joint Media and Sociology student I have taken much more of a liking to theorising and researching the social and plan to complete a Masters in Sociology after graduating from Goldsmiths.

One of the things I really advocate to others and enjoy is being able to work at Goldsmiths alongside my studies because it pays well, it doesn't interfere with my degree and gives me such an amazing insight into the different workings of the university. So far, I have participated in everything from being a Peer Assisted Learning mentor, to working as a Student Ambassador, to beginning my role as the Department Student Coordinator for Sociology in my third year.

I really enjoy the atmosphere here because everyone is friendly and open-minded. I have gained lots of experience in my studies and my extra-curricular pursuits as well as making a diverse bunch of friends and good relationships with my teachers."

Isabel

"Studying in such a buzzing area of London was great preparation for working in the media."

"I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, and I think studying in such a buzzing area of London was great preparation for working in the media. I took a journalism module as part of my course, and did work experience at publishing companies and newspapers during the holidays. My sense of nosiness also led me to write my dissertation on the sociology of diaries, and this was before blogs really existed, so it would be a very different study now.

After I graduated, I started a post-grad course in magazine journalism elsewhere, but left halfway through as I was offered a job as a junior writer at Heat magazine after doing a two week placement there. I went on to be Staff Writer for Heat, then editor of their website, and then left in 2009 to launch and edit celebrity gossip blog 3am.co.uk at the Mirror. Six months ago, I went freelance, because I wanted to do more writing and less managing, so now I write features, reviews and opinion pieces for the Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Elle, Fabulous and anyone else who’ll pay me. I think starting out in the media is even tougher these days than it was when I graduated, but Goldsmiths is a great place to start, and it’s quite likely that you’ll meet people who you’ll end up working with one day.

I fell in love with South-East London during my time at Goldsmiths and still live in New Cross now – it’s changed an awful lot since I started uni 13 years ago. Saying that, I ended up having a drink at the Students’ Union recently, and was pleased to discover it hasn’t changed a bit!"

Frederikke

"It was the BA Media & Sociology degree that changed my life direction."

"In 2005, I was straight out of a high school business degree, had recently joined Conservative Future and was signing up for the army after university. Three years later I left high-flying London to work with disadvantaged children and study reproductive rights in post-socialist Vietnam. Change of plans.

It was not about politics – right or left or right or wrong. It is about change and the ability of education to deconstruct, alter or enhance your world paradigm. 

It was a BA Media & Sociology degree at Goldsmiths that changed my life direction.

A both deep and broad syllabus conducted by eminent, approachable professors taught me to analyse information that I didn’t know was even questionable. I specifically trained in Goldsmiths’ areas of expertise – human rights, political communication and media discourses – knowledge that was essential for my post-graduate studies and career, but also for navigating an increasingly globalising world.

Goldsmiths’ highly accredited, active and captivating professors and tutors led me towards an MSc in Gender and Development and returning to Vietnam again, I am now Country Manager of the Shelter Collection, a foundation that runs shelters and educational programmes for disadvantaged children.

My Goldsmiths degree could have brought me anywhere, but it is an outstanding privilege that it brought me to become a part of ensuring education for others."

See more profiles for this programme