MA Art & Politics

Goldsmiths, University of London

Program Description

MA Art & Politics

Goldsmiths, University of London

"And the most politically indoctrinating thing you can do to a human being is to show him, every day, that there can be no change." (Wim Wenders, The Act of Seeing, Faber and Faber, London, 1997, pp. 52-3)

Innovative and dynamic, the MA in Art and Politics was launched in 2009 and has already become a leader in its field.

It was inspired by appeals to situate 'practice' in terms of a variety of contemporary discourses and the increased incorporation of political and social agendas into art. Our programme is one that views both art and politics differently – ie in relation to a central dynamic of change.

Focusing on issues that are key to both art and politics, we explore practices and issues related to public space, democracy, equality, participation, justice and affect. By shuttling across art and politics, rather than seeking to produce a synthesis between the two, we probe a range of practices and strategies which, in the encounter between art and politics, play out in numerous forms and very different kinds of social spaces.

Working with a mixed constituency of students from Art, Politics, International Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies as well as numerous other disciplines, we take up the challenge to develop frameworks and spaces which are mixed and mobile and which can operate in trans-disciplinary settings. In such a mixed context, questions about ‘autonomy’ and the political character of art take on renewed vigour and urgency. Similarly we are able to probe art’s potential in times of political and cultural crisis. Why for instance, do contemporary arts practices increasingly claim ‘political’ origins and motivations, while political parties seek the involvement of art and artists of all kinds? Or, what good are practices that are neither art nor politics?

The MA in Art and Politics provides students with the opportunity to explore numerous questions and practices in a genuinely interdisciplinary setting. Working from a strong theoretical basis, the programme aims to better understand a range of empirical, aesthetic and conceptual issues which traverse and exceed both 'art' and 'international' politics.

It aims further to explore those strategies of intervention and those practices and modes of thought which are, as yet, uncertainly situated and to consider how we, as participants in a variety of cultural and public spheres, may yet be able to affect what can be seen, said and thought.


Our graduates come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and embark on highly contrasting career paths. These include careers in curating (both independent and embedded); art practice (both collaborative and individual); journalism (radio, web and print journalism); performing arts; central and local government; work with NGOs (national and international); research (academic and professional); project development, administration and management. Some of our graduates undertake further professional training in law; journalism; education and social work.


You'll develop: a critical engagement with the broad field of international studies, communication skills, research skills, presentation skills.

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.

Equivalent qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. 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 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test)

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

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 10, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
18,070 GBP
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 2 years
Price 18,070 GBP