MA in Art & Politics

Goldsmiths, University of London

Program Description

MA in Art & Politics

Goldsmiths, University of London

Working from a strong theoretical basis, this programme will help you to understand a range of empirical, aesthetic and conceptual issues which traverse and exceed both 'art' and 'international' politics.

We will explore practices and issues related to public space, democracy, equality, participation, justice and effect. 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.

You will work alongside a mixed constituency of students from Art, Politics, International Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies as well as numerous other disciplines, which means we can take up the challenge to develop frameworks and spaces that 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 art 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?

Modules & structure

Core modules

You take the following three core modules:

  • Art and Politics: Theory History Event 30 credits
  • Group Project 30 credits
  • MA in Art & Politics Dissertation 60 credits

Option modules

Students make up their remaining 60 Credits from the following list of options:

  • An(Other) China: Postcolonial Theory, Postmodern Concerns 30 credits
  • Individual Project 15 credits
  • Middle Eastern and Islamic Thought: Political Philosophy in a Comparative Perspective 15 credits
  • Visualising Asia: Body, Gender, Politics 30 credits
  • Memory and Justice in Post-Conflict Societies 30 credits
  • Politics of Knowledge: Debates in Human Science 15 credits
  • Finance and the Global Political Economy 15 credits
  • The Political-Economic Governance of the European Union 30 credits
  • Politics of Human Rights 15 credits
  • Psychopolitics 15 credits
  • Theories of International Relations 30 credits

Students may choose up to 30 credits of approved options from other departments at Goldsmiths.

Project work

You are required to undertake project-based work in accordance with your own political and aesthetic interests. The purpose of this project work is to find ways of ‘doing’ politics which employ ‘artistic’ strategies and interventions in their realisation.

Projects have a student-centred material focus, complementing the theoretical emphasis of core and optional modules, and will seek to raise awareness of particular issues and draw attention to their position in the public arena. They may be written, broadcast, performed, curated, made, or involve any other kind of appropriately documented submission.

Training in digital and genetic media will be provided where necessary. Project training is monitored and coordinated by the artist-in-residence in the Department of Politics – who will oversee students’ individual needs while ensuring that there is continuity of support and opportunities to identify and build upon individual strengths and weaknesses.


Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Skills & careers


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 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing.

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

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments,
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference,
  • A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF or completed online,
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 30, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
6,780 GBP
United Kingdom - London, England
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
United Kingdom - London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Programme fee 2018-2019: Home/EU - £6780; International - £19180