Launched in 2015 through the joint vision of Professor Joan Anim-Addo and Dr Deirdre Osborne, this ground-breaking MA is timely and necessary. We take black British literature seriously as a discipline.
"Goldsmiths’ MA in Black British Writing is the only one in the country, ergo the only one where our Black British books dominate the syllabus. We rarely appear on university reading lists, other than as token gestures."
Bernardine Evaristo MBE (Author, Booker Prize co-Winner 2019)
Why study MA Black British Literature at Goldsmiths?
This degree is a world first. There’s nowhere else you can study black British writing in such an in-depth way – in the actual country where the writing is produced. We trace diasporic and aesthetic routes and draw upon the expertise of literary and drama specialists.
You’ll analyse an extremely diverse range of texts from novelists, poets, short story writers, essayists, life-writers and playwrights. You’ll also locate these writers in their historical context, gaining an understanding of the history of black people in Britain through how they are represented in literature.
"A Master’s degree programme that enables the serious study of the creative and artistic history and achievement of black British novelists, poets, short story writers, essayists, and playwrights.”
Professor Emerita R. Victoria Arana, (Howard University, Washington DC)
Black people continue to be massively underrepresented in academia. Literature written by black authors is often missing from university course lists. The MA Black British Literature is a vital step in increasing intellectual awareness of and amplifying these black British voices. In studying this Masters, you will become part of this process. It is a decolonised degree in action.
We welcome applications from those seeking academic careers, teachers looking to decolonise their curriculum, professionals who are returning to learning, and performers and artists who wish to develop their analytic and critical thinking skills.
Based in London you have access to all the resources the city offers including the Black Cultural Archives London, the Black Plays Archive at the Royal National Theatre, the National Archives, The British Library, George Padmore Institute as part of fieldwork tasks and further research.
Goldsmiths is ranked in the world's top 100 for English Language and Literature (QS World University Subject Rankings 2021).
What you'll study
On this programme, you will study
two compulsory modules
two option modules
Full-time students study both compulsory modules and two options and write their dissertation across one year of study.
Part-time students select one compulsory module and one option per year across two years and write their dissertation in their second year of study.
Historicising the Field of Black British Writing: From the Romans to the Present
Interculturality, Text, Poetics
MA Black British Writing Dissertation
You choose two options from those available in the Department of English and Creative Writing.
This could include:
The Genres and Aesthetics of Contemporary Black British Writing
Literature of the Caribbean & its Diasporas
Intermediate exit points
It's possible to exit the programme early with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate if specific learning outcomes have been achieved. These options can be discussed with the course convenor.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.
Students without BA-equivalent qualifications who have substantial work experience (eg. in literary journalism, creative writing, publishing, arts administration), which can be considered as equivalent to formal qualifications, may be admitted provided they demonstrate analytical and academic writing skills to the necessary level.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
The MA’s design allows for a diverse range of applications of its contents to careers including education, counselling, community arts, arts practice, social services, cultural organisations, or towards research degrees (MPhil; PhD).
Our courses consolidate the influential presence of contemporary Black British writing. It is recognised as both intrinsic to conceptions of British cultural heritage but also distinctive within the body of British writing.