Taught course

Black British Literature

Goldsmiths, University of London · English and Comparative Literature

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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.

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.

Months of entry


Course content

Introducing the MA Black British Literature (formerly MA Black British Writing)

This unique Masters crucially addresses black writing as a continuum. Its curriculum traces the earliest presences of black lives in Britain from the Romans to now through literature by black authors. As a decolonised degree in action, it follows diasporic and aesthetic routes connecting literary histories through migratory, indigene and global perspectives.

Launched in 2015, this MA is the only MA in Black British Literature in the world.

On this MA you will:

  • Study this field in such a richly, referenced way - in the actual country where the writing is produced.
  • Benefit from its cross-disciplinary teaching and research of literature as perceived in its broadest forms on and off the page.

It is collaborative - co-created by Professor Joan Anim-Addo and Dr Deirdre Osborne, who share its vision and will co-teach the modules.

It is inclusive - we welcome applications from a broad spectrum of people – those seeking academic careers, professionals who are returning to learning, teachers wishing to decolonise their curricula, artists who wish to develop their analytic and critical thinking skills.

It is connected to local, national and international research streams. Both tutors have well-established research profiles with publications and track records in convening public events in the field.

Why is this an important degree?

Many established scholars of contemporary literature working in Britain, Europe, Africa, and Asia occasionally teach a module or two incorporating Black British writers, do research on Black British texts, and publish articles and books on these interests, However, this Goldsmiths MA in Black British Literature means the University of London broke new ground in preparing and empowering scholar-specialists in this growing and exciting field of study.

The MA Black British Literature programme explores how Black British-born writers creatively engage with history in prose fiction, poetry, and drama. What are the lines of descent and tradition that connect writers across time and place? What part do retrospective, historical novels, poems, or dramas play in imaginatively retrieving and reviving marginalized voices from the past?

The survey of Caribbean and diaspora literatures highlights significant movements relative to the social, political and historical contexts impacting upon Black British literatures. Theories of interculturality including creolisation, poetics of relation and carnivalisation expose the impacts of Colonialism, post-Colonialism, Negritude, and Globalisation in relation to Black British literature.

If the humanities are to serve the indigene multi-cultures of Britain, the building of a critical infrastructure that retrieves, assesses and articulates a fuller compass of inclusion is vital for intellectual and public awareness. In studying this MA, you will become part of this process.

The MA provides opportunities to experience events featuring many of the writers studied. It also gives you contact with contemporary Black British writing, drama and performance from within Britain. You will have access to 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.

What new textual liquidities are created by poly-generic and trans-generic methods of writing by Black British writers? Through a broad canvas of work representing mixed and multi-ethnic experiences, performance poetics, landmarks, rurality and care-experienced lives, the MA meets the demands of writing that slips between, and re-works literary genres and performance traditions.

Goldsmiths is ranked in the world's top 100 for English Language and Literature (QS World University Subject Rankings 2021).

Information for international students

We 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’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

  • IELTS 7.0 with a 7.0 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.

Fees and funding

UK students
Home - full-time: £7320 Home - part-time: £3660
International students
International - full-time: £15360

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)20 7078 5300