MPhil & PhD in Education

  • Length
    3-4 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time
  • Department
    Educational Studies
  • Funding available

Course overview

We offer research supervision relating to education and welcome enquiries about possible research topics, both theoretical and empirical. Many of our research students are also practising professionals carrying out research related to their work. 

The The Department of Educational Studies has over 45 research students from the United Kingdom, Europe and many other countries overseas.

We are particularly interested to hear from those who would like to work within areas such as:

  • action research in education
  • art in education
  • bilingualism in education
  • children and popular culture
  • comparative education and international work
  • comprehensive education
  • creativity
  • curriculum policy and practice
  • development of literacy
  • digital technologies and education
  • drama in education
  • early childhood education and cultural diversity
  • early literacy and bilingualism
  • English in education
  • equity and social justice
  • family learning in multilingual contexts
  • gender studies
  • history of education
  • identities, cultures and the curriculum
  • non-formal education
  • out-of-school learning
  • policy and its contestation
  • race and education
  • science in education
  • sexuality and education
  • social class and education
  • spatial aspects of education
  • teaching of reading
  • visual cultures and education

Research students in Education typically use a range of qualitative methods including ethnographic approaches, observation, narrative methods, discourse analysis, video analysis, and life histories.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths


Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Martha Giles


Programme aims

To help you:

  • Identify appropriate issues of educational significance for your enquiry
  • Select appropriate methods and methodologies by which to investigate these
  • Appreciate the epistemological and technical assumptions that underpin this choice
  • Design and execute a well-founded enquiry
  • Analyse and interpret findings with accuracy, rigour and originality
  • Identify the practical and professional implications of educational enquiry


We ensure that you are supported by highly qualified supervisors with whom you work to a mutually agreed timetable and maintain regular tutorial contact throughout your research. An induction and research training programme is provided and you are normally expected to follow this. There is an annual appraisal of your progress, and every effort is made to ensure good communication between yourself, your supervisor and other relevant members of staff.

Students have additional support from the Goldsmiths Graduate School, where there is a lively programme of interdisciplinary seminars, as well as core research training to support your studies. The Graduate School also has its own virtual research community, running in parallel to the physical School and providing online seminars and research training programmes.

All MPhil and PhD students and academic staff are invited to research seminars run by the Department’s three Research Centres: the Centre for Language, Culture and Learning (CLCL), the Centre for the Arts and Learning and the Centre for Identities and Social Justice. In addition to academics from inside and outside the University, research students also have an opportunity to contribute to seminars on work in progress.


In addition to the facilities available in the Graduate School the Department has good facilities for research students including a study room with networked computers, scanner and printers.


Thesis and viva voce.


Education at Goldsmiths is ranked 8th in the UK for the quality of our research**

Educational Studies

As a department we’re interested in seeing what education can tell us about the social, political and economic forces of our times. And what these forces mean for the everyday lives of individuals and groups.

We see education as a window through which to view the world, and as something with the power to define who we are and how we live.

That’s why our research delves into areas including culture and identity, gender, multilingualism, and youth cultures, and why we maintain a commitment to social justice and inclusion.

Find out more about the Department of Educational Studies

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings



Entry requirements

You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) a taught Masters in a relevant subject area. 

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 minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

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
  • Contact details of a second referee
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • 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)
  • Details of your research proposal

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.

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body. 

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application. 

This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include: 

  • delineation of the research topic
  • why it has been chosen
  • an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
  • a brief list of major secondary sources

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 conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

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.

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.



The Department of Educational Studies offers a bursary for this programme.

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