We welcome proposals for research in any area connected with media, communications, digital media, cultural theory and practice.
We give priority to those with proposals for research within the areas of interest of our staff.
Research degrees in this department have two elements:
- the research work that you carry out individually under supervision
- a programme of taught courses, which brings you into contact with other students within Goldsmiths
Supervisors and their students form loose research teams, sometimes on a joint basis with another group. When you apply, please indicate your intended research area and any preference for a particular supervisor.
You'll be assessed by a thesis and viva voce.
Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.
AVPhD in Media and Communications
The Department also offers a PhD programme partially by audio-visual practice. We encourage applications from Doctoral candidates who wish to submit, as part of their thesis, a portfolio of practical work alongside a reduced textual component.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Research Programme Secretary in Media and Communications
We are ranked:
22nd in the world for communication and media studies**
1st in the UK for the quality of our research***
Media and Communications
We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for media professionals, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.
The department includes some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – the pioneers of media, communications and cultural studies. They actively teach on our programmes, and will introduce you to current research and debate in these areas. And many of our practice tutors are industry professionals active in TV, film, journalism, radio and animation.
We also run EastLondonLines.co.uk – our 24/7 student news website – which gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in a real-time news environment.
And we run regular public events featuring world-renowned writers and practitioners that have recently included Danny Boyle, Gurinda Chadha, Noel Clark and Tessa Ross. So you’ll get to experience the latest developments and debates in the industry.
Find out more about the Department of Media and Communications.
**QS World University Rankings by subject 2015
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
Having celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2013, Goldsmiths’ Department of Media and Communications is one of the oldest and largest media departments in the UK. It is also unique in its diversity of approaches to, and articulations of, the disciplinary conjunctures around media and culture.
The department has equal research strengths in media and communications and in cultural studies research, in humanities and in social sciences approaches, and in theory- and practice-driven work. Its work spans a wide range of topics and modes of enquiry – from philosophical studies of technology and human life to sociological investigations of media production and use; from issues of identity, embodiment and becoming to post-feminism, queer theory and critical race studies; from global screen studies and transnational investigations of media and culture to news’ role in contemporary democracy.
The Department’s research falls into five main strands which make up our research groupings:
(1) Media and Democracy: building on the work of the Leverhulme programme on the media’s contribution to democracy, including the changing nature of journalism and political communication; studying globalisation in relation to issues of diaspora and nationhood
(2) Economy, Culture and Communication: investigating communication and discourse in finance and financial media; everyday representations and understandings of the economy and economic life; creative labour, neoliberalism and organisational practices in the arts and cultural industries; the impact of the promotional professions (branding, PR, marketing) on the economy, culture and society
(3) Media Futures: bringing together humanities and social sciences approaches to understanding the changing role of media technologies and global media flows in society, economy and science
(4) Gender, Feminism and Contemporary Cultures: connecting the long tradition of work within the Department on culture, representation, embodiment and affect to its specific strengths in gender, race, sexuality and labour in national and international contexts
(5) Screen Cultures and Media Arts: consolidating the long-standing focus on screen cultures within the Department, as concentrated within the Leverhulme programme, combined with an exploration of media arts such as photography, video, digital imagining, sound and performance.
Many of the projects undertaken within the Department are collaborative in nature - such as the work conducted under the umbrella of Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, funded with a 2006 Leverhulme grant to study the design and significance of various contemporary media spaces. Members of the Department have also received funding from AHRC, British Academy, British Council, Carnegie Trust UK, Council for British Research in the Levant, ESRC, EPSRC, Guggenheim Foundation, Higher Education Academy, Hong Kong Research Grants Council, JISC, London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange, Media Trust and Open Society Foundation.
As well as working on collaborative projects, members of the Department have published many books with high-impact international presses, on a diverse range of topics: affect and emotion, artificial intelligence, bioethics, the body and experience, branding, broadcasting, democracy, film history, the future of journalism, media geographies, the mediation of power, post-feminism, postcolonial politics, sound and video cultures.
Members of the Department edit leading academic journals, including Body and Society, Culture Machine and its sister project, Photomediations Machine), Global Media and Communication, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Subjectivity and photographies.
Recent research projects
- The Leverhulme Trust funded Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre
- Storycircle (Framework for Innovation and Research in MediaCityUK)
- Goldsmiths Media Ethnography Group
Find out more about research in the Department of Media and Communications.
The Department offers a dedicated room with working spaces for research students, and as a postgraduate at Goldsmiths you are ideally placed to take advantage of facilities such as the specialist libraries at the British Film Institute.
Skills & careers
We aim to develop students who are able to express themselves creatively and self-critically in theoretical and/or practice work. You'll develop research skills, presentation skills, an understanding of the workings of the media and their broad cultural and social impacts and an understanding of the pleasures of media consumption.
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.
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
- 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)
- 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.
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
Find out how to apply for an AVPhD.
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.
If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified.
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.