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; and 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.
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.
Find out more about our research degrees, including information about starting your research, upgrading to PhD registration, and submitting your thesis.
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 and Colindale.
Thesis and viva voce.
You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.
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 Research Programme Secretary, Media and Communications. 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 1,500 word statement of the proposed area of research and should include:
See the AVPhD in Media and Communications page for further details on how 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 no later than 31 January. Goldsmiths has quota grants from both AHRC and ESRC to support doctoral research in the Department. The application procedure is highly competitive, but is open to all students who are accepted onto the programme.
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.
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.
If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate the required level of English language competence to enrol on our programmes.
Please check our English language requirements for more information.
Get in touch via our online form
+44 (0)20 7919 7766
+44 (0)20 7919 7702
Research culture in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths is unique in that it draws on and brings together different disciplinary and intellectual traditions, approaches and perspectives rooted in the humanities and the social sciences, in theoretical analysis and practical creations, in critical readings and performance. Our work spans a wide range of topics and approaches -- 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. 80 per cent of our research has been described as ‘world leading or internationally excellent’ in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
The Department’s research falls into four main strands which make up our research groupings:
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, we have published a number of books with high-impact international presses, on a diverse range of topics: affect and emotion, artificial intelligence, bioethics, the body and experience, branding, broadcasting, Chinese cinema, democracy, film history, the future of journalism, media geographies, the mediation of power, post-feminism, postcolonial politics, sound and voice.
Members of the Department edit leading academic journals, including Body and Society, Culture Machine, Global Media and Communication, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Subjectivity and photographies.
We offer an option for your PhD to be partially assessed by audio-visual practice. We positively encourage applications from Doctoral candidates who wish to submit, as part of their thesis, a portfolio of practical work (such as photographs, video, film or other audio-visual material) alongside a reduced textual component. The work submitted must be original, and be as integral to the research aims, processes and outcomes of the project as the textual component itself. The final thesis as a whole will therefore demonstrate the integration of its practical and theoretical components, so that text and practice reflect critically on each other.
You should apply to do an ‘AVPhD’ in the same way as ‘normal’ PhD students – please see programme information.
You are asked to enclose a 1,500 word outline of your proposed research, highlighting central questions to be addressed and some idea of theory and research methods to be used. In addition, your AVPhD research proposal should make clear in what way your project meets the criteria and regulations outlined above, paying particular attention to how you see the relationship between text and practical work in the research process you want to undertake.
We will also need to see evidence that you have the appropriate technical skills to undertake the proposed practical work. If your application is successful, you will get some expert support from supervisors and technical advisers, but no time-tabled technical tuition. We would therefore normally expect applicants to have had (and be able to demonstrate) a substantial amount of previous production experience in their chosen medium.
All PhD students at Goldsmiths routinely have a principal and a second supervisor. This is also true of AVPhD students, except that in this case it is most often a less uneven relationship, as one supervisor is normally a theory specialist, the other a member of staff with a relevant media practice background, and they operate as a team, frequently conducting joint supervision sessions. The practitioner supervisor will not necessarily have a PhD, but will be qualified by their expertise and specialist knowledge in the relevant field of media practice. The same criteria apply in the selection and appointment of the two examiners.
The Media and Communications Department has an extensive (and constantly expanding) bank of technical resources for digital media production, including HDV production, AVID, Final Cut, Pro Tools, a TV Studio and a range of photographic and digital imaging equipment. These resources are managed by a skilled team of Technical Advisers, and are in heavy demand (in varying degrees) at different times in the academic year, from the Department’s BA and MA students as well as PhD students. Access to them for Doctoral students is encouraged, but has to be carefully planned before the start of academic years.
The Department arranges a programme of courses in Research Methods for first year MPhil/PhD students. As an AVPhD student you will negotiate with your supervisors which elements and how many of these courses you should take. The Media and Communications Department at Goldsmiths also hosts an ‘AVPhD’ support group for all those doing audio-visual practice based doctorates in the Department, across the college and for some students in other institutions.
Current students include Pola Bousiou, Catalin-Mihai Brylla, Sabine El Chamaa, Dettie Gould, Mine Kaylan, Alex Mattholie, Minou Norouzi, and Tom Tlalim. For more more information on their work please visit current PhD students.
Content last modified: 03 Feb 2014
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