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MRes in English

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    English and Comparative Literature

Course overview

This MRes prepares you for more advanced research projects at MPhil/PhD level, but is also a degree in its own right. It's ideal if you're considering a 'taster' year of research, or if you're keen to complete shorter term research at graduate level. 

The aim of the MRes is to expand your knowledge and understanding of your chosen topic. You'll carry out independent research under the guidance of a supervisor, and in the context of a structured programme of study.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Maria Macdonald

Structure

You'll attend the Department's Postgraduate Research Methods series, and either a Research Skills Workshop or a Research Skills series. You'll also be encouraged to attended Methods and Resources day schools that are offered by the Institute of English Studies at Senate House. 

You'll also attend, but not be assessed on, at least one appropriate Masters level module offered in the Department of English and Comparative Literature in the first term of study. Your supervisor may advise you to attend selected elements of the module only, and to focus on a particular problem within the syllabus. Attending the module will enable you to take part in discussions, and to refine and nuance your understanding of different perspectives on a topic. 

The main focus of the MRes, however, will be on the development of your own research project. Throughout this process you will: 

  • Study in depth and reflect critically upon an aspect of research methods relevant to your dissertation topic, under the guidance of your supervisor
  • Where appropriate, you can choose to write on methodological topics arising from the syllabus of one of the taught Masters level modules
  • Carry out systematic research into the primary, critical and theoretical literature relevant to the dissertation topic, under the guidance of your supervisor
  • Develop an independent dissertation project, under the guidance of a supervisor

Modules

You'll complete the following modules:

Research Methods

Assessed by one 5,000-6,000-word essay (or two 2,500-3,000-word essays). 

Bibliographical Exercise

Assessed by one 5,000-word essay. 

Dissertation 

Assessed by a 20,000-word dissertation. 

Assessment

A thesis of approximately 20,000 words will account for 80% of your final grade. The remaining 20% of your grade will be assessed through coursework. 

MPhil and PhD are examined by a longer thesis (about 60-80,000 words) and a viva voce examination.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Department

English at Goldsmiths is ranked:
2nd in London for creative writing*
18th in the UK for the quality of our research**
In the world’s top 100 universities for English language and literature***

English and Comparative Literature

Cervantes. Bukowski. Dostoevsky. Self. From classical literature and linguistics, to creative writing and contemporary fiction, we take a critical and creative approach to the discipline.

As a department we’re interested in a field of enquiry that extends from Old English to 21st-century literatures in English, French, Spanish and Italian. So you can study texts and films across a variety of periods and genres.

We’re engaged

We have a dedicated Writers’ Centre that encourages new writing and stimulates debate about all forms of literature. And we award the annual Goldsmiths Prize (for “fiction at its most novel”), which brings critically acclaimed writers like Ali Smith and Eimear McBride to campus.

We’re nurturing

We may be one of the largest departments at Goldsmiths but that doesn’t mean you won’t get personal support. Learn from our approachable team of academic staff and become part of the student-run English Society.

We’re vibrant

As one of the first departments in the UK to offer creative writing, you’ll be part of a hub of literary excellence – our graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards from the Orange Prize for Fiction to the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

Find out more about the Department of English and Comparative Literature

*The Complete University Guide Subject Rankings 2018
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Skills & careers

Skills

This programme will enable you to develop transferable skills, including:

  • enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts
  • the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials
  • the ability to organise information
  • the ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments

Careers

Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in publishing, journalism, public relations, teaching, advertising, the civil service, business, industry, the media.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Entry requirements

You should normally have a BA in a relevant subject with at least a clear upper second class result. If it’s in an unrelated field, you may be considered subject to qualifying interview/submission of sample essays.

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 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.

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 the 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. Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for external funding you may be subject to an application deadline. 

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.

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