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MRes in Filmmaking, Photography & Electronic Arts

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications

Course overview

This is an advanced practice-based research programme for students wishing to extend their research into the areas of film, photography and electronic arts.

The programme is particularly relevant for students who have an MA degree and are looking to postion and develop their research and practice work. 

It will be tailor-made to your individual research area and practice, giving you the opportunity to develop research skills and pursue your own area of interest.

You'll work closely with a personal supervisor to develop your work in the areas of filmmaking, photography and digital arts.

You’ll also receive training and guidance in ethical and legal obligations, and be encouraged to accommodate feminist, anti-racist, decolonising and other appropriate approaches to your chosen subject.

The programme meets the needs of two groups:

  • students who have completed an MA in Filmmaking, Photography, or Electronic Arts and cognate programmes (for example, our MA in Photography: The Image & Electronic Arts)
  • film, photography and electronic arts professionals who wish to extend their research-based practice

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Sean Cubitt

Structure

A personalised programme

The programme is personalised for each student, and is based on your individual research into your chosen practice. It gives you the opportunity to develop appropriate research skills and to pursue a research practice project of your own design, developed and reworked in discussion with a personal supervisor.

The curriculum is personalised for individual students, but all students will share a common curriculum and receive training and guidance in ethical and legal obligations, and be encouraged to accommodate feminist, anti-racist, decolonising and other appropriate approaches to their chosen subject.

The course will add value to recent MA practice graduates and to film, photography and electronic arts professionals by giving a deeper and more specialised engagement in a major research project supervised by staff experienced in both creative and professional research. Research training will give you the skills to design and complete your own research and to work to research briefs.

All students undertake the Practice-Based Research Methods Seminar in the first term, producing a detailed 5000 word project outline at the end. They will also take in the second term one of a selected range of optional modules to help develop their critical and theoretical awareness. In the first term, they begin work with their personal supervisor on the design and execution of their project. Supervision will determine the specific means used: some students will embark directly on a single piece of work; others may undertake a series of workshop-based activities.

Aims

The programme's subject-specific learning outcomes require you to think critically about a range of issues concerning the media, understood in the widest sense, and to be able to justify their views intellectually and practically. The central outcome will be to design and conduct a substantial practice-based research project.

As appropriate to each individual project, you will be encouraged to analyse, contextualise, historicise, and theorise your chosen medium with reference to key debates in history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy of film and the media. You will learn to produce high quality research under time constraints, by working independently.

All students will develop a range of transferable qualities and skills necessary for employment in related areas. These are described by the Quality Assurance Agency as: ‘the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development’. You will be guided to work independently and to think through the intellectual issues.

Progress is carefully monitored, to make sure that you are making progress towards the achievement of the outcomes. Different kinds of practical and intellectual skills are required for each part of the programme. In consultation with supervisors, you will be guided to the most appropriate practical and intellectual approaches, and to the most appropriate technical and critical sources.

Structure

You take the following modules:

Practice-Based Research Methods (30 credits)
This module provides research methods training for the MRes in Film Photography and Electronic Arts, and may be taken by practice-based students in the MPhil programme in Media and Communications. In all years it will address the legal and ethical constraints operating on research by practice. In any given year, the syllabus will address such topics as technique (colour, composition, editing, post-production, sound-image relations, text-image relations), anti-racist, feminist and decolonial critique; hardware and software studies; environmental impacts of media production, dissemination and exhibition; media critical approaches to art, political economy, and truth. The interests of students and supervisors will guide the selection of specific content of the course in its delivery, whose aim is to inculcate advanced thinking on the making, delivery and audiences for research-based practice.

Indicative reading

  • Ahmed, Sara (2014). Wilful Subjects, Durham NC: Duke University Press
  • Crook, Tim (2009). Comparative Media Law and Ethics. London: Routledge
  • Cubitt, Sean (2014). The Practice of Light. Cambridge MA: MIT Press
  • Henriques, Julian et al (1998). Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity. London: Routledge
  • MacKenzie, Scott (ed) (2014). Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Culture: A Critical Anthology. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Mulvey, Laura and Anna Backman Rogers (eds) (2015). Feminisms: Diversity, Difference and Multiplicity in Contemporary Film Cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • Shohat, Ella and Robert Stam (2003). Multiculturalism, Postcoloniality, and Transnational Media. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press

Research Project (120 credits)
The project in the MRes Film, Photography and Electronic Arts comprises a portfolio of practical work (such as photographs, video, film, installation, websites or other digital/print material) alongside a textual component. The work submitted should be original, and be as integral to the research aims, processes and outcomes of the project as the textual component. The final project as a whole will therefore demonstrate the integration of its practical and research components, so that text and practice reflect critically on each other. The length of the textual element should normally be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. The practical component should be a ‘substantial’ body of work. Given the potential range of media that can be used, and their differing potential relationships with the research process and the textual component, it is impossible to be precise. In the case of film/video it would normally entail the submission of a work (or works) of about 25 minutes in length (or more), but detailed requirements will be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

Students will undertake to design and conduct a substantial practice-based research project in collaboration with their supervisor. The project will be informed by research, as appropriate, into the materials, techniques and critical contexts of production, distribution and exhibition in audiovisual, electronic image and allied arts. As appropriate to each individual project, students will be encouraged to analyse, contextualise, historicise, and theorise their chosen medium with reference to key debates in history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy of film and the media, especially in relation to anti-racist, decolonial, feminist, environmental and other key ethical and political dimensions of their aesthetic practice. They will learn to produce high quality research under pressure, by working independently. The exact conceptual and methodological direction of the research must initially come from the student, though this will be developed and reworked in discussion with the personal supervisor. Areas of research can be drawn from a wide remit, including the full range of media and cultural forms of contemporary societies and may be theoretical or empirical; technically- or more academically-based. Projects which are conceptually coherent, and practicable in their aims and methods can be considered, subject only to the in-house expertise of staff. The module encourages the development of knowledge and skills specific to the production, distribution and exhibition of contemporary media.

Indicative reading

  • Barrett, Estelle and Barbara Bolt (2014). Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts. London: IB Tauris.
  • Kellison, Cathrine, Dustin Morrow, Kacey Morrow (2012). Producing for TV and New Media, 3rd Edition. London: Focal Press.
  • Kember, Sarah and Joanna Zylinska (2012). Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
  • Mignolo, Walter D (2011). The Darker Side of Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham NC: Duke University Press.
  • Modrak, Rebekah and Bill Anthes (2010). Reframing Photography: Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge.
  • Rabiger, Michael (2014). Directing the Documentary. 6th Edition. London: Focal Press.
  • Shiva, Vanadana (2005). Earth Democracy; Justice, Sustainability, and Peace. Brooklyn NY: South End Press.
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai (2012). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. 2nd edn. London: Zed Books.
  • Wells, Liz (ed) (2003). The Photography Reader. London: Routledge

You'll also take one option module during the spring term. Those currently available include:

Module title Credits
  Experimental Media - Media Arts pathway 30 credits
  Media Geographies 15 credits
  Technology and Cultural Form: Debates, Models, Dialogues 30 credits
  Politics of the Audiovisual - Moving Image Studies pathway 15 credits

Assessment 

There are two assessment points:

A: You are required to write one 5,000 word essay linked to the Practice-Based Research Methods seminar. The exact theme and title will be decided in discussion between you and your supervisor and relate to your specialist field of research, but as a guide it will demonstrate your readiness to undertake the project through critical evaluation of legal, ethical, critical and reflexive parameters and functions of practice-based research.

In addition, you will be assessed in the option module you undertake during the Spring Term.

B: The project in the MRes Film, Photography and Electronic Arts comprises a portfolio of practical work (such as photographs, video, film, installation, websites or other digital/print material) alongside a textual component. The work submitted should be original, and be as integral to the research aims, processes and outcomes of the project as the textual component. The final project as a whole will therefore demonstrate the integration of its practical and research components, so that text and practice reflect critically on each other.

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

We are ranked:
1st in the UK for the quality of our research* Joint 1st in the UK for effective teaching** 8th in the world for communication and media studies***

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

*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Skills & careers

The course is designed to support students who wish to strengthen their opportunities in professional media, including the media industries and creative practice, private sector firms, public sector institutions and civil society organisations with communications departments.

We envisage that a small proportion of graduates will seek careers in teaching, including secondary and higher education, in which case their projects and supervision will be tailored to that end.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Entry requirements

You will normally hold the equivalent of a Merit or Distinction at MA level. Practical experience of media production, in taught courses or professionally, is essential.

Candidates with a first degree and professional experience equivalent to a relevant MA will be considered. Candidates will be asked to submit a research proposal demonstrating a sense of the wider conceptual field in which their chosen practice falls.

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)

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 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.

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. 

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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