Educational Studies MPhil/PhD research bursaries

The Department of Educational Studies in conjunction with its Research Centres is offering up to three PhD bursaries to prospective students with excellent proposals.

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Bursaries cover 75% of part- or full-time enrolment fees at the home rate and are payable for up to a maximum of 3 years of full-time study and 6 years part-time study (subject to satisfactory progress). International students are eligible to apply for bursaries but will be expected to pay the difference between home and international fee rates themselves.

Number available

Up to 3

Year of entry

The new bursary dates will be announced on this page in early November along with the deadline for applying.

Eligibility criteria

The Department has an established MPhil/PhD Education and an MPhil/PhD in Art Practice and Learning. Together, these programmes provide opportunities for study in a wide range of topics relating to the field of education.

Applications are invited, particularly in the following areas:

  • art practice and learning
  • bilingualism in education
  • children’s literature and education
  • curriculum policy and practice
  • digital technologies and learning
  • social justice and education
  • education policy
  • education research ethics as situated practice


Applicants should have excellent qualifications at both Undergraduate and Masters levels in Education or a closely related area of the Social Sciences.

Application deadlines

The Department Bursary will be open for applications from the 13 of October and close on 17 December. 

How to apply

If you wish to apply for the departmental bursary competition you need to complete the relevant online application form on the programme page: MPhil/PhD in Education or MPhil/PhD in Art Practice and Learning.

In addition, you need to send by email to Marcus Aitken ( the following:

  • a copy of your application form
  • a copy of your research proposal
  • a covering letter stating your reasons for applying for the Department of Educational Studies Research Bursary Competition.

You are advised to read the guidelines below before submitting your research proposal and ensure that they have been followed. Please note that references supporting your application need to be available as soon as possible after this initial stage of application and interview appointments will be informed by supportive referees’ statements.


Selection process

All prospective students need first to apply to the Department for a place on the MPhil/PhD in Education. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. Candidates shortlisted for a SeNSS scholarship after the interview will be invited to complete a SeNSS application. The new bursary dates will be announced on this page in early November along with the deadlines.

Guidelines for writing an outline research proposal

A good research proposal is required if you are interested in studying at MPhil or PhD level at Goldsmiths. It should indicate the topic that you are interested in and your experience and understanding of the area. The proposal forms a basis for discussion if you are interviewed and is important in helping us decide the supervisory support needed.

Whatever topic that you choose to research there will be a considerable investment of time and energy on your behalf. In view of this, you need to consider carefully what you want to find out, whether the work is important to you and will sustain your interest and commitment over a number of years. Please also refer to 

The proposal should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words long. Although the exact form may vary according to what you intend to do, you should aim to include the following:

This may only be a working title but it should clearly indicate the field of study and your research focus within it.

This should outline the general field of study and why you regard researching a particular aspect of this to be important. It is helpful to indicate how your own experience has led you to the particular research questions that you are asking and why you think you are in a good position to carry out the research.

Main research questions
State clearly what you aim to find out. Try to make your research questions sufficiently focused so that they can be adequately addressed within the time and the resources that you have available.

Reviewing the literature
You need to show that you are aware of the main debates and issues relevant to your study. Key contributions in the literature should be cited and commented upon. These may be theoretical or drawn from practice research (see the section below). In either case, the links with the work that you intend to do must be made explicit. Try to make clear what is already known in the immediate area and indicate how your work will add something new and distinctive to what already exists.

You are asked to provide a brief overview of your intended research approach. For example, empirical research may draw on observation, interviews or document analysis that can be described qualitatively or quantitatively. A further variation referred to as ‘practice research’, can be based around the creation of an act or artefact that in itself provides a contribution to knowledge. Whichever approach you use it must be clear how any data or practice will help you answer your main research question. You need to show that you are aware of the different methods and analyses that you could use and provide a brief rationale for those most suited to your research. Indicate details such as where will you carry out your work, others who may be involved, over what period of time, and whether you will be able to obtain permissions or access needed.

Ethical issues
Briefly indicate any particular considerations that might arise regarding issues such as protecting your participants from harm, respecting their autonomy and privacy.