Application guidelines

Article

Details of Applying to Goldsmiths for the MRes/MPhil/PhD

Before submitting your application you will need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of two referees who we can request a reference from, or alternatively electronic copies of your academic references
  • A 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 (mandatory, see guidelines below)

Research proposal: guidelines for applicants wishing to be nominated for a research council scholarship

If you are applying for a place to study and wish to be considered for a research council scholarship, we would advise you to follow the guidelines below adapted from the CHASE AHRC guidelines which you may wish to read in conjunction with our general departmental guidance about preparing a research proposal.

You should treat the proposal as an opportunity to show that you have begun to explore an important area of study, and that your research has the potential to challenge and develop that area. It is also important to demonstrate that you can express your ideas in clear and precise English, accessible to a non-specialist. The admissions tutors and selectors who read your proposal know that it is a provisional statement and that your ideas, questions and approaches will change during the course of your research.

You should include the following sections:

1. Title of proposal - be as concise and explicit as you can (we know this is provisional).

2. Abstract - Please provide a brief abstract (around 200 words, between 1,000-2,000 characters).

This should be a complete but concise description of the project that will allow a non-specialist reader to quickly ascertain the purpose of your project. 

Description of proposal:

3. Introduction - use this section to introduce the questions and issues central to your research. Identify the field of study in broad terms and indicate how you expect your research to intervene in the field.

4. Research background and questions - use this section to expand your introduction. What are the key sources, texts and approaches in the field? How does your proposal differ from existing lines of argument? What does your project contribute to existing work in the field? How does it extend our understanding of particular questions or topics? You need to set out your research questions as clearly as possible. Identify the problems that you want to explore and explain why it is important to do so.

Please use this section to indicate how your previous studies, professional and/or other experience contribute to your understanding of the field and your preparedness for research. In other words, think about how to situate your project in the context of the university and its disciplines. If appropriate, you can also discuss the relevance of your research to non-academic institutions and audiences.

5. Research methods - give a brief statement detailing how you will achieve the aims set out in the previous sections. Your focus here will depend very much on your discipline(s) and research topic and whether you are applying for an AHRC or ESRC award. What sorts of data do you need to produce to answer the questions that you are asking, what sort of methodological approach will you adopt and what specific methods will you employ? Is there a ‘gap’ in established approaches to your field of study that you want to explore? Are there ethical issues that you need to address in undertaking your research? Will you be involved in fieldwork, if so where, when and for how long?

6. Schedule of work - use this section to show that you have a realistic plan for completion of the project within the period of the award. You may want to think here about dividing the proposal into sections (not necessarily chapters at this stage) with a timetable for researching and writing up each section.

7. Bibliography - include a bibliography, in a standard format such as Harvard, listing any books and articles to which you refer in the proposal. This is indicative, not exhaustive (and is included in the character count).

Please note that for both AHRC and ESRC proposals there is a strict limit of 10,000 characters for the main body of the proposal (not including spaces) for the research proposal. (This does not included title or abstract.)


Scholarship Selection and Process

Once you have been accepted for a place to study for one of our relevant research degrees, and we have agreed with you which is the most suitable doctoral training programme, the procedure for selection will be as follows:

CHASE – AHRC

All applications submitted by the deadline Thursday, 11 January 2018, will be reviewed and ranked by an internal selection committee: if we have not done so already, we will invite you to interview prior to confirming any formal offer of a place on the relevant degree programme. 

Up to five candidates will be nominated by the department and put forward to Goldsmiths’ selection committee in a ranked order of priority by 31 January 2018. The Goldsmiths selection committee will review nominated applications and select the 25 best to put forward to the CHASE scholarship committee. Nominated applicants will be informed in mid-February and given the opportunity for final revisions of their application prior to submission to CHASE by 1 March 2018. 

The CHASE scholarship committee will review all nominated applications from across the consortium and will select approximately 70 applicants to be awarded an AHRC CHASE scholarship. Successful candidates will be informed of the outcome of the scholarship competition on Monday 9 April 2018.

Further Information

Please consult the CHASE website for further details about the Doctoral Training Programme and AHRC funding for research students, that includes the link to guidance notes and the AHRC’s online application platform, and the RCUK’s website for further details of eligibility.

If you have further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the departmental Postgraduate Coordinator, Victoria Reese or Postgraduate Convenor, Dr Mark Johnson.

SeNSS - ESRC (1+3, MRes + MPhil/PHD or +3 MPhil/PhD)

All applications submitted by Wednesday, 10 January 2018, will be reviewed and ranked by an internal selection committee: if we have not done so already, we will invite you to interview prior to confirming any formal offer of a place on the relevant degree programme.

Those selected for nomination will also be invited to complete the SeNSS-ESRCs online application form that must be completed by 31 January 2018. 

Up to three candidates will be nominated by the department and put forward to the SeNSS subject pathway team. These panels will rank your application along with others in that Pathway in order of merit. This ranked list will be sent to the SeNSS Office, to be combined in a single ranked list with the other applications from all thirteen SeNSS Pathways. The SeNSS Management Board will then meet to discuss this list, and to formally agree which applications have been successful.

You will be notified at each stage of this process whether or not your application has been successful.

Those applicants who are awarded full-funded studentships will be advised of this by the end of March 2018.

Further Information

Please consult the SeNSS website for further details about the Doctoral Training Programme and ESRC funding for research students and the RCUK’s website for further details of eligibility.

If you have further queries about the department or Goldsmiths’ application process, please do not hesitate to contact the departmental Postgraduate Coordinator, Victoria Reese or Postgraduate Convenor, Dr Mark Johnson.

Related content