Course information

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

The MA Research Architecture is for graduates from a range of disciplines who want to examine how architecture can engage with questions of contemporary culture, politics, media, ecology and justice and question whether spatial practice can become a form of research.

Why study MA Research Architecture at Goldsmiths? 

  • You’ll combine studio work with theoretical research. Lectures, seminars and workshops will equip you with a grounding in critical spatial practices and related areas of inquiry.
  • The theoretical module provides a thorough coverage of the historical, philosophical and technological aspects of the intersection of space, power and conflict in light of changing geo-political conditions.
  • You’ll take part in an annual field trip during the winter break to a site of special interest to Research Architecture, for example, Athens, The Hague, Berlin or Istanbul.
  • You’ll join a group of students and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and disciplines and have the opportunity to work collaboratively and benefit from peer-to-peer learning under the guidance of a tutor.
  • You’ll be able to specialise in Forensic Architecture with a placement that allows you to work closely the Turner Prize-nominated Forensic Architecture team and its wide range of partner organisations to produce and visualise evidence on behalf of human rights groups, threatened communities, and international organisations.
  • There are several workshops on the programme as part of the Forensic Architecture or Research Architecture Studio Module. These day-long participatory events are led by invited guest speakers with a specific expertise in the field.
  • Graduates of the MA will be well-suited for doctoral research or to pursue or enhance their career in the areas of architecture, design, law, journalism, filmmaking, art and curating.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Lorenzo Pezzani or Dr Susan Schuppli

What you'll study

Overview

MA Research Architecture begins with a specific core module called ‘Introduction to Research Architecture’ as well as the MA Core Module B, which is shared by students from the whole Visual Cultures MA cohort.

The four assessed components of the MA comprise:

  • the Special Subject ‘Conflict and Negotiations'
  • a single major spatial research project (Studio)
  • the Symposium
  • a Dissertation

The research project (Studio), actively engages with spatial practice and theory, and concentrates on in-depth analysis of a distinct issue, process or site. This project forms the core of the MA Dissertation, which you submit at the end of the programme.

A series of seminars, workshops and lectures will provide you with the necessary and stimulating information and create a forum for discussion on contemporary approaches and theories in architectural and spatial research.

Find out more about the Centre for Research Architecture.

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Conflicts and Negotiations 30 credits
  MA Research Architecture Dissertation 60 credits
  MA Symposium 15 credits

Optional modules

You will then choose one of the following optional modules:

Module title Credits
  Research Architecture Studio 60 credits
  Forensic Architecture Studio 60 credits

Site visit

Every year the MA classes will travel to a place of contemporary interest, generally environments undergoing rapid, intense change where political transformation can be viewed in the development of the built environment.

Assessment

Visual Cultures assessment are 100% coursework. Normally this consists of essays, sometimes accompanied by creative projects, group projects, multi-media projects, presentations, symposia, reviews, and studio work

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

Places on the MA Research Architecture are very competitive. They are not limited to graduates of architecture, but open to a range of other disciplines provided that you have, or expect to gain, an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard.

Portfolio
A good portfolio of practical and/or scholarly work, as well as experience in conducting research and a demonstrable interest in critical spatial practices, are essential. Your portfolio should be uploaded with your application.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2019/20 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £8380
  • Home/EU - part-time: £4190
  • International - full-time: £15810

Please note that EU fees are being fixed at the above rate for 2019 entry. The fee level will be fixed for the duration of your programme.

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

If you're an international student interested in studying part-time, please contact our Admissions Team to find out if you're eligible.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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
  • 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.

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 that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

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

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier 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.

What our students say

Imani Jacqueline Brown

It’s thrilling to be here in London in the program I dreamed of joining. I find the department to be stimulating, and the prospects of the unfolding year to be absolutely thrilling.

I first learned about the Centre for Research Architecture in April 2014 while delivering a paper on the biopolitics of trans-cultural, trans-temporal temporary autonomous zones of resistance at the 5th annual Latin American and European Meeting on Organization Studies (LAEMOS) in Havana, Cuba. My paper was nominated for best in the Alternative Places and Spaces of Organizing subtheme, and, sensing a connection with my subjects of inquiry, the subtheme convener suggested that I look at the work of Forensic Architecture.

As soon as I returned to the US and to internet access I checked out FA’s website and knew then the path my near future would take. It would be four years before I finally made it to London to join the Centre and the FA stream. In the meanwhile, I co-founded Blights Out, a collective of artists, activists, and architects working to demystify and democratize development in post-Katrina New Orleans in June 2014. In 2015, I traveled to COP 21 to help establish the international Museum Liberation Movement as part of #FossilFreeCulture. I’ve been a core member of Occupy Museums, an artist/activist collective formed in 2011 during Occupy Wall Street to challenge the commodification and financialization of art and culture, since 2011; in 2017, our project, “Debtfair”, was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. From 2016-2018, I worked as Director of Programs at Antenna, New Orleans.

In 2018, through the auspices of Antenna, I founded and served as Artistic Director of Fossil Free Fest, a festival of art, food, music, films, and conversations about the ethics and complexities of funding art and education with fossil fuel industry money. I was a board member of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, a community land trust that built New Orleans' first permanently affordable housing from 2017-18.

It’s thrilling to be here in London in the program I dreamed of joining. I find the department to be stimulating and the prospects of the unfolding year to be absolutely thrilling. As for the future beyond graduation, I’d say it’s too early to tell! I have often been one to plan my future from miles off and I am trying at this time to just be comfortable in the process––discovering new things about myself, my interests, my work process, and by world-view. I don’t want miss out on the journey by daydreaming about the destiny.

Mohamad Safa

The MA in Research Architecture was the perfect example of a multidisciplinary course that merges theory with practice, passing along critical thinking and new research methodologies.

In the last four years, working both in architecture and sound art, I started to look into international programs that offer an interdisciplinary field of study dealing with broader research. After meeting and discovering that a number of my peers and friends have got their postgraduate and doctoral degrees from Goldsmiths, and based on the reputation of both British Higher Education, and Goldsmiths, I decided to apply. While researching for the right program, I stumbled upon a very particular course that made me more assertive to apply only to Goldsmiths, and this unique program. The MA in Research Architecture was the perfect example of a multidisciplinary course that merges theory with practice, passing along critical thinking and new research methodologies.

After being accepted at Goldsmiths and moving to London, and after the enrolment process occurring slowly, I managed to quickly familiarize myself with the campus environment, and the many events that occurred during welcome week. As a result, I started to cope with the university’s lifestyle by meeting numerous students from different fields and experienced a smooth transition back into an academic environment. This prompted to get more comfortable with the study program and courses, where ideas with fellow students and professors were being exchanged smoothly on one hand. On another level, I got introduced, in the first month of studying here, to a large amount of new academic themes and methodologies. Through a transparent interaction with professors, various and complex topics were discussed and understood through a very horizontal teaching and class management structure. In parallel, I was acquainting myself with the diverse New Cross atmosphere on one hand and London’s vibrant lifestyle on another hand. Due to the nature of my program, I found an abundance of events and public programs that are in line with my course’s topic all throughout London, which made my time here even more interesting.

After graduating, my plan is to transfer both this experience and information that I gathered here to my home country. As a continuation of my personal and collaborative practice with different local institutions, in parallel with teaching at Local universities, I’m hoping to succeed in exchanging the acquired cultural and theoretical ideas with local institutions.

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