The Department of Art at Goldsmiths is committed to supporting and developing art research of the highest quality in the areas of Fine Art, Curating, Art Writing and across disciplines.
Within the overarching programme of MPhil/PhD in Art, there are three different pathways for undertaking doctoral research, including:
Pathway 1: Thesis by Practice (with written critical account of research)
The thesis comprises a substantial body of studio practice, curatorial practice and/or art writing practice, presented as an integrated whole. This is accompanied by a considered form of documentation, as appropriate to the project, and a written component of approximately 20,000-40,000 words for PhD (10,000-20,000 words for MPhil) offering a critical account of the research.
For more information on Pathway 1, please refer to the programme specification.
Pathway 2: Thesis by Practice and Written Dissertation
The thesis comprises a body of studio practice, curatorial practice and/or art writing practice AND a written dissertation of 40,000-80,000 words for PhD (20,000-40,000 for MPhil), presented together as an integrated whole. The thesis will be accompanied by a considered form of documentation, as appropriate to the project.
For more information on Pathway 2, please refer to the programme specification.
Pathway 3: Thesis by Written Dissertation
The thesis comprises a written dissertation of 80,000-100,000 words for PhD (40,000-50,000 words for MPhil), presented as an integrated whole.
For more information on Pathway 3, please refer to the programme specification.
Research students will start on one of these three pathways when they apply and may change to a different option only up until the time of Upgrade.
Every research student has a supervisory team consisting of a Primary Supervisor and a Second Supervisor. As we encourage and support interdisciplinary research, many of our research students have Second Supervisors in another Department. The exact structure of your supervision will be determined by the nature of your project and through discussion with your supervisory team; however, it is expected that you will maintain regular contact with your supervisors throughout the research project.
A series of events and activities for all incoming MPhil/PhD research students in the College is organised by the Graduate School as part of Induction Week. The Department of Art hosts a specific induction session for all incoming art research students, who are also invited to attend a day of public presentations by current research students.
Research Presentation Seminars
The intention of the Research Presentation Seminar is to probe and develop your research project as it progresses through various stages. In this respect, the seminars can be formative and generative, open to questions, debates and problems, or they can be presentations of preliminary outputs or findings.
Academic Practice Workshops
Each of these workshops is dedicated to a key element of research and/or professional practice. Our training is responsive to the current concerns of postgraduate research in Fine Art, Curating and Art Writing.
Subjects covered in previous years are indicative of the scope of these workshops:
- The relationship of a ‘question’ to a research project e.g. can we understand practice as a mode of responding to questions?
- The role of ethics in research
- The relevance of interdisciplinary or ‘inventive’ methods for research
- How to explore validity and sufficiency in practice-based research
- The communication of research and the Contextual Review as part of doctoral research
- Heterogeneity in research outputs: e.g. the affordances of the exhibition, the website, the book, etc
- Documentation and the importance of sequence, narrative, detail, speculation
- The generation of publics in research dissemination
If you are a research student on one of the practice options, you are required to install your practice by means of a public-facing exhibition at least twice during your time on the programme. The installation is an opportunity to make public the practice component of the research in relation to the overarching claims and written components of your thesis, to test their boundaries, or to investigate how to productively disregard such categorisations.
Annual Review Panels
Scheduled in Term 3, the Annual Review Panels are an opportunity to monitor progress and support research students at formative stages throughout the project.
Postgraduate Talks Series
The Art Department Postgraduate Talks Series is geared toward the MFA and MPhil/PhD cohorts. The series is informed by and informs ongoing discussions within the PhD research environment.
Contemporary Artist Talks
The Contemporary Artist Talks series runs throughout the year, showcasing prominent national and international artists.
For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.