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
- 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 (please also see below guidelines)
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 research 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.
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 our information on writing a research proposal.
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 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.
Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application.
This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include:
- delineation of the research topic
- why it has been chosen
- an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
- a brief list of major secondary sources
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.
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.