Course information

Department

Sociology

Length

3-4 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time.

Course overview

We're committed to developing our postgraduates into skilled researchers who can conduct rigorous research using a variety of methodologies and methods.

Goldsmiths’ research in sociology covers a range of areas, including:

  • art and literature
  • deviance
  • education
  • the sociology of governance and regulation
  • theories of industrial society
  • health, illness and psychiatry
  • interpersonal relations
  • knowledge
  • politics
  • ‘race’ and ethnicity
  • class
  • religion
  • values in society
  • childhood and youth culture
  • the body and society
  • social aspects of the life sciences and bio-medicine, science and technology
  • the expansion of capitalism on a world scale
  • urban studies
  • gender and the sexual division of labour
  • culture and communications

We emphasise the importance of the relationship between you and your supervisor: we ‘match’ you with a supervisor whose current active research interests and expertise are compatible with your chosen topic of research.

You will be assessed by a thesis and viva voce.

The Sociology MPhil/PhD programme is recognised by the ESRC for excellence in research training.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Postgraduate Research Officer, Sociology

Entry requirements

You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) a taught Masters in a relevant subject area. An MA covering methods of social research (for example, the MA in Social Research) would be a distinct advantage.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

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

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

For more information about applying for ESRC studentships, please see the South East Network for Social Sciences website, and be sure to check guidelines for prospective students. 

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
  • Contact details of a second referee
  • 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)
  • A copy of your CV
  • Details of your research proposal

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. You should look at the staff research interests to see if we are the right department for you and whether there is a member if staff who may match your research interests.

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.

Research proposals

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 1,500-3,000-word 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
  • the name of a staff member who you believe would be interested in acting as your supervisor

How detailed a research proposal are we looking for on the application form? 

Obviously what you put on the form and exactly what you end up researching may be rather different, but in order to judge whether or not to offer you a place, the Department needs to know whether you have the broad outlines of a viable project. This means:

  • a project that is both worthwhile and interesting, but not over-ambitious
  • a project that can realistically be achieved within the confines of PhD on a full-time (4 years typically) or part-time (6 years maximum) basis
  • we need to be sure that you have thought about it carefully and are fully committed to the research
  • we need to be sure that you understand what is involved in doing a PhD
  • your research proposal should give us enough information to be able to interview you (if you are in the UK) or reach a decision as to whether to admit you if you are not based in the UK

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. 

If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified. 

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.

Research

Recent and current funded research

Goldsmiths Sociology has a long track record of funded research, with research funded by UK research councils, British Academy, European Union, and charities including Leverhulme, Wellcome and Joseph Rowntree. We are also in research collaboration with industry, local and national government and public bodies.

Current and recent projects include: 

Member of staff Title of project Funding body Start date End date
Monica Greco Biopolitics and Psychosomatics: Participating Bodies Wellcome Trust April 2016 July 2016
Maria O'Reilly Gendered Agency in War and Peace BA Leverhulme Small Grant April 2015 July 2016
Vik Loveday Precarity at Work BA Leverhulme Small Grant April 2015 May 2016
Emma Jackson The Choreography of Everyday Multiculture: Bowling Together? ESRC January 2015 December2017
Val Gillies Troubled Families and Inter Agency Collaboration: Lessons from Historical Comparative ESRC December2014 November 2015
Marsha Rosengarten, Martin Savransky & Daniel Neyland ‘Situated efficacy’ as a novel approach to interdisciplinary in the devising and delivery of effective medical and behavioural interventions Brocher Foundation November 2014 March 2015
Katrina Jungnickel Near Miss Project Creative Exchange October 2014 May 2015
Marsha Rosengarten & Martin Savransky Towards a Concept of Situated Efficacy: An Alternative Mode for Collboration between Social Science and Biomedicine BA Leverhulme Small Grant April 2014 March 2015

Find out more about research in the Department of Sociology

Careers

Skills

You'll develop advanced research training covering a wide range of qualitative and quantitative sociological methods, and an ability to develop advanced and extended forms of written argument and scholarly practice.

Careers

Possible careers cover:

  • Academia
  • Social research in applied areas like health or urban regeneration
  • Research consultancy
  • Practice-orientated work
  • Work in the arts and cultural industries
  • Publishing

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