In the week before the beginning of the academic year in September there is an Induction Programme for all new research postgraduates at Goldsmiths. You will be introduced to College and Departmental facilities and procedures, and attend workshops on what is involved in doing a research degree.
In the first year, work on your own research project is coupled with general training in sociological research methods – run both within the Department and by the College Graduate School. Mandatory training modules take place during the first term of the first year (for full-time students) or can be spread over two years (for part-time students). You may apply to be exempted from mandatory training modules if you can demonstrate that you have already received equivalent training of comparable, MA-level standard as part of a previous qualification.
Training for students on the MPhil/PhD in Visual Sociology consists of:
- Visual and inventive practice
- Core qualitative research methods
You may also take other modules depending on your specific training needs, such as learning a language, or auditing an MA course, either in the Department or elsewhere, of particular relevance to your research project. You are also encouraged to attend seminars in other parts of the University of London, attend conferences, and go on outside modules such as those organised by SeNSS (South East Network of Social Science) or CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and Arts South East England).
From the beginning of your programme you will receive regular supervision, and you will be expected to produce work to be discussed in supervision. In May/June of each year your progress and any outstanding training requirements will be formally reviewed by the Departmental Postgraduate Research Advisory Committee.
Fieldwork, upgrade from MPhil to PhD, and writing up your thesis
Unless you are writing a theoretical dissertation, your fieldwork or other process of data collection will typically start sometime between your first and your second year – in any case, after you have obtained ethical clearance for the research (theoretical dissertations are also subject to a research ethics approval process).
Between 18 and 24 months from your initial date of registration you are required to present a detailed thesis outline and two draft chapters for consideration by an internally appointed panel of examiners. This formal assessment (also referred to as 'upgrade') includes an oral examination and normally sanctions your transfer from MPhil to PhD registration.
You are expected to complete a PhD in three to four (full-time registration) or six to eight years (part-time registration).
Ideally, we would like all our students to gain some teaching experience. The department has Graduate Tutors and Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellows who do undergraduate teaching. We also encourage our students to do some teaching at other institutions. However, we require that all students who wish to teach have successfully upgraded to PhD status before doing so.
Assessment for the PhD in Visual Sociology consists of a written thesis (not exceeding 60,000-80,000 words) as well as a visual/aural component.