The MRes in Visual Anthropology offers advanced-level training to students who normally already have an undergraduate or MA degree in Anthropology.
You will gain a wide range of generic training in social science research methods, and in-depth training in anthropological methods and research issues.
The programme also aims to develop understanding of visual theory and practice in order to carry out visual-based research.
The MRes is designed to serve either as the first (training) year of a research degree (MPhil/PhD) for those starting MPhil/PhD studies at Goldsmiths, although it can also be taken as a stand-alone programme.
The programme includes research design, visual practice, qualitative research methods, and a dissertation, which together prepare you for undertaking doctoral research in visual anthropology.
How to choose between MRes and MPhil/PhD
Normally research students register for the MRes in order to complete the requisite training for carrying out a doctoral research project. You then transfer to MPhil status after completing your MRes dissertation in September (or in your second year if you are part-time).
However, if you already have a substantial background, it is possible to register directly for the full-time MPhil, provided the Department and your future supervisor(s) agree. MPhil-registered students do exactly the same research training as MRes students, but they present a student dissertation in May, in order to fast-track to fieldwork or other forms of data-collection.
Whether you start registered as MRes or MPhil, upgrading to PhD status takes place at a later date.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Prof Victoria Goddard
In the week before the beginning of the academic year in mid-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.
The MRes is a training year, in which work on your own research project is coupled with general training in Anthropological and Social Science Methods - run both within the Department and by the Goldsmiths Research Office - as follows:
- Methods in Anthropological Research (20 weeks x 2 hrs)
- Research Design (20 weeks x 2.5 hrs)
- Visual Practice in Anthropology
- Department of Anthropology Research Seminar
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 GAPP (Group for Anthropology in Policy and Practice). There are Departmental funds to enable you to attend such events.
At the end of the year, MRes students present a 15,000-word dissertation in September, which discusses in depth their proposed research topic and the relevant literature.
Dissertation; Reports; Visual Material
Most direct entrants to the MRes or MPhil already have a first degree or an MA in Social Anthropology. If you don't have this, you should normally do an MA, or you may be able to take a qualifying year conversion course.
There is little difference between the taught Masters and the qualifying year, except that the qualifying year is not a qualification in itself and involves no dissertation. If you achieve the required standard, you can apply to register for the MRes or MPhil/PhD.
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 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.
1 x £5,000 fee waiver is available for new students enrolled on this programme and starting in September 2018.
The fee waiver is aimed at students who will use the MRes in preparation for an MPhil/PhD in Anthropology. It is available for full or part-time students. If you're a part-time student then the £5,000 fee waiver will be divided equally across the two years of the programme.
International students may not be able to study part time, students can speak to the Immigration Advisory service (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they have questions about part time study.
You will be asked to submit a short 500-word statement indicating your reason for applying to Goldsmiths, what sources of funding you intend to apply for to support your further study as MPhil/PHD students and why you think your proposal might likely appeal to the selected funding bodies.
The 500-word proposals should include student name, the name of your degree and applicant/student number. It must be submitted alongside an academic or professional CV by e-mail to by 12pm, Friday 25 May 2018
Candidates will be assessed and selected on academic merit (judged by their previous academic achievements and academic references), the quality of their research proposal and fit with Goldsmiths anthropology, and the soundness of their plans to secure research funding.
Please note that in order to be considered for the bursary, you will need to have submitted an application for a place of study on the MRes Anthropology programme.
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
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- 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
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.
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 2-5 page 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
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.
Once we receive your application form, it is forwarded to the Postgraduate Convenor, who normally sets up a formal interview with two other members of staff with relevant expertise. You may wish to contact the convenor as well.
At the interview you will be asked about your academic background and to elaborate on your plans for research, and you can also ask questions.
Find out more about applying.
Our MRes programme will enable you to:
- gain a thorough knowledge of the main methods used by anthropologists
- understand the principles of quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences
- gain an understanding of key aspects of current visual theory, and the different strategies of visual communication
- plan, design and present a research project and evaluate the research of others