Course information

Department

Anthropology

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

The MRes 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 the Postgraduate Research Admissions tutor..

Structure

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.

Assessment

Dissertation; Reports; Visual Material

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Entry requirements

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.

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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £8040
  • Home/EU - part-time: £4020
  • International - full-time: £17070

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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)
  • 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.

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 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. 

Selection process 

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.

Careers

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

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