Course information


1 year full-time

Course overview

Please note that this programme has been suspended for 2023-24 entry. You can explore other programmes by visiting our Course Finder.

This Pre-Masters programme is aimed at postgraduate students who need a year to develop or consolidate their language skills in academic English and to undertake preliminary study in the area of design they would like to study at MA level.

You'll also have the opportunity to familiarise yourself both with ways of working in British academic culture and in the standards required at Masters degree level.

You can take it as a self-standing Diploma or as an ideal preparation for further postgraduate study. The Graduate Diploma in Design develops critical thinking, technical, practical, theoretical and creative skills relating to the study of Design.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Edd Bagenal.

What you'll study


Part of the programme is made up of English for Academic Purposes modules, concentrating on different areas of language development: academic writing and grammar development and The Enlightenment, its legacy and its discontents.

The other part of the programme is taught in the Department of Design.

You will take two core language-focussed modules:

  • Academic Writing and Langauge Development (15 credits)
  • Academic Listening and Speaking (15 credits)

You will also take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Contemporary Theories 30 credits
Introduction to Design Studio Practice 15 credits
Studio Project: Application of Methods and Processes 15 credits
Pathway Design Project 30 credits


Continuous assessment includes regular seminar presentations and researched essays. There will also be written, listening and oral examinations. The Design modules will be assessed by portfolio, essays, and an oral presentation.

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information page.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

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.

For this programme we require: UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) IELTS 5.5 overall with no component lower than 5.5. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

Fees & funding

Find out about our postgraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

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.

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
  • 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 portfolio of design related work or a written visual presentation including images showing at least three previous projects in a related field, uploaded as a PDF or a link to a similar portfolio online

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.

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 that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

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.


Joan Turner
Director of Centre for English and Academic Writing, Senior Lecturer.
Research: language in higher education; English for Academic Purposes; academic writing research;  academic literacies; intercultural communication; cross-cultural pragmatics; conceptual metaphor; English as an international/transnational language. Find out more about her book, 'Language in the Academy'. 

Timothy Chapman, BA, MA, DELTA
Academic writing; discourse communities; learner identities; intercultural communication; Computer Assisted Language Learning.

Dr Stella Harvey, BA, RSA Dip TEFLA, MA PhD
Discourse analysis; intercultural communication; home students' academic writing; EAP for PhD students; EAP for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship; content-based EAP for Arts and Humanities; translation; Guillevic.

Julia Lockheart BA MA MA 
Design and language; metadesigning, languaging, collaborative writing, co-authorship, cross-disciplinarity, writing purposefully in art and design (Writing PAD)

Paul Stocks BA, MA
English for academic purposes; academic writing; the East Asian learner; English for media studies; English for theatre and drama; English for computing.

Gary Riley-Jones MPhil (Cantab) MA PGCE BSc RSA Dip TEFLA 
Language and linguistics; English for Academic Purposes; Content-Based Language Teaching in the Arts; Critical thinking; Rancière; Teacher training; Academic writing. 

Marl’ene Edwin, MA
Caribbean oral literature; creolistics; orality.


This programme will develop your skills in:

  • Critical reasoning
  • Textual interpretation
  • Oral and written communication

Successful completion at the required level will guarantee you a place on a relevant Goldsmiths degree programme.

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