Art - Pathway 3: Thesis by Written Dissertation at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS

Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

We support innovative art research in Fine Art, Curating, Art Writing and across disciplines. The MPhil/PhD Art is a 3-4 year (full-time) or 6-8 year (part-time) research project, the pursuit of which may involve your already-established practice, or may require the development of new modes of practice specific to the project. Research degrees in this department have two elements:

  • the research work that you carry out individually under supervision
  • a programme of seminars and installations which bring you into dialogue with other research students and a wider community inside and outside Goldsmiths
We welcome proposals for research in any area of fine art, curating and art writing. We give priority to those with proposals for research within the areas of interest of our staff. The Department of Art has nine specialist Art Practice Areas providing support for a wide variety of processes that complement and extend traditional disciplines, such as metalwork, casting, woodwork, ceramics, textiles, print, photography, 3D printing, graphics, video editing, animation and 3D modelling. Full time students currently have access to studio space in either Lewisham Way or Deptford Creek buildings. All MPhil/PhD students may make use of bookable spaces subject to availability, and regularly exhibiting practice-based work is encouraged. A programme of installations functions as a means of public engagement with research projects. Research degrees are supported by further courses and professional development provided by the Graduate School. There are three different pathways:
  • Pathway 1 - Thesis by Practice (accompanied by a critical account)
  • Pathway 2 - Thesis by Practice and Written Dissertation
  • Pathway 3 - Thesis by Written Dissertation


Supervision Every research student has a supervisory team consisting of a Primary Supervisor and a Second Supervisor. As we encourage and support interdisciplinary research, many of our research students have Second Supervisors in another Department. The exact structure of your supervision will be determined by the nature of your project and through discussion with your supervisory team; however, it is expected that you will maintain regular contact with your supervisors throughout the research project. Programme Activities Induction Week A series of events and activities for all incoming MPhil/PhD research students in the College is organised by the Graduate School as part of Induction Week. The Department of Art hosts a specific induction session for all incoming art research students, who are also invited to attend a day of public presentations by current research students. Research Presentation Seminars The intention of the Research Presentation Seminar is to probe and develop your research project as it progresses through various stages. In this respect, the seminars can be formative and generative, open to questions, debates and problems, or they can be presentations of preliminary outputs or findings. Academic Practice Workshops Each of these workshops is dedicated to a key element of research and/or professional practice. Our training is responsive to the current concerns of postgraduate research in Fine Art, Curating and Art Writing. Subjects covered in previous years are indicative of the scope of these workshops: The relationship of a ‘question’ to a research project e.g. can we understand practice as a mode of responding to questions? The role of ethics in research The relevance of interdisciplinary or ‘inventive’ methods for research How to explore validity and sufficiency in practice-based research The communication of research and the Contextual Review as part of doctoral research Heterogeneity in research outputs: e.g. the affordances of the exhibition, the website, the book, etc Documentation and the importance of sequence, narrative, detail, speculation The generation of publics in research dissemination Installations If you are a research student on one of the practice options, you are required to install your practice by means of a public-facing exhibition at least twice during your time on the programme. The installation is an opportunity to make public the practice component of the research in relation to the overarching claims and written components of your thesis, to test their boundaries, or to investigate how to productively disregard such categorisations. Annual Review Panels Scheduled in Term 3, the Annual Review Panels are an opportunity to monitor progress and support research students at formative stages throughout the project. Postgraduate Talks Series The Art Department Postgraduate Talks Series is geared toward the MFA and MPhil/PhD cohorts. The series is informed by and informs ongoing discussions within the PhD research environment. Contemporary Artist Talks The Contemporary Artist Talks series runs throughout the year, showcasing prominent national and international artists.

Assessment method

The thesis comprises a written dissertation of 80,000-100,000 words for PhD (40,000-50,000 words for MPhil), presented as an integrated whole.

Entry requirements

We expect all applicants to have a 2:1 or 1:1 honours degree (or equivalent), usually to have a Masters degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent research experience), and to be suitably proficient in spoken and written English. You might also be considered 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. 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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Art - Pathway 3: Thesis by Written Dissertation at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS