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Architecture, Building & P…×

Goldsmiths, University of London, Full Time Masters Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning

We have 7 Goldsmiths, University of London, Full Time Masters Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning

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This programme brings together social analysis, design, activism, and inventive research methods in a critical engagement with various dimensions of urban work – from planning, policy making, research, cultural intervention, to the management of social programmes and institutions. Read more

This programme brings together social analysis, design, activism, and inventive research methods in a critical engagement with various dimensions of urban work – from planning, policy making, research, cultural intervention, to the management of social programmes and institutions.

Increasingly, no matter how we live, we know this 'world' primarily through the experience of living within and between cities. These cities continuously produce new challenges for their inhabitants and administrators. In doing so, they also produce opportunities for understanding the constraints and potentials of both human and non-human life.

The MA Cities and Society is a research and training programme designed to support strategic interventions in urban governance, design, institution-building and change, as well as social-spatial development. Distinguished by it's theoretical rigour, integrity and amenability to experimental empirical research, the programme focuses particularly on:

  • The organisation of contemporary urban economies, including the production of built and virtual environments, physical and social infrastructure
  • The ways in which different forms of economic accumulation and economic practices impact upon cities, and how any city reflects a particular set of constraints and possibilities
  • The proliferation of technical systems, media, and practices of interpretation and organisation that change our notions about the ‘proper’ use of things and bodies
  • The intersections of finance, governance, ecology, and culture in producing multiple forms for assessing urban futures; particularly calculations of risk, sustainability, productivity and creativity

This programme covers the following disciplines: geography, anthropology, architecture, cultural studies, fine arts, media and communications.

Modules & structure

The programme consists of:

Teaching

One hour lectures address the core themes of each module, followed by one hour seminars in small groups (under 20). You'll be encouraged to attend dissertation classes that train you in the basic principles of dissertation preparation, research and writing. You are also assigned a dissertation supervisor who will be available when you are writing the dissertation (approximately one hour contact time per month).

The main aim of the program is thus to explore new approaches to thinking about and researching the city formation and urban life. This can be broken down into three inter-related aims:

  • To promote an appreciation of the relevance of the social, sociological knowledge and ways of knowing in the understanding of cities, urban economy, culture and politics, and the management of social change, and to encourage critical understanding of interrelated concepts, debates and themes.
  • To enable students critically to engage sociological and geographical theories and methodologies relevant to the studies of cities and urbanities, controversies and social change, and conduct an intellectually informed sustained investigation.
  • To expose students to a lively research environment and the relevant expertise of the Sociology and related departments and centres to provide a catalyst for independent thought and study. 

Expert walks and seminars

The course is also accompanied by a series of expert 'London walks' spread across the year. These are led by a range of researchers from within the Centre for Urban and Community Research, as well as project managers and planners from organisations such as the Greater London Authority, and take students through the sites of that their work focuses on. The Centre for Urban Community research also holds regular seminars with a range of urban professionals, architects and academics from outside the university, giving the MA Cities and Society a spaces to join in with the Centre’s intellectual community.  

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

MA granted on the completion of 180 CATS (all coursework and dissertation); Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education granted on the completion of 120 CATS (all coursework without dissertation); Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education granted on the completion of 60 CATS (the completion of two core modules).

Skills

Analytical and research skills that intersect basic sociological knowledge with that of architecture, the built environment, cultural and postcolonial theory, geography, planning, digital communications, and ethnography as they apply to the study of cities across the world.

Careers

The training in this programme is applicable to work in multilateral institutions, NGOs, urban research institutes, municipal government, cultural and policy institutions, urban design firms, and universities.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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Explore the creative interplay between urban theory and the visual representation of urban cultures and places. . This programme has been developed by the . Read more

Explore the creative interplay between urban theory and the visual representation of urban cultures and places. 

This programme has been developed by the Centre for Urban and Community Research to encourage creative interplay between practice and theory. You'll have the chance to consider cutting-edge debates in cultural and social theory in a research setting that actively encourages the development of photographic practice.

The programme offers working photographers, visual artists and media practitioners space to reflect critically on their practice.

It also offers those with a background in sociology, urban and cultural geography, cultural studies or anthropology the opportunity to combine visual forms of representation with standard forms of research techniques in investigating urban life and the physical environments of the city.

Modules & structure

Core modules

As well as these modules, you will complete a Dissertation and Major Visual Project (60 credits).

The Dissertation can comprise two parts: a portfolio and a 5-6,000-word Dissertation, or you may submit a 10-12,000-word written Dissertation. The Dissertation will consist of: an account of the rationale of the photographic project; a critical evaluation of photographic practice and issues of reflectivity and knowledge production. In combination with the written part you will be expected to provide evidence of a sustained and coherent body of photographic work focusing on an aspect of urban culture for assessment. Previously, work from Final Visual Projects has been shown on a virtual gallery space linked to the CUCR website.

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Skills

This MA develops skills in urban photography, visual ethnography and urban research, communications for urban planning, community arts and visual arts practice.

Careers

Graduates of the programme have progressed to the following areas and careers:

  • Doctoral studies
  • curating
  • public relations
  • urban planning
  • advertising
  • community artseducation
  • social research
  • journalism

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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The MA programme is for suitably qualified graduates from a range of disciplines wishing to pursue work within the context of politically engaged thinking. Read more

The MA programme is for suitably qualified graduates from a range of disciplines wishing to pursue work within the context of politically engaged thinking.

The MA programme has been developed to allow you to combine studio work with theoretical research. Lectures, seminars and workshops will equip you with a grounding in critical spatial practices and related areas of inquiry.

The theoretical module provides a thorough coverage of the historical, philosophical and technological aspects of the intersection of space, power and conflict in light of changing geo-political conditions.

This programme is orientated towards graduates looking to undertake training in research architecture before proceeding onto doctoral studies, or who wish to pursue or enhance their career in the areas of architecture, design, law, journalism, filmmaking, art and curating.

As with our MPhil/PhD track, our MA programme draws practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and disciplines. The MA also enables international exposure of student research through participation in exhibitions, symposia and workshops.

A recent external examination report concluded: “This is an excellent course and possibly the most innovative one in the country".

Modules & structure

MA Research Architecture begins with a specific core module called ‘Introduction to Research Architecture’ as well as the MA Core Module B, which is shared by students from the whole Visual Cultures MA cohort.

The four assessed components of the MA comprise:

  • the Special Subject ‘Conflict and Negotiations'
  • a single major spatial research project (Studio)
  • the Symposium
  • a Dissertation

The research project (Studio), actively engages with spatial practice and theory, and concentrates on in-depth analysis of a distinct issue, process or site. This project forms the core of the MA Dissertation, which you submit at the end of the programme.

A series of seminars, workshops and lectures will provide you with the necessary and stimulating information and create a forum for discussion on contemporary approaches and theories in architectural and spatial research.

Find out more about the Centre for Research Architecture.

Core modules

Optional modules

You will then choose one of the following optional modules:

Site visit

Every year the MA classes will travel to a place of contemporary interest, generally environments undergoing rapid, intense change where political transformation can be viewed in the development of the built environment.

Assessment

Visual Cultures assessment are 100% coursework. Normally this consists of essays, sometimes accompanied by creative projects, group projects, multi-media projects, presentations, symposia, reviews, and studio work



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The Department of Anthropology offers supervision in a wide range of areas for research degrees. In addition to the particular research interests of each member of staff, we have a number of postgraduate students undertaking research of contemporary social and political relevance in Britain and Europe. Read more

The Department of Anthropology offers supervision in a wide range of areas for research degrees.

In addition to the particular research interests of each member of staff, we have a number of postgraduate students undertaking research of contemporary social and political relevance in Britain and Europe.

Current students are engaged in research projects covering a broad range of subjects, located in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

How do I 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.

First year

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.

For the first year you are normally registered for the MRes. It 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 College Research Office - as follows:

  • Methods in Anthropological Research (20 weeks x 2 hrs)
  • Research Design (20 weeks x 2.5 hrs)
  • Quantitative Methods in Social Science
  • 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 first year, MRes students present a 15,000-word dissertation in September, which discusses in depth their proposed research topic and the relevant literature. Students registered for the MPhil present a 10,000-word dissertation in May. You need formal approval from the Department before you can start your fieldwork or other forms of data-collection.

Fieldwork and writing up your thesis

Whether you are doing fieldwork down the road or data collection on the other side of the world, it is important that you submit regular reports to your supervisor/s. At the end of the data-collection period when you return to the Department, you join the Writing-Up seminar, which meets weekly to discuss students' draft chapters.

Some time after you return from data-collection (after about 8 months for full-time students, and 16 months for part-time students) you are required to present a detailed thesis outline and 2 draft chapters for consideration by your Advisory Committee. Students normally upgrade to PhD status at this point. You are expected to complete a PhD in 3-4 years (full-time registration) or 4-6 years (part-time registration). An MPhil thesis is shorter and should be completed within 3 years (full-time) or 4 years (part-time). Some students move between full-time and part-time modes. For example, they may do their training on a part-time basis and then seek funding for a year's full-time fieldwork, reverting once more to part-time mode for the writing-up period. We are happy to encourage such flexibility.

Assessment

Written thesis (100,000 words) and viva voce.



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This MPhil programme is aimed at practitioners of architecture and other related spatial practices who would like to develop a sustained multi-year practice-led research project. Read more

This MPhil programme is aimed at practitioners of architecture and other related spatial practices who would like to develop a sustained multi-year practice-led research project.

It allows you to produce intensive, rigorous, and scholarly research as well as further elaborate your own practice.

The programme is structured around an annual series of two-day long seminars, which take place each month during the Autumn, Winter, and Spring terms. In addition the programme also includes a series of longer meetings and trips abroad.

The seminars are organised as a Roundtable discussion of student research projects as they progress each year. Each of the Roundtable seminars is supplemented by invited guests who bring relevant scholarly knowledge or practices into the Centre. Student and guest presentations, along with assigned readings, provide the common conceptual ground for discussion of work and ideas.

Assessment

Visual Cultures assessment are 100% coursework. Normally this consists of essays, sometimes accompanied by creative projects, group projects, multi-media projects, presentations, symposia, reviews, and studio work.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

Find out more about the Centre for Research Architecture.



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The Department of Anthropology offers supervision in a wide range of areas at MPhil level. The MPhil in Visual Anthropology can be achieved through two main strands. Read more

The Department of Anthropology offers supervision in a wide range of areas at MPhil level.

The MPhil in Visual Anthropology can be achieved through two main strands:

  • research projects that centre on the study of visual cultures, such as various forms of media representation or art
  • the use of specific visual methodologies as a central feature of the research project itself

The programme focuses on the visual as a vital and defining factor in the research project as a whole.

Additional practical training can be provided, alongside some access to department audio-visual equipment and facilities, but we generally expect MPhil/PhD candidates to have an appropriate level of practical visual production skills and to be largely self-sufficient in this area.

MPhil/PhD students are currently carrying out visual projects in Mexico, India, Argentina, Lebanon, Israel, and the UK.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

Skills & careers

Our PhD students have taken up academic posts in anthropology as well as related fields all over the world; some have joined NGOs or GOs and taken employment as researchers, teachers and in broadcasting.



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We welcome applicants wishing to explore visual culture understood as a meeting ground between creative practices, the philosophical and the political. Read more

We welcome applicants wishing to explore visual culture understood as a meeting ground between creative practices, the philosophical and the political.

We usually accept research students into the Department of Visual Cultures on the basis of a match between your proposed research and the current research interests of the department as well as an assessment of your qualifications and suitability to undertake a research degree.

In order to ascertain whether your project matches our research interests and meets the criteria for MPhil and PhD level study, please consult our application pack which also contains a proposal form.

Research in the department is organised around the following thematic clusters:

  • Culture, Memory, Futurity
  • Environmental Humanities and Ecologies
  • Globalisation and Transcultural practices
  • Performance and Live Art
  • Philosophy, Critical and Visual Theory
  • Political Aesthetics
  • Sexes, Genders, Genres
  • Spatial Practice and Architecture
  • Technologies of Image and Sound
  • The Curatorial

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.



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