• Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
Queen’s University Belfast Featured Masters Courses
University of St Andrews Featured Masters Courses
Cass Business School Featured Masters Courses
University of Northampton Featured Masters Courses
University of Manchester Featured Masters Courses

Visual Anthropology (MRes/MPhil)

Course Description

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 candidates to have an appropriate level of practical visual production skills and to be largely self-sufficient in this area.

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

How to choose between MRes and MPhil

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.

This programme offers the opportunity for you to continue your research to a PhD.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Prof Sophie Day.


First year
In the first year, the emphasis of the visual anthropology training is on key themes and issues within the sub-field, particularly in relation to your own work. You develop your own research project over the year through the production of several small-scale visual projects. Guidance and feedback on visual and academic work will be provided in the weekly visual practice seminars and through supervision meetings.

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.

MPhil students 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. An MPhil thesis 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.


Thesis (including film or photographic portfolio) and viva voce.


Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked 6th in the UK for the quality of our research**

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Skills & Careers

Our 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.

How to apply

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


Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

Visit the Visual Anthropology (MRes/MPhil) page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Banco Santander Scholarships - 7 Awards

In partnership with Banco Santander, Goldsmiths will be awarding seven scholarships to outstanding candidates from within the Santander Universidades network. Each scholarship provides a £5,000 fee waiver and is tenable for one year only.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Scholarships will be open to students applying to study a taught masters degree (excludes MRes and Masters by Research) in any discipline starting in September 2016. The countries targeted (although not exclusively, should exceptional candidates apply from other eligible countries*) will be:Mexico
* The Santander Universidades scheme covers institutions in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Ghana, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, UK, Uruguay and USA.

Application Procedure

Your scholarship application should be completed online through your myGoldsmiths account. This is the online account that you created in order to apply for a course at Goldsmiths.As part of the application, you'll be asked to answer three questions relevant to the award that you are applying for.For more information, please see the Banco Santander Scholarships page.

Further Information



Goldsmiths Masters Scholarships - 20+ Awards

Please note that scholarship schemes and awards are subject to the availability of funds, and the details given here are subject to change at any time. we therefore encourage you to check this information regularly.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Home and EU students (full-time and part-time).

Application Procedure

Applications for 2015 entry are now closed.

Further Information



The Goldsmiths' Company Postgraduate Bursaries - 4 Awards

Please see website for more details

Value of Scholarship(s)



Students on taught postgraduate programmes (not including MA Filmmaking or PGCEs) starting October 2015. You must be: a UK student; new to postgraduate study; experiencing financial difficulties. You should also demonstrate academic potential and you must not be in receipt of any Goldsmiths, AHRC or ESRC funding.

Application Procedure

Applications for 2015 entry are now closed.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Most direct entrants to the 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 MPhil.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Goldsmiths, University of London
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X