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English, Comparative Literature or Linguistics (MPhil)

Course Description

We offer MPhil research programmes in English (including American Studies), Comparative Literature or Linguistics for full or part-time study- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-english-comparative-literature/

Find out more about our staff and their specialisms and expertise, and the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

The Department of English and Comparative Literature consists of some 40 scholars and creative writers whose work is acknowledged and cited internationally.

We offer a stimulating environment for undertaking postgraduate research in English Literature (including American Literature and literary theory), World Literature, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, and Creative Writing.

We particularly encourage cross- and interdisciplinary research in emerging fields of study and creative practice.

As well as working with scholars and writers of international standing, you will have the opportunity to play an active role in a vibrant research environment which includes the Richard Hoggart Lectures in Literature and Culture, the annual Goldsmiths Prize for bold and innovative fiction, and specialist seminars and colloqia offered by the Goldsmiths Writers' Centre, the Goldsmiths Literature Seminars (GLITS), the Goldsmiths Linguistics Seminars (GoldLingS), and the e-journal, GLITS-e.

The MPhil programme offers the opportunity for the student to continue their research to a PhD.

Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.

North American applicants especially should note that the British system does not include preparatory taught classes or examinations as part of the MPhil/PhD programme, except for an initial course in research methods.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Maria Macdonald.


English at Goldsmiths is ranked:
18th in the UK for the quality of our research**
In the world’s top 150 universities for English language and literature***

Cervantes. Bukowski. Dostoevsky. Self. From classical literature and linguistics, to creative writing and contemporary fiction, we take a critical and creative approach to the discipline.

As a department we’re interested in a field of enquiry that extends from Old English to 21st-century literatures in English, French, Spanish and Italian. So you can study texts and films across a variety of periods and genres.

We’re engaged

We have a dedicated Writers’ Centre that encourages new writing and stimulates debate about all forms of literature. And we award the annual Goldsmiths Prize (for “fiction at its most novel”), which brings critically acclaimed writers like Ali Smith and Eimear McBride to campus.

We’re nurturing

We may be one of the largest departments at Goldsmiths but that doesn’t mean you won’t get personal support. Learn from our approachable team of academic staff and become part of the student-run English Society.

We’re vibrant

As one of the first departments in the UK to offer creative writing, you’ll be part of a hub of literary excellence – our graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards from the Orange Prize for Fiction to the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

Find out more about the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by subject 2015


Carrying out a research degree will help you develop:

transferable skills, including enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts
the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials
the ability to organise information, and to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments


Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in:

public relations
the civil service
the media

Research training programme

Training in research methods and skills is provided both by the department and Goldsmiths' Graduate School. This begins with an intensive week-long induction in the first week of enrolment and continues later in the first term with a series of seminars focussing on the specific challenges of literary and linguistic research projects. The department will also inform you about any research training seminars or study-days offered elsewhere in the University of London (for example, by the Institute of English Studies or the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study) or beyond, such as at the British Library. The specific training requirements of your project will be assessed, and guidance provided on specialist seminars and conferences to attend, which can be supported where possible by assistance from departmental funds.

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 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 English, Comparative Literature or Linguistics (MPhil) page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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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

You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) a taught Masters in a relevant subject area. 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. IELTS 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test).

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