Description of Visual Anthropology

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

The MPhil/PhD 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.

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

What you study

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.

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

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline 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 conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.
Tuition fee
  • GBP 16280 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 4052 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2015
Duration full-time 36 months
Languages
  • English
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Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible

Course Content

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.

Requirements for Visual Anthropology

Most direct entrants to the MRes or 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 MRes or MPhil/PhD.

English language

If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate the required level of English language competence to enrol on our programmes.

Work Experience for Visual Anthropology

No work experience is required.

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Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom

United Kingdom We began life in 1891 with one ideal: to be a dynamic force for change. Today as part of the prestigious University of London, we carry out world-leading research on a regular basis and we continue to build upon that early vision, maintaining a rich academic heritage that combines our status as one of the UK's top creative and political universities (Which? University 2014). And we're in the UK's top 25 universities for the quality of our research, and top 5 in the UK in QS World Rankings by subject area (Research Excellence Framework, THE research intensity ranking, QS world rankings).