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Goldsmiths, University of London

Coordinates: 51°28′26″N 0°02′07″W / 51.4739°N 0.0354°W / 51.4739; -0.0354
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Goldsmiths' College
Latin: Collegium Aurifabri
Former names
The Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute
TypePublic constituent college
Established1891 – Tertiary college
1904 – Constituent college
Parent institution
University of London
Endowment£15.0 million (2023)[1]
Budget£141.5 million (2022/23)[1]
ChancellorThe Princess Royal
(as Chancellor of the University of London)
WardenFrances Corner
Students10,090 (2019/20)[2]
Undergraduates6,500 (2019/20)[2]
Postgraduates3,590 (2019/20)[2]
8 Lewisham Way

51°28′26″N 0°02′07″W / 51.4739°N 0.0354°W / 51.4739; -0.0354
Colours  Purple
AffiliationsUniversity of London
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Universities UK

Goldsmiths, University of London, legally the Goldsmiths' College, is a constituent research university of the University of London.[3] It was originally founded in 1891 as The Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in New Cross, London.[4] It was renamed Goldsmiths' College after being acquired by the University of London in 1904, and specialises in the arts, design, computing, humanities and social sciences.[5] The main building on campus, known as the Richard Hoggart Building, was originally opened in 1844 and is the site of the former Royal Naval School.[6][7]

According to Quacquarelli Symonds (2021), Goldsmiths ranks 12th in Communication and Media Studies, 15th in Art & Design and is ranked in the top 50 in the areas of Anthropology, Sociology and the Performing Arts.[8] In 2020, the university enrolled over 10,000 students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.[2] 37% of students come from outside the United Kingdom and 52% of all undergraduates are mature students (aged 21 or over at the start of their studies).[9] Additionally, around a third of students at Goldsmiths are postgraduate students.[2]



The Richard Hoggart Building

In 1891, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, founded The Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute (more commonly referred to simply as the "Goldsmiths' Institute"[10]). The Goldsmiths' Company was established in the 12th century as a medieval guild for goldsmiths, silversmiths, and jewellers. The Livery Company dedicated the foundation of its new Institute to "the promotion of technical skill, knowledge, health and general well-being among men and women of the industrial, working and artisan classes". The original Institute was based in New Cross at the site of the former Royal Naval School; the building, now known as the Richard Hoggart Building, remains the main building of the campus today.

20th century[edit]

Goldsmiths College students at the University of Nottingham in 1944

In 1904, the institute was merged with the University of London and was re-established as Goldsmiths' College (the apostrophe was removed in 1993, and the word 'College' dropped in a rebranding in 2006). At this point Goldsmiths was the largest teacher training institution in the country. Training functions were later expanded to include refresher courses for teachers, the University Postgraduate Certificate in Education and an Art teacher's Certificate course. The college also ran its own Nursery School.

Shortly after the merger, in 1907, Goldsmiths added a new Arts building, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, at the back of the main building. During the Second World War it was decided to evacuate the faculty and students of the college to University College, Nottingham, a decision which proved wise both at the time and in hindsight, since the main building was struck by an incendiary bomb and gutted in 1940 (and not finally repaired until 1947).

During the 1960s, Goldsmiths experienced a rapid expansion in student numbers. It is during this period that Goldsmiths began to establish its reputation in the arts and social science fields, as well as offering a number of new teacher training qualifications. The original main building was expanded, and the Lockwood Building, Whitehead Building, Education Building, Warmington Tower and St James's Hall were all built to accommodate the influx of new students. The university also acquired a number of historic buildings in the surrounding area, including the splendid former Deptford Town Hall and Laurie Grove Baths buildings. The Richard Hoggart Building, Deptford Town Hall and the Laurie Grove Baths all retain Grade II listed building status.

In 1988, Goldsmiths became a full College of the University of London and in 1990 received its Royal Charter.

21st century[edit]

In 2018, the former boiler house and public laundry of Laurie Grove Baths was refurbished and opened as Goldsmiths CCA.

In August 2019, Goldsmiths announced that it would be removing all beef products from sale and would be charging a 10p levy on bottled water and single-use plastic cups. The changes were introduced as part of the university's efforts to become carbon neutral by 2025.[11]

Financial difficulties and restructuring[edit]

In 2019, Goldsmiths ran a deficit and Frances Corner became Warden;[12] Corner's administration was regularly opposed by faculty and students over governance and financial strategy.

In January 2020, Goldsmiths proposed to cut costs by 15% over two years in the "Evolving Goldsmiths" plan by reducing faculty and centralizing administration.[13] According to the Goldsmiths University and College Union (UCU), the plan did not address the causes of the deficit, which it attributed in part to overoptimistic enrolment forecasts and excessive capital expenditures. Furthermore, UCU warned that cuts to faculty would increase the deficit by reducing the income stream of tuition fees,[14] which accounted for 77% of the College's revenue in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.[15] "Evolving Goldsmiths" was "closed" in April 2022.[16] In summer 2020, the UCU proposed selling "underused" property to build cash reserves; this was not done. Goldsmiths consolidated and refinanced its loans through NatWest and Lloyds Bank; the banks required the College to consult KPMG to discover cost saving opportunities.[12]

The 2021 "recovery plan" included elimination of 52 faculty and staff positions. Goldsmiths identified additional costs from COVID-19 and over-staffing caused increased competition for student applications following the removal of limits on student numbers by the government.[17] According to the UCU in March 2022, the Collage refused to stop layoffs although savings from voluntary resignations and maintaining vacancies exceeded the requirements of the banks.[18] Administrative was concentrated into a central hub in 2021-2022; the resulting "chaos" reduced the number of enrolments by international students; international students are a critical revenue steam.[19] Through 2021, Corner also charged the College nearly £20,000 for taxi fares, with £9,000 being for personal use.[20]

The "Transformation Programme", announced in early 2024, included the elimination of 132 full-time, or equivalent, positions, or 17% of all staff, with some departments being reduced by 50%. The plan was expected to be completed by September. According to The Guardian, the extent of the cuts would radically change the College's culture.[19]

Campus and location[edit]

Deptford Town Hall building

Goldsmiths is situated in New Cross, a highly populated area of south-east London.

The main building, the Richard Hoggart Building, was originally designed as a school (opened in 1844) by the architect John Shaw, Jr (1803–1870). The former Deptford Town Hall building, designed by Henry Vaughan Lanchester and Edwin Alfred Rickards, acquired in 1998, is used for academic seminars and conferences. In addition to this Goldsmiths has built several more modern buildings to develop the campus, including the RIBA award-winning Rutherford Building completed in 1997, the Ben Pimlott Building designed by Will Alsop and completed in 2005, and the Professor Stuart Hall Building (formerly the New Academic Building), which was completed in 2010.

The library, or the Rutherford Building', has three floors and gives students access to an extensive range of printed and electronic resources. Goldsmiths' students, like all other students in the University of London, have full access to the collections at Senate House Library at Bloomsbury in central London.

The Ben Pimlott Building

The seven-storey Ben Pimlott Building on New Cross Road, complete with its distinctive "scribble in the sky" (made from 229 separate pieces of metal) has become a signature of modern Goldsmiths. It contains studio and teaching space for the Department of Art, as well as housing the Goldsmiths Digital Studios[21] and the Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture.[22]

The Professor Stuart Hall Building, situated next to the green, is home to the Media and Communications Department and the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE).[23] Formerly the New Academic Building), in 2014 it was re-named after cultural theorist Stuart Hall.[24][25] Facilities include a 250-seat lecture theatre, seminar and teaching rooms, as well as a cafe with outdoor seating.

Academic profile[edit]

The Library

Faculties and departments[edit]



The Department of Design's approach to design practice grew from a concern for ethical and environmentalist design. This developed alongside research by John Wood, Julia Lockheart, and others, which informs their research into metadesign. TERU, the Technology Education Research Unit, has been instrumental in understanding how design and technology work in schools, how to encourage learners towards creative interventions that improve the made world, and how to help teachers to support that process. The Writing Purposefully in Art and Design Network (Writing-PAD) has its main Centre at Goldsmiths. The Network now spans about 70 institutions across the art and design sector with 6 national and 2 International Writing PAD Centres.


The Department of Computing lets students develop their creative potential while learning solid computing skills with programs focused on Computer Science, Computer Games Art & Design, Computational Technology, Computational Cognitive Neuroscience, Computer Games Programming, Computational Linguistics, Data Science, User Experience Engineering, and Virtual & Augmented Reality.


The Sociology Department include Nirmal Puwar, and Les Back.

Cultural studies[edit]

The Media and Communications Department, as well as the Centre for Cultural Studies, include Matthew Fuller, Scott Lash, Angela McRobbie, Nirmal Puwar and (formerly) Sara Ahmed.

Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship[edit]

The Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship delivers entrepreneurship, cultural management and policy education to the creative and cultural sectors.


The Department of Anthropology teaching staff include Keith Hart and (formerly) David Graeber. The department is known for its focus on visual anthropology. The realm of continental philosophy is represented with academics such as Saul Newman, as well as Visiting Professors Andrew Benjamin and Bernard Stiegler. In the area of Psychology there is Chris French who specialises in the psychology of paranormal beliefs and experiences, cognition and emotion.[26] Saul Newman – notable for developing the concept of post-anarchism – is currently leading the department of politics.

English and comparative literature[edit]

The English & Comparative Literature Department covers English, comparative literature, American literature, creative writing and linguistics. Current academics include Blake Morrison and Chris Baldick.


The Research Centre for Russian Music, convened by Alexander Ivashkin until his death in 2014, is internationally renowned for its archives devoted to Prokofiev and Schnittke, and unique collections including of music by Stravinsky, and first editions of Russian Piano Music.[27]

Other research centres at the department include the Unit for Sound Practice Research, Contemporary Music Research Group, Asian Music Unit, Afghanistan Music Unit, Fringe and Underground Music Group, and the Centre for Music and Ethnographic Film. [28] The Sonic Scope Journal of Audiovisual Studies is based in the department.[29]

The department curates the annual PureGold festival, which takes place during May and June in venues across South-East London including the Albany Theatre, Deptford. It continues with PureGold [REDUX], which showcases postgraduate students in September, with a final MMus show in November, with work from Creative Practice, Composition, Sonic Arts, Performance & Related Studies and Popular Music students. [30] The department houses two recording studios: Goldsmiths Music Studios,[31] and the Stanley Glasser Electronic Music Studios, established in 1968 by the composer, instrument maker, and musicologist Hugh Davies.[32]

NX Records, an independent record label, is a collaboration between Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records and the Department of Music.[33]

Educational studies[edit]

The Department of Educational Studies teaches undergraduate, masters and doctoral courses, and is home to a large programme of initial teacher education (primary and secondary), based on partnership arrangements with over 1500 schools and colleges.

Additional academic programs[edit]

Goldsmiths paired with Tungsten Network in 2015 to develop a research program that explores advanced artificial intelligence techniques for Big Data and business practices. Known as Tungsten Centre for Intelligent Data Analytics, the program is based in the company's London office.[34]


National rankings
Complete (2025)[35]52=
Guardian (2024)[36]111
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[37]96
Global rankings
QS (2025)[38]681–690
THE (2024)[39]401–500

QS World University Rankings ranked Goldsmiths' media and communications offerings as second in the UK and eighth worldwide in 2017,[40] and second and eleventh respectively in 2023.[41]

Open access to research by Goldsmiths academics[edit]

Goldsmiths Research Online (GRO) is a repository of research publications and other research outputs conducted by academics at Goldsmiths. The repository also holds Goldsmiths' collection of doctoral theses. GRO is part of Goldsmiths Online Research Collections (ORC) which also includes Goldsmiths Journals Online (GOJO), a hosting platform for open access journals and conference proceedings.[42]

Student life[edit]

Sports, clubs and traditions[edit]

Sports teams and societies are organised by the Goldsmiths Students' Union. The Union runs 18 sports clubs, 11 of which compete in either University of London Union or BUCS leagues.

The Students' Union runs 35 societies, ranging from political societies and identity-based societies (for example the Jewish society and the LGBT society) to interest-based societies (the Drama Society and the on-campus radio station Wired) and more.

Student media[edit]

Goldsmiths has a long history of student-led media platforms, including Smiths Magazine,[43] The Leopard newspaper,[44] and Wired radio.[45] The student media is run independently by students at the college.

Student housing[edit]

Accommodation Services offers accommodation within seven halls:

Electricity, internet and gas bills are included in the rent.[53] Further information may be found on the Accommodation Services website.

Students' Union[edit]

The union provides, among other things, catering facilities, a chaplaincy, a medical clinic, an advice service on academic and welfare issues and a state of the art gym for students' use.[54]

In October 2014, the union faced critical coverage, from student newspaper The Tab after voting down a proposal to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, with Education Officer Sarah El-alfy describing it as "Eurocentric" and "colonialist".[55][56] El-alfy offered to help put forward a redrafted version of the motion for the following Student Assembly meeting. The Union issued a statement claiming "Redrafting motions and re-entering them at a later date isn't unusual in Students' Unions and shouldn't be misinterpreted as opposition."[57][58]

In 2015 the student union Welfare and Diversity Officer, Bahar Mustafa, caused a public controversy by banning white people and men from a student union event.[59][60] Bahar Mustafa caused more public controversy through her justification of the ban,[61][62] and through her use of the hash tag #KillAllWhiteMen. A group of students petitioned for a vote of no confidence in her, but the petition was signed by less than 3% of the student body and therefore failed to trigger a referendum.[63][64]

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of the Department of Art include:

Alumni of the Department of Music include:

Other alumni include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Annual Report and Financial Statements Year Ended 31 July 2023" (PDF). Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 19 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "University of London members | HESA". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  4. ^ "AIM25 collection description". AIM25. 29 June 2017. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Rebranding FAQs". Goldsmiths, University of London. Archived from the original on 25 February 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2007. it is now known as Goldsmiths, University of London.
  6. ^ ROYAL NAVAL SCHOOL AND SCHOLARSHIP FUND. Royal Naval College, Greenwich. 1831–1967.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ Firth, Anthony E. (1991). Goldsmiths' College: A Centenary Account. Athlone Press. ISBN 978-0-485-11384-6.
  8. ^ "Goldsmiths, University of London". Top Universities. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Goldsmiths, University of London". Times Higher Education (THE). 19 October 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Goldsmiths' College archives". Aim25.ac.uk. 29 September 1905. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  11. ^ Sellgren, Katherine (12 August 2019). "University bans hamburgers 'to help environment'". Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  12. ^ a b Goldsmiths UCU Finance Working Group (26 November 2021). "We, Goldsmiths Staff, Are Striking for the Future of Our Universities". Novara Media. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  13. ^ ""Evolving Goldsmiths" initial Goldsmiths UCU response". Goldsmiths University and College Union. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  14. ^ "FINAL NOTE ON FINANCES 8 March 2020-2" (PDF). Goldsmiths University and College Union. March 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  15. ^ "Goldsmiths, University of London has today published its annual reports and financial statements for the year ended 31 July 2020". Goldsmiths, University of London. 14 May 2021. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  16. ^ "Full statement by Goldsmiths UCU on the "closure" of Evolving Goldsmiths". Goldsmiths University and College Union. 23 April 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  17. ^ Fazackerley, Anna (24 October 2021). "New university job cuts fuel rising outrage on campuses". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  18. ^ "GUCU Response to the Warden's Recent Communications". Goldsmiths University and College Union. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  19. ^ a b Williams, Zoe (11 April 2024). "The Goldsmiths crisis: how cuts and culture wars sent universities into a death spiral". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 April 2024. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  20. ^ Chen, Suzanna (15 June 2022). "Goldsmiths warden claimed nearly £20k from the uni for taxi money over a two year period". The Tab. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  21. ^ "Goldsmiths Digital Studios, Goldsmiths, University of London". Archived from the original on 18 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  22. ^ "Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture". Archived from the original on 16 May 2011.
  23. ^ "Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship". Gold.ac.uk.
  24. ^ "Goldsmiths Renames Academic Building After Professor Stuart Hall". London: Goldsmiths, University of London. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2024.
  25. ^ "Goldsmiths Honour Stuart Hall by Naming Building After Him". The Voice. London. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 8 November 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2024.
  26. ^ Wignall, Alice (18 January 2005). "What it's like to work at... ...Goldsmiths College, University of London". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  27. ^ "The Centre for Russian Music: Inside the Collections | Barbican". Barbican. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  28. ^ "Research Units and Centres in the Music Department". Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  29. ^ "Homepage". Retrieved 1 June 2023.[not specific enough to verify]
  30. ^ "Homepage". Retrieved 1 June 2023.[not specific enough to verify]
  31. ^ "Goldsmiths Music Studios". Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  32. ^ "Electronic Music Studios". Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  33. ^ "About". Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  34. ^ "Goldsmiths University of London. Tungsten Corporation and Goldsmiths announce artificial intelligence venture". Goldsmiths University of London. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  35. ^ "Complete University Guide 2025". The Complete University Guide. 14 May 2024.
  36. ^ "Guardian University Guide 2024". The Guardian. 9 September 2023.
  37. ^ "Good University Guide 2024". The Times. 15 September 2023.
  38. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2025". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. 4 June 2024.
  39. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2024". Times Higher Education. 28 September 2023.
  40. ^ "Discover where to study with the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017: Communication & Media Studies". QS Top Universities. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  41. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023: Communication & Media Studies". QS Top Universities. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  42. ^ "About – Goldsmiths Research Online". research.gold.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Smiths Magazine". Archived from the original on 21 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  44. ^ "Login". Goldsmithssu.org.
  45. ^ "Wired: Student radio for Goldsmiths College". Wired.gold.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  46. ^ "Loring Hall". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  47. ^ "Ewen Henderson Court". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  48. ^ "Quantum Court". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  49. ^ "Town Hall Camberwell". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  50. ^ "Surrey House". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  51. ^ "Chesterman House - Student Accommodation". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  52. ^ "Raymont Hall - Student Accommodation". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  53. ^ "Paying for accommodation and insurance". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  54. ^ "Save Goldsmiths Nursery campaign".
  55. ^ "London University Row Over 'Eurocentric and Colonialist' Holocaust Remembrance Rejection". 16 October 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  56. ^ Aderet, Ofer (19 October 2014). "London students refuse to mark Holocaust Day – Jewish World". Haaretz. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  57. ^ Mendel, Jack (17 October 2015). "University union rejects 'eurocentric' Holocaust Memorial Day". Jewish News. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  58. ^ Sherriff, Lucy (16 October 2015). "Goldsmiths University Row As Holocaust Motion Voted Down Over 'Colonial' Fears". HuffPost. UK. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  59. ^ Agency (23 April 2015). "White people and men told 'please don't come' to student protest against inequality". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  60. ^ Moyer, Justin Wm. (24 April 2015). "Excluding whites and men from diversity event at British university elicits anger". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  61. ^ Rush, James (12 May 2015). "Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer explains she cannot be racist or sexist because she is an ethnic minority woman". The Independent. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  62. ^ "'I can't be racist if I'm from an ethnic minority'. Discuss". BBC. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  63. ^ "We call for a vote of no confidence on the current Welfare and Diversity Officer" (PDF). Goldsmiths Student Union. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  64. ^ Rush, James (27 May 2015). "Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails". The Independent. Retrieved 12 July 2015.

External links[edit]