Faculties and departments
The Department of Art at Goldsmiths is one of the leading fine art teaching and practice-based research centres in the world. The Head of Department is Dr Richard Noble. Notable alumni include Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Steve McQueen, Gillian Wearing, Sabina Goldsmith and Graham Coxon.
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, 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 some 70 institutions across the art and design sector with 6 national and 2 International Writing PAD Centres.
The Sociology Department include Vikki Bell.
The Media and Communications Department, as well as the Centre for Cultural Studies, include Scott Lash, Angela McRobbie and (formerly) Sara Ahmed.
The Department of Anthropology teaching staff include Keith Hart and 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, Alberto Toscano and Jean Paul Martinon 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. Saul Newman - notable for developing the concept of post-anarchism - is currently leading the department of politics.
English and comparative literature
The English & Comparative Literature Department is one of the university's largest and it covers English, comparative literature, American literature, creative writing and linguistics. Current academics include Blake Morrison, Chris Baldick, Uttara Natarajan and Peter Dunwoodie. Its work in comparative literature developed after a merger with the Department of European Languages, later joined by its Creative Writing section.
The Department of Music has a number of notable alumni, including Malcolm McLaren, Katy B, James Blake, Tunday Akintan, Rosie Lowe, and John Cale. 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 Russian Piano Music first editions. Brian Molko lead singer of Placebo studied Drama at Goldsmiths and graduated in 1993, whilst not a music alumni Placebo were one of the most successful British bands of the mid to late 90's.
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
Goldsmith University 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.
League tables based on the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise all place Goldsmiths within the top 35 research-intensive universities in the UK: 33rd in the Times Higher Education, 34th in The Guardian and 24th in The Independent.
In 2017, Goldsmiths' Media and Communications department was named the second best in the UK and 8th worldwide.