Within the Visual Cultures Department at Goldsmiths our deadlines for all module essays and our dissertation fall on the same day (April 29th 2019). The lack of staggered deadlines within the department often leaves students with up to 28,000 words to write. We believe that there should be a reconsideration of this deadline.
The final year is for us to create our best work, without a staggered deadline this is not possible as a single due date for all work induces extreme stress and anxiety. The department have not considered our mental or physical health as well as the fact that many of us have to work to financially support ourselves as the cost of living in London rises.
Please sign the petition to help us gain staggered deadlines and produce our best work! For more information please read our letter below.
Visual Cultures Department Representatives (on behalf of visual cultures students)
Official Letter to Goldsmiths Visual Cultures Department
Dear Simon O’Sullivan,
We are writing to you on behalf of all third-year undergraduate students within the Visual Cultures Department. We think there should be a reconsideration of our dissertation deadline. Currently all of our summative deadlines, for all modules, rests on the 29th April 2019. We strongly believe that having all of our module essays and the dissertation on the same date is having serious ramifications for students; for our mental health as well as for the quality of our work. As an Institution which pledges its support for students’ mental health, we believe it’s necessary to support the students departmentally, especially considering the staggeringly poor mental health within our department.
Students who have taken two-part modules throughout the year may have up to 28,000 words to submit on the one day. Not only does this induce severe stress, but it means that we will not be able to isolate and give each module essay the attention that will bring out our best work. Regardless of the modules taken, or the variance of word counts, no student we have spoken to is comfortable with the single due date. The final year should bestow time to develop detailed, in depth research over a range of topics. However, researching and writing our module essays concurrent to our dissertation prohibits an in-depth analysis of each critical theme. Many of us have the financial obligation to work as well, and while this is a factor we have been balancing throughout the completion of our degree, it is not something that many students can afford to break from.
Formative essay feedback and tutorials are expected to be scheduled from next week. From this time, we are only given seven weeks to alter and write our final essays. We do not believe it is realistic to expect a proportion of students to write three six-thousand work essays, along with finalising dissertation drafts, nor is it fair for all students to expect us to balance the module essays with the dissertation deadline when other departments throughout the College have staggered deadlines. We ask that you consider staggering our dissertation due date. Pushing back the dissertation deadline to the 10th May allows us just over a week to finalise its structure and obtain our best results.
Visual Cultures Department Representatives, on behalf of Visual Cultures students