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Italian Studies PhD

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Programme description

Italian Studies at Manchester undertakes internationally recognized research which is both wide-ranging and markedly interdisciplinary, with a particular focus on linguistics, translation studies, and cultural politics from the Medieval to the modern period. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise over half of its research activity was deemed to be in the top two categories of 'world-leading' and 'internationally excellent', placing it in the upper tier of a small group of elite institutions.

A considerable number of candidates have pursued PhD research in the fields of Italian linguistics and cultural history, in part supported by funding secured from major AHRC research project awards (£350,000 and £280,000). Resources for the study of Italian at Manchester are outstanding and underpinned by the holdings of The University of Manchester Library, the third largest academic library in the UK. The Deansgate branch of the Library, which has recently undergone a £16m refurbishment, houses the library's special collections which include a world class holding of early Italian printed books from the Spencer, Christie, and Bullock collections. The research culture is further enhanced by the presence of Visiting Professors and Lecturers from Italy, participation in the interdisciplinary seminars held by the Italian Forum, and regular research seminars.

Teaching and learning

The PhD is the major postgraduate research degree. It involves three years of full-time study or six years of part-time study and the preparation of a thesis of not more than 80,000 words that makes a significant contribution to knowledge. A satisfactory PhD topic is one that a suitably qualified and properly supervised student can bring to completion within the permitted timeframe. Please note, all PhD students are required to undertake Research Training as part of their PhD programme.

Coursework and assessment

Your research will normally be supervised by two members of staff at the University. Your supervisors will most likely be members of the School, but if your research requires it, the School or Subject area may arrange for supervision by someone outside the School. Supervisory arrangements at Manchester are governed by a Code of Practice which is available on the University's website. Regular meetings will be held with the supervisors, and details of each of the meetings will be recorded. Research Panels (consisting of at least three academic staff, including the supervisors) are held once per semester to monitor progress.

Please note, the first year of the full-time programme and the first two years of the part-time programme are probationary; this means you will be required to show evidence of satisfactory progress in order to proceed with the programme.


For more information on the facilities available within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, please visit

In addition, the University has five major computer clusters, together with many smaller clusters. In total there are more than 10,000 PCs and workstations across the campus. All provide access to standard office software as well as specialist programs, and all are connected to the campus network and internet. Every student is registered for email, file storage and internet access. If more demanding computer access is required, our specialist computing division Manchester Computing can provide high-end and specialist computing services.

The  University of Manchester Library is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and is widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries. We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office. Email: