PhD Drama / Programme details

Year of entry: 2021

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Programme description

Our PhD Drama programme enables you to carry out an in-depth piece of research before either writing a full 80,000-word thesis or completing a practice-based dissertation.

Drama at Manchester offers three main strands of research: Theatre Studies, Applied Theatre and Screen Studies, including film, television, new media, and aspects of applied film practice.

All staff are research active within our three main research strands. These areas interlink, and both staff and students are keen to cross the boundaries from one area of research to another.

The notion of 'dialogue' - with ideas, practices, communities - is at the heart of all our practical and intellectual explorations.

We regularly initiate research-council-funded projects, present seminar series and host conferences.

You can get a sense of the range of our research activity by looking at our blog and following us on Twitter: @UoMDrama

Special features

Find out more about the Graduate School

Research environment

In the latest (2014) Research Excellence Framework assessments, we retained our ranking as second nationally among UK Drama departments, and fifth among all departments represented in Unit of Assessment 35, which also covers Music and Dance.

  • Over half of our research (55%) was rated at the highest, 4* level (ie. 'world leading' research with 'outstanding' impact).
  • A further 32% was ranked at 3* ('internationally excellent' with 'very considerable' impact).

Find out more about our Drama research .

Graduate School

All of our postgraduate students become members of the Graduate School when you start at Manchester. It has dedicated facilities for students and offers opportunities to collaborate with other postgraduates.

Teaching and learning

You will have a supervisor with a specialism related to your field of research.

Coursework and assessment

You will have the option to write a full 80,000-word thesis or complete a practice-based dissertation.

The practice-based dissertation gives you the opportunity to submit practice as part of your final thesis submission.


Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Fly Through

Postgraduate study is supported in the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama through an exclusive postgraduate computer cluster and postgraduate common room.

Postgraduates are also able to borrow DVDs and videos from the Lenagan Library in the basement of the Martin Harris building.

Postgraduates are encouraged to contribute to the research culture of the department by contributing to and taking part in seminar series and public lectures within Drama as well as the larger School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Postgraduates working on screen practice are able to book professional digital video cameras, equipment for sound recording, an AVID suite for non-linear editing and a digital recording studio available for audio projects.

Manchester is home to one of the UK's five National Research Libraries - one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries.

Find out more about libraries and study spaces for postgraduate research students at Manchester.

We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research. There are extensive computing facilities across campus, with access to standard office software as well as specialist programmes, all 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 can provide high-end and specialist computing services.

The Graduate School offers dedicated state of the art facilities to research students, including common rooms and workstations.

Disability support

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