PhD History

Year of entry: 2022

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Overview

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
Duration
3 years [full-time], 6 years [part-time]
Entry requirements
  • A Bachelors (Honours) degree at 2:1 level or above (or its international equivalent) in a related subject; and
  • A UK Master's degree with an overall average of 65% or higher, with a minimum of 65% in the dissertation and with no mark below 55% (or its international equivalent) in a related subject.
  • Any strong relevant professional experience will be considered on a case by case basis.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme description

Loading
Stefano Locatelli, a recent succesful PhD research student in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester presents his research as an 'elevator pitch'.

Our History PhD programme is a three-year course of study (or six years of part-time study) that enables you to carry out a piece of in-depth research in the area that most interests you.

Our research interests stretch from the early Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century, and our geographical range includes Britain, continental Europe, South and East Asia, Africa and the Americas.

You will prepare a thesis under the guidance of two supervisors with specialist expertise. Your progress is monitored at regular meetings of your research panel (two supervisors plus a reviewer who is independent of the supervisory team), which also provides guidance on research training and career development.

The aim of the programme is to turn you into a fully-fledged independent researcher, and you are from the outset encouraged to disseminate your work at seminars and conferences and by publishing in high-quality locations.

The programme culminates in the submission of an 80,000-word dissertation that makes an original contribution to historical knowledge.

As a postgraduate researcher in the History department, you will join a large and lively research community. We have over 40 established members of staff engaged in research, often in ways that help to re-shape their fields, and there are also many historians working in other departments and research institutes across the University.

The University is committed to investing in History, which has recruited 20 new staff in the last four years.

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our  open days  .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £4,596
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,500
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): TBA

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resource: higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your project.

Scholarships/sponsorships

We offer a limited number of bursaries and studentships on a competitive basis, details of which can be found via the links below.

Please note that while we do not have closing dates for programme applications, all funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below.

You may also be eligible for a postgraduate loan from the government. Find out more about this and other sources of funding on the funding opportunities page.

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
Rachel Corbishley
Email
Website
http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/history/postgraduateresearch/research/
School/Faculty

See: About us

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

  • A Bachelors (Honours) degree at 2:1 level or above (or its international equivalent) in a related subject; and
  • A UK Master's degree with an overall average of 65% or higher, with a minimum of 65% in the dissertation and with no mark below 55% (or its international equivalent) in a related subject.
  • Any strong relevant professional experience will be considered on a case by case basis.

English language

Students whose first language is not English require one of the following:

  • an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component, or
  • a TOEFL score of 600 paper-based test or 100 internet-based test, or
  • a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 76 overall with 76 in the writing component, or
  • an overall Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III grade of Merit with Merit in the writing component.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Other entry requirements

The University requires you to reside within a commutable distance from Manchester during your time as a registered student, unless you are on approved fieldwork/a formal placement or are on a period of Submission pending. This is to ensure that you are able to meet attendance expectations and participate in wider research activities within your discipline area and/or School. Should you be unable to do this at any point during your programme, a formal case must be made to the Faculty office, together with the full support of your supervisor(s). The University reserves the right to reject such a request where it is considered that your residency could have a detrimental impact on the progression and engagement of your studies.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

We recommend all research applicants attempt to find a suitable supervisor here at Manchester by browsing the subject website and looking at the staff list

Find out more on the how to apply page.

Please note that we do not teach evening classes or offer distance learning courses.

Interview requirements

The University requires an interview for all applicants to whom we consider making an offer.

Interviews will be conducted by two academics, usually the proposed main supervisor and the subject PGR Director (or an assigned representative).

The interview can be either face-to-face or via Skype, conference call or email.

The interview serves several purposes, allowing us to:

  • get a better picture of your ability to carry out the proposed doctoral project than the research proposal on its own;
  • tell you what the proposed supervisor(s) can bring to the project;
  • discuss with you directly any potential problems with the practical aspects of your studies and explore solutions together.

Deferrals

Applicants may defer entry provided they have discussed it with their supervisor. Deferred applicants are subject to the fees of the year of entry onto the course.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Programme details

Programme description

Our History PhD programme is a three-year course of study (or six years of part-time study) that enables you to carry out a piece of in-depth research in the area that most interests you.

Our research interests stretch from the early Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century, and our geographical range includes Britain, continental Europe, South and East Asia, Africa and the Americas.

You will prepare a thesis under the guidance of two supervisors with specialist expertise. Your progress is monitored at regular meetings of your research panel (two supervisors plus a reviewer who is independent of the supervisory team), which also provides guidance on research training and career development.

The aim of the programme is to turn you into a fully-fledged independent researcher, and you are from the outset encouraged to disseminate your work at seminars and conferences and by publishing in high-quality locations.

The programme culminates in the submission of an 80,000-word dissertation that makes an original contribution to historical knowledge.

As a postgraduate researcher in the History department, you will join a large and lively research community. We have over 40 established members of staff engaged in research, often in ways that help to re-shape their fields, and there are also many historians working in other departments and research institutes across the University.

The University is committed to investing in History, which has recruited 20 new staff in the last four years.

Special features

Loading
Find out more about the Graduate School

Research environment

We are ranked 4th among history departments in the UK for the quality of our research according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

  • 82% of our overall research activity was recognised as 'world leading' or'internationally excellent'.
  • 100% of our research environment was judged to be'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
  • 80% of our research in history has also been judged to have 'outstanding' or 'very considerable' impact.

Find out more about our History 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

Your research will normally be supervised by two members of staff - usually from the History department, but if appropriate, from another department in the University.

Close supervision based on regular production of written work is at the heart of the PhD student's working life. But your supervisors will aim to nurture your capacities as an independent researcher, and equally central to the learning process is your ability to take advantage of the wider opportunities offered by the University - seminars, conferences, reading groups, training courses, and the like.

We offer one of the UK's fullest and most innovative training programmes in the humanities, artsmethods@manchester .

This provides a rich menu of courses on methods (eg using medieval manuscripts, interview methods, using newspapers in research) and theory ('Using Marx'. 'Using Foucault', 'Using Cultural Studies'), as well as researcher-led conferences organised by groups of PhD students (eg 'How does gender mean? Debates and applications in modern Britain').

Historians working on the interface with the social sciences also have access to the social sciences counterpart, methods@manchester , which offers a similar range of opportunities.

These two programmes are reinforced by the Humanities Researcher Development programme, which offers generic training - eg on academic networking, or how to prepare for your viva - and courses aiming to enhance your career development.

The Faculty of Humanities runs a placement programme which offers PhD researchers the opportunity to develop their public engagement skills and/or their employability skills by undertaking a period of work with an organisation outside academia - a museum, an archive, or a festival, for example.

Recent History PhDs have undertaken placements with the People's History Museum, the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, and Bramall Hall.

We also have a well-established exchange with the European University Institute, Florence , under which one or two of our PhD researchers each year will be able to spend a semester at the EUI, enhancing their skills in international networking and benefiting from a different kind of research environment. 

Coursework and assessment

This programme requires regular attendance at the University, except during periods of approved 'fieldwork', ie archival research away from Manchester.

It is not available on a distance-learning basis, since regular engagement with the University's research environment as well as with your supervisors is integral to your development as a researcher.

Part-time students should ensure a minimum of two full days in the working week for their studies for the same reason; evening and weekend study on its own is unlikely to be sufficient.

Your progress will be reviewed by your research panel, consisting of your two supervisors and one other member of staff.

This will meet with you once per semester (or once per year for part-time students) to give you formal feedback on your work and report on your progress to the School.

Please note that the first year of the PhD programme and the first two years of the part-time programme are probationary: at the end of this period, your panel is required to confirm that you have made satisfactory progress towards completion and may therefore proceed.

Thereafter, progression through each year of the programme is dependent on your ability to produce evidence of continuing progression.

The PhD is assessed on the basis of a thesis up to 80,000 words. This is examined by two examiners, one of whom is external to the University.

An oral examination is an integral part of the assessment process.

Facilities

Loading
Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Fly Through

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: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Most of our PhD students aim to go into an academic career, and we have an excellent record of helping them obtain teaching and/or research posts in UK and overseas universities.

In recent years, our doctoral graduates have gone on to positions at many universities in the UK and overseas, including Aberystwyth, Huddersfield, Keele, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, New York University, Nottingham, Ohio State University, Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Sheffield Hallam, Simon Fraser University (British Colombia), the University of Virginia, Lazarki University Poland Ryokoko University, Japan, and University College London.

Previous student careers include: Lecturer in History, University College, London; Lecturer, University of Birmingham; Lecturer, University of Liverpool; Assistant Professor in Women's Studies, Trinity College, Dublin; Library of Congress Fellow, USA; Postdoc. Northwestern University, USA; Postdoc. University of Konstanz; Postdoc. University of Exeter; Editorial Assistant, Oxford University Press; Researcher for the think tank Reform; Education Policy and Research Officer, General Medical Council; Independent Documentary Film Maker; Academic Research and Engagement Co-ordinator, National Trust.

At the same time, if you make the most of the opportunities available to you during your programme, you can develop a portfolio of skills that make you highly desirable to other employers, from the civil service to think-tanks, from museums and archives to large business organisations.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help support you with your goals for the future.