PhD Middle Eastern Studies / Programme details
Year of entry: 2023
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Our PhD Middle Eastern Studies programme enables you to carry out a piece of significant, original research under the supervision of our academics.
Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Manchester offers wide-ranging opportunities for research and advanced training in the history, politics, gender studies, literatures, religious traditions and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Training and research supervision in most major cultures and periods of the MENA region are delivered by experts whose publications contribute to their subject on an international level.
We regularly organise seminars, workshops and conferences, and offer some specialist training opportunities. Another major research centre, the Centre for Jewish Studies (CJS), brings together a wide range of specialists from across the University, and a large and active body of graduate students working on various aspects of Jewish culture and history, including modern Israeli/Palestinian society.
Research specialisms in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and related subject areas include literature, women and gender, culture and history of the Arab countries ( Salhi, Mostafa, Behar ), Islamic societies and practices, ( Woerner-Powell ), the phenomenon of nationalism and the modern and contemporary history of Israel/Palestine, with special focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict ( Behar ).
Other areas of doctoral supervision can be offered or are available through inter-disciplinary collaboration.
Manchester's experts in Middle Eastern Studies contribute to the public debate on contemporary cultural-religious issues in the UK, the analysis and contextualisation of current affairs in the Middle East, and the understanding of gender roles and the relations between 'East' and 'West'.
Manchester is also the editorial home of the Journal of Semitic Studies (JSS), an internationally renowned academic journal.
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.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), Middle Eastern Studies was assessed as part of The University of Manchester's 'Modern Languages and Linguistics' submission.
Manchester was confirmed as a leading centre for research in Modern Languages and Linguistics, ranking third in the UK in terms of research power (an established criterion which values research quality in relation to the number of staff submitted).
We achieved joint fourth in terms of the overall amount of 'world-leading' (4*) research activity and 80% of our research was judged to be in the highest two categories (4* or 3*).
Specifically, 73% of our publications were judged as either 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*); moreover, 85% of our research activity achieved 'outstanding' (4*) or 'very considerable' (3*) public impact in areas spanning policy, public discourse, education, cultural life and society.
Our research environment was also judged to be strong, with 100% judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*).
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 that 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 of Arts, Languages and Cultures, but if your research requires it, we 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 that 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 to proceed with the programme.
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.
Find out more about facilities for Modern Languages and Cultures students.