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PhD Sociology
Examine a societal challenge of your choice under experts in a range of sociological methods.

PhD Sociology / Overview

Year of entry: 2019

Degree awarded
36 months full-time; 72 monts part-time
Entry requirements

Candidates MUST normally have;

Bachelors (Honours) degree (or overseas equivalent) at 2:1 level or above in a cognate subject, and

  • Normally a Masters degree at 65% overall average with minimum 65% in dissertation and with no mark below 55% (or overseas equivalent) from social science backgrounds (eg sociology, social anthropology, and political science) and with preferably one with a substantial research methods component. Transcripts will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that applicants have the required background.
  • Note; due to the volume of applications received each year, and limited spaces, regrettably offers cannot be made to all applicants who satisfy the academic entry criteria.
  • All applicants who pass the initial assessment stage will be interviewed before any offer is confirmed.

Tier 4 Student Visa -  International applicants who will require a visa to study in the UK can obtain up-to-date information on the student visa advice and guidance.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

Useful information:

  • There is NO application fee.
  • Supporting documents which MUST be provided along with an on-line application are: two academic reference letters, Degree transcripts and certificates, CV, Research Proposal, English language evidence (eg IELTS) if candidate is not from a majority English language speaking country. Please note that the English language evidence may be submitted after application.

Non UK/EU applicants are strongly advised to submit their application by July to ensure sufficient time for applying for a Visa.

Having an expert supervisor is extremely important for success in Research degree programmes and it is part of the application process that we seek suitable supervision for candidates. We cannot provide supervision across all areas and we are therefore sometimes unable to offer admission to excellent applicants. We strongly advise candidates to read the webpages of the staff or group in whose discipline they intend to specialise and to read some of their publications BEFORE applying. You may conduct a keyword search via the Social Sciences home page to identify potential supervisors/research areas.

Feel free to make direct contact with any academics to discuss your proposed research topic. Please note that such contact can only be informal and no decision can be made on your application until it is submitted and processed through the Postgraduate Admissions Office. If you make a positive contact with an academic, please make sure to include their name on your application form when you submit it.

When submitting a research proposal with your application please follow the guidelines carefully

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Programme description

PhD students are supervised by a member of staff who is an expert in their area of research or co-supervised with another supervisor if other areas of expertise are required. Our staff are experts, often internationally renowned, in a wide range of key areas of sociology, and centres such as the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST) and Methods@Manchester, provide a wealth of opportunities for postgraduate researchers. Some of our main research themes include: sociological theory, research methods, cultural and media studies, sociology of gender, feminist movements, sociology of consumption, sociology of language and discourse, sociology of economic life, labour markets and educational attainment. Recent PhDs have included topics as diverse as internet use in Iran, branding in AIDs awareness advertising, and how class differences affect access to higher education.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £18,500
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £9,250


Please include the name of a preferred supervisor on the application form.

Information on staff interests and research areas can be found here .

Research proposals must adhere to the requirements as detailed here .  The maximum word limit (including references and bibliography) is 1500 words.

IF YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR SCHOOL OR ESRC FUNDING THERE ARE TWO DEADLINES YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF; one for the receipt of your programme application and the other for the ESRC funding application.  There is no separate application form for the School studentships.

PROGRAMME APPLICATION DEADLINE  (for those who wish to be considered for funding from ESRC or School)

- Deadline to submit a full on-line programme application is  1 December 2018


- Deadline to submit the ESRC funding application form is  4 February 2019.  

Click here to download the form and see the guidance notes.  NWSSDTP applications must be emailed to

We  strongly encourage  students who seek funding to submit an on-line programme application, including an initial proposal, 2 academic references, degree transcripts and CV), as soon as possible so that we can identify the strongest applications and offer support in revising and strengthening these before final shortlisting takes place.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Vicky Barnes
+44 (0)161 275 4743
+44 (0)161 275 2450
Academic department overview

Programmes in related subject areas

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

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You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website.