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PhD Anthropology, Media and Performance

Year of entry: 2020

Overview

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
Duration
36 months [full-time], 72 months [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.

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

This practice-based Anthropology, Media and Performance PhD programme will see you carry out an extensive piece of research in the field.

Jointly managed by the Drama department and the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology/Social Anthropology, this programme begins with a year of academic formation and preliminary training in research methods and relevant craft techniques, before you carry out your project on the basis of field research of up to a year's duration.

In the third year, you will be expected to return to Manchester and prepare the presentation of your results in textual or other media, as appropriate.

Open days

Discover Manchester, see our facilities and talk to our staff at our open days for postgraduate research students .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,407
    International students (per annum): £19,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £2,203

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/drama/research/postgraduate-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.

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 70 overall with 70 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

This practice-based Anthropology, Media and Performance PhD programme will see you carry out an extensive piece of research in the field.

Jointly managed by the Drama department and the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology/Social Anthropology, this programme begins with a year of academic formation and preliminary training in research methods and relevant craft techniques, before you carry out your project on the basis of field research of up to a year's duration.

In the third year, you will be expected to return to Manchester and prepare the presentation of your results in textual or other media, as appropriate.

Aims

We aim to:

  • introduce you to potential interdisciplinary combinations of anthropology, applied theatre/performance studies and media production so you can produce original knowledge in one or more of these academic fields;
  • introduce cutting-edge theories and self-reflexive, critical research practice in all these fields;
  • train you in a range of practical field research methods and media production skills to enable you to carry out the year-long fieldwork that is an integral and necessary aspect of the second year of the programme, and to produce a combination of written dissertation and media and/or performance practice;
  • make you aware of the legal and ethical implications of your work and of the appropriate procedures for ensuring ethical clearance of your research;
  • encourage you to develop a range of transferable skills in areas such as IT and AV media, as well as presentational, writing, team-working and foreign language skills.

Special features

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Research environment

In the most recent (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 .

Wide-ranging programme

Although there are a number of existing performance or film-making genres that draw on various mixes of anthropological and/or applied theatre expertise, there is no doctoral programme, nationally or internationally, that offers an effective combination of academic and technical training necessary to bring them together.

We are uniquely equipped to offer this training, having both the professional academic expertise and the provision of AV facilities by the University's Media Centre and the technicians in Drama.

Our intention with this programme is to provide students with a more systematic, one-stop opportunity to acquire this range of skills.   

Social responsibility

Both applied theatre practitioners and anthropologists typically engage with deprived and marginalised populations across a diverse range of social contexts, contributing to the development of social and cultural capital in those contexts, as well as to the remit of the University's 2020 strategy to support the development of a secure, humane, prosperous and sustainable future for human society.

Teaching and learning

This programme features a high degree of peer-group formative assessment and enquiry-based learning.

This approach fits particularly well with the reflective, action- and practice-based research typically carried out by film-makers and performers in professional contexts.

Face-to-face training and supervision will be supported by a dedicated Blackboard presence.

Coursework and assessment

One of the central aims of this programme is to combine visual, aural and textual media in an imaginative, self-reflexive and critically aware manner to generate original knowledge in one or more of the academic fields from which it draws, namely anthropology, applied theatre, screen studies and performance/media practice.

Our assessment methods are designed to test both the development of skills and competences in the use of performance and media practice for the purposes of ethnographic research, and the development of text-based writing and intellectual abilities.

In the training phase, you will be able to draw on a broad range of units. These involve an equally broad range of assessment methods, ranging from conventional 4,000-word assessment essays to portfolios of practical work.

Each student will be assigned at least two supervisors, normally one in Drama and the other in Anthropology. One of these supervisors will be considered the 'principal supervisor' and will be primarily responsible for monitoring your progression.

The thesis, produced in the third year, will provide evidence of the creation and interpretation of knowledge that extends the frontiers of the disciplines of Drama (incorporating Applied Theatre, Screen and Performance Studies) and/or Social Anthropology through original research.

It will consist of the following:

  • a practical outcome, typically a media production (in the form of film, photography and/or audio recordings) and/or a theatrical performance;
  • a 20-50,000 word dissertation containing a presentation of the research as a contribution to the academic discipline of Drama (including Applied Theatre, Screen and Performance Studies) and/or social anthropology;
  • an exploration of ethical issues of research and practice;
  • a statement of methodology.

The thesis will be examined by means of a viva, as provided for in University regulations.

Programme content for year 1

In this first, pre-fieldwork coursework year, the precise units that you will be recommended to take will vary, in accordance with the results of the skills audit that will be carried out immediately following enrolment.

To carry out the fieldwork and media production of the second year, you will require intellectual and theoretical preparation, both in anthropology and in applied theatre and/or screen and performance studies, in combination with training in particular field research skills and technical competences in applied theatre and/or media production.

You will already have some of these skills prior to enrolment, as one of the conditions of acceptance onto the programme is that students have an MA-level qualification in one or more of the following fields: applied theatre, social anthropology and media production.

On the basis of the skills audit, you will be directed towards units providing the intellectual formation or skills training that you will require to carry out your field projects.

During the first year of the doctoral programme, you will be typically engaged in coursework on a week-by-week basis, supplemented by supervisorial meetings on a fortnightly basis during teaching weeks and attendance at the programme-specific Master Classes by professional practitioners in film-making and applied theatre.

These sessions will be 'anchored' by the programme director or one of the other principal teachers on the programme, to provide continuity over the series.

Master Class givers will be invited by the programme director, taking into account the particular interests of the students enrolled on the programme in any given year.

The aim of these sessions will be to give students exposure to professional standards of performance and media production outside academic life, and they will not be formally assessed.

Programme content for year 2

During the second year of the programme, you will carry out your field research and media production.

Programme content for year 3

In the third year, you will write up and prepare your media outputs. 

Personal supervision will become the principal medium of teaching, though this may be supplemented in the third year by attendance at Master Classes and pertinent postgraduate research seminars in either drama or social anthropology.

Facilities

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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.

As well as seminars and public lectures in the larger School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, postgraduates in Screen Studies are encouraged to participate in our regular Cultivating Research seminar series, which brings together staff and postgraduate students to discuss their recent and current research.

For Screen Practice at Drama, postgraduates 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.

The Centre for Screen Studies also collaborates with the Media Centre at The University of Manchester, providing provides advanced audio-visual facilities and extensive technical support.

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

You will build your knowledge of theory and method in anthropology, applied theatre/performance studies and media practice to prepare for an academic career.

The programme is also designed to encourage you to develop a range of transferable skills in areas such as IT and AV media, as well as presentational, writing, team-working and foreign language skills to enable you to apply for jobs in the cultural sector.

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 .