PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

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Doctorates are awarded for creating, interpreting and communicating knowledge that extends the forefront of a discipline or of professional practice, through original research and critical thinking. To achieve the award, you will have to demonstrate extensive scholarship in your discipline or area of practice and shown mastery of subject-specific intellectual skills.

Traditionally the PhD was examined solely through a written thesis but now the thesis can include the student’s own creative work.  Manchester School of Art offers a number of routes to a PhD from a wholly written thesis of 80,000 words to PhDs by published work or PhDs by practice.

Find out more about the Manchester School of Art Research Degrees Programme at

Features and Benefits

The Manchester School of Art Research Centre offers research degrees in the practices, professions, histories and theories of art, design, media and architecture through the Postgraduate Arts & Humanities Centre (PAHC). These can be studied on a full and part-time basis at Masters and PhD level.

Since 1968, Manchester School of Art has pioneered practice-led research degrees alongside traditional approaches to research and today we provide a nationally and internationally recognised environment for postgraduate research. We have long-standing relationships with galleries, museums and the creative industries in the North West region and beyond.

Staff within the School are practicing professionals and researchers in their fields, either as creative artists and designers, or through theoretical approaches to their subject. Particular strengths are in Arts and Health, Asian Cultures, digital arts and contemporary ceramics and textile arts practice, but our researchers span the full reach of art, design, architecture and media research.

As research student you will study in a well-established research environment that encourages  innovative research. You will be supported by:

Career Prospects

Opportunities may exist in further and higher education; arts administration; the creative industries and associated professions; teaching; art, design, craft and new media professions.

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Entry requirements

Doctorates are normally taken by candidates with Masters level qualifications (or equivalent). Applicants submit a research proposal and if it can be supervised and supported they are invited for interview.

IELTS entry level at 6.5 overall with no element below 6.0.

Course details

Please refer to the MIRIAD Research Degrees Handbook available to download from

Manchester School of Art

Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.

Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.

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Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

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UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £4,407 per year. Tuition fees may increase each academic year in line with Research Council indicative guidelines.

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £2,204 per year. Tuition fees may increase each academic year in line with Research Council indicative guidelines.

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Please contact the department for more information about the fees for this course.

Additional Information

A Master's qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Taught tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). Research tuition fees may increase each academic year in line with Research Council indicative guidelines.

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

See Applying for Postgraduate Research Courses.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.