Research Degrees in


in the Faculty of Science & Engineering


Do you want to advance or change your career, deepen your expertise in a topic, or expand your research and practical skills?

With a PhD or other postgraduate research degree in Engineering you will:

  • Work with leading experts in the field. We deliver high quality, impactful research. In the most recent national evaluation of research, 64% of our work was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF2014).
  • Choose from our flexible study pathways. We offer research master's and PhD programmes, which can be pursued full, or part time.
  • Join a thriving research community. Our research spans the breadth of modern engineering, from healthcare engineering to materials research. We are investing in a number of new research centres and facilities in order to deliver cutting-edge research attuned to the needs of industry and society.
  • Use our impressive facilities and workspaces. These include dedicated drop-in spaces for postgraduate researchers, a £4m heavy engineering workshop for research in surface engineering, state-of-the-art 3D printing facilities, and a £3m building housing our specialist genetics and bioengineering facilities.
  • Undertake tailored personal and professional development training. Our comprehensive training programme equips you with the skills necessary to pursue careers in academia or industry.
  • Benefit from our close links with industry. We work closely with local and national industry partners to ensure we are developing products and techniques that meet real-world needs.

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Areas of supervisory expertise

We can supervise a broad range of projects within Engineering. Our areas of expertise include:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Surface engineering
  • Healthcare engineering
  • Advanced manufacturing/Electrochemistry
  • Biosensors
  • Microbiology at interfaces
  • Wearable technologies
  • Advance functional materials and catalysis
  • Sensing and imaging
  • Sustainable engineering
  • Product design
  • Sports engineering and materials
  • Computer and network engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical and electronic engineering
  • Communications
  • Simulation, modelling and analysis
  • Industrial applications and development
  • Transport engineering
  • Smart infrastructure and the internet of things

Find out more about our staff's expertise

Research culture

You will join a creative team of researchers committed to pursuing rigorous applied and fundamental research. Our research is aligned to the needs of industry and society; we undertake research which has real-world impact across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, computing, art and design, and environmental sciences.

More about our research culture

Our research is at the cutting-edge, and we are always delivering exciting new projects and initiatives. We have recently launched a suite of new research centres to provide a focus for some of our major research strands. These include centres focusing on advanced materials and surface engineering, computer science, bioscience and sports medicine.

We are also home to interdisciplinary research groups focusing on vital topical areas such as wearable tech, smart infrastructure, and augmented reality & virtual reality.

In addition to these research centres and groups, we have also recently launched the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre, which develops solutions and materials for local companies, and Print City, which specialises in 3D printing and digital manufacturing. These endeavours add to the impressive range of specialist facilities we have on our Manchester campus, including multi-million pound genetics facilities and a heavy engineering workshop.

As a postgraduate researcher, you will be a core part of our wider research community. You will be encouraged to play an active role in the intellectual culture of relevant research centres and groups. We will provide thorough training in practical and research skills to enhance your personal and professional development. We will also encourage you to present your research at national and international conferences. Our extensive industry links mean you will have opportunities to knowledge share and network.

Courses offered, duration, and start dates

Programmes offered

  • PhD (3 years full time, 6 years part time)
  • PhD by Published Work or Professional Practice (course duration varies by route taken and candidate's background)
  • Master's by Research (1 year full time, 2 years part time)
  • MPhil (18 months full time, 36 months part time).

Find out more about the different research degrees we offer

Start dates

The majority of our students enrol in October. We offer further enrolment points in January, April and July.

Distance learning

Research degrees are available to study on-campus or through distance learning.

Career prospects

Undertaking postgraduate research will equip you with vital skills that will make you an attractive candidate in a wide range of sectors. You will be able to target specific senior roles in manufacturing, engineering, and design. You can also pursue roles in academic research and teaching. 

Course structure

This course is research based. You will independently conduct research into your own topic or a topic that we advertise. Your supervisory team will offer expert guidance throughout your studies and review work in progress.

Each year, you will follow a programme of training and development to enhance your research methods, subject-matter expertise and professional skills.

Fees and funding

Find out more

Postgraduate Research Degrees Fees

Please refer to our Fees page for more information on tuition fees.

Loans for research degrees

Many of our PhD and Professional Doctorate programmes are eligible for the government's Doctoral Loan Scheme. MPhil and MA/MSc by Research degrees are eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Find out more about tuition fees and financial support


Each year we offer a number of competitive scholarships to support high quality research projects. Current scholarship opportunities in Engineering are advertised on our site.

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Entry requirements

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You should, as a minimum, have a first or 2.1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification.

International students must demonstrate a sufficiently high standard of English language ability.

We welcome interest from applicants from non-standard backgrounds. We will take subject knowledge, professional experience, publications, or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment into consideration.

See more about our standard entry requirements.


Before applying for a research degree, you should have a preliminary discussion with a member of staff about your project and ideas. To arrange this, please email Dr Kirstie Andrews,, the Research Degrees Co-ordinator for the Department of Engineering.

For further information on the application process, contact the Admissions team, +44 (0)161 247 2966

How to apply

Apply now

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online using the link below. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Before you apply, you should discuss your project with a member of academic staff. You should also complete the Postgraduate Research Degree Supplementary Information form which you will then upload to the ‘Student documents’ section of the application form. This collects key information about your research application and there may be delays if you do not submit this document.

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Postgraduate Study