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School of Social Sciences

Arthur Lewis Building in teal tint
PhD Social Anthropology
Examine human behaviour and relationships under expert research supervision.

PhD Social Anthropology

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
Duration
Up to 4 years full-time; Up to 7 years part-time
Entry requirements

Candidates MUST normally have:

  • Bachelors (Honours) degree (or overseas equivalent) at 2:1 level or above in a cognate subject.
  • Normally a Masters degree in anthropology at 65% overall average with minimum 65% in the dissertation and no mark below 55% (or overseas equivalent).  Students who do not have a masters degree in anthropology but in a relevant cognate subject may submit evidence of classes taken in anthropology and/or ethnographic or other qualitative research training and/or research experience.  Transcripts will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that applicants have the required background.  We treat all applications on an individual basis.
  • Cognate subjects include; sociology, history, cultural studies, political science, philosophy, human geography and development studies.
  • Applications that satisfy the academic entry criteria will be considered according to the key criterion for acceptance on the doctoral programme in Social Anthropology: the availability of expert supervision in the department.  Applicants who proceed to the advanced phase of this selection process will be interviewed.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

Expert supervision is key to research degree programmes. We cannot provide supervision across all areas and we are therefore sometimes unable to offer admission to excellent applicants.

How to apply

Apply online

Formal applications can be submitted on-line at any time. However, if you wish to be considered for funding competitions, you need to have submitted a full on-line application by 1 December 2017.

To identify expert supervision, please explore the research interests of individual members of staff . Once you have a research idea for a PhD project, please directly contact a potential supervisor (do not send the same email to several people). This should be done long in advance of any formal application, preferably several months and at least 3 weeks .

If you are unsure about the feasibility of your application (e.g. regarding eligibility and/or availability of expert supervision in the department), you can email the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor, Dr Madeleine Reeves (email: madeleine.reeves@manchester.ac.uk ) with a preliminary query. Please include a draft research proposal (refer to guidelines ), a summary of the same (max. 150 words) and a CV that includes your marks for previous degrees or ongoing studies (no transcripts required at this stage) as well as any anthropological research experience. These documents will then be considered in terms of formal eligibility and to identify interest and availability of expert supervision. In case of a positive answer, you can use revised versions of these documents for formal on-line application. Such preliminary queries should be sent long in advance of any formal application, preferably several months and at least 4 weeks .

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme description

This programme involves substantial original research, normally including ethnographic fieldwork of 12 to 18 months and leading to the production of a thesis of up to 80,000 words. Throughout, students work closely with an expert supervisor, with further guidance from at least one extra supervisor.

The programme consists of three or maximum four years of full-time study (or part-time equivalent). Its structure depends on prior qualification:

* Normally, students are registered on the PhD programme and, during the first year, take a set of research training courses. After about 10 months (or 20 in part-time study) they produce a 12,000-15,000 word research proposal. This proposal is examined in an oral viva. Successful completion of this viva and of coursework at satisfactory level, is a condition for students to proceed to field research. After fieldwork, students return to the University and start writing their dissertation under the guidance of their supervisors.

* Students who have successfully completed our MA Anthropological Research, or an equivalent ESRC-recognised course in another UK institution, may be in a position to start fieldwork as soon as is practicable, provided that they have submitted a satisfactory research proposal as part of that previous degree and it has been approved by the School of Social Sciences. After fieldwork, students return to the University and start writing their dissertation under the guidance of their supervisors.

Currently Manchester Social Anthropology has a lively PhD community of over 50 students working in all of the world's continents and on a variety of topics. Find out what some of our postgraduate researchers are working on .

Open days

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

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £18,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £9,000

Scholarships/sponsorships

Please see the School's funding page for further information.

Please note that the School's funding page is not yet fully updated.  For any enquiries, please email vicky.barnes@manchester.ac.uk

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 4743
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 2450
Email
Website
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/social-anthropology
Academic department overview

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

Candidates MUST normally have:

  • Bachelors (Honours) degree (or overseas equivalent) at 2:1 level or above in a cognate subject.
  • Normally a Masters degree in anthropology at 65% overall average with minimum 65% in the dissertation and no mark below 55% (or overseas equivalent).  Students who do not have a masters degree in anthropology but in a relevant cognate subject may submit evidence of classes taken in anthropology and/or ethnographic or other qualitative research training and/or research experience.  Transcripts will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that applicants have the required background.  We treat all applications on an individual basis.
  • Cognate subjects include; sociology, history, cultural studies, political science, philosophy, human geography and development studies.
  • Applications that satisfy the academic entry criteria will be considered according to the key criterion for acceptance on the doctoral programme in Social Anthropology: the availability of expert supervision in the department.  Applicants who proceed to the advanced phase of this selection process will be interviewed.

English language

  • IELTS 7, including 7 in writing and with no further score below 6.5
  • TOEFL IBT 103 with 28 in writing and no further score below 25 in each section.
  • ALL non-native English speaking students are required to do the English language assessment when they register in September.
  • Any non-native English speaking student going away for fieldwork in an overseas, non-English speaking country required to re-take the English assessment when they come back to Manchester.
  • All non UK/EU, non-native English speaking applicants must have obtained the minimum IELTS or TOEFL score in order to obtain a CAS for their visa.

Scores are valid for 2 years.

For students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, your test score is valid for 2 years preceding the course start date.

For example;

Test taken on or after 17 September 2016 - CAS issued June 2018 = Score is VALID

Test taken before 17 September 2016 = Score is INVALID

Please note that CAS statements are issued only when all conditions of the offer have been satisfied, PDF copy of passport received and the offer accepted.

Applicants from certain countries MAY be exempt from having to provide an IELTS or TOEFL score.  For further advice please email pg-soss@manchester.ac.uk

Pre-Sessional English Courses:

If you eligible to do a pre-sessional English course (either 6 weeks or 10 weeks, depending on your English score), you will be required to successfully complete the course at the required level before you are permitted to register on your academic course).

The dates and fees for next summer (2018) are now available on the English Language Centre's website.

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 .

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

Formal applications can be submitted on-line at any time. However, if you wish to be considered for funding competitions, you need to have submitted a full on-line application by 1 December 2017.

To identify expert supervision, please explore the research interests of individual members of staff . Once you have a research idea for a PhD project, please directly contact a potential supervisor (do not send the same email to several people). This should be done long in advance of any formal application, preferably several months and at least 3 weeks .

If you are unsure about the feasibility of your application (e.g. regarding eligibility and/or availability of expert supervision in the department), you can email the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor, Dr Madeleine Reeves (email: madeleine.reeves@manchester.ac.uk ) with a preliminary query. Please include a draft research proposal (refer to guidelines ), a summary of the same (max. 150 words) and a CV that includes your marks for previous degrees or ongoing studies (no transcripts required at this stage) as well as any anthropological research experience. These documents will then be considered in terms of formal eligibility and to identify interest and availability of expert supervision. In case of a positive answer, you can use revised versions of these documents for formal on-line application. Such preliminary queries should be sent long in advance of any formal application, preferably several months and at least 4 weeks .

Advice to applicants

For students who require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK please refer to our specialist advice pages.

Interview requirements

As part of the offer making process applicants will be required to undertake an interview assessment.  This may be in the form of a face-to-face interview, Skype or telephone. 

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 programme involves substantial original research, normally including ethnographic fieldwork of 12 to 18 months and leading to the production of a thesis of up to 80,000 words. Throughout, students work closely with an expert supervisor, with further guidance from at least one extra supervisor.

The programme consists of three or maximum four years of full-time study (or part-time equivalent). Its structure depends on prior qualification:

* Normally, students are registered on the PhD programme and, during the first year, take a set of research training courses. After about 10 months (or 20 in part-time study) they produce a 12,000-15,000 word research proposal. This proposal is examined in an oral viva. Successful completion of this viva and of coursework at satisfactory level, is a condition for students to proceed to field research. After fieldwork, students return to the University and start writing their dissertation under the guidance of their supervisors.

* Students who have successfully completed our MA Anthropological Research, or an equivalent ESRC-recognised course in another UK institution, may be in a position to start fieldwork as soon as is practicable, provided that they have submitted a satisfactory research proposal as part of that previous degree and it has been approved by the School of Social Sciences. After fieldwork, students return to the University and start writing their dissertation under the guidance of their supervisors.

Currently Manchester Social Anthropology has a lively PhD community of over 50 students working in all of the world's continents and on a variety of topics. Find out what some of our postgraduate researchers are working on .

Teaching and learning

During the first year, students who have not taken the MA Anthropological Research or an equivalent, normally take a number of research training modules. Two core modules are Issues in Ethnographic Research 1 and 2, geared towards research design and planning of your field study. In addition, the Postgraduate Seminar provides a forum for presentation, discussion and reflection amongst peers. As series of optional courses offer skills in additional methods such as quantitative approaches, archival research, working with memory. conducting elite interviews, etc.

At the same time, under the individualised guidance of their supervisors, students read extensively around their research topic as well as relevant theoretical literature. To deepen their knowledge, they may also take particular modules in Social Anthropology or elsewhere.

The objective of modules and supervision during the first year is to produce a 12-15,000 word research proposal, which is examined in an oral viva. Successful completion of this viva and of coursework at satisfactory level, is a condition for students to proceed to field research. After fieldwork, normally 12-18 months, depending on concrete case, students return to the University and start writing their dissertation and, in some cases, editing their audiovisual material. During this time, they continue to work with their supervisors and to present their written work to the Postgraduate Seminar.

Graduate Teaching Assistants in the School of Social Sciences are considered to be valued members of the teaching team. As such, we take pride in the opportunities provided for the professional development of graduate teaching assistants. Our training includes preparation for application to the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. This brings a range of benefits as follows:

  • consolidates your personal development and emphasises your professional practice in HE
  • entitlement to use post-nominal letters - AFHEA
  • provides a valuable measure of success and is increasingly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion
  • recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions

More information on the Associate Fellowship HEA

Or, contact Gillian Evans (Gillian.Evans@manchester.ac.uk), our School of Social Sciences Graduate Teaching Assistant Coordinator. 

Details on how to apply for a TA position will be available here in due course.

Programme unit list

The programme unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Issues in Ethnographic Research I SOAN70641 15 Mandatory
Issues in Ethnographic Research II SOAN70652 15 Mandatory
PG Research Seminar SOAN70940 15 Mandatory

What our students say

View profiles of our current cohort of PhD students in Social Anthropology.

Facilities

Since 2007, Social Anthropology, and the School of Social Sciences of which it is part, has been based in a brand new purpose-built building which allows 24/7 access. There is shared workspace available for research students within the Social Anthropology area, including networked computers and printing facilities. There are also many work areas elsewhere in the building and in the University. These other work areas include The University of Manchester Library which has an excellent collection of social anthropology books and journals, many of which can also be accessed on-line.

Students may also join the Film Library of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology. The Library containing over 2000 titles and which contains a collection of `Masterworks' featuring many of the leading works in the history of ethnographic cinema.

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

Many of our PhD graduates pursue academic careers. Others have gone on to work in development, NGOs, public services or the private sector.

For further information see our list of career destinations of our recent PhD graduates.