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School of Social Sciences

Arthur Lewis Building in teal tint
PhD Social Anthropology with Visual Media
Gain additional skills in visual media during research which examines human life.

PhD Social Anthropology with Visual Media / Programme details

Year of entry: 2018

Programme description

This programme is intended for those with an Undergraduate or Masters degree in Social Anthropology who wish to incorporate the use visual media in the course of pursuing doctoral research. Substantial original research, normally including ethnographic fieldwork of 12 to 18 months, will lead to the production of a thesis. Students on this programme are required to produce audiovisual media as a 'necessary and integral' feature of their theses, and there is an expectation that the textual component should not be more than 60,000 words, i.e. a 25% reduction on the normal maximum length for the PhD in Social Anthropology.

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 and editing their audiovisual material 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 and editing their audiovisual material 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. This programme is delivered in conjunction with the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology .

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. In the Spring Semester, there is also the Fieldwork and Filmwork seminar, open to all postgraduates, at which post-fieldwork students screen 'works-in-progress' in order to receive feedback from fellow students and staff.

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 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

See the 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 contains over 2000 titles including 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