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Funding for PhD students for September 2015 entry

The School's postgraduate community is one of the largest and most diverse and dynamic postgraduate communities in the UK, and is committed to supporting financially the best qualified applicants. Funding your studies will be a crucial factor in your decision to apply for a postgraduate degree, so the earlier you consider your funding options, the better.

Each year the School awards approximately £800,000 in studentships and bursaries for postgraduate study. There are a range of awards on offer for both Home/EU and Overseas students at PhD level.

The School of Arts, Languages and Cultures is committed to helping students find ways of meeting the financial commitments of postgraduate study. Please note that all of our postgraduate programmes are available on a full-time or part-time basis.

Funding is available from various sources:

President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Competition

The University of Manchester is proud to announce the continuation of the President’s Doctoral Scholar Awards. These prestigious awards are open to all new students of all nationalities and research areas.

Benefits to be enjoyed by PDS award-holders will include opportunities to:

  • Be invited to attend a series of exclusive events where you will have the opportunity to meet the University’s President and Vice Chancellor, interact closely with our academic community and network with other PDS students.
  • Become a PDS ambassador for the University
  • Benefit from our extensive transferable skills training programmes for research students.
  • Receive a President’s Doctoral Scholar medal at graduation

For further information, please see the links below:

All PDS applications must be received by the School by 5pm Friday 13 February 2015. Please note that you must submit your online application for a place on your chosen PhD programme by Friday 23 January 2015.

You must complete the application form and submit this, together with your transcripts and references, to Mrs Joanne Marsh, Graduate School Senior Research Administrator:

Research Councils

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The University of Manchester is a member of the ESRC's North West Doctoral Training College (DTC). The North West DTC receives the largest number of ESRC PhD studentships in England. UK and EU students intending to take a PhD degree (+3) or an MA followed by a PhD (1+3) in the School may be eligible to apply for support from the ESRC. Applicants working within various pathways are eligible for awards. Successful applicants will benefit from joint training provision with the Universities of Lancaster and Liverpool. The relevant pathways are:

- Middle Eastern Studies

- East Asian Studies

 -Latin American and Caribbean Studies

- Russian and East European Studies

All ESRC applications must be received by Joanne Marsh, Senior Postgraduate Research Administrator, by 5pm Monday, 2 February 2015. Please note that this is a strict deadline and applications received after 5pm will not be included in the competition.

Further information including the application form can be found here:

You must complete the ESRC application form and submit this, together with your transcripts and references, to Mrs Joanne Marsh at the following address:  

You will be informed of the outcome of your ESRC application by Friday, 27 March 2015.

Please note that you are advised to submit your complete online application for a place on your chosen PhD programme by Friday, 16 January 2015. This is to try and ensure you are in receipt of an offer of a place by when the NWDTC committee make their selection. If you do not have an offer in place by the time the NWDTC committee meet, you will not be included in the competition.

Information on how to apply for the PhD programme

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Competition

AHRC Doctoral Studentships

North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP)

The North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP) brings together The University of Manchester, Keele University, Lancaster University, University of Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University, Royal Northern College of Music, and University of Salford.

The North West Consortium DTP is pleased to invite applications from outstanding candidates for AHRC Doctoral Studentships for 2015-16 entry.

Subject to satisfactory progress, these awards will cover:

  • Tuition fees at the Home/EU rate. 
  • Annual maintenance grant of £13,863 (2014/15 rate)

The School of Arts, Languages and Cultures expects to have a number of studentships available for UK and EU students starting a PhD programme in September 2015, in the following pathways:

  • History
  • Religions and Theology (incl. Biblical studies; Buddhist studies; Christian theology and related studies; Hinduism; Islamic studies; Jewish studies; Religion in relation to society, culture or philosophy; South Asian studies in religion)
  • Creative Writing
  • Media and Communication (any student with a focus on film, media and communication can apply under this pathway; Subject Areas involved in this pathway include inter alia: English and American Studies; Drama; Modern Languages; Art History and Visual Studies; and History
  • Music
  • Dance, Drama and Performing Arts
  • Linguistics
  • Art History
  • Museum Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Classics
  • Modern Languages (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Latin American Studies)
  • Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian
  • English
  • Translation Studies
  • Cultural Studies (incorporates many other disciplines, such as Italian Studies, English Studies, Modern Languages, Middle Eastern Studies, East Asian Studies, Translation Studies, History, Art History, Classics, Linguistics, Drama, Music, Religions and Theology; projects must focus on the study of culture and cultural production)

Any student with a research project in the research areas of a pathway may apply, regardless of the PhD programme they will be registered on.

Successful students may be co-supervised across institutions or between Subject Areas within the University of Manchester.

Whilst we expect to make awards in the above areas, please note that all studentships are subject to confirmation by the AHRC.


Candidates must apply for a place on the programme on which they wish to study by 23 January 2015 in order to be eligible for funding from the NWCDTP. UK and EU students intending to take a research degree (PhD) in the School may be eligible to apply for support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. AHRC awards are competitive and provide payment of tuition fees and a maintenance stipend for UK students, and tuition fees (and a maintenance stipend, subject to eligibility criteria) for EU students.

Due to AHRC funding rules overseas students are not eligible to apply for these awards.

Application Process

Eligible applicants must complete and submit the NWCDTP funding application by 5pm Friday, 13 February 2015. Please note that this is a strict deadline and applications received after 5pm will not be included in the competition. The completed AHRC application form,together with your transcripts and references, must be submitted to Mrs Joanne Marsh, Senior Postgraduate Research Administrator, by the above deadline.

Please note that you must submit your online application for a place on your chosen PhD programme by Friday, 23 January 2015.

Please also note that candidates must apply to only one of our institutions for NWCDTP funding.

Deadline for PhD Programme Applications: Friday, 23 January 2015

Deadline for AHRC Funding Applications: Friday, 13 February 2015 - 5pm GMT

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Monday, 13 April 2015 at the latest.

AHRC Doctoral Research Studentships in Russian, Slavonic and East European Studies

The University of Manchester is a member of the AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Russian, Slavonic and East European Languages and Cultures (CEELBAS CDT). The Centre is led by University College London (UCL) and, alongside Manchester, also includes Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

The CEELBAS CDT is currently able to award AHRC Doctoral Studentships to candidates who have been offered a place on a relevant PhD programme at Manchester. The application window for candidates who have been offered a place to start research in September 2015 is now open.  
The deadline for AHRC Studentship applications, to be offered by the CEELBAS CDT, is

4 pm, Monday 2 March 2015. This is the deadline by which the application must be submitted to the CEELBAS administrator:

Please note that to be eligible to apply for a CEELBAS AHRC Studentship you must have applied for a place on the PhD programme in either Russian Studies or Polish Studies by the University of Manchester. The Deadline for the PhD Programme Applications is Friday 23January 2015 (for an offer of a place on a PhD programme at the University of Manchester)

Applicants with projects on cultures, histories and societies of other East European countries are also eligible for funding and should apply to the PhD in Russian Studies.  For further details about Russian and East European Studies at Manchester, please see

To apply for a place on a PhD programme, please go to How to apply

Please note that in order to apply for a CEELBAS AHRC Studentship you need to fill in an additional form.

Value and Timeframe of the Studentship

The Studentship will cover the value of Home/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend at standard UK Research Council rates. The Studentship will be normally offered for a period of three years (five years part-time).


In line with UK Research Council regulations, to be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay
  • Been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for three years prior to the date of application for an award. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)
  • Not been residing in the UK during any part of that 3-year period wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK and EU nationals.

To be eligible for a fees only award, you:

  • Must be ordinarily resident in an EU member state, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

For inquiries about the academic side of your application, please contact Professor Vera Tolz (

John Rylands Research Institute Scholarships

The John Rylands Research Institute is pleased to offer one three-year PhD scholarship, which will focus on an aspect of the University of Manchester Library’s outstanding Special Collections. The candidate must have a very good first degree (at least a high 2i) and an MA at Merit, or higher, in a field relevant to the Special Collections with which he or she wishes to work. Fluent written and spoken English is essential, while knowledge of other languages relating to the Special Collections is desirable.

The candidate will be affiliated to the John Rylands Research Institute, but is also expected to take part in graduate activities of the department within which his or her subject falls. He or she will be expected to identify and approach a supervisor, following which a panel will be selected depending on the subject area. The candidate will also work in close collaboration with other colleagues at the Institute.

The topic of the PhD dissertation must relate to the Special Collections. The following priority areas have been identified for 2015/2016

Revolutions in Print

  • World-leading collections of early printed books, illustrating the transition from manuscript to print, covering all major presses and centres of book production; outstanding collection of Aldines; also xylographic printing.
  • Internationally significant collections of proclamations, broadsides, journals, monographs regarding the French Revolution.
  • Internationally significant collections of printed books relating to the Protestant Reformation.
  • Revolutions in the transmission of art and visual culture from drawings, paintings and illuminations to visual print culture (relief, intaglio, planographic and screen printing) and photography.

Science and Medicine

  • Major archives relating to 19th-century chemistry and physics, e.g. John Dalton, Edward Frankland, James Joule, Henry Roscoe, Arthur Schuster.
  • Major archives relating to 20th-century technological innovations, such as the National Archive for the History of Computing, and the Jodrell Bank Observatory Archive.
  • Internationally significant printed collections relating to the history of medicine, 16th–20th centuries.
  • Nationally significant collections relating to medical illustration, e.g. Thomas Radford anatomical drawings.


  • World-leading archive and print collections relating to the development of Methodism in Britain and the Americas.
  • Nationally/internationally significant archive and print collections relating to other denominations and groups, e.g. Brethren, Unitarians, Congregationalists, Baptists.
  • World-leading collections of Bibles, with printed Bibles in over 400 languages, and hymns, with John Rylands’s collection of over 50,000 hymns.
  • Internationally significant collections of sacred texts, liturgies, devotional literature, etc., relating to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and other faiths.

You must first approach and obtain approval from your proposed supervisor, detailing a project that will utilise the Special Collections. You must then apply to the PhD programme of the department within which your proposed subject falls, using the University’s online application form. This must include the standard supporting documentation: research proposal; academic references; transcripts; degree certificate(s); English language test certificate (where applicable). Please indicate on the online application form (under the heading ‘Funding’) that you would like to be considered for the John Rylands Research Institute Scholarship. You will be asked to submit a research proposal of no more than 1000 words (the word-count to include footnotes but exclude bibliography), detailing how you would approach your research topic.

For general guidance, please contact the Institute’s research administrator, Mrs. Anna Higson:  or for subject specific guidance, please contact the relevant curator or supervisor.

The award will cover Home/EU fees and the equivalent of the research council stipend (£13,863 in 2014-15) for the academic year 2015/16, starting in September 2015.

Deadline for applications: Friday, 12 June 2015

School awards for PhD students

The details for this competition will be published here as soon as they are available. 

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentships

The Nippon Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation have launched a new five-year grant programme designed to support the development of Japanese Studies in the UK. Applications are invited for the Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship Programme.

The Studentships are worth £10,000 and are for one year only.  Award holders will be welcomed to reapply for this studentship (subject to availability) in subsequent years.


  • Any full-time PhD student (new admissions and current PhD students) whose thesis topic focuses on any aspect of Japan for which the University can provide adequate supervision may apply.
  • Applicants may be of any nationality.
  • Candidates must have submitted an application for a place on the PhD programme by the scholarship application deadline.
  • Current students who have already accepted full scholarships for September 2015 entry or are already in receipt of a full scholarship are ineligible.

Scholarship Application Deadline and Procedures

Prospective students:

1. Deadline for PhD Programme Applications: Friday, 23 January 2015

2. Deadline for Sasakawa Studentship Applications: Friday, 13 February 2015 - 5pm GMT

Current Manchester PhD students only:

  1. By Friday, 13 February 2015 - 5pm GMT a complete Scholarship Form, including a CV and a research proposal, must be submitted to

Notification of Results

A list of nominees will be chosen by the Selection Committee and submitted to the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, which will decide all final awardees. Nominated candidates will be notified by the end of March 2015. Successful candidates will be notified by the end of June 2015.

For a Sasakawa Funding application form and informal enquiries please contact Dr Erica Baffelli: 

Degree scrolls and rolls of bank notes

PhD studentships and bursaries are now available for 2015/16