We offer diverse opportunities for postgraduate study through our Drama PhD (Theatre and Screen), Anthropology Media and Performance PhD, and Professional PhD in Applied Theatre.
Engage with Manchester's vibrant cultural life directly through work placement opportunities and research collaborations with cultural sector partners in the city, such as the Royal Exchange Theatre, HOME, and TiPP (Theatre in Prisons and Probation).
View our programmes, and the support available for our postgraduate researchers.
We've been awarded over £1.3 million in research grants from international funding bodies, including two large-scale AHRC-funded projects:
- ‘In Place of War’ explores theatre in sites of conflict
- ‘Performance, Learning and Heritage’ considers the uses of performance as a medium of learning in museums and historic sites
Drama plays a leading role in the development of practice-based research and has now extended similar explorations into theatre and screen studies.
Our degrees focus on the main three strands of research in drama at Manchester: Theatre Studies, Applied Theatre and Screen Studies.
We also have research expertise in areas of theatre history, especially late 19th century popular performance and women in 20th century theatre.
Our innovative skills training programme 'artsmethods@manchester' provides a research environment that crosses discipline boundaries.
Many of our PhD students are co-supervised with colleagues in other subject areas across the University.
Students enrolled on our postgraduate research programmes are currently working on a range of drama-based projects:
PhD Anthropology, Media and Performance
- Veronica Castro - “Ways of Dying': Santo Daime End-of-Life Ritual Performances in the Lumiar Community, Serrana do Rio de Janeiro’ (supervised by Dr Joannes Sjöberg).
- Kriston Jackson - ‘American Roads: Everyday Affects on the Vernacular Roadside’ (supervised by Dr Joannes Sjöberg and Dr Andrew Irving).
- Asif Majid - ‘Devising Key Narratives: Participatory Theatre with and by Young Mancunian Muslims’ (supervised by Professor James Thompson and Dr Michelle Obeid).
PhD Applied Theatre
- Carly Henderson - ‘How Cultural and Creative Education in Key Stage 2 can help Develop Awareness and Understanding of Cultural Practice, which may Contribute to the Longevity of Regional Theatre’ (supervised by Dr Simon Parry and Dr Jenny Hughes).
- Madeleine Irwin - ‘Rehearsing Meaning: How can the Theatre-Making Process Model Meaning-Making for Participants?’ (supervised by Dr Jenny Hughes and Professor James Thompson).
- Lyndsay Muir - ‘Applied Theatre with Trans People’ (supervised by Dr Alison Jeffers and Dr Jenny Hughes).
- John Parkinson - 'Endeavouring to Teach and Research Creatively in Prison Education and Vocational Training: Autoethnographical Reflections of Performance and Turmoil' (supervised by Dr Jenny Hughes and Professor James Thompson).
- Reka Polonyi - 'The Importance of Laughter: The Preservation of Imagination and (Re)construction of Identity in Times of War' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supervised by Dr Jenny Hughes).
- Simon Ruding - ‘Too Close for Comfort? An Investigation into the Impact of Performing in Restorative Treatment Interventions for High-Risk Offenders’ (supervised by Dr Jenny Hughes and Professor Stephen Bottoms).
- Garret Scally - ‘Language Acquisition through the Creative Collaborative Process of Devising’ (supervised by Professor James Thompson and Dr Alison Jeffers).
- Victoria Sawka - Can a Drama-Based Approach to Education Develop an Accessible Pedagogy to Re-think the Role of Teacher and Learner in Mainstream Education?’ (supervised by Dr Simon Parry and Dr Jenny Hughes).
PhD Art History and Visual Studies
- Suzy Mangion - 'Marvellous Noise and Modest Recording Instruments: Dada and Surrealism and Early Sound Film' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supervised by Dr David Butler).
- Omar Ahmed - 'Indian Cinema: Theorising Parallel Cinema as a Film Movement' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supervised by Dr Rajinder Dudrah and Dr Felicia Chan).
- Kathryn Ashill - ‘Extended Family: Performing Companionship, Health and Wellbeing across Species’ (supervised by Dr Simon Parry and Dr Robert Kirk).
- Linford Butler - ‘A Two-Finger Salute: `Do-It-Yourself' Theatre-Making as Anti-Establishment Practice and Philosophy’
- Maohui Deng - 'The Golden Age and the Grey Pound: Distribution, Exhibition, and Reception in an Ageing Society' (funded by President's Doctoral Scholar Award and supervised by Dr David Butler and Dr Felicia Chan).
- Kathleen Donoghue - ‘Performing Trauma on Post-Conflict Stages: The Representational Strategies of DAH Teatar’ (supervised by Professor Stephen Bottoms and Professor James Thompson).
- Ben Dunn - "We are not above, beyond or looking over, but next to and within': Examining the Potential for Increased Community Representation within Applied Theatre’ (funded by Research and Innovation Services (RIS) and supervised by Professor James Thompson and Dr Jenny Hughes).
- Laura Johnson - “Things get weird on Highway 61': Constructing a Rural Imaginary in the Canadian Road Movie’ (supervised by Dr Felicia Chan and Dr David Butler).
- Gwilym Lawrence - 'Space and spontaneity: An interdisciplinary understanding of improvised performance, site and process' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and President's Doctoral Scholar Award, and supervised by Professor Stephen Bottoms and Dr Mark Riley (University of Liverpool)).
- Katherine Morley - 'The influence of live music on spectatorship, in an Early Years Theatre context' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and President's Doctoral Scholar Award, and supervised by Dr Jenny Hughes and Dr Caroline Bithell).
- Jonathan Smith - 'Nasty, Brutish and Tall: The Representation, Role and Influence of Brutalist Architecture in British Cinema' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supervised by Dr Victoria Lowe and Dr Charlotte Wildman).
- Sophie Stringfellow - 'Henry James, Oscar Wilde and Spectral Performance' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supervised by Professor Stephen Bottoms and Professor Maggie Gale).
- Ying Tian - 'Representing Gender and Race, Constituting Self and Other: Transnational Remakes of the Monkey King in Contemporary Media Cultures' (supervised by Dr Felicia Chan and Dr Jackie Stacey).
- Robert Watts - ‘Rethinking Television Studies: The Impact of American Television Aesthetics on British TV Drama’ (funded by the School of Arts, Language and Cultures (SALC) and supervised by Dr Felicia Chan and Dr David Butler).
- Daniel White - 'The Music of Fantasy Film Franchises: On the Creation, Evolution and Inhabitation of Musical Worlds' (funded by the School of Arts, Language and Cultures (SALC) and supervised by Dr David Butler and Dr Roddy Hawkins).
Find out about the bursaries, scholarships and studentships available to support postgraduate research.
Information about applying for a postgraduate research degree in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.
Find out how Drama at Manchester has been confirmed as one of the leading departments in the UK for its research.
An online and physical community for postgraduate students to meet, access resources and organise events.
Check out the comprehensive facilities available to the Drama department.
Research is at the heart of The University of Manchester. Here early career researchers talk about their research and the world of opportunity on offer to drama students at the University.