PhD programmes

Please select your area of study for more information:

Programme length

The PhD programme is a 3 years/3.5 years full-time programme or 6 years/7 years part-time. The letter you received from the University offering you a place on the PhD programme specifies your registration period and the deadline for submission of your thesis.

Programme structure

Your PhD at SEED is an individual combination of these three key elements:

Supervised research

Throughout your PhD you will be planning, executing, analysing and writing up your research. You will commence work on your research from the start of your PhD. Your research work will be complemented and supported by a comprehensive research training programme during your first year.

More details on how your research is supervised and supported:

Research training

You will follow a structured programme of research training in the first year, which complements your developing research. During your first year, you will spend around 60% of your time developing the advanced research and transferable skills and specialist knowledge that you will need to plan your doctoral research. Further training opportunities are available throughout the programme, from SEED and other providers. You are encouraged to regularly review your training needs and to take advantage of relevant opportunities to enhance your research skills.

More details on the SEED Research Training Programme:

Researcher development

The emphasis is on personal and professional skills required to produce a high-quality PhD, as well as the career development that will enhance employability and the ability to make the most of opportunities that arise. Many of the training and development opportunities offered outside the formal research training programme are linked to the Researcher Development Framework.

 More details on the Researcher Development Framework;

Programme rules

The rules governing the PhD are embodied in the Ordinances and Regulations and the University’s Code of Practice for PGR Degrees. You are also bound by the University’s General Regulations.

More details on the policies and regulations that govern your programme:

Dual PhD

PGRs on dual PhD (Manchester-Melbourne) programme should contact for any queries and requests.


Architectural research at The University of Manchester is intrinsically inter-disciplinary, encompassing areas in which the School already has strong interests – such as urban design, urban development, ecological and landscape design and the conservation and management of historic environments. 

Research is carried out within the Manchester Architecture Research Group (MARG). MARG draws upon a wide range of interdisciplinary research and teaching interests within the School, the Faculty of Humanities, the University and the Faculty of Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University (through the joint Manchester School of Architecture).

We also have research and teaching links to other schools such as structural engineering within the School of Mechanical, Civil and Aeronautical Engineering, art history and archaeology within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures and popular culture within Social Sciences.

The opportunities for collaborative architectural research in the University are unparalleled, and research bids in a variety of disciplines are strengthened by the involvement of strong architectural researchers.

Our people

Architecture staff at Manchester also engage in research projects in collaboration with other institutions.

Architecture students can expect to work across multiple buildings including the Arthur Lewis Building, Humanities Bridgeford Street and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Discipline Co-ordinator for Architecture is Dr Lukasz Stanek

Head of Architecture is Dr Raymond Lucas

Further information

Visit the MARG website to find out more about MARG staff, students and associated colleagues.

View a list of Architecture research projects


The University of Manchester is one of the UK’s leading centres for geographical research.

We were ranked sixth in the UK and eighth in the world for Geography in the QS World Rankings 2013. You will benefit from custom-built physical geography laboratories, cutting edge computer software and one of the UK’s best university libraries. We produce research of global excellence, with 94% of our research activity considered internationally recognised and 65% defined as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2008 RAE.

Geography is home to five research groups:

Over half of our staff hold editorial positions with leading research publications. We also have strong working relationships with research centres within and beyond our School; our researchers also work closely with The Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy (CURE) and The Centre for Urban Policy Studies (CUPS).

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Global Development Institute

We are the largest university based postgraduate centre specialising in international development and one of the world’s leading centres for research on international development issues. We are renowned internationally for our quality research and address some of the most pressing and immediate global problems. We have a large and diverse postgraduate population and alumni network that stretches around the world.

Our graduates are employed by the world’s major development agencies and universities in roles such as government ministers, policy makers, economists and civil servants. We promote social and economic development and the reduction of poverty by enhancing the capabilities of individuals and organisations through education, research and policy analysis, particularly within lower-income countries and for disadvantaged groups. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) 65% of our research activity was judged to be ‘world leading' or ‘internationally excellent’.

Our research has been consistently rated at the highest level and we have regularly produced world class and cutting edge research that have made significant impact to individuals, institutions and societies around the world.

Our activities include research into major areas of development policy and practice including

  • poverty alleviation;
  • development finance;
  • human resource management and capacity building;
  • information systems;
  • public sector reform;
  • institutional and organisational change and development;
  • economic and social development;
  • impact assessment and sustainable development;
  • resource management;
  • sustainable livelihoods; and
  • the environment.

The combined field experience of our staff covers over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Central and South America and the Pacific.

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Manchester Institute of Education

The Manchester Institute of Education approach to research is distinctive through a focus on equity and practice, making a significant contribution to the University’s goal of social responsibility.

Our aim is to ensure that research is at the cutting edge of theory and practice, and that it contributes to improvements in the overall quality of education for students, their families and communities in educational settings throughout the world.

Productive partnerships with policymakers and practitioners have been developed in order to interplay ideas, evidence and strategy.

Find out more about MIE research groups:

  • Critical Education Policy (CEP)
  • Critical Pedagogies (CP)
  • Disadvantage and Poverty (DP)
  • Education and Psychology (EP)

Our people

Planning and Environmental Management

We are one of the longest established and largest professional recognised planning schools in the UK, renowned internationally for the quality of our research.  We place a strong interdisciplinary emphasis on our work, with all our staff working across a number of research areas.  We have an excellent graduate employment record and strong professional links with planners, urban development professionals and environmental managers, particularly in Manchester. 

We have an active research culture with a strong commitment to working at the cutting edge of current practice. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) 60% of our research activity was ranked as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.  In the past five years we have attracted more than £2.5 million in research and training contracts.  Our PhD students benefit from being integrated into our vibrant, multidisciplinary research community. 

Our postgraduate research students are regarded as an integral part of our research culture, and we recruit high calibre students from all over the world to join our diverse and international team.  Students undertake their research studies in the UK and a wide range of countries worldwide.

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