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PhD Social Anthropology with Visual Media

University of Manchester

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    The University of Manchester

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    4 years

Course summary

Programme overview

  • Combine the study of social anthropology and visual and audio media in your doctoral training
  • Join a lively PhD community working in all the world's continents and a variety of topics
  • Gain guidance and support from two expert supervisors

Open days

The University holds an annual open days, where you will have the opportunity to find out more about our facilities and programmes.

On this day, you will learn more about the School, our Social Anthropology department, and our resources.

You'll also be able to meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

Programme description

The three/four year full-time (or part-time equivalent) PhD in Social Anthropology and Visual Media programme is intended for those who wish to incorporate the use of visual and/or audio media whilst pursuing doctoral research.

Substantial original research, including ethnographic fieldwork of 12-18 months, will lead to the production of a thesis. You are required to produce visual and/or audio media as a necessary and integral feature of your thesis, there is an expectation that the textual component should be no more than 60,000 words or a 25% reduction on the normal maximum length for the PhD in Social Anthropology.

Throughout, you will work closely with an expert supervisor, with further guidance from at least one extra supervisor.

The structure depends on prior qualification:

  • You will, during the first year, take a set of research training courses. After about 10 months (or 20 in part-time study) produce a 12,000-15,000 word research proposal. This proposal is examined in an oral viva.
  • After fieldwork, you will return to the University and start writing your dissertation and editing your audio-visual material under the guidance of your supervisors.
  • If you have successfully completed our MA Anthropological Research course (or an equivalent ESRC-recognised course in another UK institution), you may be in a position to start fieldwork as soon as is practicable, provided that you have submitted a satisfactory research proposal as part of your previous degree and it has been approved by the School of Social Sciences.

Social anthropology at Manchester has a lively PhD community 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 Year 1 on this PhD programme, if you have not taken the MA Anthropological Research, you will normally take a number of research training course units. Two core units 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. A series of optional courses offer skills in additional methods, such as:

  • quantitative approaches;
  • archival research;
  • working with memory;
  • conducting elite interviews.

There is also the Fieldwork and Film work seminar, open to all postgraduates, at which post-fieldwork students screen 'works-in-progress', in order to receive feedback from fellow students and staff.

Under the individualised guidance of your supervisors, you will read extensively around your research topic and relevant theoretical literature. To deepen your knowledge, you may also take particular units in social anthropology.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 19,500per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Manchester

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    7th out of 34 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 212
    155 78%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    74 74%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.08 82%



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