Learn about projects and funding still available for September on Wednesday 28 June 2023 (1pm to 2pm).
A Manchester PhD could change your tomorrow.
This is the place where the atom was split, graphene was discovered and AI was born. It could be your home too.
Whether you're interested in a CDT, an MPhil, a PhD, Eng D or MSc by Research, this page will take you through the process of becoming a Manchester postgraduate researcher, from finding your research passion, to knowing how it’ll be funded.
Right, let’s start your tomorrow.
Choose your own path
Join a global institution where you can choose between full or part time projects, develop transferable skills, accelerate your career and forge the future you want.
Innovate and create
Our postgraduate researchers work at the cutting-edge of research, making important breakthroughs, big and small, as we build a better future together.
A different place
Enjoy life in a multicultural city, that people who think differently are proud to call home, and feel you belong as part of our diverse research community.
World leading facilities
We’re home to some of the best facilities in the world, from the biggest electrical infrastructure test facility in UK academia, to the only in-land wave tank in the UK.
Discover your tomorrow
Get ready for a life changing experience like no other.
Ours is a diverse community, with talented researchers from different countries, cultures, backgrounds and beliefs, where everyone is welcome. That’s why we’ve got flexible pathways to support you, whatever your background or career stage.
What makes a good Manchester researcher?
Postgraduate research at Manchester is for people who are passionate, tenacious and curious, with strong problem solving and communication skills, and who are on track for a 2:1 or above. We also need you to be able to demonstrate research potential - this can range from anything like undertaking an extended project to submitting a dissertation.
We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the application process, or whether you’ve decided what you want to focus on yet. We’re here to support you in shaping your tomorrow.
Choose your research area
What inspires you?
Your tomorrow should be built on your research passion. Start your PhD journey by finding the research project that best suits you.
Browsing for PhD opportunities? We’ve a vast range of expertise across the nine Departments listed below.
Want to collaborate across research areas? Read more about the innovative projects available at our Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), where we work across institutions to provide valuable practical training.
Already know what you’re looking for? Head over to our project search to find your chosen research area, or go straight to our supervisor search to find a sponsor for your proposal.
Browse PhD opportunities
- Chemical Engineering - including catalysis and porous materials; process integration; and sustainable industrial systems.
- Chemistry - including biotechnology; inorganic, materials, organic, physical, and theoretical chemistry disciplines.
- Computer Science - including computer systems engineering; data engineering; and software systems engineering.
- Earth and Environmental Sciences - including atmospheric sciences; ecology and evolution; palaeontology; and planetary science.
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering - including specialist programme options in electrical and electronic engineering.
- Materials - including biomaterials; fashion management and marketing; metallurgy and corrosion; nanomaterials; and textiles and apparel.
- Mathematics - including applied maths; financial maths; mathematical logic; probability; pure mathematics; and statistics.
- Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering - including environmental engineering; management of projects, and nuclear engineering.
- Physics and Astronomy - including accelerator, nuclear and particle physics; astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology; condensed matter, atomic and biological physics; theoretical physics.
Browse live projects
Know what you're looking for?
Search through our live research projects to find your future team or, alternatively, go straight to our supervisor section to start talking to potential sponsors for your research.
Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)
Collaborating across research areas, and with other institutions, allows us to provide funded PhD opportunities combined with valuable practical training.
At Manchester, these Centres for Doctoral Training include research into advanced biomedical materials, graphene, mathematical modelling, planetary science, and nuclear energy.
Dual and joint awards
Want to carry out some of your research in a different country?
We partner with a range of international universities, including many which host joint scholarships with us.
Our research projects offer places at such prestigious institutions as China’s Tsinghua University, the University of Melbourne, and the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
Find a supervisor
Where to start
Getting in touch with a potential supervisor for your project is a crucial part of your PhD journey.
- Tell you more about a project and the team you could work with.
- Nominate you for one of our funding scholarships.
- Sponsor your proposed research idea.
- Support you at every stage of your research journey.
They’re actually your colleague. They may be more senior than you, but at the end of the day they’re on your side. They’ve experienced working with lots and lots of PhD students and they know the best way to lead you to get good outcomes.Jie, 2nd year student / Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering
Fund your research
Find the funding you need
There are lots of ways you can secure funding for your postgraduate research.
Depending on the project you’re applying for, there are a range of options available at different times of the year. We also regularly receive sponsorship from research councils, industries, trusts and charities.
If you’re self-funding your research or you’re being sponsored by your government, we'll require proof of funds or a letter from your sponsor when you apply.
If you already know the research area you’re interested in, you can search through our funding database to see the scholarships that might be available.
Make a note of these details – you’ll need them when you apply!
Search our funding database
Additional funding support
Scholarships aren’t the only way to find funding for your research.
- Postgraduate loans – you might qualify for a non-means tested loan from the UK Government. Paid directly to you, these contribute towards the cost of your study.
- Funding for students with disabilities – talk to our Disability Support Office about the external sources of financial support that might be available.
- Work while you study – our schools and faculties offer additional opportunities to supplement your income, including tutoring and graduate teaching assistant roles.
A brilliant campus, at the heart of the UK's most liveable city.
Meet our researchers
"I really love just walking around Manchester; there’s something for everyone here."
Hear how Charlotte balances her research, teaching and life in a city she calls home.
"Life as a postgraduate researcher varies."
Toufic tells us about the ups and downs of his research and how he's taking advantage of the industry links at the University.
"Manchester really stood out for me because there are so many world leading projects going on here."
Jie tells us about her research and the opportunities she's discovering.
Join our applicant webinar
Still searching for a project or funding for September 2023?
Join us at our Faculty of Science and Engineering Postgraduate Research Applicant Webinar on Wednesday 28 June (1pm to 2pm) and learn all about the projects and funding we still have available for September.
You’ll also have the opportunity to hear from current postgraduate researchers about PhD life at Manchester, find out about the steps you need to take to apply, and take part in a Q&A with our panel.
Progress your application
So, you’ve found a research area to focus on, and a supervisor to support you. You also know how you want to fund your project. But what’s next?
1. Check the entry requirements and tuition fees for your chosen subject area in our course profile section.
2. Fill out your application form. We’d recommend having all your information to hand before you start the form. Here’s a short guide to what you’ll need.
Your application checklist
- Choose a project, or propose your own
- Find a supervisor who could support your research
- Decide how your project could be funded
Start your new tomorrow
Not long to go now...the final step is your application.
Before you apply, remember that your application is more likely to be successful if you have already made contact with potential supervisors, to find out if they are able to offer supervision in your area of interest.
Apply for an advertised project or CDT
You won’t need to submit a research proposal, you'll just need the relevant project title and supervisor(s).
Apply for your own research project
You’ll need to submit your research proposal and the name of the supervisor/s you have identified as part of your application.
Not sure which one of these is best for you? Got a question about applying, funding or something else?