Research course

Japanese Studies

The University of Manchester · East Asian Studies

Entry requirements

Successful completion of a Masters course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training, is a prerequisite for entry to a PhD. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials.

The University requires you to reside within a commutable distance from Manchester during your time as a registered student, unless you are on approved fieldwork/a formal placement or are on a period of Submission pending. This is to ensure that you are able to meet attendance expectations and participate in wider research activities within your discipline area and/or School. Should you be unable to do this at any point during your programme, a formal case must be made to the Faculty office, together with the full support of your supervisor(s). The University reserves the right to reject such a request where it is considered that your residency could have a detrimental impact on the progression and engagement of your studies.

Months of entry

January, September, April

Course content

Japanese Studies was established at Manchester in 2007 and quickly grew a large undergraduate programme with a small but expanding graduate cluster attached. Japanese Studies in Manchester focuses on modern and contemporary Japan and offers supervision of postgraduate research projects connected to the broader issues of gender, education, religion, society and history. In particular we offer specialist supervision on mass culture, subcultural formations and cultural production, contemporary and modern religious organizations and movements, modern medical and educational and cultural history, and gender and women in culture, medicine, reproduction, and society. Anthropological, sociological, textual and gender and cultural studies approaches are supported. There is a focus on cross-disciplinary research and co-supervision linking research in Japanese Studies with other disciplines.

Applicants are asked to make direct contact with individual academic members of staff whose research interests and approach seem to most closely resemble their own, before submitting an application, in order to find a potential supervisor. Please contact Aya Homei for proposals linked to medicine, reproduction and gender; Erica Baffelli for religion and society; Jonathan Bunt for language and linguistics with media and film; Peter Cave for education with history and anthropology; and Sharon Kinsella for visual culture, popular cultures, media studies.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) Japanese Studies was assessed as part of the University of Manchester's 'Modern Languages and Linguistics' submission. In REF2014 the University of Manchester has been confirmed as a leading centre for research in Modern Languages and Linguistics, ranking third in the UK in terms of research power (an established criterion which values research quality in relation to the number of staff submitted). We achieved joint fourth in terms of the overall amount of 'world-leading' (4*) research activity and 80% of our research was judged to be in the highest two categories (4* or 3*). Specifically, 73% of our publications were judged as either 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*); moreover, 85% of our research activity achieved 'outstanding' (4*) or `very considerable¿ (3*) public impact in areas spanning policy, public discourse, education, cultural life and society. Our research environment was also judged to be strong, with 100% judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*).

Department specialisms


Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English require:

an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component


a TOEFL score of 600 paper-based test or 100 internet-based test


a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 70 overall with 70 in the writing component


an overall Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III grade of Merit with Merit in the writing component.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The School offers a limited number of bursaries and studentships on a competitive basis, details of which can be found via the links below.

Please note that whilst we do not have closing dates for programme applications, all funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below:

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
+44 (0)161 275 3559