Research course

Chinese Studies

The University of Manchester · School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

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

The research undertaken in Chinese Studies in our School encompasses modern social and cultural history, gender and sexuality, modern and contemporary literatures and cultures (including the larger sinosphere), media studies (film, television and the internet), and contemporary art in China/Asia.

The study of contemporary Chinese art is especially aided by the close collaboration between researchers in Chinese Studies and regional art galleries in Manchester and the northwest. Opportunities for the study of earlier periods of Chinese history and culture are made particularly rich by the holdings of The University of Manchester Library, the third largest academic library in the UK; the John Ryland's Library holdings are a unique collection of late imperial and early modern texts, art and objects that provide fecund ground for further research. Chinese Studies also runs a regular research seminar series in East Asian Studies wherein postgraduate students contribute significantly to the running and content of both.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) Japanese Studies and Chinese Studies were 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*).

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


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

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