Research course

Chinese Studies

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

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

We require successful completion of a master's course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Our PhD Chinese Studies programme will enable you to undertake a significant piece of research that aligns with our interests in a wide range of areas.

Our research 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.

Specialisms include:

  • Chinese nationalism and transnationalism;
  • Chinese social and business networks;
  • China's interactions with its Asian neighbours and the West in the modern era;
  • Relationship between the state and intellectuals after 1978;
  • Changing images of China in the world; history and theory of translation from Chinese into European languages in the 18th-early 20th centuries;
  • The relationship between translation, the rise of sinology as an academic discipline in France and England, developments in translation theory of the time, rivalry between European nations in the 19th century, and the rise of racist discourses which asserted European supremacy;
  • Crime fiction in Chinese and English;
  • Privatisation and economic regulation in utility industries in developing countries, regulatory impact assessment, foreign direct investment in infrastructure industries in middle- and low-income countries, poverty reduction and regulatory reform in public utilities, and regional development disparity.

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 north-west.

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 Rylands Library holdings are a unique collection of late imperial and early modern texts, art and objects that provide fecund ground for further research.

We also run a regular research seminar series in East Asian Studies, and postgraduate students contribute significantly to the running and content of both.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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