Research course

German 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


Course content

We have a long established reputation for the breadth and quality of our research. Our understanding of German Studies is multiple and interdisciplinary, with a particular emphasis on culture and history from 1800 to the present day. From the cultural history of Imperial Germany to contemporary Turkish-German culture, migration studies and cosmopolitanism, from Culture and Dictatorship, German-Jewish studies and Holocaust film to the history of translation, our research explores the interface between politics, culture and identity in the modern German-speaking world across and beyond its national boundaries.

Our standing is demonstrated by the fact that in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Manchester ranked 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% of the aspects judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*).

Recent PhD projects supervised in the Department include studies on:

  • Early 20 th -century German Design
  • The Ottoman Armenians in German Literature and Journalism
  • Melusine figures in Theodor Fontane
  • Space and Time in Kleist and Hoffmann
  • Disability in Contemporary German Women's Writing
  • Holocaust Education
  • Gertrud Kolmar
  • Turkish-German Literature and Film
  • Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary German Culture
  • Architecture and Dictatorship
  • Turkish German Cinema
  • Cosmopolitanism and Contemporary Muslim German Writers

The University of Manchester Library is one of the best libraries in the country with excellent electronic access to resources, and the Special Collections of the John Rylands Library are a particularly rich research resource.

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


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

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