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Find out more about the Arts and Humanities Research Groups and Centres, Graduate School Support Funding and Library Services and Staff. You’ll also find links to useful information such as the student handbook, using special collections and links to the Graduate School website.


Visit LISTINGS for the latest Calls for Papers, conferences, events, news and opportunities aimed at postgraduates and staff in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Updated regularly, there are listings that cover everything from university events to international conferences.

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PLEASE NOTE: Research within the Manchester School of Art has recently been restructured. Information about the new research centres and groups will be updated in due course.


The Humanities Research Centre (HRC) brings together over 90 researchers from the Departments of English, History, Politics and Philosophy, and Languages and Linguistics. The centre works in partnership with many cultural institutions, from theatre companies, museums to libraries, archives and galleries and places great emphasis on communicating research beyond the University to local, regional and international audiences.


The Research Centre in Applied Social Sciences (RCASS) has been established to produce critically-engaged, high quality research that challenges common-sense ways about how we think about the world and our place in it. The Centre aims to provide an inter-disciplinary home for critical research that contributes to policy-making debates and decision-making, while genuinely impacting upon the work and strategies of local organisations and communities.


Sociology and Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University is home to a vibrant group of academic researchers whose work helped Sociology researchers achieve outstanding results in REF2014. In the Sociology submission more than 2/3 of research was ranked either internationally leading or world-leading (3* and 4*) while Sociology is ranked in the top 10 of Sociology submissions for Impact. Meanwhile, in the Social Policy and Social Work submission 60% of research was also ranked of 3* or 4* star quality.

Areas of particular research expertise include Youth, Urban Cultures, Sexualities, Quantitative Methods and Big Data, and Criminal Justice and Policy Innovation. The department is also home to The Policy Evaluation Research Unit (PERU), The Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS). Postgraduate Research opportunities (for the degree of PhD) are available across the discipline of Sociology, reflecting the strength and diversity of academic research within the Department. We are also very keen to encourage research that is inter-disciplinary in its approach.


In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, the English subject group at MMU was ranked 30th out of 89 departments in the UK with 78% of our research activities and outputs judged to be world leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*). The social and cultural impact of our research was rated 8th in the UK, with 100% of our activities in this area judged to be 4* (63.3%) and 3* (36.7%).

English is engaged in a dynamic expansion of its postgraduate programmes. On registration all new research students in English become affiliate members of The Centre for research in English, Languages and Linguistics (CELL), which was established in 2014 as part of the Faculty’s new Humanities Research Centre (HRC). CELL currently comprises 35 research-active staff and over 25 research students across two sites working in the areas of literary studies, creative writing, film studies and aspects of cultural theory.

The department has an impressive publication record, including not only critical studies but also novels, plays and volumes of poetry. We have a vibrant, rapidly-expanding postgraduate student culture, which is fully integrated in the Institute’s research environment. Staff offer supervision in the following closely interrelated areas of expertise, including: fiction from C17 to the present, poetry in theory and practice, especially twentieth-century and contemporary, literature and science/medicine/theology, Gothic studies, British, German, Japanese and US cinema, LGBT / Queer film & culture , horror film, gender theory and sexuality, feminism and queer theory, masculinity studies and Deleuze studies.


History, Politics, Philosophy:

The History section has a strong record of research and publication which encompasses a broad range of areas of expertise: Ancient History, Medieval History, Early Modern History, American History post-1860, Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century British History, Community History, Public History and Heritage. We house the Manchester Centre for Regional History, which gives our students the advantage of our strong links with historians and archives that extend beyond the University, and work in partnership with an array of public cultural institutions; museums, libraries archives and galleries.

Staff have expertise in a broad range of geographic areas comprising British, Local and Regional, Western and Eastern European, Russian and Asian History.

The Politics section comprises staff who conduct research in the fields of Politics, International Relations and Public Administration. Staff publish in a range of areas including US foreign policy toward the Middle East, European energy policy, football and communities, early twentieth century British political history, intentional communities, socialist thought, the governance of urban and rural regeneration and UK devolution.

There is an extensive programme of postgraduate student seminars, and three series of departmental research seminars with contributions from distinguished political scientists, philosophers and historians from outside the University. The section hosts the very successful `Workshops in Political Theory’ and the `Alternative Futures and Popular Protest’ conferences on an annual basis.

The Philosophy section is a centre of excellence, with advanced research in a number of areas including the history of philosophy, transcendental philosophy, and phenomenology. In the last UK research assessment (REF 2014) over 75% of our outputs were deemed to be of international or world leading significance.  The social and cultural impact of our research was rated 30th in the UK, with 50% of our activities in this area were deemed to be internationally excellent.

Our most recent doctoral defences were theses by Dr Dominic Kelly (on Heidegger), Dr Nicholas Aldridge (on Jean-Luc Nancy), Dr Nicola Crosby (on Kant), and Dr Shandon Guthrie (on the Metaphysics of Demonology).

Students are currently writing doctorates on the work of Hegel, on the work of Jean Luc Nancy, and on the work of Foucault. There are weekly meetings of the Human Sciences Seminar (HSS) in the autumn and spring terms, and a seminar for graduate students to present their work in the summer term.


The Department of Languages, Information and Communications is made up of a vibrant community of researchers, representative of six key areas: Cultural Studies, Information Communications, Journalism, Languages, Linguistics and Media Studies.

Particular research strengths within these areas include:

  • Gender and race studies; youth culture.
  • Information and knowledge management; information behaviour; internet politics; digital libraries; language processing and search technologies; technology-enhanced learning; user experience (HCI).
  • (Alternative) political communication; computational journalism; digital creativity; importance of media in user engagement; interactive media; media law; public affairs; social media and protest, sports journalism.
  • French; German; Hispanic; Italian; interpreting and translation.
  • Applied linguistics; corpus linguistics; (critical) discourse analysis; forensic linguistics; intercultural communication; pragmatics; sociolinguistics; stylistics; syntax studies.
  • Digital anthropology; ethnography; film/media pedagogy; languages, film studies and media; sociology of digital technology; social media.
  • Research in Languages, Information and Communications
  • Information & Communications Research Degrees
  • Languages Research Degrees
  • Information and Communications Postgraduate courses
  • Languages Postgraduate courses

Faculty Librarians

Fiona Hughes – Library Services Manager for the Arts and Humanities Faculty and Special Collections

The team is managed and led by Fiona Hughes. Fiona represents the Library at FRDC (Faculty Research Degrees Committee) and is a member of the Library Management Team which considers service wide issues at a strategic level. Fiona did her first degree in German before taking her Masters in Librarianship, she is also a Fellow of CILIP, the library and information association. Most of her spare time is taken up with playing the French horn in various orchestras around the North West.

Sheila CandelandSociology and Criminology, Journalism, Information & Communications, Languages, Linguistics & TESOL Subject Librarian

Shelia offers advice and support on a wide range of subjects and helps students in how to find and use library resources and services. Details can be found within the individual Subject Guide.

Ann Coyne – Film and Media & Acting Subject Librarian

Ann offers advice and support to Film and Media Studies and Acting students in how to find and use library resources and services.  Details can be found within the Acting and Film, TV and Media Subject Guides.

Rachel Fell – English Librarian

Rachel offers support to English and Creative Writing students in how to make the most effective use of the library and library resources including eBooks, eJournals and journal databases. You can find out more about resources for English students on the English subject guide.

Louise Beddow – Politics, Public services and Philosophy Subject Librarian

Louise offers advice and support to Politics, Public services and Philosophy students in how to find and use library resources and services. Details can be found within the Politics, Public services and Philosophy Subject Guides.

Sarah Shenton – School of Art Subject Librarian

Sarah supports students from art history and fine art to the applied design of ceramics, jewellery and textiles in how to find and use library resources and services. Details can be found within the Art and Design Subject Guide

Nicola Ward – History Subject Librarian

Nicola supports students studying History in how to find and use library resources and services. Details can be found within the History Subject Guide.

Claire Wilson – Fashion Subject Librarian

Claire offers advice and support to School of Art and Manchester Fashion Institute students in how to find and use library resources and services. Details can be found within the Apparel, Fashion and Textiles Subject Guide.





Special Collections Staff

Steph Boydell – Curator

Steph looks after the Manchester School of Art Collection (historical, modern and contemporary art, craft and design), twentieth century poster collections, the Schmoller Collection of Decorated Papers, Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards and the Malcom Garrett Collection (punk, popular culture and related costume). She is also responsible for the exhibitions programme. Please contact Steph for information about and access to the collections, or for advice on exhibitions and loans.

Louise Clennell – Education and Outreach Officer

Louise facilitates access to the collections and archives for groups within and external to the university, including HE and FE providers, schools, community groups and special interest groups.  She also develops projects and events to extend the reach of the museum beyond the campus. Please contact Louise for advice and information about formal and informal museum learning, lifelong learning, access and interpretation, and community engagement.

Jeremy Parrett – Archivist

Jeremy is responsible for the management of the archival material held with Special Collections. This includes the archive of the Manchester School of Art, the papers of artists and companies involved in the book arts and book production, and archives relating to the practice and teaching of architecture in the Greater Manchester region. Please contact Jeremy for information about and access to the archives, or for advice about working with archives.

Jane Pendlebury – Senior Library Assistant

Jane works primarily with the book collections and helps to staff the Enquiry Desk in the Reading Room. Please contact Jane for support and advice in the use of collections, particularly Artists’ Books, the Book Design Collection, the Children’s Collection and the zine collection.

The Postgraduate Arts & Humanities Centre (PAHC) awards financial support to research staff and students for publications, attendance at events and activities related to their research. Contact Myna Trustram, Research Degrees Associate – M.Trustram@mmu.ac.uk – for information and details on how to apply.

The (pre-PAHC) HSSR & the HLSS Graduate School also offers financial support – though the details below may be out of date. Check with Kate Johnson.

HSSR awards financial support to research staff and students for publications, attendance at events and activities related to their research. All applications should be submitted in advance and not retrospectively. Please download the HSSR funding application form for bidding points and further details.

HLSS Graduate School awards smaller grants on an ongoing basis throughout the year. These are to support attendance at events, publications, specialist software and travel. All applications should be submitted in advance and not retrospectively. Please download the HLSS funding application form for further details.

Download a student general expense claim form here.

Please contact Kate Johnson for more information k.johnson@mmu.ac.uk.