Postgraduate research

At the University of Salford, we are committed to solving many of the complex challenges society faces today, through pioneering challenge-led research and solutions-focused enterprise. Our innovative research environment is recognised around the world, offering PGR researchers the platform to establish a profile and develop international networks.

We have a large community of research students across our different research centres. All our researchers have access to our Doctoral School, where we offer student support and training to help you become the best researcher you can be.

Choosing the right university is a big decision, so take a look at the information below to find out more about becoming a PhD student at Salford and how this can support your plans for the future.

What is a research degree?

A research degree offers you the chance to become an expert in the field that you are passionate about. It also provides you with the opportunity to examine and investigate an innovative and novel area of research.

You will shape the future through innovation, whilst developing specialist skills that you can apply to the workplace.

Under the guidance of our supervisors, you’ll take full responsibility for your work and given the freedom to make your own contribution to your chosen subject area or research. At the University of Salford we offer several research degrees: the Master of Research (MRes), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and PhD. The PhD or doctoral degree is the highest academic degree awarded by universities in the UK.

The length and structure of a research degree depends on the pathway and course chosen. Download our postgraduate research student journey guide to find out more about the different options available.

Our research specialisms

Our thriving research centres are based across our four academic schools. Take a look at your area of interest below to find out more about our research culture, academic strengths and the opportunities available to you at Salford. You can also download our guide to postgraduate research.

Our research centres

Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Our School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology attracts students from across the world, creating a vibrant and dynamic research environment, encouraging collaboration, interdisciplinary practice and international networking.

Salford is a great environment for Arts, Media and Creative Technology researchers as we engage with the real-world impacts of 21st century challenges, offer world-class performance and exhibition spaces in our New Adelphi building, and unite researchers, artists, designers, and other creative practitioners in the Salford International Innovation Studio at MediaCity.

Research areas

Get in touch

For more information about postgraduate research in Arts, Media and Creative Technology, email or call +44 (0)161 295 7012. You can also follow the Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre on Twitter.

Cultural, Communication and Media (CCM)

The CCM Research Group was established in 2005 with the aim to undertake excellent quality research in the conceptual, applied and practice-based aspects of cultural, film and media studies, traditional and new digital media.

Music and Performance

Salford’s Music and Performance Research Group comprises of practitioners and writers who actively compose music, write drama and comedy, perform and devise theatre, work in applied theatre and digital contexts, create technological applications, record and engineer sound, and write about all aspects of cultural theory related to these practices.

Art and Design Research and Engagement (Design Against Crime Solutions)

The AnDRE Research Group unites senior, proactive researchers and emerging, early career researchers who engage in theoretical and practice-based creative investigations across a range of art and design areas, from design for health and wellbeing to games for social change to design against crime.

English Literature, Language and Creative Practice

The English Literature, Language and Creative Practice Research Group recognises the importance of linking their research with cultural life outside of the University as they take an innovative approach to exploring hybrid and inter-disciplinary ways of working through their examination of marginal, experimental and emergent practices.

Their work is searching, critically engaged and cultural relevant as they focus on the readings of neglected and transgressive authors and cultural practices: from writings of conflict in Northern Ireland to Victorian Sensation fiction, from discontented minds in Early Modern Drama to the representation of serial killers in film and fiction, from African modernism to the hidden meanings of place names.

Politics and Contemporary History

The Politics and Contemporary History Research Group is interested in a variety of political and historical themes grouped around the field of International Security in the broadest sense. Our staff also have research interests around European party politics, ideologies and intelligence studies, military history, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and several other aspects of international politics and security around Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.

Salford Languages 

The Salford Languages Research Group has particular expertise in the applied use of European languages in academic, professional and cultural contexts and in Arabic translation and interpretation.

Business, Management and Law

Salford Business School inspires postgraduate researchers to be curious, think critically and challenge assumptions in ways that equip them with the personal and professional qualities valued by academic and industry employers alike.

We broadly align to the University’s overall Innovation Strategy, with an emphasis on business change, entrepreneurial thinking, FinTech, ethical and sustainable working and digital transformation.

Irrespective of the specific area of research we want to encourage and develop the next generation of researchers who want to make a difference, colliding together disciplines, and challenging existing ways of thinking and viewing the world of business, organisations and beyond.

Get in touch

To find out more about postgraduate research in Business, Management and Law, email or call +44 (0)161 295 4148.

Health and Society

Research in the fields of Health and Society at Salford is structured into two centres: The Centre for Health Sciences Research and The Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy (CARe) - both are part of our School of Health and Society.

Research areas

Get in touch

For more information about postgraduate research in Health and Society, email or our Postgraduate Research Director, Professor Paula Ormandy, at Follow us on Twitter.

The Centre for Health Sciences Research

The centre is comprised of thriving, multidisciplinary research groups, focused on improving health outcomes through world-leading research. Three of the groups explore different aspects of biomechanics, sport and physiology, offering the opportunity to study for a PhD in a range of areas, from knee osteoarthritis to footwear and orthosis design to strength and conditioning. Another three groups focus on biomedical engineering, measurement technologies and virtual realities, providing PhD supervision in related topics, such as prosthetic limb design and physical activity measurement.

The Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy (CARe)

CARe reflects the complex and interconnected global challenges faced by society, including health inequalities, contested identities and digitally driven social change. The centre draws its strength from individual researchers and the combined research excellence of our teams as they examine the modernisation of health and social care, crime and justice, whilst ensuring the welfare of children and young people, the mobility of populations, access to housing and fair welfare systems and services. In addition, we host the Salford Institute for Dementia who seek to make a positive difference to the experience of people faced with the challenges of dementia.

Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE)

By choosing SEE, you’ll be joining a large aspirational community of postgraduate researchers exploring topics across a suite of interdisciplinary research centres. Whether you’ve been planning your research for a while, or you’ve found fresh perspectives during the pandemic, the University of Salford is ready to help start your research journey.

The School of Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE) brings together research fields under: 

If you have an enquiry about our research opportunities, email or call +44 (0)161 295 3482.

Research Excellence Framework

REF 2021


of research rated as world-leading


outstanding rating on five impact submissions

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Salford placed at 65th - an impressive 22 place jump up from 87. Our results demonstrate the excellence of the research carried out at Salford, with 78% of our research being rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Read more about our 2021 REF results

Doctoral School

Postgraduate students in classroom

Our Doctoral School brings our PhD students together and supports our vibrant community in which collaborative and interdisciplinary working can flourish. What makes us so unique is not only the breadth and success of our research community, but also the students that we attract. People join us from all over the world, at all stages in life, adding their life experiences and unique ways of approaching research to our collective knowledge and expertise.

Postgraduate researchers choose Salford to explore the research topics they’re passionate about. They take advantage of the excellent training and support that is tailored to their individual needs and our development opportunities that enable them to fulfil their potential. 

We also have a dedicated pastoral support service, askUS, to ensure all our students have access to the advice and guidance they need whenever they need it, whether it’s about finance, visas, or faith services.

Training and events

Whilst studying a postgraduate research degree at Salford, you can access support every step of the way. Not only will you be supported by a personal tutor who is also an academic, but most importantly you will be working with experienced supervisors who are publishing in the same area of research.

We have also developed COMPASS, our Community Model for Postgraduate Achievement, Skills and Future Success, which is an accessible, inclusive, and community-driven training programme tailored to the goals of our postgraduate research students. It is designed to help you develop the professional and personal skills needed for effective research whilst also enhancing your future employability. This is important whether you’re planning a career in academia or in the public or private sectors.

You can also participate in our annual research events:

  • The Salford postgraduate Annual Research Conference (SPARC)
  • The International Postgraduate Research Conference (IPGRC)

Postgraduate research students who also attend international and UK conferences and are presenting a paper, poster or other form of presentation are eligible to apply for the Doctoral School Conference Fund. Successful applicants can receive a contribution of up to £1000 for travel and accommodation. For more information, email us at 

Why study at Salford?

By studying at Salford, you will be joining a large community of research students across eight different research centres. All of our researchers have access to our dedicated Doctoral School which offers specialist student support and training to help you become the best researcher you can be.

Find out what life at Salford would be like...

Fees and funding

You will need to pay annual tuition fees, which vary depending on the programme you’re studying. We offer a range of discounts to our postgraduate research students including a 20% reduction if you’re a Salford graduate and choose to continue your studies with the University.

You can find out more about fees, including the discounts you may be eligible for, on our postgraduate research fees and funding page.

How to apply

Applications for postgraduate research degrees are centered around your research proposal. To help you with this, we've outlined important dates, the information we require, tips on constructing your proposals and the contact information for each school's Admissions team in the link below.

Postgraduate open days

welcome sign

If you would like more information on our postgraduate degrees, you are welcome to join us at any of our events. We have a range of events throughout the year, from Open Days to campus tours, and Q&A sessions, so there’s always an opportunity to get your questions answered.