Postgraduate research

Once at the heart of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, we’re now at the centre of 21st century creativity and learning, and our innovative research environment is recognised around the world, offering you a platform to develop your own profile and build international opportunities.

Choosing the right university for you is a big decision, so take a look at the information below to find out more about becoming a PhD student at Salford.

What is a research degree?

A research degree offers you the chance to shape your own learning by researching a specific topic you are passionate about. A research degree, is sometimes called doctorate or doctoral degree and is the highest degree awarded by universities in the UK.

Under the guidance of one 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.

A postgraduate research degree will give you the opportunity to deep dive into real world problems, enabling us to understand the world around us, shaping the future through innovation whilst you develop specialist skills that you can apply to the workplace.

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

Our research specialisms

We have eight thriving research centres 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 Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre is  part of the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology and is the largest at Salford, attracting 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 (AnDRE)

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 think critically, challenge assumptions and construct persuasive arguments to equip them with the personal and professional qualities valued by employers.

Our research is broadly aligned to the University’s Research Strategy, the “Golden Triangle”: Robotics and Autonomous Systems, including fundamental research into the ethics, governance and operation of such systems; Smart Living, such as urban futures, eHealth and smart systems and controls; and Digital which centres around big data and analytics.

Within the Golden Triangle, there are six Business, Management and Law research clusters our lecturers and postgraduate researchers actively explore: data analytics, project management, operations management, process optimisation, establishing disruptive business models, and governance, legal and ethical issues.

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

The School of Science, Engineering and Environment brings together a broad suite of research fields – human and natural science, the built environment, engineering, computing and robotics – to enable our postgraduate researchers to engage with connected, co-created, transformational research.

Research areas

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

The Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC)

SIRC aims to build on its world-class research and expertise in the advancement of century technology as its researchers not only focus on their specific enquiry but are able to engage with advanced, multi-disciplinary projects that often have multifaceted technological challenges. Our postgraduate research opportunities in computing, robotics and engineering span a broad range of topics, including physics, acoustics, telecommunications, informatics, civil engineering and spray and petroleum technology.

To find out more about research opportunities in computing, robotics and engineering with SIRC, email or call +44 (0)161 295 3482.

Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable (Built) Environments (UPRISE)

Salford has led the built environment research agenda in the industry for over 20 years, providing a friendly and professional home for one of the largest global cohorts of PhD students. UPRISE looks to identify, articulate and address the challenges that cities present in the 21st century, offering research opportunities in a range of built environment areas, such as property management, informatics, applied building and energy, sustainable urban and regional futures, disaster resilience, and inclusive design.

For more information about research opportunities in the built environment, email or call +44 (0)161 295 4600.

Biomedical Research Centre

Salford’s Biomedical Research Centre is a vibrant, collaborative unit exploring our understanding and treatment of diseases as we work with our hospital partners to generate better therapies. The life sciences research programmes focus on cancer, inflammation, therapeutics and drug design, infectious diseases, pharmacology, physiology, immunology, molecular diagnostics and cell biology. Our research also encompasses the perturbations caused by zoonotic and pathogenic microbes and human and animal health.

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

Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre

Our Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre seeks to advance our understanding of major environmental challenges of significant economic and societal importance, from biodiversity resource management to climate and environmental change to the spread of infectious diseases. PhD researchers have the opportunity to study the living and non-living components of the ecosystem and their management and governance, from the open ocean and pristine tropical rainforests to cities and urban environments.

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


Research training

Research logo

You can access support every step of the way as you will be assigned an experienced supervisor who is active in the same area of research, as well as a co-supervisor/local advisor and a personal tutor.

We also have the Salford Postgraduate Research Training (SPoRT) programme designed to help you to develop the skills needed for effective research whilst enhancing your future employability, whether you’re planning a career in academia or in the public or private sectors.

Research events

You can also participate in our annual research events: the Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference (SPARC) and The Festival of Research.

Why study at Salford?

You would be joining a large community of research students studying across eight different research centres. All of our researchers have access to our dedicated Doctoral School where we offer specialist student support and training to help you become the best researcher you can possibly be.

Fees and funding

You will need to pay annual tuition fees, which vary depending on the programme you’re studying. You can find out more about fees, including the scholarships and discounts you could be eligible for, below.

Find out more.

How to apply

Before applying, you'll need to gather some information as the process is based around your research proposal. To help you along the way, 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.