Postgraduate research

Students working inside the Bodmer Laboratory

It’s an exciting time to be a postgraduate researcher at the University of Salford. Once at the heart of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, we are now at the heart of 21st century creativity and learning. Our innovative research environment is recognised around the world, building international opportunities and offering you a platform to develop your own profile. Find out more about becoming a researcher at Salford below, then apply for your research degree

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Doctoral school

Our Doctoral School brings together all of our PhD candidates, supporting a vibrant community in which collaborative and interdisciplinary working can flourish. It offers an extensive range of training and support tailored to your individual needs. The Salford Postgraduate Research Training (SPoRT) programme is designed to help you develop the skills needed for effective research, as well as transferable skills to enhance your employability, whether you are planning a career in academia or in the public or private sectors.

Research specialisms

Eight thriving research centres are based across our academic schools. Select your area of interest to find out more about our research culture, academic strengths and opportunities for postgraduate research, including details for our postgraduate support teams, who you can contact to find out more about studying here.

Choose your field

Arts and media

Our School of Arts and Media is home to a vibrant research culture with postgraduate research students undertaking work across disciplines including art and design, English, creative writing, linguistics, media, music, performance, politics and contemporary history. We attract students from all walks of life and from all over the world. This helps to create a lively and dynamic postgraduate research environment with opportunities for collaboration, interdisciplinary practice and international networking.

Research centre

The Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre supports innovative, interdisciplinary exchange, bringing together research into
arts, humanities and social sciences. It is our largest research centre and focuses on contemporary domestic and international collaborative work. The Salford International Innovation Studio at MediaCityUK brings together research staff, artists, designers and other creative practitioners. Our New Adelphi Building offers world-class exhibition and performance spaces, making Salford a great environment for researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines. Real-world impact is always in our sights as we engage with 21st century challenges.

Our work is often influenced by the needs of our media industry neighbours such as ITV, BBC and Dock 10. Our research also helps the lives of people in the community: our ‘Design against Crime’ research unit has helped to transform the design of our cities to make them safer and better suited for communities.

Salford Impact

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 25% of the school’s CCM (cultural, communication and media) research was 
judged to be world leading, with 60% judged as internationally excellent or world leading. In terms of research power, we rank 21st in the UK.

Our academic conference, Challenging Media Landscapes (part of Salford International Media Festival) embodies our approach. Organised by us, it serves as a platform for academic discourse and debate, where academics contribute to panel discussions and papers on contemporary media.

Arts and Humanities Research Council North West Consortium (AHRC NWC)

Several eligible PGR researchers at the School of Arts and Media have obtained competitive AHRC studentship funding as part of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership. The consortium also provides specialised advanced research training, which is available to both NWC candidates and School of Arts and Media postgraduate researchers in general. Some postgraduate research students are also supported by our own studentships.

Get in touch

Find out more about postgraduate research in arts and media. Email or call +44 (0)161 295 7012. Follow the Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre on Twitter.



Business, management and law

Research training in business and management at Salford Business School will inspire you to think critically, challenge assumptions and construct persuasive arguments – arming you with the personal and professional qualities that employers value. We provide a vibrant, enthusiastic and international arena in which our students develop research that has real-world impact, addressing the needs of our industry partners and the wider communities around us.

The Salford DBA

This course is designed to bridge the gap between professional practice and academic research. Developed for senior professionals, the Doctorate in Business Administration is a research-based qualification that is delivered in a blended format, allowing you to earn a doctoral-level degree without sidelining your career. While equivalent to a PhD, the part-time delivery and commercial focus of the DBA can make it more relevant to high-level business professionals.

Career prospects

Students who graduate with a postgraduate research degree are well placed to lead and manage business-related projects and research. Our school’s ethos is to encourage students and graduates to engage with sector experts and find out more about working in the ‘real world’. Many of our graduates are already making a difference in the commercial sector and also in academia, by holding leadership positions in organisations and academic institutions across the world.

Get in touch

Find out more about postgraduate research in business, management and law. Email or call +44 (0)161 295 2122.

Built environment

We offer a comprehensive range of research programmes and welcome ambitious and driven students. We offer research experience in areas of construction and property management, informatics, applied buildings and energy, sustainable urban and regional futures, disaster resilience and inclusive design.

World rankings

We have been a leader in the research agenda in the industry for more than 20 years and are recognised for our friendly and professional environment. For the third consecutive year, the prestigious international university rankings organisation Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has placed us in the world’s top 100 centres for architecture/built environment study (QS world rankings, 2019). We have one of the largest global cohorts of built environment PhD students and offer outstanding research opportunities, both by attendance (part-time or full-time) and distance learning.

Get in touch

Find out more about postgraduate research in the built environment. Email or call +44 (0)161 295 4600. Follow Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable (Built) Environments on Twitter.

Computing, science and engineering

Postgraduate research opportunities in this field spans a variety of topics including physics, materials, robotics, civil engineering, acoustics, telecommunications, informatics, and spray and petroleum technology. Students benefit from a world-class, multi-disciplinary research and innovation environment.

Researchers get the opportunity to engage with high-tech projects that often have multifaceted technological challenges in a multi-disciplinary area, while also focusing on their specific research enquiry.

We have strong research and academic partnerships with industry, such as the BBC, BT, CISCO, Airbus, RSSB, United Utilities and Marshalls. These partnerships enable effective knowledge transfer and up-to-date awareness of topical issues in relevant industries.

Get in touch

Find out more about postgraduate research in computing, science and engineering. Email or call +44 (0)161 295 3482. Follow the Salford Innovation Research Centre on Twitter.

Environment and life sciences

Around 300 students from countries across the world join us each year to undertake research in the fields of environment and life sciences. Students in this area are based in our historic Peel Building and also benefit from purpose-built facilities including a variety of laboratories - many recently refurbished - in our Cockcroft Building. Research in this field is structured into two main research centres.

Research centres

The Biomedical Research Centre’s research programmes include analysis of the function of cells and organs in the human body and animal systems, in physiological and pathological settings. The programmes focus on cancer, inflammation, therapeutics and drug design, infectious diseases, pharmacology, physiology, immunology, molecular diagnostics and cell biology. It also encompasses the perturbations caused by zoonotic and pathogenic microbes on human and animal health. Our research underpins understanding and treatment of diseases and is developed with our partners in hospitals to generate better therapies. We work closely with regional hospitals and have numerous national and international collaborations with universities and research centres.

The Ecosystems and Environment Centre’s research programmes are focused on advancing the understanding of key environmental challenges of major economic and societal importance, including biodiversity resource management, climate and environmental change and the spread of infectious diseases. Funding to support our research is received from national and international research councils, businesses and charities. Our researchers study the living and non-living components of the ecosystem and the management and governance of these systems; they work globally in habitats ranging from the open ocean to pristine tropical rainforests and the urban core of our major cities. We address some of the major environmental challenges of the 21st century: climate change, biodiversity loss, natural resource management and the spread of infectious diseases.

Get in touch

Find out more about postgraduate research in the environment and life sciences. Email or call +44 (0)161 295 3482. Follow the Biomedical Research Centre and the Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre on Twitter.

Health and society

Research in the fields of health and society is structured into two main centres. The Centre for Health Sciences Research is a thriving, multidisciplinary group, focused on improving health outcomes through world-leading research. The research centre comprises a number of separate research groups, each of which offers the possibility to study for a PhD under a research supervisor with a strong academic track record. We have three groups that focus on different aspects of biomechanics, sport and physiology, which offer the potential to study for a PhD in a range of areas including knee osteoarthritis, footwear and orthosis design, and strength and conditioning. Another three groups focus on biomedical engineering, measurement technologies and virtual reality, and can offer PhD supervision in related topics, including prosthetic limb design and physical activity measurement.

The Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy (CARe) reflects the complex and interconnected global challenges faced by society. These challenges include health inequalities, ensuring the welfare of children and young people, mobility of populations, access to housing, ensuring fair welfare systems and services, modernisation of health and social care, crime and justice, contested identities, and digitally-driven social change. CARe draws its strength from individual researchers and the combined research excellence within four teams. These teams have established reputations in pursuing work along discrete lines of inquiry: children, young people and families; connected lives, diverse realities, knowledge, health and place; and the Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU). In addition, we host the Salford Institute for Dementia.

Get in touch

To find out more about postgraduate research in the School of Health and Society, email or contact Prof Paula Ormandy, Postgraduate Research Director, on Follow @UoS_HealthSoc on Twitter. 



You'll need to gather some information before applying for a research degree, and the application process itself focuses on your research proposal.

We've got some helpful notes about important dates, required information as well as help with the proposal and contact information for every school's research admissions contact.


As a postgraduate research student, you will need to pay annual tuition fees, which vary according to the programme you are studying. Find out more, including details of scholarships and discounts you could be eligible for.  

Our research community

Our PhD candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds, adding their life experiences and unique journeys to our collective knowledge and expertise. There is no such thing as a typical Salford PhD candidate. People from all over the world and at all stages in life join us to explore the research questions that matter passionately to them. Whatever your reasons for pursuing a PhD, our world-class training and development opportunities enable you to fulfil your unique potential. 

Read our case studies

Research training

Research logo

Our postgraduate students can access support at all stages of their research. They are assigned a fully-trained supervisor who is well experienced and active in the same area of research, as well as a co-supervisor or local advisor and a personal tutor. Our programmes are further enriched by comprehensive in-house training at specialist facilities like our Patient Simulation Suites and the Salford Energy House.

Research events

As a postgraduate researcher at Salford, you can participate in our annual research events: the Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference (SPARC) and The Festival of Research.

REF 2014


Of our research is of international quality


Is world leading or internationally excellent


Of our impact is outstanding or very considerable

We are committed to delivering excellent research with impact, as is demonstrated by these key highlights from the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Our results showed that:

  • 100% of our impact in social work and social policy was outstanding or very considerable 
  • 80% of our research output in electrical and electronic engineering, metallurgy and materials was world leading or internationally excellent  
  • Over 85% of our environment was rated as conducive to producing research of world leading and internationally excellent quality 
  • Salford Business School increased its grade point average by 33% from the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, and its overall position from the 69th to 54th centile in business and management        

For more information, view our full submission and results.

Industry Standard Facilities

Our anechoic chamber

Over the past five years we've invested £160 million in our buildings, facilities and equipment to give our students and researchers the skills they need to succeed. These include state-of-the-art equipment, high-specification labs and workshops, and unique testing environments. 

Student support

Whether you need advice about accommodation, finance, faith services, visas and more, our student support service, askUS, is here to help. Find out about the support and advice you could receive as a postgraduate researcher at the University of Salford.

Learn more 

Living in Salford

Students socialising in Manchester

If you're relocating to Salford to start your research degree, find out what it's like to live here. Discover what's on our campus, get information about your accommodation options, and explore the culture, sport, entertainment and nightlife on offer in the cities of Salford and Manchester.