Study With Us

We provide doctoral supervision on all aspects of games and game cultures, both analogue and digital, from ancient Egypt to the present day. Our work ranges across disciplines, including games design, history, literature, sociology, science communication, and education. You can browse through our specialist staff profiles for areas of expertise here.

If you would like to undertake PhD study in the Games, it may be possible to apply for funding through the AHRC consortium for the North West. Details can be found on the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership website.

For Game-specific queries, please e-mail us. For any general enquiries about postgraduate research at Manchester Met, please email gsresearchdegrees@mmu.ac.uk or ring +44 (0)161 247 3623.


Our current students and their projects


Ursula Curwen, ‘Queering the ARG Landscape’ (2017-)

Ursula’s research looks at the way our city spaces are ‘queered’ by their unintended use as game spaces. She will roam the city interviewing players of the game Ingress through the use of walking ethnography techniques in order to examine and reveal the ways in which familiar places are subverted through play adding layers of meaning to already complex spaces.

Contact Ursula here.


Charlotte Gislam, ‘Artificial Intelligence and Dynamic Spatial Storytelling in Digital Games’ (2018-)

Charlotte’s research uses spatial theory to examine the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used as a storytelling tool in digital games. They study the use of procedural generation, path finding, neural networks, and other applications of AI, as a way of relaying a game’s narrative to a player. To achieve this, they are using a spatial theory framework which focuses on how players interact with the game’s virtual spaces to generate meaning.  

Contact Charlotte here.


Jon Garrad, '“I live, I die, I live again!”: Interrogating Death in Role-playing Games' (2018-)

Jon’s research responds to the emerging discourse of deathsetics, applying a media-archaeological lens to the deaths encoded within and generated by role-playing games. Jon reads tabletop and computer RPGs as both text and experience, authored by their developers and co-created by their players. Through this framework he seeks to demonstrate how games and gamer culture have developed their understanding of death, and where that understanding might lead in the future.

Contact Jon here.


Jack Warren, 'Performing Reality: Role-playing and Identity in Virtual Spaces' (2018-)

Jack’s research sets out to account for the experience and construction of virtual and actual realities within the digital gameworlds of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games. Taking World of Warcraft as his primary example, Jack uses queer theory to investigate the affective elements of cross-reality slippage that role-players embody and project when engaged in play, and establish the implications these playful slippages hold for queer conceptions of subjectivity.

Contact Jack here.