What Will You Study

Combining innovative distance learning and an annual Academy held at the University, this part-time, flexible degree is delivered by the research-active academics in our prestigious Division of Health Research.

The PhD in Public Health is your chance to work with these world-leading academics on the production of a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge development within your area of professional practice. It also provides you with opportunities to gain a deeper and more critical insight into public health theory, research and practice.

Run over 4-5 years (minimum 4 years), your Doctorate begins with a five-day Induction Academy at the University. Each of the subsequent academic years start with an optional three-day Academy. The rest of the course is delivered via e-learning.

Throughout your studies, we will support you as you enhance your leadership skills and effectiveness, and develop advanced skills in research design, practice and dissemination. You’ll foster critical approaches to the review of evidence and improve your written and oral presentation skills.

Years one and two provide you with training in research and in theory and practice relating to Public Health. Your specialist module in Year one is Public Health, which is studied alongside the Philosophy of Research, and, Research Design. In Year two, you will undertake the following modules: Systematic Reviews; Data Analysis; and Advanced Research Planning.

Years three to four/five see you undertake a research project in Public Health, which will conclude with the submission of your 35,000 word thesis. The project will be supervised from the University but undertaken in your own location or workplace. Supervisions can be via telephone, e-mail or Skype, depending on preference. Face-to-face meetings with your supervisors will take place during the annual Academy.

You will participate in lectures, workshops, group discussions and individual activities during each Academy, while our distance learning approach combines live and interactive lectures, elements to be worked through autonomously, webinars and online collaboration, and group work.

You will benefit from being part of a UK and internationally-based peer group of health workers, including those involved in: the delivery of public health services; those working in policy development relating to public health in government departments and NGOs; those responsible for educational programmes in colleges and universities; and those involved in public health research and development. Like you, your fellow students will share an interest in becoming tomorrow’s leaders in public health and will be undertaking formal study at the same time as they are working.

All students have access to a Hub space that facilitates interaction with your cohort and with other programmes, creating a virtual information space that’s also sociable. An academic tutor and then two research supervisors will provide you with support for each step of your PhD. They will also encourage you to attend external workshops and conferences (using University funds, where available, to support this).