Health Research

The Division of Health Research welcomes applications to study for a PhD at any time of the year.

Doctoral research is supervised by members of our multidisciplinary community of scholars in the social sciences, many of whom have also worked in professional capacities in the health or social care services. Close and vibrant research connections with statutory, voluntary and community services and groups are in operation.

We supervise a broad range of topics at PhD level in the 'traditional' mode, both full-time (4 years max) and part-time (7 years max). The research centres and groupings in DHR give a flavour of our research interests and areas of expertise:

  • Centre for Ageing Research
  • Centre for Disability Research (CeDR)
  • Centre for Organisational Health and Well-Being (COHWB)
  • Health Equity and Knowledge Exchange
  • International Observatory on End of Life Care (IOELC)
  • Centre for Mental Health Research (Spectrum)
  • Clinical Psychology Research Group

Supervision of individual study is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. All students register for the degree of PhD in the first instance, and progress is reviewed annually by a specially convened panel. Following a confirmation panel at 10 months for full time students and 20 months for part time students, this status is confirmed.

Students are strongly encouraged to take a number of research training courses available through the Faculty of Health and Medicine and the wider University, according to their particular needs and in consultation with their supervisors.

Modules from the taught doctoral programmes are also made available for PhD students for their research training as 'audit students'. Auditing these modules involves participating in the three-week online induction programme and then participating in the modules online but not being required to complete the assessment.

Students are usually funded by research councils, such as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), or other funding bodies and organisation, and some students self-fund. ESRC funding is now applied for via the North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC).

Entry Requirements:

Students must have a first degree of 2:1 or above, or equivalent. We particularly welcome applications from those who have a Masters degree.

If English is not your first language an overall IELTS score of at least 6.5 is required (a minimum of 5.5 must be achieved in each separate skill: writing, reading, listening and speaking). Alternative qualifications are accepted.


The application procedure is online, but informal enquiries can be made in advance with the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies, Professor Carol Thomas, or with academics with whom you wish to work. Visits to open days are encouraged.