The PhD in Public Health meets the needs of those wishing to gain a deep and critical insight into public health theory, research and practice and to develop or enhance research skills whilst fulfilling their existing responsibilities. The programme is offered part-time and combines innovative distance learning with face-to-face teaching at an annual autumn Academy held in Lancaster.
The programme is suitable for both UK-based and international students involved in the delivery of public health services, working in policy development relating to public health in government departments and NGOs, being responsible for educational programmes in colleges and universities or working in public health research and development.
This part-time, flexible doctorate runs over a minimum of four and a maximum of seven years. The programme begins with a compulsory five-day Induction Academy in Lancaster. Each of the subsequent academic years start with a compulsory three-day autumn Academy, while the rest of the course is delivered via e-learning. Attendance at the annual academies is compulsory until students have been confirmed on the PhD programme.
Years 1 and 2 consist of taught modules delivered online. In Year 1 students take a specialist module that covers the theory and practice of public health followed by a module on research philosophy and a module on research design. Year 2 modules may include: Systematic Reviews, Data Analysis, Research Design and Practical Research Ethics.
From Year 3 onwards, students undertake an independent research study, which concludes with the submission of a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge. The research project will be supervised from the University but undertaken in students’ own location or workplace. Supervision meetings take place using video conferencing software such as Skype. During the annual autumn Academy students meet with supervisors face to face.