Health Sciences PhD

Apply for a PhD, in Health Sciences

How to Apply


Draft a brief (1,000 words maximum) personal statement that:

explains why you want to work in this area

describes any relevant research experience - for example, as part of a previous degree

lists any academic work you have published or which is awaiting publication


Prepare your supporting documents - with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements:

include all relevant certificates/diplomas and transcripts

international applicants must provide official copies of their entire course transcripts including explanations of the mark schemes used and, where possible, an indication of their class ranking/position in class

supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation

You must also provide contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme

The Department of Health Sciences is a research-led department with established strengths across epidemiology, medical statistics, public health, primary care, health services research, and psychiatry.

·        Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Full-Time and Part-Time

Supervisors and Research Areas

We offer PhD, and MPhil supervision in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff including:

·        Biostatistics

·        Genetic Epidemiology

·        Social Science Applied to Health Improvement Research

·        Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies

·        Cardiovascular and Diabetes Primary Care

·        Quality and Service Delivery in Primary Care

·        Adult Social and Epidemiological Psychiatry

·        Psychiatry for the Elderly

Find a supervisor in your research area

Entry Requirements and Fees

Applicants must hold a undergraduate (Bachelors) degree with at least first class or upper second class honours or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution.

PhD Description
The essential requirement of a PhD is the creation of new knowledge. Being a researcher means developing new ideas and improving understanding through the creation of new knowledge. Your research will inevitably build to some degree on the work and ideas of others, but as a presearch student you are expected to make an original contribution to knowledge in your discipline.

The research project is led by the research student. At Leicester, each of of our PhD and MPhil students has a supervisory team who are there to provide guidance and read and comment on draft work - but the ultimate responsibility for planning and managing the research project rests with the research student.

The research project is then written up as a thesis - usually of 50,000 to 80,000 words depending on the discipline. Again, responsibility for writing and submitting the thesis rests with the research student, but the supervisory team provide guidance and read and comment on draft chapters to help ensure the thesis is of an appropriate standard.

Finally, to be awarded a research degree research students must defend their thesis in a "viva voce" (spoken) examination. The viva voce examination is an intense and challenging experience, but we offer workshops and mock examinations to help our research students prepare and almost all research students who reach this stage go on to successfully complete their degree.

In the UK all higher education institutions are required to follow standards set by the national Quality Assurance Agency. They have produced a short guide on UK doctorate programmes and international applicants in particular may find this helpful in understanding what makes UK doctorates distinctive.

Programme Duration

PhD students would normally complete their active research - experimental work, field work, archival work, etc. - over a maximum period of:

·        3.0-3.5 years (full-time)


·        6.0-6.5 years (part-time)

A fourth year (full-time) or seventh year (part-time) or the remaining part of this can then be used to prepare the thesis for examination.

MPhil students would normally complete their active research - experimental work, field work, archival work, etc. - over a maximum period of:

·        1.0-1.5 years (full-time)


·        3.0-3.5 years (part-time)

A second year (full-time) or fourth year (part-time) or the remaining part of this can then be used to prepare the thesis for examination.

In some cases it may be possible to complete a PhD or MPhil degree in less time, but this is unusual.

For advice on the duration of professional doctorates, please see the course Discription


Structured Training

PhD and MPhil degrees are different from taught degrees - like a Bachelors or Masters degree - in that the programme is an independent research project, rather than a programme of assessed coursework.

However, UK PhD and MPhil degrees are distinctive in that they provide research students with a structured programme of training designed to help them develop their personal and professional capabilities. At Leicester, we are proud of our innovative and flexible approach to supporting the skills and career development of our research students.

Our PhD and MPhil students benefit from a structured and tailored programme of skills and career development activities. In addition to the subject-specific research skills that are gained over the course of the research project, we offer workshops and training events that allow research students to develop wider generic research skills and transferable skills such as leadership, team working, project management skills, and presentation skills - helping our research students to enhance their employability whatever their career plans.

We also provide opportunities to help research students develop their ability to share their research and their develop their confidence in communicating research concepts and findings to different types of audiences. Schools and departments offer their own seminar and conference programmes in which research students are encouraged to participate. Over the course the degree, research students normally also attend academic conferences in the UK or abroad at which they present their research and have the opportunity both to network with other researchers in their subject and to raise their own profile.

Similarly, the Graduate School's annual Festival of Postgraduate Research invites fifty of our best research students to present their research to a mixed audience from academia, industry, politics, and the media.




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