Research Degrees at the School of Health Sciences  Research Degrees


The School of Health Sciences is committed to developing the future research, practice and policy leaders for the healthcare sector. With world class researchers and experienced practitioners leading our courses, students graduate with a high level of skill in research methods and in the implementation of evidence-based care. Academic expertise in the School spans a broad range of healthcare disciplines, methodological disciplines and professional areas, creating an environment where researchers and students from diverse backgrounds research, learn and work together.

Research-active staff engage in wide-ranging projects and collaborative research with academic institutions nationally (e.g. University College London, Imperial College, Universities of Newcastle, Leeds, Aberdeen) and internationally (e.g., Universities of Melbourne, Toronto, Ottawa, Singapore, Brunei and the University of California, LA). There are also productive links with service user groups, government bodies and NGOs. For those planning to do clinical research: The School's close links with St Bartholomew's Health NHS Trust, UCL Partners and other clinical centres have facilitated the development of honorary clinical academic posts. Research-active clinicians in the Trust and Partnership are appointed to honorary research positions in the School ensuring that MPhil/PhD research can be undertaken under the supervision of internationally respected clinical experts.

This activity is organised into six Research Centres:

  • School of Health Sciences
  • Start Date:

    Research students may commence their degree studies on 1st October or 1st February.

    Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements vary by subject area and applicants should approach academic staff working in their area of interest to discuss their proposal ahead of submitting an application. Applicants should normally hold an upper second class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution. Where the applicant's academic profile shows no evidence of training in research methods, it will normally be recommended that students first complete an MSc or MRes programme to prepare them for MPhil/PhD studies. Substantial employment or research experience may be considered for some subject areas alongside or in place of academic qualifications. For the Clinical MRes programme, applicants are required to be registered with a clinical professional group such as Nursing, an Allied Health profession or Medicine.

    English Language Requirements

    For applicants whose first language is not English, an IELTS score of at least 7 (with a minimum of 7.0 in writing) is required.

    Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

    Visa Requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

    The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, there are different rules for:

    • Students on courses of more than 6 months
    • Students on courses of less than 6 months
    • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

    Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake this part-time course.

    For more information see our main Visa page.

    Start Dates / Duration of Studies

    Start Date

    Research students may commence their degree studies on 1st October or 1st February.

    Duration of Studies

    • PhD Full-time: 2 - 4 years
    • PhD Part-time: 3 - 7 years
    • PhD by prior publication: 1 - 2 years
    • MPhil Full-time: 1 - 3 years
    • MPhil Part-time: 2 - 5 years 
    Following the minimum period of candidature, doctoral students may transfer to a 'writing up' phase provided that the supervision team decide that supervision is no longer required.

    Degree Pathway

    The Master of Clinical Research (MRes) degree is a research-focused programme especially designed to give training and experience in conducting clinically focused research and to give a robust basis for commencing a doctoral programme. There are four routes to doctoral-level research degrees within the School.  These are:


    In the usual route to a research degree, the candidate undertakes a significant piece of original research and writes a thesis of 50,000 to 100,000 words based on that research. This is the most common research degree in the School of Health Sciences.

    Professional Doctorate (No longer offered)

    This route involves a systematic review (10,000 words), a case study (10,000 words), a research project written (50,000 words) and compilation in a thesis (of 70,000 to 100,000 words). It is designed for healthcare practitioners who wish to conduct research that will directly inform and develop practice in their field.

    MPhil/PhD by publication

    • By prior publication: Candidates who have already published several significant research papers spend write an extended essay which draws together the previously published work into a single thesis not normally expected to exceed 20,000 words excluding the publications.
    • By prospective publication: Candidates publish several significant research papers (generally six papers) and also submit an extended essay which draws together their published work into a single thesis of between 50,000 and 100,000 words including the publications.




    • Full-time EU: £4,000 per year
    • Part-time EU: £2,000 per year
    • Full-time Non EU: £12,000 per year
    • Part-time Non EU: £6,000 per year

    Writing-Up Fee for Full Time and Part Time Students: £300

    Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.


    City offers a range of bursaries, studentships and funding options, including an annual University doctoral studentship scheme. Find out more.

    How to Apply

    In the first, instance, please contact the Research Student Support Officer, Tracy Rowson. Ms Rowson will ask you about your academic background and the topic area you are interested in investigating. She will then advise the School's Associate Dean for Research and the Senior Tutors for Research, who will recommend appropriate academic staff who could discuss the topic with you.

    After you have discussed your background and your proposed project with a member of the academic staff, you then submit a formal application to Ms Rowson. Please complete the application form and submit it with your research proposal. Your application and proposal will be considered by the School's multidisciplinary Research Degrees Committee and you may be invited for interview. The Committee will accept or reject the application based on two criteria:

    1. Whether the proposed research has good fit with the research themes in the School and the research interests of potential supervisors
    2. Whether the academic background and skills of the applicant suggest that they may be successful in pursuing their research degree to completion.


    MPhil/PhD students have the opportunity to become integral members of the School of Health Sciences' research teams based in the School's Research Centres, which assist and encourage students to complete their studies. A wide range of formal and informal research groups are also available to support MPhil/PhD students.

    MPhil/PhD students are assigned to a team of supervisors, usually consisting of two academics who are expert in the field of the student's study. Students meet regularly with their supervisors to review their learning needs and plan their work towards progression and completion of their research studies. All full-time students are provided with a computer and workstation in close proximity to their related research team. Full time students are required to meet with their supervisors at least twice a term and part time students at least once a term and to record notes from these meetings and other indicators of progress on the web-based system, Research And Progress (RAP).

    Students' progress is monitored regularly and supported by an annual review, where they may have the opportunity to discuss their research design and written work with a research advisor from outside their supervision team. They also have access to ongoing support from Senior Tutors for Research.

    All students working towards a PhD (other than those undertaking doctoral study by prior publication or as a structured programme) initially register for MPhil studies. When the student's study has sufficiently developed to demonstrate that it is of doctoral standard then the student may apply to be upgraded to PhD student status, which will involve an oral examination. Upgrading normally occurs between 12 and 18 months for full time study and between 24 and 30 months for part time study.

    Research students are also supported by student representatives who meet regularly with the student-staff liaison committee so they can respond to any student concerns that cannot be addressed by the supervision team.

    Training Provision

    All MPhil/PhD students can access a wide range of MSc modules and other training programmes across the University, normally without charge. Attendance at these programmes is discussed with and, if appropriate, approved by the student's supervision team.

    A number of workshops, seminars and retreats are organised specifically for research degrees students across the School and within particular areas. Students are also invited to attend the research seminars that are organised for academic staff.

    University-wide research related activities can also contribute to your development as a researcher. An annual programme of research and enterprise development activities is kept under review and updated in response to feedback from research students and academic and research staff. Find out more.

    For more information about Graduate degrees, please see the Graduate School webpage.