You will become part of our academic community, where we will offer excellent supervisory support and a stimulating research environment to enable you to learn new skills and maximise your potential.
Research centres and groups
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The aim of our programme is to equip the next generation of researchers. You will deliver high quality research that will inform healthcare policy and influence the practice and organisation of care providers.
We host a large number of postgraduate research students. They use a range of research methods and approaches within a range of health contexts both within the UK and elsewhere.
The Division of Health Services Research and Management's specialist areas include:
- Public health
- Health policy
- Global health
- Technology-enabled care
- Health economics.
As a research student, you will have the flexibility to tailor your studies to achieve your research objectives. You will have access to a range of modules covering various research methodologies and key concepts relevant to health services research.
Study for an MPhil/PhD
Doctoral level study involves independent academic research, supported by supervisors, that makes an original contribution to knowledge within the discipline. The work carried out is therefore of sufficient quality to satisfy academic peer review and merit publication.
There are two main routes to doctoral-level research degrees (PhD) within the School.
The main approach - MPhil/PhD by major thesis - centres on conducting original research and presenting this in a thesis of around 70,000 words (and no longer than 100,000 words).
Articles prepared or submitted for publication, or published peer-reviewed articles, will typically be appended to the thesis. Producing such work is a key expectation of engagement and indicator of achievement in doctoral study.
An alternative route to doctoral qualification is PhD by publication. This involves the candidate either linking together a coherent body of previously conducted research papers with a critical commentary (PhD by prior publication). Alternatively the candidate can prepare and submit a series of papers for peer reviewed publication during the period of registration (PhD by prospective publication).
A PhD by publication is no less rigorous than that pursued through the traditional route. Further details of these two routes are given below:
MPhil/PhD by major thesis
The standard route involves the accepted candidate pursuing a research project under the guidance of their supervisors. Done over a period of 3 years (full-time) or 4-6 years (part-time).
Candidates register initially for an MPhil (which is a substantial and valid qualification in its own right). Following an upgrade examination, conducted at the end of the first year of study (for full-time students), they may transfer to the PhD programme.
MPhil and PhD study will commonly involve a structured programme of:
- research activity
- potentially comprising systematic literature review
- pilot or developmental study
- main study phases.
This is a focus on building a coherent body of work via structured activities. This programme may be particularly appropriate to health professionals engaging in clinical research.
Preparing work of a standard appropriate for peer-reviewed publication is central to study at doctoral level. Typically MPhil and PhD students will produce several such works as part of their research (for example, presenting such elements as their literature review, preliminary studies, protocol or main study findings), which will be appended to the thesis.
PhD by publication
Prior publication: Candidates who have already published a series of significant research papers submit these together with an accompanying analytical commentary. This body of work must be principally the candidate's own work.
The number and range of publications must be sufficient. This is to demonstrate that the work forms a coherent contribution to knowledge or scholarship within the particular field. This typically involves around six papers.
These publications must show evidence of development of research skills appropriate to the focus of the research.
The publications submitted should show the candidate's capacity to pursue further research and demonstrate a depth of scholarship. They should also show critical insight and originality comparable with that required in a traditional PhD.
The extended analytical commentary which draws together this previously published work into a single thesis will expand on the candidate's:
- involvement in each work
- the skills developed and knowledge acquired in undertaking these works
- the contribution of these works individually and as a series of research papers in generating and extending knowledge about the particular field.
This commentary is not normally expected to exceed 20,000 words.
Prospective publication: Candidates publish several (generally around four to six papers, dependent on their depth, quality, significance and impact) significant research papers addressing various aspects of their research topic during their period of PhD registration.
These published (or accepted for publication) papers together with a critical analysis which draws together their published work are submitted in a single thesis of between 40,000 and 80,000 words (including the publications). Word count might vary by subject discipline.
As with the prior publication route, the accompanying critical commentary identifies the candidate's:
- knowledge and skills acquisition
- their part in developing the research
- the relevance and importance of the work within the submitted publication series.
For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.
Entry requirements vary by subject area. 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 applicants whose first language is not English, an IELTS score of at least 7 (with a minimum of 7.0 in writing) is required.
For more information see our English language proficiency requirements at City.
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. There are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than six months
- Students on courses of less than six months
- Students on a pre-sessional English language course.
For more information see our main Visa page.
Fees and funding
Full-time UK:£4,680 per year
Part-time UK:£2,650 per year
Full-time Overseas/EU:£13,010 per year
Part-time Overseas/EU:£6,760 per year
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.
Support for PhD study
Prospective students are encouraged to explore doctoral Grants and funding opportunities such as:
- NIHR and MRC Fellowship schemes
- Commonwealth Scholarships
- Specialist scholarship schemes (such as those provided by Arthritis UK, Diabetes UK, and the British Heart Foundation)
- Research Council studentship awards, if available.
Our bursaries are non-repayable sums of money granted by the University, usually based on need.
Our loans are repayable sums of money granted by the University or other body.
Our scholarships are when the University pays towards your Study fees. You may also be eligible for further funding.
Postgraduate Doctoral Loans
The Government has introduced a new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000.
This will be over three years to support study for a doctoral degree.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. It can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive.
For more information, please see our Postgraduate Doctoral Loans page.
City has a well-established structure and processes to support your research.
MPhil/PhD students can become integral members of the School’s research teams based in their Research Centres. Our centres assist students in completing their studies. A range of research groups are available to support MPhil/PhD students including the Centre for Health Services and Research.
MPhil/PhD students are assigned to a team of supervisors, usually two academics who are expert in the field of the student's study. Students meet regularly with supervisors, reviewing their learning needs and planning work towards progression.
Full-time students are provided with a computer and workstation close to their research team. All full-time and part-time students will meet with their supervisors at least once a month.
Progress is monitored by an annual review. Students have the opportunity to discuss their research design and written work with an advisor. They also have access to support from Senior Tutors.
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 their study has developed, they may apply to be upgraded to PhD student status which involves an oral examination.
Upgrading occurs between 12 and 18 months for full time study and between 24 and 30 months for part time study.
Research students are supported by student representatives who meet with the student-staff liaison committee. They can respond to any student concerns that cannot be addressed by supervisors.
All MPhil/PhD students can access a wide range of MSc modules and other training programmes across City, normally without charge.
Workshops, seminars and retreats are organised for students across the School and within particular areas.
Institution-wide research activities can also contribute to your development as a researcher. An annual programme of research and enterprise development activities is also run for students.
For more information, please see the visit the City Doctoral College.
How to apply
In the first, instance, we recommend that you visit the relevant School and Research Centre. There you can to read about our research and establish areas of specific staff interest. This will enable you to identify whether the School of Health Sciences at City is the best place for your study.
Following this you need to submit a formal online application with a curriculum vitae and a 1-2 page proposal of study. This should include:
Background and rationale including other work in the area leading up to the PhD study.
Proposed methodology such as aims, design, participant groups, measures, analysis.
Potential outcomes of the research in terms of academic outputs (papers and presentations) and real world impact (e.g., its potential usefulness for teachers/ speech language therapists etc.).
We realise that at this stage you may not have a completely clear plan of study, and that the proposal is likely to change after you begin study. The proposal gives us an idea of your writing and organisational ability, motivation and rationale for the study and potential wider benefits.
Professor Leanne Aitken
Associate Dean for Research & Enterprise
Professor Corinna Hawkes
Professor of Food Policy
Division of Health Services Research and Management
Dr Eamonn McKeown
Senior Lecturer & Divisional Lead for Health Services Research & Management
Division of Health Services Research and Management