You will join a research community that is leading the way in how we look at mental health care and communication. Research will be enhanced by the outcome focused environment of our Centre for Mental Health Research
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Our links with Bart's Trust, UCL Partners and others has helped create research-active clinical academic posts, ensuring research is undertaken under the supervision of respected clinical experts.
As an PhD/MPhil researcher at City’s Centre for Mental Health Research, you will be contributing to a body of knowledge and expertise. Making a direct impact on people’s health and well-being.
Our research on Mental Health addresses the complex links between mental and physical ill-health. We cover including some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing society, such as dementia and depression.
We work closely with clinicians, patients, carers and service managers across a range of disciplines to carry out research to improve mental health care and communication for people of all ages in all settings.
Our pioneering approach to involving patients and carers throughout the research process has earned us an international reputation. Bolstered by strong links with government bodies and major health charities.
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.
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).
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) or preparing and submitting a series of papers for peer reviewed publication during the period of registration (PhD by prospective publication).
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 over a period of 3 years (full-time) or 4-6 years (part-time).
MPhil and PhD study will commonly involve a structured programme of research activity. Comprising systematic literature review, pilot or developmental study, and main study phases.
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.
Prospective publication: Candidates publish several (generally around four to six papers, dependent on their depth, quality, significance and impact) significant research papers. You will address various aspects of your research topic during their period of PhD registration.
You will publish several (generally around four to six papers, dependent on their depth, quality, significance and impact) significant research papers. You will address various aspects of your research topic during their period of PhD registration.
These published (or accepted for publication) papers together with a critical analysis which draws together your published work will be submitted in a single thesis of between 40,000 and 80,000 words. (including the publications). This word count might vary by subject discipline.
As with the prior publication route, the accompanying critical commentary identifies your knowledge and skills acquisition, their part in developing the research, and 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 and applicants should approach academic staff working in their area of interest. Here you can discuss your 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. This is 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 main entry requirements page.
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.
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 will meet with their supervisors at least twice a term part time students at least once a term to record notes from these meetings and other indicators of progress on the web-based system, Research And Progress (RAP).
Progress is monitored by an annual review, where 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 nvolves 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. Here 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.
The City Doctoral College can provide more information about graduate degrees.
How to apply
In the first, instance, we recommend that you visit the School of Health Sciences and the relevant Research Centre. Here you can 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.
See here for guidance on writing your research proposal.
Dr Sally Barlow
Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing
Division of Nursing
Dr Martin Cartwright
Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research
Division of Health Services Research and Management
Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing / Programme Director MSc Nursing: Adult and Mental Health
Division of Nursing