Postgraduate research

Healthcare and Pharmacy in Practice

PhD, MPhil

The School of Healthcare offers supervision for the degrees of: 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Healthcare - full-time and part-time 
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Healthcare -full-time and part-time
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmacy in Practice - full-time and part-time
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Pharmacy in Practice -full-time and part-time

Supervision and research areas

We offer PhD and MPhil supervision in Healthcare and Pharmacy in Practice in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff:

Professor Debi Bhattacharya

My research programmes focus on applying behavioural science to medicines optimisation challenges and intervention implementation. Recent studies include:

  • Developing and validating scales to identify the determinants and magnitude of medication adherence for people prescribed multiple medicines

  • Developing deprescribing interventions for dependence forming medication and polypharmacy in older people

  • Developing a theory and evidence informed framework of dissemination

Dr Sion Scott

  • Application of behavioural science to design and evaluate interventions targeting practitioner and patient behaviour

  • Deprescribing for older people in the hospital setting

  • Addressing barriers to medication adherence

Professor David Wright

  • Medicines optimisation for older people in care homes

  • Medicines administration for people with dysphagia

  • Integration of community pharmacy services within primary care

Dr Seth O'Neill

  • Tendon disorders - tendinopathy and rupture (epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis, management, imaging and return to play)

  • Muscle injuies in sports - particular focus on Calf muscle injuries (epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis, management and return to play)

  • Calf muscle strength and influence on function across the lifespan and whole population(Sporting groups, elderly care, falls risk)

  • MSK Physiotherapy - all aspects

  • The interplay between MSK conditions and other long-term health conditions

Lesley McBride

  • Investigating the relationship between neck strength and concussion risk in sports

  • Investigating how variations in neck strength may impact susceptibility to head injuries

  • Conducting reliability studies to enhance the accuracy and consistency of neck strength measurement techniques, crucial for effective concussion risk assessment and injury management protocols

  • Development of head injury assessments for use in the sporting field

Dr Linda Birt

  • Community support for families living with dementia

  • Understanding systems of care in care homes
    Palliative and end of life care, with a focus on needs of family carers

  • Implementation evaluation
    Qualitative research methods

Professor Joseph Manning

  • Infant, children, young people (CYP) and families

  • Acute paediatric care settings

  • Post-Intensive Care Syndrome in Pediatrics

  • Rehabilitation

  • Digital and health technologies

  • Qualitative approaches

  • Participatory methods/art based methods

  • Mixed-methods research

  • Data linkage and big data

  • Core outcome set development

  • Observational studies

  • Experience Based Co-Design

  • Clinical academic workforce development

However, please do not feel we will not be interested if there is not an exact match. It is sometimes possible to be flexible, so please contact us.

Self-funded projects

The projects below are available to applicants who are able to fund their own study or have their own sponsor. The University is not able to offer financial assistance for these projects. To apply please refer to the project advice and use the application link at the bottom of the page.

Lesley McBride: Biomarkers Associated with motor Neurone Disease and Dementia development after concussion in Females and Males: BANDD.

Professor Joseph Manning: Reducing pressure injury in critically Ill hospitalised infants, children and young people: An intervention bundle development and feasibility testing study.

Professor Debi Bhattacharya: Development and evaluation of a theory and evidence-based model for normalising Self-Administration of Medicines (SAM) in hospital

Professor Joseph Manning: Paediatric to Adult intenSive care tranSition for chronicAlly critically ill younG pEople: The PASSAGE Study

Professor David Wright: Improving pharmaceutical care for people with epilepsy and dysphagia

Dr Linda Birt: Advance care planning conversations in care home, understanding resident and family experiences.

Dr Sion Scott: An intervention to facilitate deprescribing for people with intellectual disability

Entry requirements

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

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements.

How to apply

1. Find the research group you would like to work in and one or two members of staff within that group whose research interests are closest to your own.

2. 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

3. 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
  • supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation
  • CV
  • In addition to uploading the above documents please enter contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme or upload letters of reference if already available

4. Submit your online application using the appropriate Apply button at the bottom this page.

When to apply

We have intakes in January, April, July and September each year.

You should try to submit your application as far in advance of your preferred start date as possible. If you are an international applicant and require a visa to study in the UK you should submit your application at least 3-4 months before the proposed start date.

After you have submitted your application, it will take a minimum of six weeks for you to receive a decision about your application.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees vary according to your fee status and the mode of study (full-time or part-time). For clarification please contact

UK campus based

*UK fees will rise each year of study in line with UKRI rates.


  • 2023/24 academic year: £4,712
  • 2024/25 academic year: £4,786


  • 2023/24 academic year: £2,356
  • 2024/25 academic year: £2,393

International campus based


  • 2023/24 academic year: £21,850 - £35,350 per year
  • 2024/25 academic year: £23,650 - £38,300 per year

*International fees vary according to the nature of the research project to be undertaken. The applicable fee will be determined at the point an offer of admissions is made and will be stated on the offer letter.

Please note that owing to UK visa restrictions, part-time campus based registration is not normally available to international applicants.

Maximum registration permitted is 4 years full-time or 7 years part-time.

The normal duration of a PhD programme is three years (full-time). PhD students may use the fourth year as a 'writing-up' year for which a reduced fee is payable if active research has been completed - currently £100.


For a list of our available scholarships/studentships, please visit our funded opportunities pages.

PhD description

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team. The research is normally completed over a maximum period of 3.0-3.5 years (full-time) or 6.0-6.5 years (part-time).

A fourth year (full-time) or seventh year (part-time) or the remaining part of this can be used to prepare the thesis for examination. The thesis should not normally exceed 50,000 words and must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain work of publishable quality. The thesis must then be defended in a viva voce (oral) examination before a degree can be awarded.

PhDs explained

Application options

Apply PhD Healthcare Full Time Apply now
Apply PhD Healthcare Part Time Apply now
Apply PhD Pharmacy Practice Full Time Apply now
Apply Pharmacy Practice Part Time Apply now

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